Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Canterbury Oast Trust, who run the Mariners in Rye, has become a station partner for Rye and Ham Street stations.

Kevin Barry the Community Rail Development Officer said :- “Canterbury Oast Trust has recently brought a blooming difference to Rye station with their plants and hanging baskets on platform 2 and at the entrance to the station.Canterbury Oast

“It is based at the Rare Breeds Centre in Woodchurch, where they grow plants and display them, and many of their clients use our Rye and Ham Street stations.

“It is a charitable organization and cater for adults with disabilities, they certainly enjoyed their day out planting up the tubs and talking to passengers while they were waiting for their train.“

Kevin added :-“ The Sussex Community Rail Partnership encourage and do a lot with different charities along the Marshlink line and have various projects to suit them. We recently started one at Ore station, and are always looking for more people to get involved with our work.”

If you would like to be involved with the SCRP , either as a volunteer or as a group then contact Kevin on 07949 314233 or email kevin@sussexcrp.org.

Hastings Borough Council is looking for volunteers to sit on its grants advisory panel. This gives advice to the council’s charity committee on how surplus income from the Foreshore Trust should be distributed.

Cllr Colin Fitzgerald, who chairs the charity committee, explained :- “As a charity, the Foreshore Trust wants to help the local community, and giving grants to local groups is one way we can do this.

“We are looking for more volunteers to join our existing panel. It meets around four times a year, and other meetings may be called. We are particularly looking for people with a knowledge of the local voluntary and charitable sector.

“Anyone interested should contact our chief legal officer Chris Barkshire-Jones on Hastings (01424) 451751, email cbarkshire-jones@hastings.gov.uk


Can you help a local girl reach her potential? Volunteer 1 hour per month to make a difference to a young woman’s future. The Girls’ Network are recruiting female mentors now for September 2016.

Successful applicants will receive a link to sign up to training over the summer, we currently have training opportunities on 19th July in Hastings with more being rolled out over the summer.

About The Girls’ Network:

The Girls’ Network is an award-winning national charity, working with nearly 1000 girls across the country.

We work with 14-19 year old girls from the least advantaged communities by matching them 1:1 with a professional female mentor for a year, and a network of professional female contacts for life. We aim to open up opportunities, build skills and confidence and unleash their potential for a successful future.

What does mentoring involve?

Mentoring involves at least ten hour-long 1:1 sessions with a teenage girl, over one academic year. There is a programme specification with many resources to support you, but we also encourage you to make your sessions bespoke to your mentee in order to help her reach her potential for a successful future.

To become a mentor please click on the link above, which takes you to our application form.

You must have an enhanced DBS certificate with child workforce checks within the last two years to mentor. If you indicate in the application form that you do not have a current DBS, we will contact you with instructions on how to apply. There will be a one off processing fee of £10.

Supporting us in other ways

If you are interested in being involved in The Girls’ Network in another capacity, for example: fundraising, providing workshops/events, providing sponsorship/donations, please reply to this email with details, and we will be in contact.

If this interests you then click here to apply to become a mentor.


Having clearly not learned any lessons from last year’s Big Walk, which raised over a thousand pounds for St Michael’s Hospice, the Hastings office of Wolters Kluwer, an information services provider and publisher are once again donning their walking boots and waterproofs, this time to raise money for local charity, Xtrax.

Founded 20 years ago, Xtrax has so far provided inclusive and holistic support for around 10,000 young people aged 16-24. Services provided to young people in the area by the charity include, but are not limited to, support in finding accomodation, work, or educational opportunities, in addition to advice on benefits and legal issues, all provided by trained staff and volunteers.

In addition to the above, however, Xtrax provides access to home cooked meals, showers, internet access, laundry facilities, and many other of the basics that we take for granted, but may not be available to the increasing number of children living in poverty in the local area.

With government-funded agencies and services for young people now in short supply, every penny counts, so the Wolters Kluwer Crew (Krew?) would like to invite friends, colleagues, well-wishers and bemused onlookers to donate whatever they can to support this very worthwhile cause.

The Seven Sisters walk will take place on August 6th, from Seaford to Eastbourne via Seaford Head, Cuckmere Haven, East Dean, Birling Gap and Beachy Head.

