Community Investment Board

Community Investment Board

Do you have an interest in how to make Southend-on-Sea the best possible place to be and are you keen to make a real difference to your community? SAVS and Southend-on-Sea City Council are working together to recruit 15 volunteers to make up the Community Investment Board (CIB).

About Us

CIB Logo

The Board have developed their ideas and understanding of the assets and challenges in Southend and determined their values, vision and mission. Our values are;


  • Responsibility
  • Cooperation
  • Commitment
  • Empathy
  • Transparency


Underpinned by Independence and Inclusivity


Our vision is of a sustainable Southend where residents engage in their wider communities, are empowered to realize and reach their full potential. In a city they are proud of, feel safe in and can enjoy healthy and fulfilling lives.


Our mission is to utilize the strengths and assets of Southend by motivating residents to create sustainable resilient communities taking community led-action that will improve mental health.


To achieve this the Board have identified key themes they are seeking to invest in;

1.Young People (<35): To enable young people to maximize their health and wellbeing through increased resilience.

2.Improve Community Spaces: To enable communities to improve public spaces to build stronger health and wellbeing. Spaces that are safe and that local residents are proud of – indoor and outdoor.

3.Reduce Poverty: To ensure local residents realize and reach their aspirations. The Board are keen to support those with ideas around out of working hours support, activities for those living with addiction and that reduce isolation and loneliness.

4.Enhance a Thriving Voluntary Sector to deliver the Board’s vision.


Previously the Southend Borough Council distributed different grants, but as approved by Cabinet in November, £1.5m has been moved from the Council to Community Investment Board, hosted by SAVS. Neither the Council nor SAVS have control or say in how the funding is spent, it is completely up to the Board but it must seek to deliver the Board’s vision and mission and the with the £1.5m the Southend 2050 Outcomes and Themes.


For more information on the Community Investment Board please read this frequently asked questions document.

Independent Evaluation

Shaping Our Lives is a national user-led organisation and network of user-led groups, service users and Disabled people who have been commissioned by Southend Council to conduct a one year evaluation, focusing on the procedures and processes adopted by the Community Investment Board members who are responsible for grant-making from the Community Investment Fund. As part of the evaluation, Shaping Our Lives are providing advice and support from their experiences of citizen led projects, but are not influencing who receives grants. The evaluation is an independent insight enabling learning from this new initiative to be identified and help to improve on this commitment to community led investment.

First Year Impact Report

Southend’s Community Investment Board are celebrating their first anniversary since forming in Autumn 2022. In their first year over £550k has been invested, benefitting over 50,000 local residents to deliver the Board’s vision. Click here to read more.

Current Funding Available

Applications for amounts under £10,000 and ideas over £10,000. An update on new funding available will be posted in early 2023.


Click here to see the process for ideas seeking over £10k attaining final investment.


The Community Investment Board meet monthly and will provide a response as soon as possible. Please note that until complete a final decision cannot be provided.


To see more information on all awards made to date please read this article.

Forward Motion Logo

Forward Motion: Smarter Travel Fund – Enabling Healthier Journeys

The Community Investment Board are working with Forward Motion to administer the Smarter Travel of a total £15,000, to which groups can apply for up to £3,000 to encourage Southend residents to take healthier journeys, to work, school, social activities etc. The fund can be used to support work with adults (16+) who currently take part in little or no physical activity to increase their activity levels when making journeys. Activities need to take place in Southend and promote active and sustainable travel. Venue hire, sessional worker costs, promotion, equipment and training can be covered by this fund.

Examples of already funded activities include;

  1. Welcome to the UK are delivering training on how to use public transport for those new to Southend from Ukraine.
  2. Stephen’s Place are supporting their residents to benefit from bikes and how to use them as part of their recovery from addiction and homelessness.

To apply please read this guidance to click through to the simple application form.

You are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later as although the fund may re-open once spent they will be closed. Funds need to be spent by 31 March 2023.

Southend City Celebration Fund

The Community Investment Board received £25,000 from Southend-on-Sea City Council’s City Fund seeking to enable Southend residents to celebrate our new City status. The Fund is now closed, thank you to all applicants who put their ideas forward. A list of the events funded can be seen here. To find out more about the events and others taking place throughout Southend click here.

Community Investment Fund: Improving Young People’s Mental Health
The Community Investment Board is now closed to applications from this pot which, enables young people to build resilience and improve their own mental health thanks to funding from the Southend Education Trust. This fund is expected to re-open in Autumn 2023.


In 2021 and 2022 the Board were delighted to support:


  1. Southend YMCA – £1,600 to support young people with 1:1 mentoring.
  2. Experience Project @ Whittingham Mission – £1,000 to provide a 10 week music therapy course for young people.
  3. Hamstel Junior School – £2,197 to enhance their mental health support for young people in school.
  4. Blenheim School – £2,000 for resources to support young people facing mental health challenges.
  5. SOSRC – £3,203 to provide resources needed to deliver the activities of a girls’ group.
  6. St Thomas More High School £2,000 to train student wellbeing leaders.
  7. Get the Kids Out – £780.90 for Queensway Football Club to continue.
  8. Elevator Arts CIC – £1,977 for BLAST, interactive theatre skills for young people living with SEN.
  9. Belfairs Academy – £1,300 for an outdoor space for students and peer education around mental health.
  10. Greenways Primary School – £2,000 for a nurture space for students facing anxiety.
  11. Richmond Avenue Primary & Nursery School – £1,942.10 to finish a chill out room in school.


If you have any questions please email or call 07415 846506 to speak with our Community Investment Fund Coordinator.


The Board are keen to ensure best practice in safeguarding, equality and diversity and to reduce environmental impact and ensure money laundering does not take place as a result of their activities. Their approach is to be proportionate to the size and activities of those who receive funding. Those who are awarded funds will be asked to sign a grant agreement and acknowledge their support of the statements below;


  1. CiB Safeguarding Statement
  2. CiB Equalities Statement
  3. CiB Anti-Money Laundering Fraud Statement
  4. CiB Environmental Statement


If you have any questions please email or call 01702 356008 to speak with our Community Investment Fund Coordinator. Our Coordinator will be delighted to talk through your idea without sharing it with the board members.


The Community Investment Board are committed to sharing their observations after funding is issued, please see a list of their recent observations below;


Community Reference Group

In addition to the board, a Community Reference Group has been created to bring together local voluntary and community groups, local health and care professionals. The purpose of this group is to support the board by providing information and advice to help them make decisions about where and how to spend the money for the community. Anyone from these sectors will be able to join the Community Reference Group. The next sessions will be held around March 2023.



To find out more or to register to receive direct invites to upcoming sessions email

To find out more call the CIB team on 01702 356 008

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