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Essex Assembly creating our future together

More than 150 leaders from across the county attended the Essex Assembly on 4th September to collaborate on how we achieve our ambition to Share Prosperity with Everyone, tackle social inequalities and realise The Future of Essex; our vision to shape the county over the next two decades.

It was a really inspiring and productive afternoon, you’ll find a summary of the Essex Assembly and the links to the presentations below. We’re already looking forward to the next Essex Assembly in March 2019, if there’s an ambition you’d like to focus on, email us at

Change is unstoppable, and so are we! Together it’s up to us to make The Future of Essex happen! So talk about it with colleagues, connect with others in the system, discuss what it means for you, your organisation and residents in Essex, and talk to us about making The Future of Essex a reality.

The Future of Essex in Action

Deputy Chief Constable, Mr BJ Harrington, hosted an afternoon focusing on how our partnership work can address social mobility and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential.

Gavin Jones, Chief Executive of Essex County Council opened the event by sharing his aspirations for Essex and the role that leadership and the Vision can play in addressing inequalities within the county  – you can watch his opening speech in this short video.

Social mobility has strong links to a number of the ambitions set out in the Future of Essex, not least to Share Prosperity with Everyone. Rachael Millar, the Head of Secretariat at the Social Mobility Commission, gave the keynote speech talking about the influences on social mobility; economic opportunities; capability development; home environment; housing and infrastructure; and health – many of which are considered through the current eight Vision projects established to support the delivery of the Future of Essex. Rachael recognised the work of public sector partners across Essex as well as the growing challenges that the diversity of the county presents. You can find Rachael’s presentation here.

Solve together, scale together

To create lasting change in the county we have to capture imaginations and inspire new possibilities. Creating impact requires establishing new ways of listening understanding and connecting with the people of Essex on a human level. Excitingly we had a live conference link to California to hear from Sebastian Buck, the co-founder of Enso, which has been leading work around building mission-driven brands with the likes of Google, Starbucks, and many more, and creating social impact at a scale.

Sebastian introduced us to the concept of ‘social missions’ and offered some interesting insights and new approaches to building social capital through community and private sector engagement. He really did capture the imagination of everyone in the room, inspiring us to have greater ambition and to establish shared missions with, and not for, our communities, geographies and the private sector. You can hear Sebastian’s audio presentation here.

Solution Rooms

Hosted by colleagues from across the system, the Solution Rooms were designed to provide peer-supported advice on some of our most pressing problems and agree next steps to create system-wide solutions.

You can find more information about each of the eight current Vision projects, the discussion and connections arising from the Solution Rooms, and you can connect with the Project Leads and Sponsors by clicking on the links below.

  1. Essex Supports: Early help to reduce number of crisis mental health incidents
  2. Essex Prevents: Adopting a countrywide approach to homelessness reduction
  3. Essex Inspires: Supporting young people to access a wider range of skills and education across the county
  4. Essex Leads: Promoting physical activity to support physical and mental health in deprived communities
  5. Essex Unites: Supporting communities in building civic pride and social capital
  6. Essex Innovates: Data analytics to support early intervention strategies
  7. Essex Communities: Maximise economic, community and public health potential of new developments
  8. Essex Spirit: Ensuring people can continue to thrive in their own homes safely. 

We are currently considering opportunities to explore a social missions approach to a number of these eight projects. If you would like to get involved, or talk to us about how we can build social capital through communities and the private sector in your place, contact us at

Promoting inclusive growth

Pam Donnelly, Strategic Director, Colchester Borough shared insights from Young Colchester a pilot project that the Council has been running in partnership with the University of Essex to tackle anti-social behaviour among young people, improve the life chances of marginal young people, make better use of community assets and promote inclusive economic growth and prosperity. In hearing about the experience of this live partnership pilot, we were reminded of; the importance of dedicating time and energy to work together to progress transformational projects on our common challenges; the impact that can be achieved not only in delivering better outcomes for the people of Essex, but in connecting organisational ambitions, strategies and resources; and the opportunity to find sustainable place-based solutions to meeting the county's priorities. View Pam’s presentation here.

Councillor John Spence, Ian Davidson, CEO Tendring and Mike Gogarty, Public Health and Wellbeing Director, Essex County Council completed our afternoon with the launch of the Joint Essex Health and Wellbeing Strategy, which sets out our approach to tackle our most challenging issues to reduce health inequality, increase life chances and support people to access and maintain employment.

Make your energy contagious

Together, we really are unstoppable. If our shared vision is to become reality, we all need to play our part.

Essex Partners can help you put the vision into action by:

  • Supporting you to align your organisation’s priorities to the ambitions set out within the Vision 
  • Connecting you with the current eight vision projects
  • Connecting you with the Leading Greater Essex cohort and ASPIRE leaders of the future and
  • Building relationships with partners in the system to help realise your organisational ambitions.

Pledge Inspiration

Rachel Brett, Director Essex Council for Voluntary Youth Services, pledged: “To link voluntary services with the work of the Vision through raising youth aspiration in Essex”.


Andy Prophet, Assistant Chief Constable, Essex Police pledged to “Connect CSPs to the Essex County Fire & Rescue’s Safe and Well visits”.

Caroline Melidor, Head of Operations, Dementia Adventure, pledged to support the mental first aid work to be championed by Essex Supports project.

Adam Morris, Schools Engagement Manager, Royal Opera House Bridge, pledged: “to explore sharing data to help target schools for creative curriculum enhancement”.


Join the movement

Essex Assembly happens just twice a year! We’ll meet again in six months, but there’s much work to do to help bring the vision to life before then.

 You can sign up for the March 2019 Essex Assembly here.

Find out how the Future of Essex is being brought to life across the county, stay up to date on the latest news by subscribing to our newsletter by clicking here.


Gavin Jones, Chief Executive Essex County Council, shares his aspirations for Essex and the role that leadership and the Vision can play in addressing inequalities within the county