Age Concern Southend hit £335,000 raised for The Haven Community Hub!

Age Concern Southend have now raised £335,000 of the £460,000 need to complete renovation work at their new community hub on Hamlet Court Road, The Haven.

The Haven, which opened Club 50+ on the first floor in April 2019, is located in the iconic, grade II listed ex-Havens department store and has been the first major capital project for the independent charity since planning was submitted in 2017.

The total raised has increased dramatically thanks to a large legacy donation from a gentleman who had used the charity’s befriending services for many years. It is also thanks to a loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund of £100,000 to help with renovations and restorations to the building and associated project costs.

Matthew Mckeague, Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund said, ‘We’re delighted to have provided this loan to Age Concern Southend to help with the delivery of The Haven project. Havens Department Store was clearly more than just a shop to the local community. It provided space for people to interact and meet each other. We hope its rebirth as a hub for older people will continue this legacy and provide inspiration for other similarly iconic retail buildings across the country.’

Once completed The Haven Community Hub ground floor will house a variety of services and support for older people across the Southend area. The Haven will also offer space for intergenerational activities and support for the wider community. This will include bereavement counselling, dementia support, social services, podiatry, hairdressing, a community café and a small dementia day centre.

The first floor will continue to house Club 50+’s, a community club with over 220 members offering exercise classes, arts groups, language classes, social activities and more, whilst the ground floor is being renovated.

Ground floor building work began on the 1st of August 2019 and the charity still needs to raise a minimum of £85,000 to complete all aspects of their project. Another £30,000 will be needed for repairs to the roof and the historic shop frontage. To find out more please visit www.acsos.co.uk, call 01702 345373 or email enquiry@acsos.co.uk.