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SAVS is an independent charity known as a CVS. That means we work behind the scenes to help local charities and community groups achieve their full potential.
This website provides information about support services for the Southend-on-Sea community, running your own community group,ways to get involved. Office Hours: Mon-Fri 9am- 5pm


Join SAVS on Monday 27th March (7-9pm) to find out more about becoming a Trustee over a drink. This is a chance for you to find out informally and without commitment about the role of a Trustee and understand how your skills can benefit local charities.

But who or what is a Trustee?

Trustees are the people with the responsibility for directing the business of the charity.  They are often the unsung heroes, playing a vital role in making the decisions that really matter about the charity's finances, activities and plans for the future.

Emily Middlemast, Volunteer Centre Co-ordinator at SAVS says:

“Charities benefit from the range of skills and experience that their trustees bring, but trustees can learn and develop new skills that may open up new opportunities for them, as well as meeting people who share their passion”.

No formal qualifications are usually needed, and the time required can often fit easily around other commitments. Most people have skills, knowledge or experience which they can bring to a charity and estimates suggest that almost half of all charities have at least one vacancy on their board. 

 As the role of the Trustee is quite different from other volunteer roles, SAVS (29-31 Alexandra Street, Southend) are running  “Becoming a Trustee” on Monday 27th March, 7-9pm, for anyone who would like to know more. This session is free and all are welcome. Why not come along, and see how you can join the driving force behind a local charity.

To book your place please email or call 01702 356000. We look forward to seeing you there! 

Looking for £5000 - £50,000?

Income less than £350,000 per year?
Apply to the People’s Health Trust before 1 March…
Local groups and organisations with great ideas to make their communities even better places to live are now invited to apply for funding to turn their ideas into reality.
The People's Health Trust Active Communities scheme is now open in Essex and Southend on Sea.
Active Communities is a funding programme for community groups and not-for-profit organisations, with an income of less than £350,000 a year or an average of £350,000 over two years, seeking funds of £5,000 - £50,000 for 2 year projects.
They’re looking for great ideas from communities of interest, groups of people who have things in common and wish to come together to address something that is important to them. These ideas could be based in one neighbourhood, or cover a wider area.  
Small and local projects, genuinely designed and run by local people from an estate, in a few streets or villages.
There is a run a two stage application process that begins with a short online form. If interested in this funding email Gemma Cartwright, Funding & Development Officer at SAVS using or call 01702 356008. Gemma can speak to you more about your idea and support you in the application process.
People’s Health Trust will also be presenting at the SAVS Meet the Funder Day on 7 February at 10.30am. To attend and/or book a one to one 10 minute slot with them email
Visit for more information on the funding available.
The deadline for Stage 1 applications is 1pm on Wednesday, 1 March 2017.

Southend Volunteer Centre is proud to have achieved an award! As part of Volunteer Essex, the 14 volunteer Centres have been successful in gaining the internationally recognised BS EN ISO 9001 Quality Management Award, for its work 

in providing support to people interested in volunteering whilst also supporting organisations that involve volunteers.

Volunteer Essex colleagues worked collaboratively to develop this specialist standard of quality accreditation. The Award recognises Volunteer Essex commitment to exceptional quality of service and customer focus. It is generally accepted that organisations who achieve certification to BS EN ISO 9001 are at the forefront of their respective industries.

Emily Middlemast, Volunteer Centre Co-ordinator for Southend, commented: “We are proud to have the high level of service we offer at our Volunteer Centres recognised and confirmed external experts. We are delighted this has been recognised with a formal award.”

Over the coming months local families will have the opportunity to have a say in how the services their children use should be run. And to make sure everyone gets a say, there will be training on offer to help people develop the skills or confidence they need to get involved.

SAVS has teamed up with The Better Start Southend programme (ABSS) to involve the local community in creating better services for Southend’s children and families.

As part of this project SAVS will introduce a range of ways that parents from the ABSS wards (Westborough, Victoria, Milton, Kursaal, West Shoebury and Shoeburyness) can get involved including :

  • Parent led meetings (starting in Kursaal and Victoria wards) enabling parents to work together to identify their issues and priorities.
  • Recruiting and training parent champions to help and support other parents to participate in the Better Start Southend programme.
  • Developing a volunteer training programme aimed at building parents’ confidence to take part. 

ABSS is a 10-year research and development programme aiming to make Southend the best place in the country to be a child – and a parent. All the evidence shows that involving people in designing the services they use makes those services more efficient and effective.  “We want parents to be involved every step of the way: raising the problems that need solving, coming up with some answers, and working alongside staff and volunteers to help us test good ideas” says ABSS programme manager Gary May. 

SAVS Chief Executive Officer, Alison Semmence, adds: “Our member organisations are at the heart of Southend’s local communities.  We are very excited to be able to use our local knowledge to help Southend’s families have a say in the kind of services they want to see for their children.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about what SAVS is planning please contact the team by calling 01702 356069 or emailing

85 year old Grace contacted the Southend Timebank at SAVS in Southend and told them how she had spent last Christmas in hospital and would really like a proper Christmas Dinner this year. Due to a broken hip, Grace has not been out of the house (apart from in hospital transport) for a long time and she explained that making Christmas dinner was difficult.

The Southend Timebank registered Grace’s request and within days they had found a mother and daughter team (Diane and Yasmin) who were happy to make Grace’s wish come true.

Diane and Yasmin took Grace the full works! Turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, Yorkshire pudding, bread sauce, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots and Brussels sprouts!!  They went back an hour later with Christmas pudding and cream with a cracker.  Grace told the Southend Timebank that she was very pleased and enjoyed her dinner very much. Grace also went on to say that Diane even did the washing up afterwards which impressed her further! Diane and Grace are now firm friends and she will be continuing to visit Grace on a regular basis.

Emily Middlemast (Southend Timebank Co-ordinator, SAVS) said:

“Time Banking is about people helping people, for every hour you help someone, you earn a credit which you can either use to ask someone to do something for you (exchanging skills), or you can donate into a community pot for people like Grace.  It’s a lovely way to help out in your community at a time to suit you. To join the Southend Time Bank just go to or call 01702 356060 to find out more”