Continued success for S.H.I.P

Continued success for S.H.I.P

In 2018 S.H.I.P celebrated 100 Year anniversary of the end of WW1 and, as part of the research we did for this successful event, we discovered that some of the brave service men and women who were lucky enough to return from that war, visited Southchurch Hall Gardens. They saw the devastation the aftermath of the war had left behind and they made the decision to restore the historical gardens, which are the oldest of only ten moated gardens in the UK. Eventually, Southchurch Hall Gardens became know as the jewel of Southend. Unbeknownst to us, it seems that S.H.I.P has followed in their footsteps, with the same ambitions and dreams, so we decided to honour these brave men and women and all the service personnel who followed them.

On November the 9th 2019 the Mayor of Southend, Cllr John Lamb, and the Mayoress, Pat Lamb, honoured us by unveiling a monument that we had commissioned from Mark Suckling. This monument now sits on site in the far end of the gardens by the bridge and we would like to give a big thank you to the Sea Cadets who helped to make this such a memorable occasion.

Following the unveiling everyone was invited to sample some trench cake. 100 years ago this cake was sent to men who were fighting in the trenches, it was always sent with love from their sweethearts and mothers to boost their morale. S.H.I.P also offered a tour of the vast variety of trees that grow in this five and a half acre garden, which is a new programme that we will be offering to people and groups on a more regular basis in the future.

One of the very interesting attendees on the day was the deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Jane Gardner. She attended not only for the unveiling but also to see for herself the progress and achievements of S.H.I.P and she has commissioned a short film to be made of our journey. This film will be shown at every police event across the country carrying the message of what can be achieved by working together.

We have once again been successful with Big Lottery Funding and following our recent workshop we have made some very exciting plans, so we are really looking forward to 2020 when we will see some of these plans realised.