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Turning Tides Team
SAVS is an independent charity known as a CVS. That means we work behind the scenes to help local charities and community groups achieve their full potential.
This website provides information about support services for the Southend-on-Sea community, running your own community group,ways to get involved. Office Hours: Mon-Fri 9am- 5pm


Four local charities are celebrating after being awarded the Quality for Health Award which demonstrates they are delivering good quality services and health benefits to people who use their services.

SAVS, Relate South Essex, Active Life and Headway Essex all provide services and support to people that benefit their physical or mental health.

Southend Association of Voluntary Services is a registered charity and council for voluntary service. We promote, encourage and develop voluntary and community action by empowering and providing excellent support and representation to frontline organisations throughout the Southend-on-Sea area and Essex.

Could you add to the strength of our Board of Trustees?

Our Trustees serve for set periods of time which means we need to refresh and revitalise the Board from time to time.  We are looking to select a small number of trustees with experience in the following fields:

Southend Association of Voluntary Services (SAVS) has received a £49,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, Volunteering-on-Sea in Southend-on-Sea.

Volunteering-on-Sea has been created by young people and will be delivered by them so they can explore and share the heritage of volunteering in Southend, an historic seaside town. 20 young people will collect oral histories from organisations who use volunteers to support people on Southend Seafront, or who use the seafront to support their work. This will then create an exhibition which will travel across Southend showing the journey of 16 volunteer experiences over the last 125 years.

Commenting on the award, Alison Semmence, SAVS Chief Executive Officer said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the young people are very keen to look into the History of Volunteering in Southend and are delighted that the HLF see the potential of the project.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, East of England, said: “The Volunteering-on-Sea project will provide a fantastic opportunity for young people in Southend to discover the history of volunteering in their local area. Thanks to National Lottery players, the Southend Association of Voluntary Services will be able to support young people in this project, and organise an exhibition to share the findings across Southend.

SAVS is celebrating after receiving funding from the Big Lottery to support people with mental health issues.  The award of £234,537 from the Reaching Communities programme will enable SAVS to continue to support people recovering from mental ill-health into volunteering for the next five years.

“The service we provide to help people to volunteer as they recover from mental ill health can be a real lifeline and makes a huge difference to their lives,” says Alison Semmence, Chief Executive of SAVS.

“We have been providing the service for five years and have a constant stream of people coming through to use the service.  In these difficult times when support for people with mental health problems is hard to find, our service can really make a difference to improve the quality of life for people.”

With Spring in the air, daffodils and tulips in bloom and the sun making a few more appearances lately, you may be thinking about getting out and about more. About being more active, getting fit maybe. But what can you do locally that combines enjoying the great outdoors with something worthwhile and rewarding. Where you will meet new people in a friendly, relaxed way and have a lot of fun too.