Active Southend-on-Thames launches with an open call to activity providers and the voluntary sector

Published on: February 14, 2024

SAVS are thrilled to announce the ‘Active Southend-on-Thames’ programme which aims to encourage and increase participation levels in activities on the water or by the water’s edge. Following a successful funding bid (led by SAVS and supported by a variety of partners), Active Thames has generously provided us with funding to deliver on a variety of activities to support our most disadvantaged residents to access water-based activities.

We are very fortunate in Southend to have a plethora of sports and activities that run along the Thames. Through the fund, a consortium of partners identified a great opportunity to build on these strengths and enable more people to access them. Southend-on-Sea is one of Essex’s most deprived areas with 25.8% of residents living in 20% of the most deprived areas in England. To help break down some of the barriers, we have identified the existing opportunities and looked at the key reasons that prevent many of our residents from accessing activities on the water.

The funding will be used to support subsidised activity sessions across six different sports and provide coach development and free training. To kick off the programme, there will be an “Active Southend-on-Thames” launch event which will be followed by a series of taster sessions to give our residents the chance to try out some of the fantastic activities ahead of the Summer.

This is a very exciting opportunity for Southend and we are very grateful to Active Thames and The Port of London Authority for enabling us to bring our vision to life. Our ultimate goal is to generate a buzz about our fantastic offering and have more of our residents engaging with these activities to create a tangible legacy to this funding.

Throughout Active Southend-on-Thames, we will use the funding to deliver:

  • 6 targeted interventions aimed at engaging specific groups of residents (people with disabilities, long-term health conditions, women and girls, people from ethnically diverse communities and residents from low-income families)
  • 6 projects with subsidised activity sessions to enable more residents to take part in activities on or by the water
  • Workforce development to upskill our existing volunteers and professionals
  • A schedule of training to teach skills and support residents to feel confident on and in the water
  • A weekend/week of celebration, showcasing the opportunities for residents to be Active on the Thames in Southend

As part of our delivery, we are inviting organisations and groups to register their interest in providing an activity by using our online form. The activities can be free or have a cost attached to them, all you need to do is fill out the form and let us know how you can support Active Southend-on-Thames. The submissions that we receive will then be matched with the needs of our residents and a panel will determine which activities will receive funding from the programme. So please do let us know how you can support or pass this on to somebody who could benefit.

As well as a call out to activity providers, we are also seeking the views of the voluntary sector and residents to help inform the activities that are chosen. We are keen to engage the community to ensure that we deliver what our residents feel would benefit them the most. Click here to have your say

Jamie Langstone, Sector & Partnership Manager at SAVS

“We are very excited to be working with a range of incredible partners as a consortium 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 to deliver sessions to many of our residents who have not previously had the chance to be active on the Thames”

(Image credit: Trust Links)

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