The words Raising Southend, A Festival of Conversations. The better Start Southend logo is also present.

Raising Southend; a Festival of Conversations is back!

Building on the success of the festivals in 2021 and 2022, the much-anticipated Raising Southend: A Festival of Conversations returns for a 5-day extravaganza of free events, from Wednesday 26 June to Sunday 30 June.

Raising Southend: A Festival of Conversations is a series of innovative, exciting events and activities taking place across Southend, aimed at all families who are either expecting a baby or with children under the age of four. It will be an opportunity to engage with the fantastic services across Southend and meet organisations ready to support families, all with elements of fun and conversation over the festival period.

Organised by A Better Start Southend, the festival will adopt some of the favourite features from previous years, plus some new surprises. There will be opportunities for conversations between families, community groups and services in Southend through moments of shared creativity. Themes this year include:

  • early years activities
  • support for dads
  • mental health and wellbeing
  • food, diet and nutrition
  • arts and creativity
  • Special Educational Needs and disability
  • sustainability

Dr. Nia D Thomas, Director of A Better Start Southend, says: "We're really looking forward to meeting up with parents, expectant parents, new families, familiar families and the littlest members of our community. We can't wait to share in the fun of the activities we have planned and join in the conversations about creating a better start for our children in Southend.”

Parent Champion, Nichola, says: ‘In 2022 we had just hit a cost-of-living crisis. The Festival of Conversations meant that we could attend free days out, events etc for the children without them being aware of or being affected by the cost-of-living crisis. As a family we all had the best time and made memories we will never forget. And as the parent I couldn't be more grateful of the warm spaces, food, laughter and memories provided for free, as well as the signposting to resources and services to support our family’.

Matt King, CEO of Trust Links, says: “We are delighted to be involved in the Festival of Conversations this year. Southend is a great place to bring up a family. With projects such as Families Growing Together and Dad's Group, run by Trust Links in Shoeburyness, Westcliff and Kursaal, there are wonderful opportunities to engage with nature and meet with other families in a safe and supportive environment. We know that it is so go for mental health to connect with others, be active, take notice about what is around you, learn new things and give to others. The Festival of Conversations is a perfect chance to do this, whilst learning about what is available for families in the Southend area.”

You will need to register for some events.

There will be updates about event registrations on the festival website.

Published: Wednesday, 15th May 2024