SAVS Weekly Update – 6th October 2017

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Here is a round-up of the latest email from SAVS.

Positive Procurement with Southend Borough Council

There are many opportunities with Southend Borough Council (SBC) in the procurement of services that can be delivered by local voluntary sector organisations. The procurement process is designed to bring fairness across in the way local authorities purchase the services they need.

Emma Wolf, Senior Procurement Officer at Southend Borough Council will join SAVS to present on the points below and to answer as many of your questions as possible.

  • Thresholds on when a full tender is required
  • How co-production/consultation informs the tender specifications
  • How commissioning timetable works
  • How and why some services/projects do not go out to tender, e.g. pilots
  • The process and how tenders are publicised and the timelines

If you have a question, please send it to before 5pm on Monday 9 October. We will collate similar questions and share them with Emma in advance of the session.

Please register to attend by clicking here.

Veteran Volunteers welcome new Sight Loss Advisor to Southend’s Blind Charity

Two veteran volunteers at Southend Blind Welfare Organisation welcomed the charity’s newest member of staff, Coralie West recently. Between them, Jackie Blackledge and Barbara Tuff have clocked up more than 40 years volunteering for the charity, based in Westcliff. Coralie joins the organisation as a trainee Sight Loss Advisor.

Over the years, Jackie and Barbara have helped develop the charity from its early days in a portacabin in the car park of Elkington House, its residential care home in Imperial Avenue to its current Equipment and Information Centre in Hamlet Court Road. The dynamic duo were instrumental in setting up its resource centre, offering practical help and equipment to those suddenly faced with losing their sight.

Jackie began volunteering for the charity in 1996 following a car accident which left her visually impaired. Barbara also joined in 1996, having retired and with her husband’s involvement with the organisation through the Round Table. Jackie said ‘When you become disabled, you can feel useless, but being able to help other people in a similar situation, shows you there is life after blindness.’ Barbara added ‘Volunteering gives you an aim. It’s very satisfying to be part of something that makes people feel better about their life with a visual disability.’

As a Sight Loss Advisor, Coralie will spend some of her time at Southend University Hospital, offering support and advice to patients at the sight unit as well as at our Equipment Centre in Hamlet Court Road

Coralie is excited about her new role and said: ‘ I am delighted to have the opportunity to help people find positive ways to lead a full life whilst adjusting to sight loss. The volunteers and staff have been very welcoming and we are all working towards making a difference in people’s lives.’

In 2014, it was estimated that more than 7000 people in Southend had some form of visual impairment. The Southend Blind Welfare Organisation has seen a steady increase over recent years in those needing its support. If you would like more information about its services or would like to find out more about volunteering in its shop, resource centre or social clubs, please go to, call 01702 342131, email or drop into the charity’s base in Hamlet Court Road which is open 10am – 3pm Monday to Friday.

Transpire October Newsletter

Transpire’s latest newsletter can be found here. It also features the outcome of our latest survey of member experiences of council services. The results are slightly disappointing, but may give the opportunity to help and inform.

Our main area of work for October is during National Hate Crime Awareness week.

Go Fund Me

Sarah Dawson is fundraising for her daughter, Ruby Lee – to pay for private physio, all details are on the following link:

Walkers raise over £1,500 for Trust Links

A charity walk along the River Roach raised a fantastic £1,500 for Trust Links, a local mental health and wellbeing charity.

Over 40 people including Trust Links members, volunteers and supporters came together on Saturday 16th September for the charity’s third annual Walking Together event. The walk was an 8.5 mile circular walk and a shorter fully accessible 2.5 mile walk took place at the same time.

The walkers took 3 hours to complete the walk and returned to the Trust Links office in Rochford where they were welcomed with medals and bacon rolls! The walk had a genuine family atmosphere with families and individuals taking part.

Physical exercise has long been proven to be beneficial for mental health and walking is a great starter exercise to increasing your fitness. You don’t need to walk a huge distance, just being outdoors, getting some fresh air can help to make you feel better.

This is Trust Links’s third Walking Together sponsored fundraising walk. The funds raised allow us to continue delivering support services, including therapeutic gardening, for people in the local area with mental health problems.

Matt King, CEO of Trust Links, said “We are thrilled at the amount raised by our walkers. Walking Together is a great event to get involved with as it is widely accessible and we have many families taking part which gives it a real community feel. It also allows us to highlight the benefit of physical exercise for your mental wellbeing which mirrors the basic ethos used in our Growing Together therapeutic gardens which we have seen transform lives. Encouraging people to walk more also ties in with our objective to create a more sustainable environment and community. ”

Hate Incident Reporting Centre Consultation

OUTreach have launched a new consultation which can be completed here.

The consultation has been launched in the run up to Hate Crime Awareness week which runs from the 14th – 21st October.

OUTreach will be supporting multiple events during the week on the 16th October from 9:45 – 10:45 at the Victoria Shopping Centre and the 20th October from 9:45 – 10:45 at the Royals Shopping Centre.

The purpose of the consultation is to highlight the need for the Council to become a registered Hate Incident Reporting Centre (HIRC) site, it will also highlight how residents of Southend are affected by Hate Crime. The deadline for responses is the 22nd October and will take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.

If you are unaware of what a HIRC and or Hate Crime is please continue to complete the consultation as I would like responses to be diverse. There are also explanations of these terms once you start to complete the consultation.
Please feel free to share the link ( on your social media platform or via any other networks who may be interested.

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