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Social Inclusion

The Shrimpers Trust have run a Social Inclusion Project since 2019. Here you can find out more about the history of the project, the groups we have supported and details about how to donate.
We were delighted that club legend Stan Collymore showed such an interest in the scheme when he joined our Board meeting in May 2021, and we thank Stan for his efforts in publicising the project as well as his wonderful personal financial offer.
Below is a brief history of this project, with examples of the groups we have helped so far. We'd love that to go even further, so if you are considering making a donation, please click here. Additionally, if you have any ideas on practical help, that would also be gratefully received and you can contact us via

Our Social Inclusion Project: A Brief History:

In 2019 the Shrimpers Trust entered the Aviva Community Fund scheme with the aim of welcoming disadvantaged groups to Southend United. This resulted in a grant of £1000 which was used to treat several groups to a day out at the football club but, unfortunately, we did not qualify for funding the following year as Aviva changed the application rules.

We hoped that by offering easy access and an enjoyable environment that we would make a real difference to a number of lives. The scheme saw various worthy causes treated to a day out, in partnership with the football club, including:

  • Kingsdown - the Special Educational Needs School;
  • Off The Streets - the Westcliff Homeless refuge;
  • The Community Coffee Club from South Woodham – they try to combat loneliness largely, but not solely, amongst special needs adults;
  • R.E. House - a Resource & Enterprise centre that supports adults with learning disabilities

We also treated a couple of individuals, with parents where relevant, who had performed selfless acts in the community by way of helping others.

We try to make the day more than just a football match to create a lasting impression. The groups are usually welcomed around midday and given a tour of the stadium, as well as being given the chance to meet the manager or players depending on timings.
There are photo opportunities throughout, and food and soft drinks are provided along with the match day tickets (discounted by the football club to us).
When an executive box is required, players not involved in the matchday squad are asked to visit and engage, bring the football club closer to the local community.

We ran this initiative as a pilot for 12 months and we weren't really sure what to expect. At the end of that initial period, it was obvious to all that it was a huge success.

As the budgeted funding became exhausted, we looked at ways to move ahead. In fact, as a committee, we were so impressed with the results that we determined to continue and club chairman, Ron Martin, agreed to help in any way he could.

We saw this as a win-win situation for all parties and an opportunity for some really positive press. Of course, the global COVID-19 pandemic arrived and the scheme like all our activities was curtailed temporarily.

As we hopefully move out of the pandemic, leading to sports and social activities being resumed, and with Stan Collymore's involvement bringing renewed enthusiasm to the project, we are looking forward to growing this scheme for the benefit of many more people.
Through Stan's involvement we have already received several pledges of help and to date these include:
  • Stan Collymore
  • BTMK Solicitors
  • Roslin Beach Hotel
  • Affinity Group
  • Plus several other pledges from private individuals
If you would like to donate to help the Trust help others please click on the donate button where you will be taken to our Donation Webpage.
All donations are processed via our PayPal account, however the Trust will pay all the associated charges so that 100% of your Donation goes to the project.

Examples of Groups Supported by Our Social Inclusion Project (including information provided for the official Southend United programme):

This week, as the Shrimpers Trust's guests, I am pleased to welcome a group of people from 'Off the Streets'.
Off the Streets is a group of concerned residents, assisting the homeless of the borough to get off the streets and into a safe, warm environment of their own.
I have been following the progress of this group for the last year or so and have nothing but admiration for the work they do.
Please join me in welcoming them and let's hope that unlike ALL other groups we've welcomed in the 12 months since we started our community scheme, that they see a Southend win.

This week, as the Shrimpers Trust's guests, I am pleased to welcome a group of people from the South Woodham Ferrers area:-

The Community Coffee Club, get together and enjoy Lunch from 12.00 every Tuesday afternoon, they have a wide and varied Activity Weekly Programme.
The Club not only gives the chance for people to get together and make some new friends, but it also gives the opportunity for some very nice young folks with Learning Disabilities to Volunteer and get some work experience.
Please join me in welcoming them, what would be really nice, would be to actually win a game. In the 12 months since we started our community scheme, not once, have our guests seen Southend win.

On a more positive note the Trust's guests at the Wimbledon game were R. E. House.
They are a Resource & Enterprise centre supporting adults with learning disabilities to live a fun and fulfilled life.
A slight hiccough initially due to “staffing” issues was quickly resolved and our guests had a fabulous day.
Particular thanks to Jason Demetriou, Charlie Kelman and Harry Kyprianou for making them feel so welcome.
One of our guests was victim of a fraud recently, which beggars belief when you consider the circumstances.
A follow up visit from the club is being arranged, showing Southend United's continuing excellent community work.

The last home match saw our Social Inclusion project continue as we welcomed a group from Kingsdown school.
Despite the result they had a brilliant time, Kingsdown is a Special School for children aged 3 to 14 who have severe learning difficulties (SLD), profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), physical disabilities and associated learning difficulties.
The majority of pupils have communication difficulties.
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