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 2018, with the help of the Stockvale Group, including Sealife Adventure, approximately 250 people attended the event and raised around £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 2018’s awards!

Gold Winner

Gold Winner: Rosemary Ariss

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

Rosemary Ariss, from Southend, took home the Gold Award and £500, for her ten years of service at a Cluny Square cafe. Her award was less about her service as a cafe manager, but more for going above and beyond her role by always being on hand to help and listen to people in the community who visit the cafe, who are often from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.
Cluny Square, for many years has been regarded as one of Southend’s anti-social ‘hot spots’, however, with Rosemary’s help, that label is slowly shifting.

Silver Winner: Julian hart

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

The Silver Citizen of Southend Award 2018, this year went to Julian Hart from Thorpe Bay. In 2006 Julian noticed that small charities in Southend were struggling to support themselves and created his own fundraising idea – The Colourthon. Since 2007 the charity has raised over £1 million pounds for hundreds of charities. The Colourthon – ‘Brightening Peoples Lives’ has definitely lived up to its name, putting on events, year after year that have had a massive impact on the community, all of which Julian has created from scratch. Each event welcomes all abilities not just runners to give a real community spirit in Southend. Julian has shown dedication over the years to Southend and has made raising money for wonderful and worthy charities fun within the community!

Silver Winner
Bronze Winner 1

Bronze Winner: Miranda Blackstone-Cobbe & Ondi Woods

As bronze winner, Miranda & Ondi won £150 for themselves, and we gave £150 to their chosen charity!

This year we have two Bronze Citizen of Southend Awards, the first one goes to Miranda Blackstone-Cobbe & Ondi Woods who have set up a very caring exercise class called ‘Beat It’ in Leigh on Sea, for those incredible people fighting breast cancer and other cancers. Miranda & Ondi’s passion for caring for others and their time dedicated to the group is a life line for its members. Miranda & Ondi’s weekly sessions offer support to all members on their road to recovery, they have helped form friendships within the group and are set to celebrate their 5th year with a party all funded by Miranda & Ondi. Even through the sad times Miranda & Ondi are on hand with their positivity and strength, and their faith and love for all members.

Bronze Winner: Ray Mackenzie

As bronze winner, Ray won £150 for himself and we gave £150 to his chosen charity!

The second Bronze Citizen of Southend Award goes to Ray Mackenzie, from Southend who has been training young, budding Army Cadets for the last 25 years! He has invested his time and effort in ensuring they get to take part in summer and Easter camps and weekends away. Ray has clearly left a big impression on his cadets throughout the years as they still drop in for chats. Ray also trains and manages Trinity under 9s Tigers every Saturday morning, plus matches on a Sunday. He thinks nothing of the time he invests in the youth of Southend, ensuring they are safe and enjoying activities in a healthy environment.

Bronze Winner 2
Hero winner

Hero Award Winner: Dean Ovel

As the Hero Award winner, Dean won £250 for himself and we gave £250 to his chosen charity!

Our final award of 2018 is the Hero’s award, which goes to Dean Ovel of Westcliff. In 2014 Dean ran 10 marathons in 8 days for Southend Hospital’s Charitable Foundation’s, Keyhole Cancer Appeal.  In 2016 Dean designed and built a human sized hamster wheel and ran in it for 24 hours continuously, in support of its Dementia Appeal.  And this year; 2018, Dean has once again put himself forward to do something crazy for Southend hospital… the Rickshaw 100 Challenge – a 32 hour, 100 mile challenge, that ran along Southend Seafront with a hand-made rickshaw complete with 32 passengers which took place back in June.

To date, Dean has personally raised, over £15,500 for Southend Hospital and helped secure over £10,800 for the Southend Hospital charity from the success of his running club events.  Thanks to Dean’s tremendous efforts and the Rickshaw success, Southend Hospital is expecting an additional £4-£5,000. This money will benefit his chosen causes for 2018; the Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation’s For Wards Appeal and the charity’s Dementia Appeal. A true hero of Southend!

Sir Teddy Taylor Award:
Ron Price

As

As the Sir Teddy Taylor award winner, Ron won £250 for himself and we gave £250 to his chosen charity!

This year the Sir Teddy Taylor Award goes to Ron Price, from Westcliff. Over the last 30 years Ron has dedicated his life to supporting organisations in Southend, through his tireless work and fundraising. Some of the charities Ron has helped fundraise for include, Mind, Southend Drama Groups, Mayors charity, local carers, the list goes on!

Ron has been a school governor for 15 years at Chalkwell School, 11 of those as Chairman as well as Governor of Lancaster Special Needs School for 12 years, 3 as Vice Chairman. Ron doesn’t only support the children of Southend but for an amazing 20 years has also been a Samaritan!! Ron still works at the Chamber of Commerce and has enjoyed many initiatives, but mostly the Trainee of the Year Awards, where he helped celebrate and recognise the success of the young. Ron has touched many lives and made such a difference in Southend over the years. He is very deserving of this very very special award.

 

Sir Teddy Taylor Award

We are currently looking for entries for the 2019 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.