Trust Links is Southend’s charity for wellbeing and mental health support. Through our Growing Together Gardens in Westcliff, Shoeburyness and our new site in Thundersley, we offer therapeutic gardening and other services to help people through difficult times and find a path to recovery. But we also do so much more. Find out about our orchard, our work with schools and young people, how you can get involved and the many events we run through the year.
FOLLOWING an online and in-store customer vote, Sainsbury’s Southend has announced that Trust Links will be the store’s new Local Charity of the Year for 2016 - 2017.
Trust Links provides support to people experiencing mental health problems through therapeutic gardening. Trust Links offers a quiet place to think and relax and provides access to new skills in horticulture, leading to job opportunities.
This year’s Local Charity scheme began at the end of May, when colleagues shortlisted a maximum of three charities to be put forward to the customer vote. Trust Links received the most votes and will receive a year’s worth of fundraising and awareness-raising from the store.
To celebrate the announcement, a launch day will take place at the Southend store on Tuesday August 2. Customers will get the chance to meet representatives from the charity and learn more about the work they do.
Matt King from Trust Links said: "We’d like to thank everyone who voted for us.
"Becoming Sainsbury’s Southend Local Charity of the Year will make a huge difference to our charity. We’re looking forward to the partnership and working closely with the colleagues at the Southend store.”
Shaun Gadsby, store manager at Sainsbury’s Southend added: "I’d like to say congratulations to Trust Links.
"It’s great to be working with a new charity this year. My colleagues are really excited about the partnership.”
The Local Charity scheme is now in its eighth year. The scheme has raised over £11 million to support local charities since 2009.
Trust Links is honoured to be chosen as one of Adventure Island’s charities celebrating the theme park’s 40th anniversary.
The company has generously offered all those who buy a wristband at the park during July, the chance for one of eight charities to get up to £3,000.
Trust Links is one of those charities nominated to benefit and is asking visitors to the park to consider voting for its therapeutic garden projects at Shoeburyness, Westcliff and Thundersley. Everyone that buys a wristband gets a token which they can place in favour of their chosen charity. The charity that gets the most tokens will receive £3,000 but even the one that gets the least still stands to receive £250.
Trust Links Chief Executive Matt King said: "We are thrilled that Adventure Island has included us in this great charity drive. Everyone loves the theme park including our members and volunteers so the idea that we can all go and get the added bonus of raising funds is most welcome.”
Trust Links will be running updates on how it’s Adventure Island pot is filling up with tokens on its facebook page here
School kids are being encouraged to graffiti walls at Growing Together Shoeburyness under a special art scheme overseen by local artist John Bulley.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of July and the children meet with John every Monday to continue the decorative theme.
Mr Bulley said: "I first met the Growing Together project some years ago when we were getting kids to do a community project and the idea of creating a chill out area on a bit of wasteland at the Fairfax Drive Westcliff garden came about. I loved the charity and what it was doing.”
Trust Links is a grounded local charity offering three therapeutic gardens at Westcliff, Shoeburyness and from next month Thundersley where people can go and relax, take a break, buy fresh organically grown produce or become a member for more specialist mental health support across the age groups.
Chief Executive Matt King said: "We had quite a bit of vandalism at Growing Together Shoeburyness and we knew that there wasn’t much for young people to do that attracts their age group in the area so this was an ideal project. They all get a chance to contribute at whatever level and so they all get something out of it. Being outside on the site is a great leveller and gives young people the chance to really express themselves and let’s be honest, they all love a chance to graffiti. ”
Kids get to graffiti the range of cabins on the site with the key words "Growing Together Shoeburyness” and can experiment with colours and designs. Although the project is halfway through now, it is still open to any young person to join in and have a go and get tips from John who says; "It’s all about trust. I’m just a great big fat bald bloke with a scar on my face so I am quite intimidating, so I need to prove to the kids that they can trust me. I get far more back from the job than I give, I know that sounds quite cheesy but it’s true. The kids at Growing Together Shoeburyness are lovely and straight up – they are all really keen and want to do it.”
John Bulley believes there’s a reason why children’s art is so inspiring and original, "Kids are more open and not hampered by ideas of what’s good or bad. They have come up with amazing ideas and there’s something really nice about their lack of fear – they just do it. They haven’t learnt the political correctness of life that adults have. Adults often get quite embarrassed about doing art but there’s a simple truth to children, they call a spade a spade.”
The project is open every Monday from 4pm and even though its already underway any child aged 10-15 who would like to pop along and take part is more than welcome.
If you or someone you care for is experiencing mental health worries, we may be able to help. Contact us on 01702 213134, email us on email@example.com or call in to the Westcliff site to talk to one of our staff. Or ask your healthcare provider to refer you or them to us.
Growing Together can offer the opportunity to meet new friends, learn new skills, undertake training, gain qualifications and find employment. Carers Breakthrough can support those that care for people with mental health problems in Southend borough through counselling, advice, information and support groups.
Carers Breakthrough is a project for any adult carer of somebody experiencing mental health problems. The scheme is open to anybody who is a resident in the borough of Southend-on-Sea.
We have three Growing Together community gardens in south east Essex encouraging socialisation, building confidence, providing education and training and growing communities, whilst transforming empty and overgrown plots of land into beautiful and productive gardens