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Recycling Rewards Communities encourages local residents to enter a prize draw to win £250 by pledging to recycle.  At the same time, residents are asked to vote for their favourite registered community organisation or project from a list of fantastic projects operating across Southend.  The five community projects that receive the most votes will receive between £500 - £4,000.  You will need to register your details by 5pm on 2nd May in order for your community group to be considered.  Your income needs to be between £10,000 and £250,000 and you need to benefit the Southend community.  For more information, see below.  

We have been given the seal of approval by The Charity Commission as it has demonstrated it has all the hallmarks of an effective charity.  SAVS, the Southend Association of Voluntary Services was recently assessed by the Charities Evaluation Service and as a result has been awarded the nationally recognised PQASSO Quality Mark.

We work behind the scenes to support over 300 local voluntary and community groups in Southend to help them reach their full potential.  We provide advice and information on how to set up and run a charity, for example, what policies are needed, how to find funding and how to work with volunteers. In addition we also have a range of projects that support the elderly, people with mental health problems, Ex-offenders and also run the Triple T youth clubs.

Back in early 2013 we were assessed on how we are run, work with the local community and how we achieve results.   

“The assessor from the Charities Evaluation Service spent a week at SAVS talking to practically all of our staff, volunteers and trustees,” says Alison Semmence, CEO of SAVS.

“It was a pretty tough assessment and looked at everything we do.  They found we were particularly strong at working with others, listening to the views of the community and at getting results.”

The Charities Evaluation Service commented in its report about SAVS that;

“Trustees, staff and volunteers have a clear sense of purpose and demonstrate great commitment and enthusiasm in achieving exceptional results in the very diverse range of projects and activities that the organisation undertakes”.  

Southend Borough Council supports SAVS and is delighted with their achievement.

“As local government finance comes under increasing pressure it is inevitable that we will become ever more dependent on the efforts and contribution of the voluntary sector. In Southend we are fortunate to have in SAVS an organisation which provides very effective direction, support and coordination for our voluntary groups and which continues to make a real and obvious difference for the residents of Southend’’ says Nigel Holdcroft, leader of the Council

Our Triple Ts Clubs, run by Turning Tides, provides fun activities, games and sports for children living on the Woodgrange and Queensway estates in Southend.  The weekly clubs help children to learn new skills, feel part of the community and make new friends, without any financial burden to their families.  Triple Ts need £10,000 to keep going... can you help?   To make a donation or find out more, please contact Anthony on 01702 220103 or email  

If you are thinking about volunteering but don’t know where to start, why not come along to one of our New Volunteer Workshops? It’s free and there is no need to be apprehensive as these get- togethers are very friendly and informal and hot drinks are provided too! Our Volunteer Centre Co-ordinator, Emily, will ensure that you know everything that you need to know about volunteering and how to choose the right role for you. You will also get a chance to look at a selection of  current volunteering opportunities. To book your place please call 01702 356000 now.

October 1st saw the launch of a GP helpline service to help doctors direct patients in towards other support services. Southend Association of Voluntary Services opened the private line today for GPs.

They can now call, with patients’ permission, to seek help from voluntary bodies. The service, is being run on a trail basis for a year and will be open between 9am and 4pm daily, though this may be changed later.

Dr Paul Husselbee, from Southend Clinical Commissioning Group, which oversees local GP practices, said: “Anything which can take the pressure off primary and acute services is welcome.”

A spokesman for the voluntary services association said: “We imagine patients and GPs will call this number. The hours are restricted to reduce costs but can be looked at again.

“We want this to work.”

Turning Tides and Southend Association of Voluntary Services are launching the new crime reduction initiative Safe as Houses. ‘Safe as Houses provides crime prevention information and advice to the elderly and vulnerable residents living in Southend.

This new initiative will be delivered through Turning Tides; a project managed by Southend Association of Voluntary Services and has been funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex.

The main aims of “Safe as Houses” is to ensure quality/accurate information about crime prevention is presented to residents that are hard to reach and identify issues requiring further support and refer directly to partner agencies if specific services are needed. It will promote safety and security in the communities, particularly in high risk areas for dwelling burglary and bogus calling whilst raising awareness and engagement with other services i.e. Neighbourhood Watch, Message in a bottle, etc….

