1000 Conversations

What kind of City do you want Southend to be?

1,000 Conversations
2,000 Residents
20 Locations
167 Hours of recordings

How it began…

Following the tragic death of Sir David Amess last October, I was struck by the collective sombre mood of the whole town while also sensing a real desire to see something emerge that was inherently hopeful, intentional and beneficial for all the citizens of Southend. The inspiring and gracious words of David’s family and the subsequent announcement that Southend was to become a city only went to magnify that sense.

I share the enthusiasm of the town concerning city status, but I’m also conscious that a title, potential economic investment, and the accompanying prestige is not what makes a city. What characterises the best cities in the UK and across the globe is the shared identity and vision of the city’s inhabitants and a united spirit in a diverse community.

Many have commented what a dedicated constituent MP David was, and that he knew Southend as well as any other resident. Why? Because he crossed any number of divides to meet the people, 1-2-1. I am yet to talk to anyone since Sir David’s death who had not met him – many had their lives enhanced by his ability to listen to them and, where possible, support them in practical ways.

So, what if one expression of Sir David’s legacy was 1000 1-2-1 conversations between the citizens of Southend? Conversations that crossed divides and helped us understand, what are the needs, hopes and dreams of the people of the City of Southend. Conversations that set the foundations for what kind of city Southend might be.

Steve Tinning, Resident and Baptist Minister 2021.

we ask people to set aside their differences and show kindness and love to all. This is the only way forward. Set aside hatred and work towards togetherness.

Whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand…

…Please let some good come from this tragedy.

Sir David Amess’ Family

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