Essex Respite Association was incorporated as a Company limited by guarantee in August 1995. Funding was provided by Essex Strategic Health Authority and Essex County Council Social Services via The Mental Health Joint Commissioning Team.

It was affiliated to MACA (Mental After Care Association) who set up ERA at the same time as its sister organisations in Redbridge and Suffolk. 


It soon became apparent that both staff and carers felt that a basic sitting service was not adequate and that there was a need to take care receivers out during the respite period so that they could engage in various activities. However, as we were not funded to do this, a fund-raising project was started in order to pay for the costs involved in providing this additional service.


At this time the name of the charity was Mid-Essex Respite Care Association (MERCA). Funding of £5000 was received from Essex County Council, to finance expansion into West Essex.


During this year MERCA changed its name to Essex Respite and Care Association (ERCA) reflecting the support provided to those without carers. In November 2011 ERCA was given formal notice that the funding agreement would not be renewed by Essex County Council. From 1 April 2012 clients needed to apply for direct funding from ECC and then decide which services they wished to purchase. Due to delays in client’s applications being processed, during 2011-12 client numbers reduced dramatically resulting in an enormous drain on our finances.


ERCA relies on receiving voluntary donations made by Trusts, Foundations and individuals to be able to provide a unique and necessary service to clients with a mental health diagnosis and their carers.


"Debra was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia when she was 19 years old and whilst attending university. Due to becoming unwell, she was unable to complete the course. Debra become increasingly anxious and paranoid and she began isolating herself within her family home. Debra was admitted into hospital when she was 26 years old for 3 months…."

Get in touch

Call our confidential support line on 01245 353855.
Our office is open 9am to 2pm Monday - Friday

Making A Difference

ERCA commit to continually trying to support the client in bettering their life

ERCA invest time and energy in what is and in what can be

ERCA staff strive to be uplifting and motivating

Make a difference

ERCA commit to continually trying to support the client in bettering their life

ERCA invest time and energy in what is and in what can be

ERCA staff strive to be uplifting and motivating

Person Centered

ERCA support clients to work towards their goals

ERCA support clients to take control over their lives

Clients have choice over the support they receive

ERCA welcomes and listens to any client and carer feedback

Dignity & Respect

ERCA treat clients and their carers with dignity and respect regardless of their culture, religion, age, race, sexual orientation and disability

All staff accept and respect clients and their carers' confidentiality and individuality

ERCA respects a client’s right to make their own decisions and choices about how they want to be supported

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