Trust Links and Canvey Island Big Local are transforming the Gunny!

Trust Links and the Canvey Big local at the Gunny site

Trust Links are working with Canvey Island Big Local to revive The Gunny, a former military site in the heart of Canvey Island, into a thriving community space.

During WWII The Gunny was an Anti-Aircraft Gun Battery and barracks, supporting the defence of London. In the 1960’s The Gunny was turned into a park in the 1970’s one of the first skate parks in the UK was built on the site.  Over the years lack of funding meant the skate part gradually fell into ruin.  By the 2000’s the site was a muddy marsh and today is mostly used by dog walkers. We plan to transform The Gunny into a safe space for the local community. Once completed in 2024, there will be opportunities for people of all ages to connect, engage with nature, and enjoy activities in the hub and community garden.

What’s the plan?

Working with Canvey Island Big Local, we have big plans for The Gunny! With support of the wider community and businesses, we plan to have:

  • A community building: A welcoming space for the community to enjoy workshops, social groups and much more!
  • Play areas: For children and young people to play and have fun.
  • Outdoor gym facilities: For all ages to benefit from physical activity
  • Picnic benches, raised vegetable beds, pergola, accessible paths: Safe spaces to connect with others, relax, and enjoy the benefits of nature.
  • Environmental conservation: The Gunny will become a biodiverse space including trees, wetland area and wildflower meadow.
  • Growing Together therapeutic gardening project to support with mental health and wellbeing: An addition to our already established and successful therapeutic gardening projects across Southend, Thundersley, Rochford, Basildon and Braintree.

How YOU can support The Gunny project

There are a number of ways you can support the transformation of this valuable community asset now and for future generations:

  • Spread the Word! Share news about the Gunny through social media, groups, and your community connections.
  • Organise a fundraising event. Whether it’s a bake sale, coffee morning or golf day; any money raised will be gratefully received and will help!
  • Sponsor the Gunny. There are a range of levels available for sponsorship. If you or your business would like to get involved, contact our team through the information at the bottom of this page.
  • Donate via our Crowdfunder. It’s quick and easy to make a donation on our Crowdfunder page!
  • Gifts in Kind. Can you provide a gift such as flowers or resources for the gardens? We’d love to hear from you!
  • Volunteer for tree planting, fundraising, and promotional opportunities available.

If you would like to talk to our team about supporting The Gunny, Canvey Island, please get in touch by emailing – we would love to hear from you!

Share our promotional material with a friend!

You can download and share our promotional flyer for The Gunny project here. Please share with any contacts you feel might be interested in supporting this fantastic community project!