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Transcript - Introducing Constellations (Episode 00)


Libby: My name is Libby


Sharen: My name is Sharen


Libby: And you are listening to the very first episode of the Constellations Podcast!


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Sharen: We are so excited to launch Constellations, and we cannot wait to share all of the fabulous, community stories we have been hearing.


Libby: Constellations is a community podcast that promotes charities, communities & causes in the two unitaries of Thurrock & Southend.


Sharen: We want to share success stories, knowledge, how to overcome challenges & much more, helping to grow stronger communities.


Libby: We are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, and we are hosting from Thurrock CVS and SAVS.


Sharen: We are going to be releasing two episodes a week, sharing stories from individuals and groups in Thurrock and Southend. If that sounds like something you would love to get involved in - or if you are part of a charity, community or a champion for a cause in Thurrock or Southend - and you would like to share your stories with us, please get in touch.


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Libby: If you’re listening to this podcast, chances are you already know what it’s like in Thurrock and Southend… But if you don’t..! There are over 500 charity organisations in Thurrock, and 1300 charity organisations in Southend. That’s a lot!


Sharen: Thurrock and Southend are both located along the Thames estuary in Essex.


Southend is home to the longest pleasure pier, two iconic theatres, adventure island and as well as some idyllic country parks, such as my children’s favourite, Hadleigh Park.


Libby: Thurrock is well-known for the High House Production Park in Purfleet, Lakeside shopping centre, gorgeous outdoor spaces such as the ancient woodlands of Langdon Hills, and we can’t forget the historical landmark of Coalhouse Fort.


Both Thurrock and Southend are home to some fantastic charities, communities and causes. Working together to uplift each other, creating thriving communities. We want to shine a light on all of the fantastic work being done by these people, as well as provide tips and share knowledge for any groups looking to evolve or expand their current services.


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Libby: I know some people listening might wonder “why a podcast?” or maybe feel like they don’t entirely understand our reasoning for Constellations, but it is crystal clear to me so I’m gonna dive straight on into that rabbit hole..

So a little bit of background - Sharen and I met whilst working in the non- profit sector in Southend, as engagement officers at SAVS. We’ve both worked in a variety of different roles, but they tend to always fit into the “helping others” category!

I gave birth to my youngest in 2020, on the verge of the first lockdown so, like many families, we found that whole year (& the years after!) extraordinarily difficult. One of the ways my husband and I would multitask unwinding with pick-up/clean-up/tidying our home and getting ready for the onslaught of the next day, was listening to podcasts or audiobooks. We both did this pre--pandemic, but it was EXTRA needed on those days where we’d got no other real life social interaction, and, well, we were in survival mode.

I think a lot of the time, it felt a lot more meaningful than following someone on another social media platform, because when you’re listening to someone’s actual voice you get a real sense of connection with them.

I’ve been listening to a whole bunch of fantastic non- profit podcasts for a few years just in the sense of trying to expand my own knowledge or find ideas to take forward, & as I got nearer to the end of my maternity leave I played catch-up with some of my favourites… And it was just like catching up with old friends, which was a great feeling! Then as we were going back into the office and timidly back to something resembling normal, podcasts were super present in the front of my brain.

So, seeing how the pandemic affected my family, friends, colleagues and the people around me, I really wanted to be able to do something tangible that didn’t necessarily involve a big group of people being together in the same room, but was able to connect a network of people all with the same goals & energy. To help everyone work together. And podcasts are perfect for that! You can be entertained, learn knew things and have this sort of friendship or companionship with the people rambling down the mic to you. I’m autistic, and for me, when I’m craving just a little bit of socialisation… but on my terms… popping on a podcast is wonderful. It’s just like hanging out with a longtime, dear friend, who really doesn’t expect you to do anything other than be yourself. & tThat’s so my jam.

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Libby: So, we would really love if this podcast could connect the amazing work being done in Thurrock & Southend in the non-profit sector, as well as being able to provide company for anybody listening that wants that sweet spot of entertainment, knowledge and companionship.

To finish up we’re going to just share what we have coming up over the next few episodes…

  • In our next episode, episode 1, we’re chatting to Niki, the gallery curator at The New City Gallery in Southend about Community Cohesion and the arts

  • Next up, in episode 2 we speak with Karen, the CEO of SNAP, and she told us all about the innovative ways SNAP reacted to covid-19 and adapted their service design

  • In episode 3, we caught up with Rachel from Supported Volunteering. We had an inspiring great conversation about how important volunteering is for improving mental health.

  • And in episode 4, we had a great chat with Carolyn from We Are Creatives Thurrock, about the collaborations and activities they have worked on previously, and what they have lined up for this year…

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Sharen: We hope that you have enjoyed this sneak peek into what is coming up – we are releasing this episode alongside episodes one and two, so please go and listen to those episodes too.


Libby: Thank you so much for listening to our very first episode. We really appreciate you supporting us, and we hope that you enjoy the journey. It would mean A LOT if you could leave us a review with your honest feedback, and please do get in touch if there’s a topic, organisation or person you would like to hear about or from. Email us at hello(at)constellations-podcast.org, or leave us a message at constellations-podcast.org. You can also find us on your favourite social media platform - come and say hi!


Sharen: We hope you enjoy listening to the podcast as much as we have enjoyed recording them and putting them together for you.


Libby: We really appreciate you supporting us and we hope you enjoy the journey. Thank you! Byeeeee!


Sharen: Byeeeee!


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Libby: We want to say a big thank you to Dominic, who won our composition competition with his fantastic song “Mission to Saturn”. We absolutely adore it, and we cannot wait to hear it every single episode! We hope you love it just as much as we do.


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