Stakeholder Update: April 2019

Getting to know us

The Trust’s Board is made up of 8 Directors, all of whom are keen to enhance the local communities of Beechwood and Craylands. Over the coming editions, we’ll be profiling two of our Directors in each newsletter. Below is a brief introduction to Caroline Richardson and Toby Blunsten:

Caroline Richardson


Caroline is Head of Resident Involvement and Community Development at Swan Housing Association, a Registered Housing Provider, that manages 11,000 homes in London and Essex. She has been at Swan for almost 4 years and has over 18 years experience in the housing sector, working for a range of housing organisations. Caroline has considerable experience in improving customer facing services and socio-economic regeneration, with a focus on the important links between social value, engagement, housing and employment. Caroline is committed to ensuring that the Trust makes a difference in enhancing the lives of residents living in Craylands and Beechwood.

Toby Blunsten


Toby is a Business Development Manager for an SME construction company specialising in social housing. He grew up in Basildon and his family home for his first 11 years was on Ilmington Drive, Basildon. Toby recently completed a master’s degree studying Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, which includes strategy, diplomacy and decision making. He seeks to bring the skills from his professional, student and personal life, including as a Parish Councillor, together to benefit residents and develop the community.

New branding for the Trust

The Trust is currently working on developing its presence both within the community and externally among partners. As such the decision was made to adopt a new strapline, which better represents what the Trust wants to achieve in the longer term. “Support, enable, grow” was chosen as it was felt this summed up what the Trust stands for and reflects our core aims of developing the community and empowering residents to drive change. Our new logo, aligning with the mission statement is also being prepared and will be launched soon, so watch this space!

Be Part of our Journey!

In 2018, The Trust awarded a number of grants to local community and voluntary sector organisations and those projects are now starting to make a difference on Craylands and Beechwood, but we want to do more.

The Trust is now looking to commission projects, inviting proposals from local partners who might be able to help us deliver our aims. This year we are looking to focus upon initiatives that help to reduce the fear of crime and those that help to build community cohesion. If you are interested and would like to discuss your project idea, please contact Caroline Richardson by e-mail at: or on 01277 844718

The Trust is looking for local businesses who would be interested in supporting us to achieve our goals. There are lots of different ways that you can get behind the trust and help, but a couple of suggestions, are:

  • Volunteering your CSR time to our projects
  • Making a donation
  • Advertising our projects and helping to raise awareness

If you think that the Trust sounds like something you’d like to be involved with or learn more about, please contact Caroline Richardson at or on 01277 844718, for a further discussion.

Beechwood Community Centre Relaunch

On Saturday, 18th May 2019, we will be holding a relaunch event to showcase The Beech Community Centre and

demonstrate to residents just how they can utilise this wonderful facility that sits right on their doorstep.


There will be lots of activities for the residents to get involved in on the day from table tennis to arts & crafts, giving them

a taste of some of the wonderful clubs and groups that operate out of The Beech.

If you are interested in being involved or just want to find out more about the event, please contact      or call 07719959770 for more information.

Participatory City

The Trust has put £10,000 towards supporting the Participatory City project, which looks at engaging residents in community led local activities and groups. The funding is used to upskill residents to enable them to deliver activities and can also help source necessary kit and equipment for these sessions.

Most notably we are currently delivering a youth boxing club out of The Beech, which is being offered to local young people, free of charge and is led by qualified, passionate residents. This session, which has been running since February 2019, regularly has over 20 young people attend. At the sessions they learn the techniques of the sport, as well as the discipline and respect it instils – and these sessions are completely non-contact.

The Trust is passionate about supporting these local initiatives which can deliver real positive change in the local community.

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