Anchor Programme

Graphic diagram of the elements within the programme We have launched a new and innovative programme called ‘Anchor’ to show how local hospitals can make their neighbourhoods healthier, happier and greener. We all do excellent work in providing healthcare and services every day, but there is even more we can do to support our communities in Basildon, Southend and Chelmsford.

The Anchor Programme is about large organisations investing back into their communities and is a concept fully supported and endorsed by NHS England and the Health Foundation. As one of the largest employers in the region, this ambitious new programme will enable us to understand better how our Trust can be a force for good by using our assets and influence to bring about change.

By teaming up with health and care partners, local councils and the voluntary and education sector, we can reduce our environmental impact and create exciting and innovative employment, volunteering, internship and network opportunities for those we serve.

Latest news 24 November 2021

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded just over £400,000 to deliver a landmark Anchor Institution initiative in Southend.

The money has been awarded by the Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund (UKCRF). The aim of this funding is to support people and communities most in need across the UK.

Covid-19 has been challenging for everyone. It’s important that we continue to work together to support people to reach their aspirations and help those who have lost their jobs to retrain or upskill. This is exactly what the Southend Anchor Programme will do. It will drive local recovery, instil pride and help to unleash the potential in people who are most in need of support.  Crucially our Trust, through this initiative, will ensure it fulfils its ambition to work with partners to be a major employer of local people.

The award will be used to invest in local organisations, who are already providing help to people living is some of the most deprived areas of Southend.

Southend Hospital will be focal point for the project. The hospital will work closely with partners that include Southend Borough Council, A Better Start SouthendSouth Essex Community Hub and Generation Medics to create new opportunities for local people to enter employment within the health sector. The programme will provide routes into employment, via volunteering and training and will bring benefits for people most at risk of the negative health effects of long-term unemployment.

Anchor institutions are large organisations that are unlikely to relocate and have a significant stake in their local area. They have large estates and resources that can be used to support their local community’s health and wellbeing and tackle health inequalities, for example, through procurement, training, employment and professional development.

Our Partners

Anchor programme handshake graphic Generation Medics

We are partnering with Generation Medics, a multi-award-winning social enterprise, to support young people in Basildon to think about healthcare as a future career through their Virtual Healthcare Academy.

Students aged 13-19 are able to attend workshops, gain virtual work experience and also receive online support and mentoring. This academy provides a fantastic opportunity to empower and raise the aspirations of our next generation of healthcare professionals.

Supported Internship Programme

We have also partnered with South Essex College to offer a brand-new Supported Internship for 12 students with learning disabilities and/or Autism. The nine-month programme offers students the unique opportunity to rotate across up to three different departments within Basildon Hospital.Our local partners include

The internship will provide a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training, and each intern will be supported by a mentor and job coach throughout. By providing real-life work experience this internship will help these students make a successful transition from school to productive adult working life.

Youth Work in Basildon Hospital

We are also working closely with the Essex Youth Service at Essex County Council to deliver a new support programme for vulnerable people who come to Basildon Hospital’s Accident and Emergency.

As part of this project we have integrated youth workers into the hospital so they can work with young people who are considered at high risk as quickly as possible.

Dedicated youth workers help identify people in need and then offer extensive, personalised support. This includes one-to-one meetings and providing access to a variety of community services and groups once they return home.

For more information, please contact Pippa Meades, South Area Senior Youth and Community Commissioner, at

Want to know more?

The programme has currently focused on the Basildon area but is now expanding across the whole of our Trust in coming months. It is through established partnerships like these that we can continue to seek new ways to improve the wellbeing of our staff and local communities. For more information about Anchor institutions, visit

To find out more information on the Mid and South Essex Anchor Programme, please contact Kevin Garrod, Anchor Programme Manager, at

You can also download the Charter, here Charter Anchor Institutions.pdf