A PROJECT which helps struggling families in Southend has been nominated for a national award.

The Streets Ahead scheme has made it onto the final shortlist of the Municipal Journal’s Achievement Awards which will be presented by comedian and TV star Hugh Dennis on Thursday June 19.

Through the project, households in the borough are helped by community workers and volunteers to improve their living standards.

This has included setting up pop-up gyms, clubs for fathers to spend more time with their children and a group for residents from the Roma background to help improve their English language skills.

They have also given advice to families struggling financially about how to cook healthily on a budget and organise exercise regimes.

Carol Compton, head of the council’s youth offending service, said being nominated for the prize was fantastic but there is still plenty of work for them to do.

Ms Compton said: “We believe by focusing delivery in the community we are starting to close the divide between ‘the haves’ and the ‘have nots’, and that stronger families really do lead to stronger communities.

“But this is just the beginning.

“To create a better Southend we need to harness each resident’s capacity to create a better life for themselves and others by challenging and removing the barriers they face or have created themselves and by generating even greater opportunities.”