Our Welcome Day event was an invitation to all within the community to celebrate both the progress made and continuing growth achieved by South Essex Community Hub (SECH) through the dedicated generosity and hard work of all employees and volunteers. This Welcome Day was further utilised as a greater opportunity to continue doing what SECH does best – turning the focus back towards helping others and living by our principle: ‘We’re all about You’. The occasion therefore grew into a celebration both with and most importantly for our present/potential clients and the fellow organisations who provide such outstanding services in the Southend community.
SECH, winners of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2020, aim 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, challenge, educate, train & entertain. The service is delivered in hub’s located throughout the Southend area. The Hubs are a person-centred community spaces bringing together skilled people from all sorts of organisations, able to advise and support.
The new site The Chapel North Road currently offers a Youth Hub, free sports activities, social English classes (second language) and mental health support. Services are free and available to all in need, whether that’s a cup of tea at our coffee morning or an exercise session to boost your fitness and mental health!
We believe working in partnership with many local services providers is the key to a more supported and happier community. Southend is lucky to have a variety of amazing charities available to support where needed. One Love, Southend Foodbank, Peabody, Family Action, Achievement Through Football, just a few of the ten services who attended last Friday.
”It was a great day, over 150 people attended, they got to learn about the support available and the new Community Space we have created in the Chapel.” David Preston, Chief Operating Officer SECH.
The venue itself became a family-friendly, vibrant hub of conversation and encouragement. Both clients and organisations were able to see and experience for themselves the services and opportunities accessible to us all. We provided a space to cheer on many other organisations, inviting them to stand beside us and offer information and access to their own services. We encouraged the individual and the family to get involved, see the opportunities and support that is available, knowing that any one of these interactions could be the building blocks in forming a strong and positive support network.
Southend’s mayor, Margaret Borton attended the event to show her dedication to the community of Southend, once she’d caught her breath from a boxing taster with Achievement Through Football she closed the event with a heartfelt speech.
“As a volunteer, it taught me how much I value the work SECH does. To be a part of a charity that is inclusive to all, open and pragmatic to whatever issues our clients may find themselves in, I came away from the event feeling incredibly fulfilled and connected. Seeing one of our regular clients, who initially lacked confidence in themselves when they joined us, sparking a conversation with every new face they came to next, was one of the many clear rewards that I was able to appreciate that day all from volunteering with SECH.” John Pickering, SECH Volunteer