ADVENTURE ISLAND IN THE COMMUNITY

Arrow
Arrow
PlayPause

CHARITABLE WORK

The Stockvale group of companies, which includes Adventure Island, Sealife Adventure and Radio Essex amongst others, is very much part of the community and has supported many different charities, organisations and events over the years. In fact far too many to list (but we have mentioned a few below) and we are very proud to continue supporting good causes of all kinds.

When speaking of charitable donations, Executive Chairman of Stockvale Ltd, Philip Miller MBE, stated: ‘as a company it is a privilege to be able to put a little back into the community we earn our livelihoods from. Although what we give and do in-itself will not change the world, I am a firm believer in “if everybody does a little bit then that adds up to a big bit”‘

One of the most notable of Adventure Island’s recent charitable work has been in conjunction with Southend University Hospital, and in particular Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation.

The Charitable Foundation is a registered charity which raises money for major fundraising projects at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.  It was established in 1998 by a group of local people, one of whom is the Executive Chairman of Stockvale Ltd Philip Miller MBE, who wanted to help fund buildings and equipment not provided by NHS funding.

Since their formation, they have raised over £4.5million to put towards multiple different areas of the Hospital, just some of which including the following:
£700,000 to Healing Hearts, which was put towards a state-of-the-art heart monitoring system
£400,000 to the Pinpoint Cancer Appeal, which was put towards image-guided radiotherapy equipment
£750,000 to the Strokebusters Appeal, which was put toward a gold-standard Stroke Unit
£750,000 to Bosom Pals Appeal, which was used to buy two full field digital mammography machines

Philip has also continually supported the charity with other regular donations to be put towards smaller projects around the hospital. A recent example of this is a £3500 donation to the Ladybird Nursery to install a sturdy and permanent sun canopy in their “Over 2’s” garden to provide shade in the heat of summer.

He is currently preparing to face his fear of heights and partake in a charity abseil to raise further funds for the hospital, as the extract below explains:

Each year, Southend Hospital Charity organises a sponsored “Walk For Wards”, where hundreds of local people come together to raise money by being sponsored to walk the 7km along the seafront between Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Shoeburyness and Chalkwell Shelter. Adventure Island and Radio Essex, both of whom are part of the Stockvale family, have been proud sponsors of this event for multiple years.
In 2017, over 250 people attended the event and raised over £15,000 in sponsorship money with was put forward to benefit 30 different areas of the hospital.

Their current and most recent appeal is the For Wards Appeal. To mark the 20th Anniversary of the Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation, the For Wards Appeal aims to raise £500,000 for 20 transformational projects across 20 different areas of Southend Hospital, including the Neonatal Unit, the Chemotherapy Unit and Surgery. They have already funded brand new equipment in the High Dependency Unit, as well as wheelchairs for the Emergency department. If you wish to support this appeal, or would like to know more, click here!
Sealife Adventure, another organisation on the Stockvale family, supported the For Wards Appeal throughout their Christmas Grotto in 2017 by having donation buckets and pots located throughout the aquarium where the public can put their loose change. By doing so, they managed to raise £730.78!

We have also recently donated £1,000 for a one-off fundraising event: Dean Ovel’s 100 mile Rickshaw Challenge, which raised over £5,700 for both the Dementia Appeal and the For Wards Appeal.

London Taxi Drivers’ Fund: Kid’s Day Out

Founded in 1928,  the charity is well known for its outings to the seaside when convoys of London taxis decked in balloons and banners take excited ‘special needs’ children and their helpers for a fun day out.
Although The London Taxi Drivers’ Fund for Underprivileged Children are renowned for their outings, there is a lot more that the charity undertakes during the year.
More information on The London Taxi Drivers’ Fund for Underprivileged Children can be found on their website by clicking here

As well as charitable donations for raffles and events, Adventure Island has supported The London Taxi Drivers’ Fund by providing them with complimentary days out every summer for more than 40 years! This was originally arranged by Philip’s father, David, and has continued throughout the generations.

