Idea no. 1: Southend Vegan Fair

Describe your Good Idea: I am working on a Southend Vegan Fair for 2017 around spring time. I want to invite around 30 stall holders to Southend to promote veganism and animal welfare.

Why is this Idea important?: I think getting something positive such as promoting veganism and animal welfare would be great for the community. The event would be low entry price (under £5).

How would funding help with your Idea?: Funding would allow me to book a venue by covering the costs for the deposit.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now?: Promoting the event locally and on social media. If successful it would be an annual event and hopefully attract people from outside of the Southend area. Showing Southend in a positive light!

Idea: Southchurch Little Free Pantry (Deferred)

Describe your Good Idea: I’ve started up Southchurch little free pantry but I need a bigger cupboard and want to store it with food and essentials, especially with the cold winter months ahead. If it’s big enough I also want to provide a free library, where people can take and leave books as well food etc

Why is this Idea important? For people who may not want to attend a food bank, because of their own reasons. They can visit the little free pantry and take what is available and what they need any time of the day. So many people are struggling with the cost of food and this is also a very important part of helping your own community

How would funding help with your Idea? I can purchase a bigger cupboard, (this will be a second hand) buy tinned soups, vegetables, pasta etc, toiletries, sanitary products and things like soft tissues and lemsips. Any essesntials which will be useful. Things that you often neglect buying when you have to budget.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? The little free pantry will have been a little life line with more people realising what a great idea it is to help your community and more little free pantrys pop up around our town, county and country!

WINNER! Idea no. 2: Transpire – supporting trans people in Southend

Describe your Good Idea: Transpire , Southend Trans Network, is a voluntary community group formed in February 2016 when it became apparent there was little on offer in the Southend area of Essex, for the trans community, their families or friends. We now have over a 200 members including Lesbian Gay Bisexual, Trans and Gender fluid people as well as our allies.

Our idea is to secure a small amount of funding to enhance our ability to reach out to people and provide peer support, offer a friending and chaperoning service accompanying isolated Transpeople and family members to clinics, GPs, or simply to visit at their homes. Plus we occasionally hire venues as safe meeting places for our members to come along to. This has a financial cost in relation to travel costs, running our website and a contact telephone number. We depend on goodwill to get free pitches at public events and have no means to pay for public liability insurance that some events like Essex Pride require. We have NO government funding. Everything we do is unpaid voluntary work by its members for its members. But our work is also more than just that chaperoning people, we also aim to support those post surgery who often live alone without care or support. A small amount of funding can again allow us to visit people and care for them post op, even if it is just for somebody to talk to.

Why is this Idea important? The suicide rate among Trans and LGBTQ stands at about 40% MORE than non trans/LGBTQ people. The health and well-being of transpeople can be affected in so many ways; Isolation from friends, family, community and people who do not understand what it is like to be trans are just some of the reasons., Waiting lists to engage with Gender Identity Clinics are up to 1 1/2-2 years long. Many GP’s are misinformed and give the wrong advice. Lack of understanding among organisations means that many trans people are unfairly treated. It is important that a group like Transpire exists, but it is even more crucial it has a small amount of financial backing to help vulnerable people through the voluntary services it provides, our existence can make a real difference to people. Potentially we save lives, and have already intervened in some safeguarding work for our members who were at risk of harm.

How would funding help with your Idea? Our only means of generating income currently is through good will donations by its members. Funding as already stated helps to maintain the costs of our website, telephone line, leaflets and flyers. Leaflets and flyers can be distributed in libraries and supportive businesses. Funding can pay for DBS checks so our members can engage with young people. Funding can pay for our Public Liability Insurance when we attend public events. By funding these things it helps to make us visible to the community. Funding to cover travels costs also makes us reachable for those that cannot use the internet or social media.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? The positive outcome of our work will be measured by increased membership, and a decrease in the numbers of people in Southend and beyond who still remain isolated, not knowing about the presence of our group and the support/safe haven it offers. Whilst we cannot make a difference to waiting lists, we CAN make a difference to those who feel alone, suffering social stigma and isolation. In six months our group will be just over one year old, bigger more established, with more engagement

Idea: ‘Seen and Now Heard’ – spoken word project for young people (Deferred)

Describe your Good Idea: A spoken word and poetry initiative for young people from lower income areas, to give them the opportunity to write and perform their own poetry in a ‘proper’ performance venue, such as Southends Palace Theatre.

We are working with Essex Yourh Service to engage with young people through local youth clubs, groups and associations to get them involved. We hope that this will help them to articulate their thoughts and opinions, think more about reading and writing, improve literacy, and help them to gain confidence from performing their own work publicly, as part of next years poetry event BardFest.

Why is this Idea important? Many children from lower income backgrounds do not get the opportunity to be involved with the arts / performing arts as there is often a hefty charge for courses and so forth.

Performing their own work at a respected theatrical venue will give many of these children not only an opportunity they will be unlikely to get elsewhere, but the benefit to their cohesive thinking skills and self esteem will be immeasurable. I sincerely hope to create an initiative which will help to show these children their own worth and capability.

The venue is essential to showing these children that they are worthy of performing in a respected venue rather than simply a classroom.

How would funding help with your Idea? Venue hire of Palace Theatre.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? We will be visiting with youth clubs locally and further afield in Essex, providing prompts and ideas for young people’s poetry, and hearing some of the work which has already been created.
We will be organising participants in to age groups and building a support network of mentors for them, consisting of professional and established spoken word artists.

Idea no. 3: Southend Makerspace

This was a late entry, presented due to two previously submitted ideas being deferred. 

Describe your Good Idea: We want to set up a Makerspace, a workshop with many tools where people can, for a minimal fee, come to build, fix, craft and socialise.

Why is this Idea important? To help people re-skill in a self reliant way, improve community harmony, help people who feel isolated and anxious whilst preventing the need for tacky goods which break and then go to landfill. To also use the workshop myself to pursue experiments with renewable energy technologies and plastic recycling machinery.

How would funding help with your Idea? We would use the money to promote our idea through having a website and leaflets created.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? Makerspace Southend is open full time at its ultimate large warehouse/workshop with 2-4 full time staff. We are able to sell some high quality furniture, and engage youth in apprenticeship schemes.

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