The Mayor's Charity 2018/19

Southend In Sight
Southend in Sight is an independent charity which provides practical help to visually impaired people in and around the Southend-on-Sea area.

The History of Southend In Sight
In the mid 1950s a group of local people thought that there was the need for a local charity that would give help and support to the growing number of people in Southend who were blind or partially sighted. With the backing of Southend Borough Council, and several eye specialists, the charity was formed.

Towards the end of the 1950s, the opportunity arose to buy a large house in Imperial Avenue, and to open a residential home that would serve the town and offer specialist care. Funds were raised, and the house was bought, with accommodation initially for 14 residents.

At the same time, the organisation started to offer social clubs to members who lived in the community, and also held an annual Christmas party at the Kursaal. Local service clubs became involved and in particular Southend Round Table provided transport, and were for many years responsible for organising an annual flag week, when a door to door collection was made, together with a street collection in Southend High Street. The charity was also fortunate to benefit from a number of legacies and donations, including one from the estate of Annie Kay.

Over the next few years, Elkington House was extended on three occasions and has recently been completely refurbished, which provides a caring and secure environment for 25 residents. It is named after Daphne Elkington, a social worker for the blind and a long time supporter. In the late 1990s, a resource and information centre was opened, initially at Elkington House and then at SAVS in Southend. Also social clubs were introduced to offer support and companionship to those in need in the town.

In 2008, an opportunity arose to buy our own headquarters building in Hamlet Court Road, which enabled us to provide, under one roof: a club room, an enlarged resource and information centre, and a charity shop, which raises significant funds to support the centre . A wide variety of social activities are provided including outings, theatre trips and clubs. An equipment loan scheme is also offered.

You can find out more about their services by visiting their site at http://www.southendblindwelfare.org.uk/