The new A Better Start Southend mascot is now here! The mascot, a creation based on children’s ideas was unveiled at the Twenty-One venue by Southend Pier, with the launch event seeing over 50 children and parents attending, including those who have been involved in the bringing the mascot to life.

The journey to the new mascot, which will act as a fun and engaging way to highlight A Better Start to children and families, has been a long process, with around 100 imaginative ideas using a range of materials initially created for the different mascot options by young children and their siblings at a number of relaxed and fun mascot innovation groups over the summer. A Mascot Group including Parent Champions as well as staff from A Better Start Southend and SAVS, who are running our Co-production project, whittled down these ideas to four options incorporating different aspects from different children’s creations.

The colours for the mascot came from under 4s’ creative use of the A Better Start Southend brand colours, with the most popular and effective ones taken from over 70 children’s efforts.

The general public then had their chance to have their say on which of the four mascot designs they wanted, with over 1,000 people voting for their favourite, including at displays at Focal Point Gallery, The Royals Shopping Centre and ASDA in Shoeburyness. This input, as well as further input from the Parent Champions, led to the final mascot choice.

Michelle, one of the Parent Champion who helped develop the mascot says: “The mascot has been designed, inspired and created for children by children. It has been amazing and really enjoyable to be part of.”

Fellow Parent Champion Julia adds: “Parents and children have been involved all the way along. It’s been really good fun and everyone has loved it. We want the new mascot to be something that really belongs to the general public in Southend.”

Jeff Banks, Director of A Better Start Southend says: “The new mascot is a wonderful, visually engaging way to introduce families with young children to A Better Start Southend and the fantastic work we are doing for Southend’s next generation. It has been great to see the journey progress and how children have been involved all along the way.”

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