Community Investment Fund: First Funding Awards

Published On: 26/05/20233.7 min read

The Community Investment Fund is managed and delivered by the Community Investment Board, made up of local residents volunteering their time to make investments enabling Southend residents to improve their lives. The board are responsible for determining how to spend £1.5m of funding from Southend City Council to further the Southend 2050 vision. In February 2022 the board met to consider a range of applications from smaller voluntary sector organisations in Southend. This is the first time that spend of council funds has been wholly decided by local residents, with over £181k being awarded. Through this funding the board were not only able to utilise their own experiences of being local residents but too they sought to support the harder to raise core costs for organisations over the coming 3 years.

They were delighted to support the following plans;

  • Milton Community Partnership Core costs in the delivery of community events and activities benefiting residents in Milton. £ 28,200.00
  • Packed with Smiles To provide uniform packs for school children. £ 9,900.00
  • Safe Harbour Core costs of running bereavement support groups. £ 26,620.00
  • SAFE Essex Core costs of providing activities for those living with autism. £ 23,760.00
  • Trinity Family Centre Core costs in the provision of activities support the community in Westcliff. £ 29,847.00
  • SEACA To continue the community steel pan group. £ 2,700.00
  • Shoebury and Thorpe Bay Baptist Church To employ a mental health support worker to engage with young people in Shoebury. £ 30,000.00
  • 57 West Core costs of support to those facing homelessness in Southend. £ 30,000.00

Jenny Wood, Board Member said, “We are delighted to have awarded just over £181k in funding to support these great community initiatives. The board felt after speaking with Southend’s voluntary sector that it was important to support smaller organisations with funding that could secure their sustainability in the coming couple of years. We are excited to be working with them all and look forward to hearing their progress – it is clear that small organisations will be a key driving force in delivering Southend 2050.”

Andrea Walters, Coordinator at SAFE Essex, “SAFE is delighted to have received funding from the Southend Community Investment fund towards the work it does in the area serving residents affected by autism. We provide a safe place where members can meet in a non-judgemental environment and share tips and advice. SAFE has been described as a “lifeline” by one member, who without SAFE, would not leave his home.”

Matt King, Chair of Milton Community Partnership said, “This funding will do so much to help us sustain and develop our work in Milton ward. The funding’s given us a real boost as we recover from COVID and look to work with our community to improve the quality of life for everyone here.”

Faith Horsley, Trustee with Packed with Smiles said they “are absolutely thrilled to now be in a position to be able to provide ongoing support for an additional 3 years to Southend Children’s Centres in Southend, with much needed school uniform parcels to those in the most genuine of financial hardship and need.”

Barbara Black, founder of The Safe Harbour Bereavement Group said, “are so pleased to have received our funding from the Southend Community Fund. It means we can provide professional support without people waiting and in our friendly and safe environment. We can also help to move the members forward by introducing them to new experiences and activities. So from the team and all our members we say a big thank you to the board for putting their faith and trust in us.”

“South Essex African Caribbean Association (SEACA) appreciate the support and funding from CIF, for the Steel Here community steel pan band. This is a wonderful opportunity to get that much needed injection of assistance to enable the steel pan band to grow and develop. It has made a difference to not only the organisation, but also to the participants that have been with us from day one to the ever expanding new members that can now join us and become part of the Steel Here pan band network. We welcome new members and if you have ever wanted to try something new, come and be uplifted and inspired by the melodic sounds of the Steel Pans”, said Josephine Melville, Trustee.

Trinity Family Centre too, “are delighted to receive a grant from CIF, especially as it is for 3 years, ensuring that we are able to continue supporting our community as we have been doing for over 20 years. A big thank you from users, volunteers, staff and trustees.”