HARP SOUTHEND’S HOMELESS CHARITY

On average, HARP helps over 1,000 people who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness every year by providing support, helping develop life skills and planning how they can move on independently post-support.
The challenges that homeless people experience are complex and ever-changing so the HARP pathway is different for everyone and is tailored to each person’s needs.
You can find out more about HARP and what they do on their website by clicking here or on their logo

Not only have we supported HARP with regular donations, on 5th October 2017 staff from Radio Essex partook in a sleep-out where they slept on the streets overnight to experience the struggles of homelessness. They approached local businesses for item donations and managed to donate approximately 20 sleeping bags, 40 boxes of clothing and several food items.

ROTARY CLUB A KID’S DAY OUT

Rotary Club is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad.
Their members believe that they have a shared responsibility to take action on our world’s most persistent issues. Their 35,000+ clubs work together to promote peace, support education and grow local economies, as well as much more!
You can find out more about Rotary Club and what they do on their website by clicking here or on their logo.

Here at Adventure Island, we have supported the Rotary Club every year since it’s creation by providing them with multiple donations and by giving the local branches free days out for their members through their “Kid’s Day Out” Scheme. In 2017, we have over 600 children visit us and other Southend destinations from 9 different clubs!

MIND FOR BETTER MENTAL HEALTH

Mind believe no-one should have to face a mental health problem alone. They listen, give you support and advice, and fight your corner to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. They won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.
You can find out more about Mind and what they do on their website by clicking here or on their logo

We have supported Mind for a number of years by providing them with multiple regular donations, both money to directly help with fundraising and item donations to help with raffles and events.

VARIETY CLUB: A KID’S DAY OUT

All over the UK there are children who have to cope with sickness, disability or disadvantage. It’s tough. Really tough. They provide practical, tangible help that makes an immediate difference to those children and their families.
For a disadvantaged child, a day at the seaside becomes a cherished childhood memory. Each year they take tens of thousands of children on great days out through our Great Days Out Programme.
You can find our more information on the Variety Club and what they do on their website by clicking here or on their logo

Adventure Island has supported the Variety Club for over 10 years through not only providing them with charitable donations for events and raffles, but also supporting their Variety Great Days Out scheme with free annual visits!

ESSEX POLICE CYCLISTS AND MOUNTED UNITS

Essex Police need no introduction. They’re at the heart of keeping the county safe and are always on hand to help anyone out in difficult times.

To return the support that Essex Police have continually given us, and everyone in the community, Adventure Island have supported Essex Police in many ways throughout the years. Just a few of these including purchasing their Cyclist units’ bikes, sponsoring their Horse Mounted divisions and providing them with heavily discounted tickets to use for visits or to assist them raise funds.

As mentioned previously, the above organisations are just a small handful of the hundreds who we’ve helped. We are proud to announce that over the last 15 years, we have donated one over one and a quarter million pounds of free rides and over three hundred thousand pounds of much needed cash to deserving local causes.

Fundraising Partnership

We also run a fundraising partnership where we work with multiple types of organisations all over London, Essex and the South East to help them reach and exceed their fundraising goals. More information on the details of this partnership can be found by clicking here.
As proof that this scheme can really transform the funding of worthy organisations, Ashingdon Football Club (one of our oldest partners) recently wrote to us thanking us for the continued support and to inform us that they have raised over £50,000 in the last 15 years of working with us!
Any organisation who raises funds for a good cause (put back into the organisation, charity or to better their community) is welcome to join the partnership! Simply contact a member of Customer Services who will be able to help!

RADIO ESSEX CHARIY UPDATE

As part of the Stockvale family, Radio Essex regularly broadcasts a special community feature called the Essex Charity Update. This is essentially a free 40 second advert for charities and local appeals. They actively seek information from the numerous groups, small and large, across Essex. Radio Essex use the information to write a script, get it produced and then send them a copy of the audio for their records. They also advise them of when it will air and for how long. Just a selection of previous examples include appeals for: coats for dogs in winter, Age Concern befriending, Families in Focus, Essex Air Ambulance, Havens Hospices and even the opening of a new jazz centre run by volunteers.

