Day 79 of (bubbling) Lockdown – the Zoo edition

Social bubblesDay 79 of (bubbling) Lockdown – the Zoo edition

On Day 79 lockdown becomes bubbly as some will soon be able to have a full contact social bubble of 2 households!  Other news kicks off with:

Colchester Zoo to Reopen

Colchester Zoo has announced their intention to reopen next week.  They have yet to confirm a precise date or booking processes.  They have, however, noted that indoor exhibits will not be open.  In a statement they have said:

Elephant at Colchester ZooAfter over 2 long months of being closed to the public and with no regular income it is vitally important that we open again soon for the zoo to survive and continue the important work of caring for our animals.

The majority of Colchester Zoo is open-air, over 60 acres with wide pathways and open areas. We hope that this will be an ideal location for those who would like to venture outside and reconnect with nature but within a safe environment.


We are very happy to re-open – both the staff and animals have missed the visitors. However, it is important to that our visitors follow the conditions we put in place to help us remain open and keep our staff, animals and other visitors safe and healthy. Working together, Colchester Zoo will be able to remain open albeit not in the usual way we know and have enjoyed the park in the past.

We are currently carrying out the relevant risk assessments and preparing the park to ensure a safe visit for everyone. Although risk assessments and actions have already been put in place to enable staff to work safely there are further actions we are implementing to ensure health and safety when open to the public.


In order to re-open safely we will be introducing a number of restrictions and conditions which we kindly ask visitors to please comply with. We would also ask for your patience and understanding as with other businesses reopening, this is very much a learning curve and there may be tweaks and adjustments to the conditions as we try to figure out the best solutions and methods of working with one another.

Picture of a familyNew support services launched for children and families

A new range of services has launched this week to give young people and their families a little extra help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Family Innovation Fund-Xtra services are provided by the voluntary sector and community partners and provide early support across key areas including understanding coronavirus; managing and coping with change; separation and loss; managing and coping with anxiety; healthy family relationships and staying active and curious.

Available to children & young people

The services are available to children and young people aged between 0 and 19-years (up to 25-years for young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities) and are aimed at helping young people and families who are not already receiving specialist or statutory support.

Access via Referral

They can be accessed directly by families, through referral from a professional such as a teacher, via the Essex Welfare Service, the Getting Help in Essex Directory, or by calling one of the organisations themselves.

To receive support via the Family Innovation Fund-Xtra service, young people and their families can contact one of the organisations listed below, depending on their needs.

  • Wilderness Foundation– offers counselling and therapeutic support, and may bring nature, art and other creative tools into sessions. Appointments are available 9 am-5 pm Monday – Friday. Evenings and weekends by appointment. Contact 0300 1233073 or [email protected]
  • Renew Counselling– an experienced and accredited counselling service for all ages. Appointments are available Monday – Friday 10 am – 5 pm and Monday-Thursday 5 pm-8 pm. Saturdays by appointment. Contact 01245 359353 or [email protected]
  • Open Door– offers coaching, counselling and mediation. Appointments are available Monday-Thursday 9 am-7 pm, Friday 9 am-5 pm. Saturday and Sunday by appointment. Contact 01375 390040 or [email protected]
  • Relate– offer accredited mediation and counselling. Appointments are available 9 am-9 pm Monday- Friday and 9 am-5 pm on Saturdays. Contact 01245 676930 or 01708 441722 or [email protected]
  • YMCA– can help families identify beneficial strategies and solutions for their needs in individual, group or family sessions. Appointments are available Monday – Friday and Saturdays by agreement. Contact 01245 355677 or [email protected]
  • Evolve Intervention– provide early intervention for children and young people through mentoring, coaching, group work and tuition. Appointments are available Monday – Friday 9 am to 6 pm, with some availability between 6 pm- 8 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Contact us on 01245 526069 or [email protected].

Young Essex Assembly Talk Social Distancing

Social distancing has been hard for lots of us over the past couple of months and for some children and young people, it might still be something they are finding difficult.

It is vital that we continue to practise social distancing to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.  ECC would like to say a big thank you to all the children and young people across Essex who are making a difference by doing so.


If your child is struggling with social distancing, the Young Essex Assembly has shared some tips which could help. Check out what they have to say below and for more information about how you can keep your children and family well during the pandemic, visit ECC’s Staying Well Children and Families page.

Michael McIntyre visits the Fortune Teller



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