£53k community boost for Southend

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A £53,000 award will help build stronger communities in Southend, according to the Council.

Southend’s Milton ward is one of just three areas in Essex to receive funding for an innovative community project.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and local charities are set to receive an award of £53,000, from the Whole Essex Community Budget to develop stronger communities in Southend.

The trial, which is in its planning stages, will help people in Milton ward – along with similar wards in Harlow and Tendring – to come together to take ownership of, and tackle, major issues in the ward.

The initiative is being co-ordinated by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and the Milton Community Partnership along with a wide range of voluntary and public sector partners.

A significant part of the funding will be used to set up a network of ‘Community Connectors’ who will work to improve people’s lives by linking and co-ordinating the efforts of residents, volunteers, groups and other agencies across the ward.

Community Connectors will work closely with local people to uncover the assets, knowledge and skills that exist in the area, before using them to develop effective ways of tackling issues highlighted by those living in Milton ward.

The project will also:

  • Increase the number of people volunteering and getting actively involved with their neighbours communities;
  • Reduce loneliness and isolation by connecting people and strengthening social networks
  • Reduce demand on public services by helping people to help themselves;
  • Develop sustainable community-led initiatives;
  • Help people in Milton ward improve their own health and well-being.

Councillor John Lamb, deputy leader of the Council with special responsibility for Regeneration and Enterprise, said: “We are delighted to have won this funding which will be used to build on the great work that the community are already doing in Milton ward.

“It’s a real opportunity for local people to come up with their own solutions to the issues that they have identified and to work with the public and voluntary sectors to make Milton a better place to live.”

Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive of the Essex Community Foundation and member of the Essex Partnership Board, said: “I believe that to truly create stronger and more resilient communities, it is essential that local residents have the capability and the confidence to take ownership of local issues.

“Community Connectors are an ideal way to develop solutions which places local communities at the heart of decision-making; empowering local residents to take action.

“There is a tremendous amount of energy and passion in all communities across Essex and Community Connectors can help target this to solve local issues.”

Southend successfully bid for the £53,000 award from an initial £150,000 pot that was made available by the Whole Essex Community Budget to local authorities across the county of Essex.

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