The Essex-wide voluntary group, Volunteer Essex, is also involved in the Essex Charity Update. They advise their member groups and associations of the feature and either forward  the information to us on their behalf or get those groups to contact us directly.

More information on Radio Essex’s Charity Update can be found by clicking here

CITIZEN OF SOUTHEND AWARDS

We are also the founders and funders of the ‘Citizen of Southend’ Awards, which each year honours and rewards people from the Southend Borough for their community work.

How many times have you thought ‘That person should be rewarded for that’? They might have performed a selfless act, achieved recognition in a particular area or just helped out a neighbour. You just sometimes wish that an unsung hero could be recognised for their achievements. Well that’s what the ‘Citizen of Southend’ is all about. This award scheme gives you the chance to nominate someone who lives, works and contributes to the community in the Southend Borough who you think should receive the ‘Citizen of Southend’ title.
For example, the following people won awards in 2017’s awards!

Gold Winner Sophie Alderton

Gold Winner Sophie Alderton

As gold winner, Sophie won £500 for herself, and we gave £500 to her chosen charity!

Sophie started her charitable journey when she took her sister to the local PHAB club who work to support disabled children. Sophie enjoyed taking her sister so much that she ended up becoming a volunteer at just 15 years old. When Sophie’s sister became too old to attend PHAB she moved over to Pholk which unfortunately could not be maintained until Sophie bravely offered to take it on at 18 years old! She has since organised various trips for the club members into the community and is now the charity director at 20 years old.

Silver Winner Michael Taverner

As silver winner, Michael won £250 for himself, and we gave £250 to his chosen charity!

Michael has been a vital volunteer at the National Coastwatch Institution in East Beach Shoeburyness for 15 years and is now the station manager. Through all of his hard work, Michael has helped to recruit and train new volunteer watch keepers and has maintained great relationships with the UK Coastguard team and RNLI which has resulted in excellent co-operation between these organisations. Michael goes above and beyond in the amount of time he dedicated to this voluntary role and has been instrumental in overseeing fundraising and maintenance for the watch station.

Gold Winner Sophie Alderton
Bronze Winner June Dillow

Bronze Winner June Dillow

As bronze winner, June won £100 for herself, and we gave £100 to her chosen charity!

June started up the Southchurch Little Free Pantry, a space where members of the community can donate food and other can take things as an emergency. June runs this in her spare time and does so on a completely voluntary basis. She volunteers for the winter church night shelter and has run 80s nights to raise money for the Ferndale shelter and has started a free afternoon tea event for anybody who feels socially isolated which is completely funded through donation or out of her pocket. Her previous volunteering roles have included take phone calls for SOS rape crisis and offering free counselling for the dove domestic violence project.

Bronze Winner Lee Clarke

As bronze winner, Lee won £100 for himself and we gave £100 to his chosen charity!

Lee is a very wellknown member of the Southend community and spends a large portion of his time fundraising for various charities. Every year Lee has raised around £60,000 and has done so through a huge variety of fundraising events including a 430 hour sponsored silence, charity nights and an annual charity football match for fair havens. Lee has a family and two jobs and still manages to find time to raise large amounts of money for charity and has even slept out in the rain for 24 hours to raise money!

Bronze Winner Lee Clarke
Bronze Winner Tracey Beck

Bronze Winner Tracey Beck

As bronze winner, Tracey won £100 for herself and we gave £100 to her chosen charity!

Tracey runs a social group for special needs children and adults and works to enrich the lives of all members by supporting them to access a community that would not ordinarily be accessible. Tracey has organised visits to the O2 arena, theatres and theme parks, all places which the parents and carers of the members would struggle to take them alone. She also works hard to make all children and adults feel equal to one another and helps them to feel as though their disability does not define who they are as a person.

