Supported Volunteering

About the project

The Supported Volunteering Project, funded by Big Lottery Community Fund, supports people who may have experienced mental ill health into volunteering.


The aim of the project is to give volunteers one to one support to increase confidence and reduce isolation, to highlight skills and experience and help identify the type of volunteering they might wish to do.

“I had no idea that when I started volunteering it could lead into a job. My supervisor saw qualities in me that I didn’t know I had and helped me develop more skills. It gave me the confidence to apply for jobs and then I got one!”

Supported Volunteering at SAVS

Benefits to its Members

Increase your confidence

Reduce isolation

Connect with others

Become part of something

Add structure to your day

Why should I volunteer?

Volunteering in Southend on Sea can help our community thrive and create pride and joy in our town. And it’s good for you, too! Part of being a great volunteer is loving what you’re doing. Finding something that you’re passionate about, that inspires you, then using it to help your community. There are dozens of reasons to volunteer – you just need to find the ones which feel right for you!


Reasons to volunteer:


  • develop new skills
  • make new friends
  • career booster
  • give back to a cause you believe in
  • feel involved
  • impress yourself
  • help others
  • it’s fun
  • it’s good for your health
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One to One Support


Supported Volunteering helps you to find the most suitable volunteering opportunities for you. We will support you through the whole process to make sure you are comfortable.

People volunteer for lots of individual reasons and we understand that.

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Bitesize Volunteering


Not sure about volunteering or can’t commit to regular days?

Join one of our small groups and get a taste of volunteering for a few hours while helping a local charity. Whether it’s beach cleaning, picking up litter in the park or helping at an event, our project co-ordinator can help you get involved.

Coffee Group


A chance to meet new people, chat about volunteering and find out what’s going on in Southend for people looking to improve their mental well-being.

Contact the Supported Volunteering Team on 01702 356 021

Latest News from SV

SV Case Study

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Member of Supported Volunteering


I did not know what to expect from volunteering, other than to meet new people. I had hopes to enjoy myself and to maybe get a new hobby. I thought that volunteering meant I would be doing it short term, for a few weeks, maybe something physical to start with like a beach clean, and then moving onto doing something like befriending. I did not think I would go into retail and still be volunteering in the same place 10 months later.

I have learnt so many skills in customer service since volunteering. My goal has been to go into paid work and I now have nearly a year’s worth of experience that I have put on my CV and can speak about in interviews.

The people that I volunteer with are very helpful and supportive. They were happy to teach and guide me whilst volunteering, especially because they knew that I did not have experience in that environment. Most people that I have met, that are currently working for the charity I volunteer with, said that they started, like me, as a volunteer and after some time, applied for paid employment. I did not know that volunteering might lead to a job.

I am very grateful for the relationships that I have built with the people I volunteer with. It is so rewarding and a major boost in confidence to be in surroundings where you are valued and told you are good at what you do.
A job at my charity shop came up and I went for it. The good news is I recently started paid work with them and am now an assistant manager of a charity shop. How wonderful is that?

I love volunteering, and the people I work with. I found the confidence I needed to apply for paid employment and that is thanks to having the opportunity to volunteer.

Proudly Sponsored by

The National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund


The National Lottery Community Fund, legally named the Big Lottery Fund, is a non-departmental public body responsible for distributing funds raised by the National Lottery for “good causes”. Since 2004 it has awarded over £6 billion to more than 130,000 projects in the UK.

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