The home visits will be delivered by a team of 12 specially trained volunteers, trained by Mick Holland Southend Neighbourhood Watch Administrator and supported by Turning Tides Team Leaders. Home visits will take the form of a friendly informal chat with volunteers providing advice on how to stay safe and secure covering issues like local scams, bogus callers, mobility scooter theft etc…

To arrange a visit from the team or to join as a volunteer please call the Turning Tides Team on 01702 22010 or alternatively email

New bike - fresh start! That’s the message from Alexander Sadza who won some new wheels after taking part in a borough-wide travel survey.

Alexander, 21 of Fleetwood Avenue, Westcliff, was the 5,000th person to be interviewed as part of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Ideas in Motion project.

The survey is being carried out by Travel Advisor Volunteers and Turning Tides Team Project, who have been out knocking on thousands of people’s doors across Southend to offer the public travel planning advice.

These specially trained volunteers discuss their current travel arrangements and offer support and information about alternative options such as cycling, walking or using trains and buses.  

When the Personalised Travel Planning Survey is completed it will have gathered information from 8,000 households. And this latest landmark in the survey was good news for Alexander who collected his Forme Winster 3 bike from the Comfy Saddle in Southend Central Station.

Alexander said: "I like to keep healthy and fit and I used to have a bike a long time ago and cycled regularly. Now I hope to get out much more often and use some of the routes available.”

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council's Executive Councillor for Public Protection, Waste and Transport, Councillor Tony Cox said: "We are now more than halfway through this major piece of research work, whose findings will give a valuable insight into the way people’s current travel trends.

“In addition the Personalised Travel Planning Survey gives people direct information and support which can help inform their travel choices and maybe try out some of the ideas on Ideas in Motion website (go to

“It’s very easy to fall into the habit of using the car for every journey without even thinking of other ways to travel locally.”

To join the Travel Advisor Volunteer Team or for more information about Personalised Travel Planning, contact Anthony Quinn on 01702 220101 or email   

SAVS Charity Shop was officially opened on 6th June by Local Celeb Jack Monroe author of ‘below the line’ budget recipes with The Mayor Cllr Brian Kelly and one of the stars from The Only Way is Essex, Charlie King.

The SAVS Charity Shop aims to support the work SAVS does for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Southend, the shop also promotes a Charity of the Month which will support smaller charities in Southend by selling stock on their behalf.

The shop will also host a project providing supported volunteering opportunities for those farthest from the job market including ex offenders. The volunteering placements will provide individuals with valuable work experience to help them gain employment.

Alison Semmence, CEO of SAVS said ‘Our new venture will help us to support the local voluntary groups of Southend. We hope the public will choose to support this project through visiting the shop and of course donations of goods to sell are warmly welcome’.The shop is based at the SAVS Building in Alexandra Street and is open Monday-Friday 9.30am-4.30pm.

Healthwatch Southend, the all new local health and social care consumer champion, was launched on 1 April 2013. As part of the changes to the way health and social care services are delivered nationally and locally, Healthwatch Southend is completely independent and designed to work for the public. It will help people and their families get the best out of local health and social care services, offer advice on navigating the system, and advocacy support to people who wish to complain about health services they have received.

Our health and social care system is going through massive changes including cuts to spending and services. Healthwatch is an opportunity for adults, children and young people to have real influence and bring about a better health and social care system for all of us. Healthwatch Southend will make health and care providers answerable to the people who use their services. Every voice counts.

Jonathan Keay, Healthwatch Southend manager, said: “This really is a special opportunity. There have been many efforts made to engage with the public about health and social care issues previously, but never before has it been done with the powers that Healthwatch has locally and nationally. If you’ve got something to shout about, we’ll make sure the right people hear you.”

If you would like to receive regular information about the work of Healthwatch Southend, you can become a Healthwatch Southend supporter by calling 01702 220104 or by emailing

Southend Association of Voluntary Services provides support for voluntary and community organisations of Southend-on-Sea. Through our charity shop we are running a monthly ‘charity of the month’ scheme, providing an opportunity for local groups to fundraise that haven’t already got a charity shop of their own.

The chosen local group will be responsible for collecting donations for our shop to sell on the group’s behalf. For more information and to apply please download, print off, complete and return the form to Jon Briscoe, Shop Manager either to SAVS, 29-31 Alexandra Street, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 1BW or