SECH Covid Vaccination Volunteers Report

Since the 19th January 2021 South Essex Community Hub (SECH) stepped in to help support Southend Central PCN with volunteer support at their two main vaccination sites, Saxon Hall and Belle Vue. 

Volunteer Southend (run by SECH) had already been supporting local GP surgeries by providing volunteers who the surgeries were then able to  manage directly. As the rollout continued at pace, it became clear that Southend Central PCN did not have the capacity to manage volunteers themselves so SECH offered to support and coordinate. In the first few weeks Achievement Through Football and South Essex Homes also kindly contributed  staff and volunteers to support the growing need. 

Over the following weeks SECH organised a team of dedicated volunteers. These volunteers have been providing full support  at the centres for the last twenty weeks. It is an important point to note that Volunteers have contributed 4,676 hours over the two sites. If these volunteers had been paid at the minimum wage (£8.91) that would be a total of £41,663.16. 

However, there is a cost for SECH providing this support. This includes hire of a new staff member, additional staff hours and volunteer expenses. SECH has not received any funding for this and as a result regretfully, we are now no longer able to continue this support. Southend Central PCN will hold all responsibility and management of volunteers from the 14th May 2021. 

The staff and Volunteers at SECH have thoroughly enjoyed this experience and are overjoyed that we were able to play such a vital role in supporting the community to receive their vaccines and help with the fight against Covid.

Volunteer comments:

  • “This was my first volunteering experience and I think my enjoyment of helping out during this COVID crisis was largely due to the organisation, kind spirit and professionalism held by the organisers (Kasey & Amber)”
  • “Helping out with the vaccination roll out was enlightening. Just seeing all the patients that had been shielding getting their jabs and the look of relief on their faces made the whole thing worthwhile.”
  • “The loyalty and perseverance of all the volunteers has been very inspirational to me. As an experienced volunteer myself their professionalism has been very impressive and they have been a pleasure to work with and a credit to themselves and SECH. Hopefully I will work with them again at some point in the future.”
  • “I felt very honoured to be working as part of SECH. The organisation of the system was very thorough and I loved my time there. Kasey was brilliant with us volunteers and made us all feel like a little family. From having to stay at home in lockdown this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time mentality for me. I really felt I was giving something back and I can only thank Amber and Kasey for making this such an amazing experience and one I will never forget.”
  • “My personal experience of being involved with the volunteer programme has been an extremely positive one. I have enjoyed it immensely and have formed friendships which I have no doubt will continue into the future. I have greatly admired the efforts made by yourself and Kasey to provide good support to the medical staff while at the same time ensuring that us volunteers felt valued and supported. I can’t praise the two of you highly enough. SECH is an amazing organisation and it has been my pleasure to be involved in their contribution to the national vaccination programme.”

This data really shows the true impact this experience has had for volunteers, SECH and the local community. 

With a positive increase in individuals’ mental health (91%) and the likelihood to volunteer for other charities in the future it is clear that this opportunity has not only benefited the community in the short term but will continue to positively affect the local community in the future.

SECH presented with Queens Award for Voluntary Services 2020

SECH, a group of volunteers based in Southend on Sea, have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (2020), the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

SECH aims to build an ever improving community in Southend, based on shared values & social cohesion through the provision of information, advice, projects, events and services that inform. The service is delivered in HUBs located throughout the Southend area. The HUBs primary purpose is to provide help when and where it is needed. The HUBs are person-centred places bringing together skilled people from all sorts of organisations, able to advise and help pick apart those things which are causing stress and worry.

SECH is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award in 2020. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those that need them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups that benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex said: “We are delighted that your group’s work to provide a wide-ranging services in Southend has been recognised, pay tribute to hard work and commitment of your volunteers and dedicated staff.”

In October 2020, Mr Vincent Thompson, Her Majesty’s Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Essex presented South Essex Community Hub (SECH) with Queens Award for Voluntary Services. All though this was only a small event, it was sure a memorable one!

We plan to host another event in the future to celebrate in style with all those who made winning this award possible!

Volunteers and staff of SECH have worked tirelessly over the last few months to support the local community and the recognition of everyone’s hard work really means the world. We safely reopened our doors to the community as soon as possible. This has enabled us to support many people with various issues during their time of need.

“SECH has now been in existence for five years and I am immensely proud of how far we have come; I look forward to many more years of great community work” Malcolm Clark – South Essex Community Hub Chairman

National Lottery Community Fund Awards SECH £176,200 to create new Youth Hub in Southend

South Essex Community Hub, a leading Charity in South Essex, received a grant of £176,200. The grant was endowed by The National Lottery Community Fund for the purpose of Creating a Youth Hub.

The goal of the project is to create a community space that will provide a safe place to young people. We aim to create an environment that is open and non-judgemental, working in a person centre approach. We aim to provide an environment to support and encourage young people to make positive choices.

Youth Hub user Jack: “The Youth Hub is a safe place; I love to go there. It keeps me away from gang culture here”

South Essex Community Hub is an award-wining charity winner of the 2020 Queens Awards for Voluntary Service. SECH was created in Southend on sea registered as Charity in 2017. SECH has created a successful community hub model, supporting residents in Southend on Sea. SECH is an open innovative charity looking to work with partners, services to create new and different ways to support our community.


Our Shoebury site will be closed today due to staff shortages. Our Victoria site remains open, 10am-12pm, 1pm-4pm. If you need support please call 01702 611199. See you all next week!