Our story

Yeovil4Family (Y4F) was initially a family support project set up in response to the fact that some families in our community are in need of additional support. Y4F was set up by churches in Yeovil who have a heart to see the tide of family breakdown turn in our town, to see children who are loved and cared for prosper and family relationships that are constructive instead of destructive and damaging. 

Y4F is hosted by Yeovil Community Church, who since 2012 have delivered a contracted support programme by providing Family Link Workers and Volunteer Family Mentors, (if appropriate) to work alongside isolated families in South Somerset. We walked alongside families and single people for up to a 12-month period and extended this Early Help support to surrounding towns and villages in what was formally known as the South Somerset District Council area (SSDC) 

This bespoke service offered one-to-one support around each family to enable them to take back control over their own lives – empowering and growing the skills needed to help themselves. Over the years we helped people to find solutions to the difficulties they were facing by building confidence and resilience to cope with future challenges. We linked them to the right services appropriate to their needs, whether it be health, school support, financial ETC, we helped advocate and empower. In addition to this we provided Peer Support Groups where shared experiences further grew connections and support networks for families in our community.  

In 2023 SSDC became a Unitary organisation, now known as Somerset Council. Unfortunately, our core funding from Somerset Council was cut making the Y4F programme unsustainable in its current format from April 2024. 

Being passionate about our community and the people living in it, we knew we wanted to continue the good work that Yeovil4family had started –  because there is always a need for family support. 

Due to the generosity we have received from Yeovil Community Church, and the good connections and relationships we have built with other agencies and professionals, we have been able to gain some initial start up funding. These funds have enabled us to remodel our programme to meet the need in the community based on Peer Support. Our Peer Support Groups will run from the Gateway initially with a long-term vision to branch back out into the surrounding communities. These Peer Groups will be facilitated by experienced and capable Link Workers, with specific focus groups, drop ins and other professional agencies joining us to meet the need of families. 


Our Offer

Yeovil4Family will now be providing Early Help support within a group setting operating on a referral basis. Previously, referrals had to be made by professionals, however we are now also accepting self-referrals. Our Link Workers can provide an initial visit to people in their own home to introduce themselves and get to know what the family would like from a group. We understand that for some people, attending a group and meeting strangers can be a daunting prospect. With this in mind, we will also be able to meet potential attendees at The Gateway, which is where most groups will initially take place. This will help the person to familiarise with the building and meet the Link Workers facilitating groups.  

Groups are designed to be a non-judgemental and safe space where you can meet others in similar situations, support one another using your own life experience, [skill sets,] and build strong connections and support networks.  

A Link Worker can help link you to access other services that would be beneficial for your family. They can help with making referrals, applications and form filling as well as the practical and emotional support. A Link Worker will also be available to meet within The Gateway for more one-to-one confidential support, because we understand that sometimes a group setting is not the place you may want to share some personal information. 

Alongside the groups, we hope to be able to offer some focussed support for around 6 months, if there is a group member with a need for further support. After 6 months we hope the family will be more confident and in control of their family life and will reduce this support to peer group only. Topics discussed may be finances, benefits, housing, behaviour, mental health, physical health, relationship difficulties, SEND, isolation, training and employment and much more. 

In addition to our groups which run during term time, we provide family activities during the school breaks, and other opportunities with local providers, to enhance the quality of time you spend together as a family 

Yeovil4Family still has a host of volunteer mentors that can offer one-to-one support in your own home. Our mentors will listen in a non-judgemental way, understand the goals you wish to achieve for yourself and your family and be supported by a Link Worker who is familiar with your story. 

Yeovil4Family work with any family regardless of their age, gender, faith, disability, sexual preference and race. Our values are Community, Equality, Transformation, Hope and Inclusivity which we apply to our peer support and early help offer.  

Early help

“Early help can prevent children from coming to harm. When families face problems, getting the right support, at the right time, is essential. It can be what stops a minor problem becoming a crisis…Stepping in as soon as problems arise helps provide safe and happy childhoods. It helps keep families together. And it means children and young people are better prepared as they enter adulthood.” – (www.actionforchildren.org.uk) 

Early Help represents families with universal and additional needs and is unlikely to be suitable for families who are needing much more complex and acute interventions. There are other services available for people who are not in the Early Help category, and we will try to signpost to a service better able to meet these needs. Nobody is exempt from facing challenges in their family lives and it can happen to anyone from any background at any time. There is no judgement in our groups, only the shared vision to help get the best outcome for you and your family, however that looks to you. 

What are the benefits of Peer Support Groups? 

Peer support facilitates shared experiences and brings together valuable ideas, strategies and encouragement. Knowing you are not alone when facing challenging issues can help you to feel accepted, valued and improve your confidence and resilience. Our groups are not only about receiving support but being able to transfer and share what you have learnt with your peers. Everyone’s experiences are important and giving back to someone else improves self-worth and is incredibly rewarding 

Group settings are a way to build new social connections and improve your sense of belonging, they open you up to more experiences, people you may never have encountered in your daily life and gives you a greater sense of purpose. You can find comfort that your challenges can be managed, you are not on your own. 



Joella Summers – Joint Programme Lead

Jess Fleetwood – Y4F Team Administrator

Amy Merrett – Peer Support Link Worker

Anne Barclay – Peer Support Link Worker

Becca Crombie – Peer Support Link Worker

Sue Whitlock – Peer Support Link Worker

Welcome Hub

Vicki Pritchard – Joint Programme Lead

Lorrainne Gill – Senior Resettlement Link Worker

Catherine Bramley – Administrator

The Roost

Bridget Turner – Senior Community Outreach Worker

Helen Stonier – Community Outreach Worker


Become a Mentor

Do you have a heart to help people in need of support?
Could you spare a couple of hours a week?

They offer one-to-one support for people in the home and are a positive role model to everyone. They help the client to help themselves by supporting them to achieve small steps that help them lead to long term change.

Being a volunteer Family Mentor takes approximately two hours each week; one hour with the client you have been matched with and an hour with your Link Worker. You must be able to commit to being part of the programme for a minimum of 12 months.

Family Mentors need to be good listeners, who can encourage and be non-judgmental. Mentors currently range from ages 25 – 70+ years, and are able to understand the stresses of life.

All our Mentors complete a 12 hour training course. These can be daytime or evening and are group based, interactive sessions.

You will be supported and supervised by a Link Worker who is a member of our team responsible for the client you have been matched with. They are there to assist and safeguard you and to ensure you have all you need to fulfil your role.

Prayer Support

As we continue with this work we greatly appreciate the prayer support we receive. It is really encouraging to know that people in our town have a heart for the people who make up our community.

We would love for prayers to continue for:

  • The people we work with

  • The mentors who give up their time to help
  • The other organisations and agencies we work with
  • For more people to step forward and volunteer to be Mentors


Would you like to make a referral? Either for yourself as an individual or as a professional.
Please click on this link to make a referral now.

If you have any queries please contact us at 01935 530050 or email info@yeovil4family.org.uk