Active Southend text on dark blue background

More than 7,200 residents have felt the health and wellbeing benefits of community projects funded by Active Southend.

The investments were administered by the Community Investment Board, which is hosted by Southend Association of Voluntary Services (SAVS). Active Southend gives not-for-profit organisations grants of up to £1,000.

Since the last round of funding was released in November 2022, of the 39 applications received, 24 projects were granted funding, for a total of £20,000.

All projects had to meet certain criteria to be considered for funding, including:

  • with aim of increasing physical activity of those who attend the group
  • must be in Southend-on-Sea
  • must be a non-profit organisation
  • project had to complete before 30 June 2023
  • provide an evaluation report, to assess the impact of the project

Cllr Derek Jarvis, cabinet member for arts, culture, heritage and leisure, said: “We want to do more to encourage our residents to improve their health and wellbeing and community groups are best placed to do this as they already have the links with residents.

“It also helps cohesion and community-minded spirit as residents have opportunities to develop friendships with neighbours, whilst doing something enjoyable and while improving their health.

“I'm so pleased we could work with the Community Investment Board and these community groups to make such a difference through Active Southend. Helping 7,200 residents is truly remarkable.”

Some of the activities included:

  • exercise classes for more than 700 residents
  • empowering women in sports, particularly young women in football
  • extra support and development for those residents with neurodiversity
  • helped families connect, both with one another and with other families

Comments given as part of the evaluations include:

“Having a weekly Zumba session to look forward to has really helped me through each week. It was my time to relax and have fun, surrounded by friends and families who just get it.” Comment from a resident who took part in the Little Heroes initiative to reduce the cost of Zumba classes for parents of neurodivergent children.

“Queensway football has made me see that I have a talent, I'm good at football and could have a future. I have made some really good friends and I look forward to coming every week.” A participant in Get the Kids Out bid for girls football for Queensway Estate residents.

With any further funding that becomes available, community groups will be invited to apply.

You can read the full report on the CIB website.

Published: Monday, 30th October 2023