SAVS Secures Active Thames Funding

Published on: January 16, 2024

SAVS came together with several other clubs in Southend to apply for Active Thames funding. We are thrilled to have been awarded a significant grant of £20,000 to support subsidised activity sessions across six different sports, provide coach development for several clubs and voluntary organisations, and culminate in “Active Southend-on-Thames” event days where members of the public can try a new activity under the guidance of experienced instructors.

Five lots of funding has been put into Essex to help communities make the most of this blue space, opening the river to a more diverse range of river users. Most of the funding is directed towards projects engaging people who are less likely to be active, including people with disabilities and long-term health conditions.

Jamie Langstone, Sector & Partnership Manager at SAVS, said:

“We are very excited to be working with a range of incredible partners to bring Active Southend-on-Thames to life in 2024. Being situated along the Estuary, we have a rich offer of waterfront activities that are an important part of our physical activity offer. With the funding kindly provided by Active Thames, we are looking forward to bringing these activities to more people through subsidised activity sessions, dedicated training and more.

One of our key aims is to improve the uptake of activities among under-represented groups of people such as those with long term health conditions. We want everybody to have the opportunity to experience the fantastic activities that are available and we will be working closely with the VCFSE sector in Southend to deliver sessions to many of our residents who have not previously had the chance to be active on the Thames”

Active Thames, the partnership programme led by the Port of London Authority (PLA) to encourage physical activity on the tidal Thames and inland waterways, has awarded £150,000 in grants to 23 projects across London, Kent and Essex. This brings the total to £390,000 of Active Thames funding across 50 community clubs in the last three years.

Like our better-known green spaces, the 95 miles of “blue” space offered by the tidal Thames can be a place for sport and relaxation, benefitting people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

The funding covers a wide range of activities including sailing, paddlesports, rowing and walking. It also spans a significant geographical reach, from West London to Southend-on-Sea, encouraging activities for all on the Thames and nearby inland waterways.

PLA Sports Manager Jenny Cooper-Low, said:

“We’re really excited to support so many ambitious community projects this year, creating a more inclusive and accessible Thames, which is a core commitment of our Thames Vision 2050 strategy. On a day famous for the ‘January blues’, I’d encourage people to check out their local community club and enjoy the all-round physical, social and mental health benefits of being active in blue space.”


You can see a summary below of all of the recipients across Essex and find out how the funding will support residents.

Southend Association of Voluntary Services, (SAVS), Essex

Southend Association of Voluntary Services, SAVS, came together with several other clubs in Southend to apply for Active Thames funding. £20,000 will support subsidised activity sessions across six different sports, provide coach development for several clubs and voluntary organisations, and culminate in “Active Southend-on-Thames” event days where members of the public can try a new activity under the guidance of experienced instructors.

Cake Club CIO, Essex

Cake Club CIO is a project offering parenting support, activities and playgroups in Essex, fuelled by plenty of tea and cake. £2,000 will enable the club to set up weekly walk and talk sessions in Shoeburyness, Southend, Westcliff and Leigh. Aimed predominantly at women in the perinatal period, the project aims to help get people active in the local area and support them with their mental health and wellbeing.

Sea-Change Sailing Trust, Essex and Kent

Sea-Change Sailing Trust will use their grant of £8,370 for three purposes; a sailing residential for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, training for their current volunteers, and subsidised sail-training weekends for adults interested in learning how to sail traditional barges. Traditional Thames barges, such as the Blue Mermaid, require additional skills and there is a shortage of people able to sail them. This project aims to benefit the Thames sailing barge community as a whole, keeping a key piece of Thames heritage alive.

Seaquins Westcliff, Essex

Seaquins Westcliff promote physical and mental wellbeing, facilitate community integration and challenge stereotypes faced by the Orthodox Jewish community. £4,500 will enable Seaquins to establish regular walking groups along the Thames Estuary Path. They aim to reach 550 individuals throughout the project, creating a sense of belonging and shared experience for all.

Thurrock Yacht Club, Essex

Thurrock Yacht Club is a community-centred sailing club based at Grays, Essex. £5,000 of Active Thames funding, and funding raised by the club, will upgrade their fleet of safety boats. This will enable the club to run more sessions and support safe sheltered sailing for other local organisations such as Grangewaters Outdoor Education Centre and the Tilbury Sea Scouts.

Photo Credit: Trust Links

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