Project Southchurch

A Proactive Community Organisation.

Introduction :

Project Southchurch

Project Southchurch are a proactive community organisation, working in partnership with Southend Borough Council, Community Police, local councillors, local agencies and other organisations, operating within the Project Southchurch area and across Southend.

We aspire to be an intermediate organisation bringing together all local groups to address a variety of issues facing residents and businesses. Our aim is to approach challenges as a whole community and to improve the area we live, learn, work and trade in.

Project Southchurch has already made significant progress laying the foundations for future success by forming powerful working relationships and partnerships with a wide range of individuals, organisations and agencies across Southend.

The concerns of a community are fluid, situations quickly change and direction is sometimes altered. The implementation of any project will be through partnership.

Our vision and aims cover all sides of life & community. Our Plan for a Better Southchurch is divided into 4 sections, Community & Development, Future & Environment, Business & finally Communication & Events. All interlinked and focused on improving Southchurch, creating a safe, vibrant and progressive area of Southend.

We are an intermediatery & progressive organisation - independent of political or faith affiliation - bringing together local groups to address a variety of issues facing residents and businesses, while also developing and implementing our own initiatives.

Project Southchurch Boundary

Project Southchurch uses geographical, historical and council boundaries. The organisations reach, covers the full council ward of Southchurch and areas within the wards of Thorpe, St Luke’s and Kursaal.

Meet the Founders

The organisation was founded in January 2019 by local residents Bill Darrington and Rob McAvoy. They witnessed issues that concerned them, mainly concerning anti-social behaviour and decided to act before they escalated out of control. Since then Project Southchurch has gone from strength to strength, working with local agencies and organisations on numerous and varied initiatives.

Hands Together

Hands Together, Southend Against Hatred. Although this campaign is an original idea by Project Southchurch, we are simply the facilitators, it is without doubt a community working in partnership. We are grateful to be joined, in this banner promotion, by our friends South Essex African Caribbean Association.

Our original idea was to create a piece of street art on hoardings in sight of iconic buildings on Southend seafront. Local students and dignitaries would then be able to sign the hand prints incorporated in the design, created by local artist Karl Sims. We, however, went ahead without the correct agreement and with the landlord reluctant to give retrospective permission we had to paint over the original idea.

It was a setback, but out of adversity comes inspiration. We came upon the idea of putting a similar design onto a banner and inviting organisations, businesses & residents to sign it. It immediately became accessible to a wider audience and far more poignant.

Signing the banners is a symbolic act of defiance to those who wish to divide us through hate and terror, following the murder of Sir David Amess.

To show our strength through unity, that tolerance and diversity runs through the very heart of this city, Southend.

It also spotlights the positive actions of a community together, through the haze of negativity that appears to be the perception of many today.

The banners belong to the City of Southend, to the people whom Sir David championed so tirelessly. This City has so much character, creativity and ambition it’s time we showed others our determination and our togetherness.

The banners made a small tour since the launch on 12th November. Visiting Leigh Markets, Global Community Day, One Love Soup Kitchen, Southend United Youth Programme, St Marks, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly gig at St Marys, FrostBite Festive Market in Southchurch and many more venues.

It has been signed by local faith groups, politicians, residents, organisations, emergency services, dignitaries and many more. The signatories’ illustrates how broad the diversity of Southend is and we should be very proud.

Our gratitude to Southend Borough Council for adopting the idea and helping us deliver a campaign that reaches more people. We are thrilled it will be part of City Week and very much look forward to the art project connected. Local education, faith and community groups will be invited to create banners with their interpretations of tolerance and unity, to be displayed around the City. We are delighted that Focal Point Gallery are the lead on organising this project.

Part of the Hands Together campaign, is to work with local agencies and organisations to identify sites for more Hate incident Reporting Centres (HIRCS) and to train more Hate Crime Ambassadors. We are delighted to work with Essex Police, Southend Council and others in our aspirations to achieve this.

The Hands Together Banner is accompanied by a LightBox, created by 3DFila Print in association with Sam Duckworth and Southend City. Both banner and LightBox are attending City Week events.

Project Southchurch

© 2022 Project Southchurch

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