If you’d like to support the team in their foolhardy efforts, the donation page for this event is here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Wolterskluwer2016walk&isTeam=true


Recruiting now: female  volunteers to become mentors

Award-winning charity, The Girls’ Network, is expanding into Hastings, beginning their mentoring programme with St Richards Catholic College this September. This is part of the charity’s South Coast expansion, as they also expand to Battle, Robertsbridge and Eastbourne.

The Girls’ Network was established in 2013, and matches girls from the least advantaged communities with a professional female mentor over the period of 12 months. The charity aims to inspire and empower girls, giving them access to a network of female role models and opening their eyes to the variety of options and opportunities available to them.

Over the last three years, the mentoring programme has worked with 1,150 girls across London, Brighton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Chichester.

“The Girls’ Network are very excited to be expanding” says Becca Dean, co-founder and Director. “We are very much looking forward to working with St Richards, and expanding our network of professional women into Hastings and surrounding areas. Our mentoring programme has had a phenomenal impact on the girls we have worked with to date, increasing their confidence, resilience and self-motivation, and we can’t wait to work in Hastings to open up even more opportunities to their girls.”

We are actively recruiting female mentors around Hastings as well as Battle, Robertbridge and Eastbourne with training on 19th July. Please head to our website www.thegirlsnetwork.org.uk/mentoring to apply. We are also interested to hear from groups of women or businesses who would like to train to be mentors as a group at your workplace.

If you are a local business who would like to work with The Girls’ Network in Hastings or the surrounding areas please get in touch. As Charly Young, also co-founder and Director of The Girls’ Network stresses “we believe in the importance of rooting our mentoring programme in the local community, establishing links with professional women who would like to mentor as well as businesses to partner with us. Our mentoring programme helps to nurture mentees’ professional skills, allowing them to become the next generation of successful women in local businesses”

If you would like to find our more or contact The Girls’ Network, please email rosalie@thegirlsnetwork.org.uk 

For media enquiries, case studies and spokespeople, please contact Langley KIng on: langley@thegirlsnetwork.org.uk 

About the Girls’ Network:

The Girls’ Network is an award-winning charity founded by two ex-teachers, Becca Dean and Charly Young, in 2013. It opens up a world of possibility to girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them with female mentors from a range of industries, creating the kind of networks they might not have within their own circle of family and friends.

The Girls’ Network has mentored more than 1,000 girls in the last three years, and will be working with 1,200 girls in 2016/17. They work with schools and communities across London, Portsmouth, Brighton and Bournemouth.

They were recently awarded £746,900 from The Big Lottery Fund to allow them to expand their programme into the North of England and transform the lives of more than 5,000 girls over the next 5 years.

The Girls’ Network recently received awards in Portsmouth for ‘Mentor of the Year’ and ‘Biggest Community Impact’, and was listed as an inaugural ‘Diverse Network’ by Inclusive Networks. Charly and Becca were also recognised in the Independent on Sunday’s Happy List, 2014.

Partner organisations include Barclays, the Cabinet Office, Portsmouth University, J P Morgan and the Royal Society of Arts.

The Girls’ Network believe that all girls have a right to be able to access the best opportunities available, and should not be limited by gender. It believes girls have the right to high aspirations and knowledge of their self-worth and capacity to shape their world. The Girls’ Network has seen across classrooms, too many girls unable to speak out or express themselves. Both research and its everyday teaching experience shows there to be a real poverty of aspiration and self-worth amongst girls in both mixed and single-sex schools.

For more information, please visit http://www.thegirlsnetwork.org.uk/  Follow us on: facebook.com/thegirlsnetwork, twitter.com/TheGirlsNet




Video company Smokescreen Visuals and children’s charity Chestnut Tree House are amongst the latest occupiers to take offices in Pacific House on Eastbourne’s Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park.

Other new tenants include computer specialists Southern IT networks, hospital transport firm Coperforma and business intelligence company Match2Lists – while further offices remain available to let.

Open Week: An Open Week is being held between Monday 16 and Friday 20 May, 9am – 5pm, when anyone is free to drop in and look around without an appointment.image003

Smokescreen Visuals is an award-winning video production company with clients including the NHS, Activision, Craft Guild of Chefs and The London Mint Office. The company was founded by Matt Derbyshire in 2004 after returning to his home town of Eastbourne following a London career making TV and cinema trailers.

The company has fit out its new offices (photos available) to a high standard including three hi-tech video editing suites. Its new base has enabled it to more than double its number of employees and it plans to continue expanding.

