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 Borough Council are working together to recruit 15 volunteers to make up the Community Investment Board (CIB).

About the project

CIB Logo

The Community Investment Board will soon start deciding how an up to £1.5 million community investment fund will be distributed to the community of Southend-on-Sea.

The board is made up of people from across Southend-on-Sea who all have experience of using various community, health and social care services as well as the arts and culture. The individual board members are giving their time as volunteers, if you are interested in joining them click here.

The Board have spent the end of 2021 developing their ideas, understanding the assets and challenges in Southend and have developed 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 realise and reach their full potential. In a city they are proud of, feel safe in and enjoy healthy and fulfilling lives.


Our mission is to utilise the strengths and assets of Southend locally by motivating residents to create sustainable and resilient communities that will;


Improve health and wellbeing; mental health; and the perception and attitudes towards Southend

Reduce isolation and loneliness, homelessness; poverty; addiction; antisocial behaviour and violent crime

Enable community-led action to improve and allow community ownership of physical spaces & local events

Enhance a thriving voluntary sector through capacity building and collaboration

Influence positive change within organisations to improve and develop their activities

Invest for future sustainability in the work of the Community Investment Board


Previously the Southend Borough Council distributed different grants, but as approved by Cabinet in November, £1.5m will now be 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.

Current Funding Available

The previous ask for proposals seeking up to £10,000 per year for up to 3 years has now closed. The Community Investment Board plan to spend time in May and June 2022 reviewing their learning to date and to determine how to take forward some key themes identified. More information will be announced here and through the SAVS weekly email and media channels when determined. If you have any ideas or queries you would like to share with the Board in the meantime please email


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.


To see more information about the first awards made please read this article

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

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 received 22 proposals from organisations across Southend seeking a total of over £140,000 funding from the Southend Education Trust to support young people in Southend to improve their mental health. The board are grateful to all those who sent in their ideas and has shared feedback with them. They were delighted to support the following plans;


  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.


The Board will review progress on the grants given later in 2022 and plan to reopen the next £10,000 for use in 2023 in Autumn 2022. Information on how to apply will be placed here and sent out through the SAVS weekly email and social media channels. If you have any questions in the meantime please email or call 01702 356008 to speak with our Community Investment Fund Coordinator.


Community Investment Board, December 2021


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 terms of reference for the group is available here. A session was held in September 2021 to bring groups together; a report on the feedback given in the meeting can be seen here and a further one in March 2022, the notes of which are here. The next session will be held in September 2022. 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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