Southend Volunteer Hub helps NCI Southend Secure Volunteer ‘Watchkeepers’

Published on: June 6, 2024

Southend Volunteer Hub are thrilled to have helped NCI Southend secure volunteer ‘watchkeepers’, enabling them to open their station overlooking Shoebury East Beach for an extra day each week!

The Southend Volunteer Hub is a free service provided by SAVS which helps match potential volunteers with a range of local opportunities. Using the service, potential volunteers can discover roles that match their interests, lifestyle and align with their passions. The service is also there to assist organisations – promoting charities and community groups’ opportunities and supporting their recruitment efforts.

Since launching in June 2023, Southend Volunteer Hub has seen significant growth and achieves a very healthy placement rate. The service boasts 1211 active registered volunteers and 126 registered organisations which have shared over 230 opportunities.

Finding and placing opportunities is integral to the success of Southend Volunteer Hub and in turn helps the wider community. Judy Harp, Volunteer Hub Coordinator, said:

“In my role, it is rewarding to see the difference the Southend Volunteer Hub is having locally, helping connect individuals with organisations and watching them grow as a result of our input is great.”

“Ahead of Volunteers Week, we have been reflecting on our work and looking at ways to reach more people and organisations. One recent success story includes working with National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) Southend, who we met at a SAVS event. Together we have grown their volunteer team, enabling to increase their service locally.”

The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) is an entirely voluntary organisation keeping a visual watch along UK shores.

Each station assists in the protection and preservation of life at sea and around the UK coastline.

NCI Southend lookout station is within the boundary of the Ministry of Defence site at Shoeburyness, clearly visible from East Beach.

Nigel Bedford, NCI Watchkeeper and Recruitment at NCI Southend Station, said:

“Having first met Judy Harp at a SAVS networking brunch last April, NCI Southend have been working closely with the Southend Volunteer Hub for the last 12 months to help attract more volunteers for our station overlooking Shoebury East Beach. Thanks to them, we have had a number of enquiries from interested potential volunteers, some of which have gone on to join NCI as volunteer Watchkeepers.”

“These direct enquires, together with others who have contacted us because of our increased profile thanks to exposure with SAVS, have increased our numbers by 13 Watchkeepers and, as a result, from May we are able to open our station for an extra day each week!”

“This means that we will keep watch Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, and potentially save more lives.”

“Of course, NCI Southend aims to be open and there to help people every day. For this, we still need a lot more volunteers. I am sure that the Southend Volunteer Hub will continue to help us achieve this.”

To register with the Southend Volunteer Hub or view the latest volunteering opportunities across Southend, visit:

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