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Town Crier Announces: Southend Emergency Fund Set Up To Raise £250,000 To Deliver Vital Support To Those Hit Hardest By The Coronavirus In Southend-On-Sea

For immediate release: 20 April 2020, 9am

Individuals, organisations and businesses, please give what you can today

The Southend Emergency Fund (SEF) is a centralised fundraising facility to provide much needed money to support local charities, relieving the pressure for them to fundraise and instead allow them to concentrate on identifying and directly supporting those who need the help.

SEF will support those hit hardest by the coronavirus across Southend-on-Sea, stretching from Shoeburyness to Eastwood. It will offer crucial financial support to those who may have fallen through the gaps of the Government schemes or are struggling while they wait for Government aid to reach them.

Local charities such as Southend Foodbank, Citizens Advice Bureau, Turning Tides, Isaiah Project, Peabody Family Mosaic, Olive Tree Counselling, Step Change, Southend CAP Debt Advice Centre, Southend YMCA, HARP, Southend Churches Winter Night Shelters, Safe Steps, The Storehouse and others can all benefit from the fund. They will be able to apply directly to SEF for funding and the money can be used for a range of different things including food parcels, debt relief and maintenance.

The initiative is a response from charities and concerned individuals from across the borough including Shared Space, Southend Association of Voluntary Services (SAVS), businessman and charity trustee Alan Kirkman, businessman and church ministers Peter Dominey and Ivan King, and mental and wellbeing provider Everymind at Work.

Alan Kirkman, of Kirkman Consulting and SEF organiser says, “Whilst the Government has put measures in place, we are aware many in our Borough will not qualify or benefit from funding and we wanted to do something to help.  We’re in unprecedented times, whilst some people were struggling prior to the pandemic, there is also a group who have suddenly found themselves in financial trouble in the space of just a couple of weeks. In response to that, we have created a central fund that takes the worry of fundraising away from our local charities, and instead they get to focus on carrying out their amazing work under incredibly difficult circumstances.”

Anthony Quinn from SAVS, says “During the difficult times we are currently face, there has been a tremendous response within the community to assist each other to ensure all needs are meet, we support any funding that can be directed at those in greatest need through providing resource to many local charities and organisations to continue to deliver services to those hit hardest by the coronavirus”

SEF is appealing to individual donors as well as businesses to contribute to the fund. Any donations that people or businesses can afford will help us reach our first target of £250,000 and can be made securely online at      

Businesses and individuals are also being encouraged to use the power of their networks and become a ‘Fund Ambassador’, to spread the word about the Southend Emergency Fund and use the SEF logo and web address on their own website and social network.

Success stories or the difference the fund is making to people across the Borough will be shared at



PHOTOS: Oyez! Southend Town Crier, Keith M Davidson, Announces Southend Emergency Fund.

VIDEO: Oyez! Southend Town Crier, Keith M Davidson, Announces Southend Emergency Fund for use on websites and etc.
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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 Eddy 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 £250,000 minimum as the first target

Which local charities and organisations will benefit from the fundraising?
Any frontline organisation that can currently deliver support such as Southend Foodbank, Citizens Advice Bureau, Turning Tides, Isaiah Project, Peabody Family Mosaic, Olive Tree Counselling, Step Change, Southend CAP Debt Advice Centre, Southend YMCA, HARP, Southend Churches Winter Night Shelters, Safe Steps, The Storehouse (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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Southend-on-Sea Town Crier Announces Southend Emergency Fund

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