A Better Start Southend (ABSS) Engagement Fund Extension – response to COVID-19

A Better Start Southend (ABSS) Engagement Fund Extension – response to COVID-19

This form is aimed at Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise Groups’ (VCFSE) who would like to submit an application to coordinate/deliver an event or activity in response to COVID-19. The fund is aimed at Pregnant Mothers and Children aged 0-3 years old and their parents or primary carers, living in the ABSS wards.

The application process includes the following stages:

Submission of the ABSS Engagement Fund Extension COVID-19 Response Form by a designated VCSEF.
Stage 1 Screening of the application form by ABSS and SAVS.
Stage 2 A final review of the application form by the Reference Group, where a decision will be made as to whether the funding will be awarded or not. Unsuccessful application forms will be provided with feedback. Please note that this will not prevent organisations from resubmitting a COVID-19 Response Form.

All application forms will be reviewed within one week, with the aim of providing feedback within two weeks of the submission date.

ABSS Engagement Fund Extension for Southend’s VCFSE Sector

On 23rd March this year, the government introduced ‘lockdown’ measures, in order to limit movement outside the home, and control the spread of COVID-19. In response to this, we have been working with our Delivery Partners to deliver our services in a more digital way, with the exception of a very small number of targeted services which have continued face to face delivery and exercising social distancing measures in order to keep families safe.

Our services play a vital role in maintaining the health and wellbeing of parents and children within our wards, and aside from our extensive COVID-19 strategy, we have also extended the scope of our existing Engagement Fund. The fund was set up to help our Parent Champions to host fun and informative sessions, in order to bring families closer to A Better Start Southend, but during the pandemic, it will now also support local voluntary organisations/groups to reach out in different ways and support families at this time of need.

Earlier this year we secured £10,000 for the extension to the Fund. An additional £10,000 has now been made available for Engagement Fund proposals from voluntary organisations and groups, with the maximum allocation being £1,000 per proposal. Applications will be reviewed and approved by representatives from SAVS, Parent Champions, Engagement and Co-production leads across the borough, and the A Better Start Southend governance groups. Once the activity has been completed, organisations that have hosted the activity will be asked to complete a short impact statement, where successes and key achievements will be celebrated, and learning identified for future projects to draw from.