CHARITIES and community groups will get the chance to raise funds during the Southend Carnival procession.

For the first time, community and not-for-profit groups can collect for themselves at the carnival procession on August 16.

Garry Lowen, chairman of the carnival committee, said, “We recognise the tough market conditions the charitable sector is operating in.

“Therefore, we wanted to find a way of supporting the many charities who do such vital work, supporting our community.

“Therefore, we are opening the opportunity for any charity, community or not-for-profit group entering the procession or any person collecting for a registered charity to retain the money they collect in return for a small entry fee to support our costs of staging the event.”

Those taking advantage of this should report to Southend Carnival, how much was collected after the event.

Southend Carnival will authorise the collection under an arrangement with Southend Council.

Over the years, the carnival has raised millions of pounds which has supported the local community via donations to Southend Hospital appeals, the Harp homeless charity, Southend RNLI lifeboat station and Havens Hospice to name but a few.

To enter the procession, download an application pack from www.southend or email with any questions.