Thorpe Hall School Community Fund Awards £500 to SEND The Right Message

SAVS Dragons Den

The Thorpe Hall School Community Fund has awarded £500 to local charity SEND The Right Message. The money will help provide sensory toys and equipment for children in Southend living with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The award was part of a collaborative ‘Dragon’s Den’ style initiative with Southend Association of Voluntary Services (SAVS), The Southend Emergency Fund, The ROSCA Trust, and Thorpe Hall School. Local voluntary groups and charities, with incomes of less than £50k per year, were invited to participate in an online event that provided training on practical pitching skills and the opportunity to win financial support.

Having perfected their pitches, seven local groups ventured into the virtual ‘Den’ to present to the ‘Dragons’ panel. They each had just five minutes to justify why they should be awarded money and demonstrate how their project will make a difference in the lives of children and young people in Southend.

The ‘Dragons’ chose three groups to receive money from The Southend Emergency Fund and The ROSCA Trust.  £500 was awarded to The Community Cake Club for their work to support new parents in Southend. Welcome to the UK received £500 to pay for devices and Wifi for three recently relocated families from overseas and The Phabulous Café received £700 for IT equipment for those with learning disabilities. Thorpe Hall’s Headteacher Andrew Hampton chose the fourth group, SEND The Right Message, to receive a special award of £500 from the school’s community fund.

Commenting on the day’s event, Mr. Hampton said: “There were a great many interesting ideas and dedicated people, all passionate about their projects and about making a difference. I enjoyed hearing from all the groups and learning about their great work. Thorpe Hall School is delighted to provide SEND The Right Message with money for much-needed sensory play equipment for the children and families they support.”

“We were thrilled to receive Thorpe Hall School’s award,” said Julia Hopper from SEND The Right Message. “Funding is always a challenge, especially for smaller voluntary groups like ours and the money will help us provide tools for healing and self-regulation, and help remind children and young people to take time out to play and recharge”.

The ‘Dragons’ were Thorpe Hall School’s Headteacher, Andrew Hampton, Maureen Longley, the Chair of SAVS, Anthony Quinn of the ROSCA Trust, Kelly Clarke from Southend Borough Council, Alan Kirkman, Chair of the Southend Emergency Fund and Julie Eady, from Shared Space. The latter are hosts of the Southend Emergency Fund.