Sir Teddy Taylor Special Award
Southend A&E

As Special Award winners, Southend A&E won £1000 to put towards any part of the department!

This award was created by Mick Thwaites, committee member and former head of operations at Essex Police, to reward the hard-working members of staff at Southend A&E

Everybody in Southend has surely experienced the fantastic work of the A&E nurses at one time or another. The staff members that work in the A&E work long hours and save copious amounts of lives on a daily basis. Truly deserving winners of the special award!

Sir Teddy Taylor Special Award: Southend A&E

We are currently looking for entries for the 2018 Citizen of Southend awards, so if you have someone in mind who’s work for the community deserves to be recognised, nominate them by clicking here!

NOTABLE EVENTS

£40,000 for 40 charities for 40 years

Back in 2016, we celebrated our 40th birthday by giving 40 local charities a chance of win a slice of £40,000.

Between June and October in 2016, anyone who purchased a wristband was given a token to vote for their favourite nominated charity. At the end of each month, the tokens were counted and those charities with the most votes got the biggest slice of the funds for that month. It was then reset with new charities on the 1st of the month, allowing the whole cycle to being again.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS

In 2014, we hosted the Keyhole Cancer Appeal for multiple days as they attempted to cycle Around the World in 80 Days.

 The then-new south-Essex based charity appeal was putting pedals to the metal to help raise £600,000 for a new state-of-the-art keyhole theatre at Southend Hospital, increasing the quality and quantity of a wide variety of the surgery performed at Southend University Hospital. Five bikes, which were provided and maintained by Cycles UK, were used as part of this challenge. Participants were given a target of sixty miles per bike, per day to reach the target of 24,901.55 miles.

NAKED ROLLERCOASTER

In 2010, Adventure Island broke the world record for the “most amount of naked riders on a theme park ride“! On 8th August 2010, 102 people were brave enough to bare all and ride the Green Scream whilst raising money for charity! Green Scream can only take 40 people per ride, but that would still have been enough to break the previous record of 32 naked roller coaster riders, held by Nemesis at Alton Towers. This even managed to raise approximately £30,000!

5 Years later, we gave it another shot to raise more money, this time for the Keyhole Cancer Appeal at Southend University Hospital. We didn’t manage to break our own record this time, but we did manage to raise £20,000 for them – £10,000 through event sponsorship and £10,000 donated from Stockvale!

SEALIFE ADVENTURE

Christmas Grotto Fundraising

Sealife Adventure holds a Christmas Grotto each year where guests can come and see Santa free of charge!
For the last couple of years, they have displayed charity donation pots and buckets throughout the publically accessible areas of the aquarium to raise funds for a designated charity – Sealife get no gain from this.

In 2016, they raised £527.64 for Fair Havens Hospice through donations. Fair Havens Hospice provide specialist care for adults, from the age of 19, with life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, Motor Neurone Disease and others. More information on Fair Havens Hospice can be found by clicking here.
In 2017, they raised £730.78 for Southend Hospital’s For Wards Appeal through donations. More information on this can be found towards to top of this page.

They also have continuous collections for the Marine Conservation Society all year round. More information on the MCS can be found by clicking here.

BEACH CLEANS/CONSERVATIONS

Sealife Adventure hold regular beach cleans on Southend-on-Sea’s beaches in association with the MCS Great British Beach Clean. The most recent of which was in September 2017, where almost 7,000 people took part throughout the county and removed 255,209 pieces of litter from 339 beaches – one of which was Southend Beach located just outside of Sealife Adventure!

Sealife Adventure participated in the “No Limits?” Shark Conservation events in 2016 and 2017, to raise awareness of the increasing endangerment of sharks. The “No Limits?” campaign was launched in 2014 to respond to the crisis posed by unlimited and escalating shark fishing. More information on this can be found by clicking here.

As well as the work we have done with Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation, much of our other charitable work has been through our Executive Chairman, Philip Miller. Philip was awarded the MBE in 2002 for his charitable work and services to the community.