Essex Community Foundation

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Canvey Island awash with community spirit

28th July 2017

A tidal wave of community spirit on Canvey Island and a grant of £2,500 have transformed a beach for the benefit of local residents and visitors to enjoy.

The grant, awarded from Essex County Council’s Millennium Fund, has contributed to a scheme which has improved accessibility for wheelchair users and those with disabilities. 

The Essex Millennium Fund, which is managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF), was established as an endowed fund by Essex County Council to celebrate the Millennium. The fund distributes grants annually to voluntary and community groups working within four priority areas, carers, community support, enhancing the environment and young people.

Canvey Bay Watch was formed in October 2014, when a small group of volunteers, many of whom have lived on the island for more than 50 years, decided to restore the seafront to its former glory. 

Canvey Bay Watch volunteer Barry Campagna, said, “We were delighted to have received this grant from the Essex Millennium Fund. Three years ago the area was in such an appalling condition that people had stopped visiting.  As local residents we decided to try and clear the area and seafront.

“We started with 8 volunteers and now there are 20 of us.  Regardless of the weather, we meet every Tuesday and do whatever work is necessary to keep the area accessible and make it a nice place for people to visit”.

Paul Hill, Head of Grants and Programmes at ECF, said, “Canvey Bay Watch is a wonderful example of community spirit.  It is fantastic to see local people coming together to improve the place they live and the makeover of the Bay is truly outstanding.”.

If you are a community organisation or voluntary group in need of funding to support your work, call the ECF grants team on 01245 356018.