MD Matt Derbyshire explains: “We were on the outskirts of Eastbourne and had been looking for new premises for five years – but couldn’t find anything with the right feel until now. Pacific House is like nothing we’ve ever seen before in the area. A building of cutting-edge design and facilities, plenty of parking and good security – it’s what we’ve been waiting for all this time. It’s the ideal environment to enable us to keep on growing.”

Chestnut Tree House provides hospice care for children and young people with life-shortening conditions.

It has taken two offices for its East Sussex team of nurses, fundraisers and volunteers to enable it to expand – with desks for 20 staff in the building. Its new base is intended to help it to reach more families, raise awareness of its work and attract new supporters.

Tracey Luker, Head of East Sussex Fundraising, said: “We’re caring for around 55 children and young people in East Sussex but there are many more who need our specialist help. Our move to Pacific House gives us more room to accommodate our growing service, better access to major transport routes and a pleasant working environment in a modern, well-equipped building.”

The charity is keen to recruit more volunteers, whether on the basis of a regular commitment or a few occasional hours. Anyone interested should contact 01903 871800 or enquiries@chestnut-tree-house.org.uk.

Southern IT Networks provides small businesses with computer services and support and has taken a ground floor office within Pacific House. The company’s services span managed IT, cloud computing, connectivity, business continuity and telecoms solutions.

Coperforma specialises in hospital transport and has moved into a nearly 2,000 sq ft office within the building. The company is a primary provider of transport services to the NHS and arranges more than 1,500 patient journeys each working day.

Match2Lists is a business intelligence company which has taken a first floor office. The company provides software tools which enable firms to match, merge and de-duplicate data lists for marketing and customer management purposes.

About Pacific House: Developed by Sea Change Sussex, the building is a contemporary, three-floor business centre. With offices available from 627 sq ft upwards, it is suitable for small, medium and large companies.

There are small suites available on the ground floor, medium-sized offices on the first floor and two large offices on the second floor.

The building incorporates a light-filled atrium, break-out areas for informal meetings and a conference room. It is designed to be a low-energy building and has parking spaces for 130 cars.

In addition to Pacific House, the Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park has development sites which can accommodate further business premises up to 80,000 sq ft. Companies can commission Sea Change to develop bespoke freehold or leasehold properties for them or buy serviced sites to create their own.

The Innovation Park is designed to provide an economic boost to the area by providing high-quality premises and sites on previously disused land. It is three miles from Eastbourne town centre and five minutes’ walk to the cafes, restaurants and boutiques of Sovereign Harbour’s marina and retail park.

Business seminar:  A free seminar – How to move your business to the next level – is being held in Pacific House on Wednesday 25th May, 9.30am to 12.30pm. Interested parties can register here.

Anyone interested in offices in Pacific House or sites on the Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park should contact one of Sea Change’s agents:

They can also visit www.sovereigninnovationpark.co.uk to see more information and download a brochure.


Surviving Christmas expects to receive up to 150 people each day for its Open Christmas event at the Salvation Army hall in St Andrew’s Square, Hastings on Christmas and Boxing day.

They will be providing warm meals, showers, hairdressing, medical services, clothing, entertainment and friendship.  A tea bar is open all day offering tea, coffee, soft drinks and fruit and snacks.

Rather than sending Christmas cards this year. McPhersons Chartered Accountants in Hastings and Bexhill, have opted to donate the entire cost of their cards to the Surviving Christmas appeal.

Their donation will pay for:

  • 10 places at St Matthews Elderly Christmas Lunch – St Matthews Church in St Leonards helps elderly people who find themselves isolated at home.  On Christmas Day transport is provided to and from the church, where a Christmas meal will be laid on for a small group of around 16 all living close to each other.
  • Christmas hampers for the housebound, elderly and families in need including gifts for children.
  • 9 Open Christmas places – Anyone is welcome to attend for a warm meal and to spend Christmas in the company of others whilst taking advantage of the facilities and services provided.

Director at McPhersons Ainsley Gill says;

“I have no doubt that our clients and contacts will support this decesion 100%.  Christmas can be a miserable time for people on their own and those who can’t afford to make it special.  The Surviving Christmas tackles the issues year on year and we are proud to be able to do our bit to help.







As from the 5th October 2015 shoppers will have to pay 5p for plastic bags at all big stores.  The charge is designed to stop litter and waste but is expected to cause widespread confusion and longer queues at the checkout.

