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isolated-sun-and-sea_1025-281   - editor David Wilson  07714772707 -   Journalist,   07917730238

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 and Fundraising


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Spinning Yarns Theatre seeks local stories from the over 50’s.

On the 18th of July and the 10th of August 2019, Spinning Yarns Theatre will be running two events, The Recycled Tales, at Club 50+, part of The Haven Community Hub in Hamlet Court Road.

The two events will form part of a local creative project to explore the stories of the communities living in the Southend area, both real and imagined, past and present.

The events will feature the opportunity to listen to Essex folk tales from some of the Spinning Yarns Theatre collective of professional storytellers and then the chance to engage in an informal sharing of memories of growing up and living in the area. Refreshments will be provided and the session will be recorded to help form a memory soundscape for the performance piece.


The project will also engage with local schools and other community groups, and the stories will be collected to become part of and help inform a new performance piece to be showcased at The Dixon Studio in October.

The power of storytelling is to transcend boundaries and build unity and the aims of the project are to connect across generations and communities through shared storytelling.

The project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and by Southend on Sea Borough Council and has been put together by local professional storyteller and Spinning Yarns founder, Hannah Brailsford.  

Part of Spinning Yarns Theatre’s aims is to promote oral storytelling to the region and as Hannah Brailsford says; “the projects aim is to introduce and connect new audiences with performance storytelling, by directly engaging with the communities along the South Essex region and having their voice inform our work.”

Age Concern Southend’s development manager, Claire Slack, said, “We are really excited to be involved in Spinning Yarn Theatre’s project and to be helping connect generations through storytelling. We would love anyone, over 50 or not, to join in these great free events and share their stories of Southend and the surrounding areas!”

The first of the events is being run on the 18th July between 3.15pm and 5.15pm and refreshments will be included. The second event will be part of the Open Day at The Haven

Spinning Yarns Theatre seeks local stories from the over 50’s.

Staff from local independent sight loss charity, Southend in Sight helped Village Green

volunteers to prepare for the needs of the visually impaired at the festival which took

place in Chalkwell Park on Saturday 13 July..

Trainers Lucy Martin and Karen Carter-Blake from Southend In Sight together with Daniel

Clements, Senior Service Coordinator at the Royal Association for Deaf People ran sessions

in how to assist those festival goers with hearing and sight loss enjoy and make the most of

all that was on offer at the family friendly, music and arts festival, now in its 10 th year.

 Village Green is working towards its Silver accreditation from Attitude is Everything, a

charity dedicated to making live music events accessible to the deaf and disabled. It has

already received a Bronze certificate for the measures it has put in place to make the

festival a safe and easy environment for those less able to enjoy.

Emma Mills, Mental Wellbeing Co-ordinator: for Village Green said: ‘The training from

Southend in Sight and the RAD was another important step in making Village Green really

welcoming to everyone. We all learnt so much and were ready on festival day to offer

proper help and support.’

16 year old Hannah was a volunteer. She said: ‘I attended a training session where we learnt

about people who are hard of hearing and have eye problems. I found it so interesting to

learn that there are unfortunately people who suffer quite badly. It gave me a real Insight.

We tried on

goggles which

 had different effects to show all the different eye problems people can suffer from.’

Lucy Martin, Chief Executive Officer for Southend in Sight and a trainer for the volunteers

said: ‘We were delighted to work with the Village Green volunteers and show them the best

and most appropriate ways to assist those with sight loss. We were also very pleased to be

joined by a colleague from the RAD. Everyone enjoyed the session and took away lots of

useful knowledge.’

Southend in Sight can provide training for businesses and organisations to enable staff to

assist customers and service users and provide the most appropriate help and advice for

them. For information about this and all the services and assistance available through

Southend in Sight, please call on 01702 342131 or go to

Village Green volunteers wore special goggles to u

It is now just 7 weeks until our Blues Brothers Tribute Night at The Holiday Inn Southend. This will not only be a night to remember but will also help us raise money to continue to make Southend a better place to age.

We still have 4 tables available for this amazing night of blues and soul with tribute act Jake and Elwood Blues including bubbly on arrival, a stunning 3 course meal from the Rosette winning The 1935 Rooftop Restaurant & Bar, tea and coffee and the best of entertainment to shake your tail feather too.

To book your tickets now please call our office on 01702 345373, email or visit us at 134 Hamlet Court Road.

Tell your friends or please share our event on Facebook by going to

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When strong winds and rain were forecast for Saturday 10th August, many outdoor events were cancelled and weeks of preparation and planning came to nothing. But not so for Elkington House Care Home whose annual summer garden party was due to take place that day. The resourceful staff and volunteers moved the event to the Southend in Sight centre and the fun went ahead.

Elkington House is run by local independent sight loss charity, Southend Blind Welfare Organisation and its community services division is Southend in Sight. The charity’s resource centre on Hamlet Court Road has a large public space which was perfect for the stalls and refreshments planned for the garden party.  

Catherine Hodgson, Community Fundraiser for Southend in Sight said: ‘A huge thank you to everyone who supported us on Saturday at our mini "pop-up" fete. Our wonderful volunteers quickly turned our Centre into an indoor fete with bunting, Pimms, cream teas and plants galore. We managed to raise £350 - a fantastic achievement.’

To find out more about the facilities on offer at Elkington House, please visit or call 01702 348200

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Southend in Sight - mini pop up fete goes ahead at Resource Centre

Two VIPs (visually impaired person) from local independent sight loss charity, Southend in Sight took to the water on Wednesday 7 August when they tried out sailing at Hanningfield Reservoir.

 Georgie Haynes, Social Activity Coordinator for Southend in Sight, arranged for Anne Morris and Clare Mclewin, to try The Hanningfield Sailability Project. This is sailing for disabled people on Hanningfield Reservoir run by volunteers. 

 Clare and Anne tested out the facilities and instructions to see how they suited the visually impaired so that next year more VIPs from Southend in Sight can take part in boating activities with the project.

They were enthusiastic about the trip saying: ‘We had a fabulous experience in the fresh air and open water with The Hanningfield Sailability Project.  We were welcomed into the sailing community with fully accessible facilities including a regular supply of tea and

biscuits. All the equipment down to water proofs was provided and we learnt a few

technical terms. We even managed to come back 3 sheets to the wind!’

 For further information about services and assistance offered by the charity, please call

Southend In Sight on 01702 342131, visit the charity at 117 Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff-

on-Sea or go to

VIPs Anne Morris and Clare Mclewin tried sailing a

Southend in Sight’s VIPs       take to the water

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