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New Funds Arrive to Help Southend-On-Sea Fight Covid-19


Locally based Southend Emergency Fund has released more grants of up to £3000 to help local groups and charities. 

Meeting every week, the fund has helped elderly and vulnerable people keep heating on, paid for food parcels and given extra money to buy PPE for care homes. It has supported people needing food or petrol, and backed mental health groups. IT and broadband help has been given to help people get online and groups fighting isolation and loneliness have been given money they really need.

People in difficulty all over the borough have been helped through local charities, groups, companies and churches in a massive joint effort to fight poverty and illness.

So far Southend Emergency Fund has awarded 66 grants totalling over £100,000.

Any organisation helping the clinically vulnerable in Southend or supporting families with food and heat is urged to apply to boost their funds so we can get out and really make a difference.

Once groups have been funded, they can re-apply again in only four weeks and the application process is designed to help and keep admin to the minimum. Any money awarded is distributed within 5 days.

For more information on funds available and to download the new application form go to:   

Alan Kirkman, one of the Southend Emergency Fund founders, said “The funding will help support many more people in the borough who continue to be seriously affected by the restrictions needed to fight the virus especially as we move into the national lockdown 3.” 

Anyone interested in getting involved by donating, fundraising or to find other ways to support the Southend Emergency Fund can find out more via the website:



PHOTOS & VIDEO: Hi-Res photos and campaign videos are available please make contact via the publicity email address above for copies.

Who has set the Southend Emergency Fund up?

A group of concerned individuals and organisations under the leadership of Alan Kirkman, Peter Dominey, Ivan King, Julie Eady and Geoff Fulford. The fund is administered by the charity Shared Space and Everymind at work. Biographies are available on the website.  Southend Emergency Fund is under the auspices of Shared Space | Registered charity no 1161862.

What makes them qualified to run something like this?
The key people are all involved in running other charities and business and have a wealth of experience in setting up and running new initiatives.

Why don’t I just give my money to the charity or person who needs it directly?

In a fast-changing situation, we are able to assess the current need with the front line charities and organisations and deliver it to those channels that are able to remain open and in contact with their clients. If giving direct to a charity, if that organisation has to temporarily close for any reason and cannot support their clients, the help will stop, but the money may be tied up and unavailable to those that need it.

How much can I donate?

Any amount you can afford. The website starts at select amounts of £30 + but people can enter less.

How can I donate?

Secure online giving is available via the website

Do you have a fundraising goal?

We are hoping to raise £200,000 minimum as the first target

Which local charities and organisations will benefit from the fundraising?

Any frontline organisation that can currently deliver support. So far grants have been awarded to (up until end of April) • 57 West • Active Life • Aspirations Day Program • Communities and Sanctuary Seekers Together (CAST) • Connectability • HARP • Hill Mental Health Support • International Drama Academy • Isaiah Project • Leigh Buddhist Centre • Milton Hall Primary School • MyTown Southend CIC • One Love Soup Kitchen • Packed with Smiles • Peabody • SAVS • Shoebury Salvation Army • SOS Rape Crisis • South Essex Advocacy Services • Southend Carers • Southend in Sight • Southend Sea Cadets • Southend SEND Parents* • Southend Vineyard • SSAFA • St Andrews Open House • St Vincent de Paul Westcliff • The Hub (Get the Kids Out) • Trust Links • Welcome to the UK.

This list is not exhaustive and there will be others who can approach SEF via the website.

What criteria helps you decide who receives funding?

Decisions on awards will be made on the strength of each application, taking into account the following:

  1. Is the applicant organisation active in the Borough of Southend-on-Sea?
  2. Is it still able to address beneficiaries’ current needs in the present crisis?
  3. Is there clear evidence of need?
  4. How many people will benefit from the requested grant and in what ways?
  5. Would any grant adversely affect beneficiaries from accessing Universal Credit or other benefits?
  6. Are the costings realistic and do they represent best value?
  7. What level of unrestricted reserves does the applicant currently hold?
  8. Has the applicant confirmed that they will not withhold any part of the grant for administration or management costs?
  9. Does the applicant hold a UK bank account (as grants will usually be made through BACS)?
  10. Is the applicant able to offer an independent referee who can speak knowledgeably about the organisation?
  11. Have they agreed to return any grant which is not deployed within the agreed time?
  12. What light-touch monitoring would be appropriate for each grant made?

How long from the application will it take for someone to receive the funding?

We have tried to keep admin to a minimum while still protecting donations. There will be a telephone questionnaire to determine need, a donation protocol that will be signed by charity and emailed back and money then transferred on a weekly basis. Subject to donated funds being available the money should be in a charities account within a couple of days.

I am an individual and could benefit from funding, how do I do it?

Individuals would need to be either be known by an existing organisation or they would need to be referred by another agency. To start with we will tap into those agencies authorised to distribute food vouchers but this may well widen according to size of the donation fund. We will also work with SAVS to develop a network of contacts and access points.

I am part of an organisation and would like to apply for funding, how do I do it?

They will apply via the website where they will be able to download a donation application form and request a telephone need assessment call.

How long with SEF run for?

It is envisaged the fund will last until the needs of those affected by the coronavirus have diminished. However, this may be for a considerable time after self-isolation has ended as many will be suffering the effects for an extended period.

Where can I go for more info?

As we are intending to work with existing organisations all public contact will be either through those agencies, the fund website or the Southend Emergency Fund Facebook page.

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