Idea #1:  Essex Feminist Collective, Southend group

The Essex Feminist Collective is a women-only safe space for the purposes of discussion, learning and campaigning around feminist issues. We meet monthly and have hosted speakers from No More Page Three, Object!, 50:50 Parliament and the Fawcett Society to name a few, as well as doing fundraising for women’s charities. We are currently based in Colchester but want to come to the seaside and set up regular meetings in Southend.

This idea is important because; from our Facebook group, it’s clear that there is a desire for regular feminist meetings in Southend and this has partially been a result of the campaign we are currently running in opposition to the licensing application for a fourth Sex Entertainment Venue in the area. With Southend also having a high student population it’s essential that young women know there is a place where they can go to meet like-minded women who will listen to their stories and support them as well as eating biscuits and having a bit of a laugh.

How funding would help: We would like funding for initial set up costs such as hiring a venue and creating some promotional materials. After that, the Southend Essex Feminist Collective should be self-sustaining through donations and fundraising.

Six months from now: There is a monthly meet-up for all self-identifying women and we are planning public events open to all to promote gender equality in the local area; we are hosting an EFC stall at public events to raise awareness of current feminist campaigns and working with local schools to promote gender inequality. It’s amazing and we all have matching t-shirts! Emma Watson is there and so is Angelina Jolie and I think I can see Benedict Cumberbatch too . . . and they’re all saying that Southend Soup made it all possible!

WINNER! Idea #2:  Confidence events run by kids for kids

I want to put on an event called Prove YOU Exist Kids. This event will be run by kids for kids. We will have local children’s groups performing, young motivational speakers speaking with the aim of showing the children of Southend that they are unique and can express themselves in a variety of ways within our local community. Adults prove you exist events have been run before but this is the first one for kids.

This idea is important because; it is important that children know that they can be themselves and find out what is on offer within our community to support this. What ever children like, be it story writing, preforming, sports or getting up on stage all of this is possible within our community.

How funding would help: The funding would mean that we could book a medium sized venue that would allow between 100-150 people to attend the event. It would also mean that we have some posters created to go out to the local schools to make as many children as possible aware of the event.

Six months from now: If the event is a success we would look to involve more children in the planning stages and hold the event either annually or twice a year.

Idea #3: Mother’s Day Gifts for Southend Storehouse

I will be pitching on behalf of the Family Storehouse to gather a small amount of funding to buy the mums something nice *just for themself* for Mother’s Day.

This idea is important because: Most families in financial hardship will put their children before themselves and it would be lovely to be able to do something nice for the mums that frequently have to go without in order to meet the most basic needs.

How funding would help: We could spend the money buying small gifts to treat them with something special.

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