Southend Emergency Fund ran under Shared Space for the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each week the fund gave multiple grants with over £200,000 raised to support Southend people.
In March 2020 as Southend entered the first lockdown, Shared Space was approached by a local businessman with the idea of a fund-raiser to help local charities support people through the pandemic
Shared Space was ideally placed to be the charity under which Southend Emergency Fund would operate. And Shared Space joined in to scale and deliver the project. Within 4 weeks a team was built, website launched, donations were coming in and the first grants had gone out to local charities.
The idea was simple: a COVID-19 emergency fund by the people of Southend for the people of Southend.
A year later in April 2021, Shared Space handed the work over to continue under Southend Association of Voluntary services.
£200,000+ was raised in the first year and grants given to 64 Southend charities and organisations to help them support local people.
Local organisations receiving grants included:
1st Chalkwell Bay Brownies, 57 West, Active Life, Anxiety Society, Aspirations, Aspirations Day Program, Belle Vue Baptist Church (to fund food programmes by 6 local churches), Blenheim Primary School, CAST, Chaos and Calm, Charlie Boys Angels, Citizens Advice Bureau, Connectability/ATF, Elevator Arts, Family Action (Southend FOOD Clubs), Friars Baptist Church, Get the Kids Out, Hamstel Junior School, HARP, Highlands Methodist Church, Hill Mental Health Support, Isaiah Project, Just4children, Lady McAdden Breast Screening, Leigh Buddhist Centre, Lions Club of Leigh, Milton Hall Primary School, One Love Soup Kitchen, Packed with Smiles, Peabody, Phabulous Cafe, Rawcous, Safe Steps, SAVS Food Poverty Action Group, SEND the right message, Sew 4 Communitees, Shoebury Salvation Army, SOS Rape Crisis, South Essex Advocacy, Services, South Essex Community Hub, Southend Carers, Southend Community Events, Southend in Sight, Southend Sea Cadets, Southend SEND Parents, Southend Vineyard Church, SSAFA, St Andrews Open House, St Cedds Church, St Stephen’s Church, St Vincent de Paul, Sutton House Academy, The Art Ministry, The Hub, Theatre School, Trinity Family Centre, Trust Links, Vibe Southend, Victory Park Academy, Welcome to the UK, Well Being at Garon Park, Yantlet Garden Club, Yoga4all.
Grants have helped in areas including:
Poverty & Hunger
The pandemic forced families across Southend into poverty, incomes evaporated and jobs disappeared. Grants provided thousands and thousands of needed meals and supported people with electric and gas bills.
Key Workers Health at Risk
At the start of the pandemic the shortage of PPE was acute and SEF grants funded the local manufacture and supply of PPE to emergency workers, carers and support staff who were at risk on the front line.
Deteriorating Mental Health
Lockdown imprisoned vulnerable people, cutting them off from families and support networks. Some could not afford communication and digital access, plunging them into isolation. Southend Emergency Fund grants provided vital digital access to many.
Victims of Rape, Domestic Abuse and the Vulnerable
Adults and children were trapped with abusers during lockdown and the numbers soared of those at risk. Grants helped several local organisations respond to this crisis and helped keep people safe.
Thanks to all who gave:
Local people, churches, charities, businesses, The Lottery and Southend Borough Council – you are all amazing!