Under the new scheme retailers with 250 or more full time equivalent employees will have to start charging today.  This will mean that major supermarkets and high street chains are affected by the policy, and all shoppers will be required to use their own bags to avoid the charge.

Free bags will still be provided for consumers buying uncooked meat, poultry or fish, prescription medicine, certain fresh produce such as flowers or potatoes, and unwrapped ready-to-eat food such as chips.

Campaigners have warned that it may not be as successful as more comprehensive bag charging schemes brought in elsewhere in the UK, such as Wales where the number of bags handed out by retailers fell by 79% in the first three years.

Even with the exclusions, the Government expects the scheme to reduce use of single-use carrier bags by up to 80% in supermarkets, and 50% on the high street.

It is also expected to save £60 million in litter clean-up costs and generate £730 million for good causes.

Based in the Creative Media Centre in Hastings, and desk-potatoes to a man and woman (their words, not ours), the Hastings office of information services provider and publisher, Wolters Kluwer are perhaps unlikely candidates for a 16 mile route march across the Sussex countryside.

However, spurred on by the success of last year’s Hastings to Rye walk to raise money for the Parchment Trust in memory of former colleague, Sue Moore, we have decided to up the stakes, this time to raise money for St Michael’s Hospice.

Providing expert medical care and support services for adults with life-limiting illnesses in Hastings and Rother, St Michael’s Hospice relies on public support and fundraising to raise the majority of its running costs, which as in the region of £5 million annually.

Following an arson attack earlier this year, the local community has rallied in support of the hospice, and the provision of many services has resumed. However, it remains partially closed while repairs are undertaken, and further efforts are needed to ensure that it is able to re-open as soon as possible, in order to provide vital services to the local population.

So with this in mind, on October 18, they will be donning their bright yellow ‘Proud to Support St Michael’s Hospice’ t-shirts and shiny new walking boots, and making their way from Battle to Netherfield, Robertsbridge and Sedlescombe, no doubt stopping at a few of the local pubs en route (purely for collection purposes, naturally…)

If you would like to support them in raising money for this very worthy cause, the team’s fundraising page is here.

All donations are appreciated, no matter how large or small. Offline donations are also very welcome, and can be made by contacting Caroline.Huggett@wolterskluwer.com .

So please give them a wave (or a donation…) if you spot them dressing their blisters in your local on the 18th !

Following the tragic fire of July 11th 2015 that affected and subsequently closed St Michael’s Hospice, in St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, a trio of Hastings based musicians, promoters and local music enthusiasts decided that something needed to be done to help and support this much loved local service.

Pete Prescott (Beatles Day), Mike Raxworthy (Hastings Beach Concert, Seafood and Wine Festival) and Andy Gunton (The Stinger Magazine, Hastings Rock radio) have come together to arrange a benefit gig to be ‘Concert for St Michael’s’. All three have arranged events for St Michael’s Hospice in the past, so this was an easy decision for them to make.

‘Concert for St Michael’s’ will take place on Sunday, 6th September 2015 at the White Rock Theatre in Hastings, TN34 1JU. The gig will run from 3 – 10pm.

This event will be a celebration of local musical talent and a great day out for the whole family, featuring some of the best acts from the Hastings area, all of whom are giving their services for free.

In fact everybody involved with the ‘Concert for St Michael’s’ are from the Hastings area, making it a true local community effort.

Acts confirmed to appear (not in order) are: Liane Carroll and Roger Carey, The Tabs, Kid Kapichi, 1066 Rockitman, Soul Express, Dr Savage and The Incurables, Rich Lown, Marie White Band, The DoTheys, Rufus Stone Band, Pete Prescott Band and Soundwaves Choir.

Entry to ‘Concert for St Michael’s’ will cost £10 for adults and £5 for under 16’s, payable on the door, with all proceeds going to St Michael’s Hospice. There will be no tickets available in advance.

To enable people to donate to St Michael’s Hospice, via ‘Concert for St Michael’s’, especially those who cannot attend the event, the organisers have set up a dedicated Just Giving page. This can be found at: http://tiny.cc/a82u1x

The organisers would like to thank the White Rock Theatre and their staff, Cliff Brooker, Manor Insurance, Berforts Printers, Empirical Events, B and T Music, Warehouse Light and Sound, The Stinger, SMART and Karma Security for their invaluable help and support towards ‘Concert for St Michael’s.

For more information please see the flyer below.

st michaels concert