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Funded by Hastings Borough Council, Jerwood Gallery has been working with five local primary schools on a series of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) workshops.

Linked with the marine environment, fishing fleet and recycling, this series of workshops was designed to inspire, motivate, build confidence, develop skills and enable young people to achieve their full potential, and become active and responsible adults.Kids handling fish

The project enabled children to experience working with a variety of local artist educators, such as Leigh Dyer and Peter Quinnell. The children went out on the beach, learnt to tie fishing knots, were introduced to metal working techniques, did rusting experiments and made life-size sculptures, which will be shown at a celebration event and final exhibition on Wednesday 15 March at Jerwood Gallery.

“This has been an excellent project for children in Hastings. Children from five local primary schools; Castledown, Christ Church, Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy, Ark Blacklands Primary Academy and Rye Community Primary have taken part,” said Cllr Dawn Poole, the council’s lead member for regeneration and culture.

She added: “The three workshops gave children the opportunity to work on several projects alongside the artists. They learned about how materials are used, where they come from, whether they are recyclable or not and if they are hazardous to the environment. Our thanks must go to all that have helped with these workshops, especially the local fishermen – Paul, Mark and Bud.”

Kate Giles, marketing and communications manager at Jerwood Gallery, said: “These sessions had such a lovely, vibrant atmosphere, with real enthusiasm from the children involved, and from the adults too. It was wonderful to connect with the fishing community, who are our neighbours, and with such talented and prominent local artists. We hope to be able to offer more of this sort of session in the future.”

Tina Kearney, one of the teachers involved, said: “The children were sharing ideas, respecting each other’s ideas, helping each other, interacting with children from other schools, solving problems and gaining practical experience. They also got out onto the beach, which some children don’t get the chance to do. They were absolutely buzzing when they got back to school.”

Hastings Borough Council invited primary schools and academies in Hastings to submit an application for a small grant to introduce students in Reception, Y1 and Y2 to employability and enterprise linked to STEAMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths and Medicine)

Education - Joyful female teacher teaching algebra

Schools were encouraged to develop projects that included links to Hastings that could be delivered outside the classroom and feature either one or a combination of the thematic areas of STEAMM.

“We’re really pleased to announce that Christchurch School and Sacred Heart RC School are both successful applicants and have secured a grant of £500 each to develop their projects”, said Cllr Dawn Poole the council’s lead member for regeneration.

She added, “Christ Church’s project is designed to encourage confident mathematicians in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 to use their skills in a real life situation.  The project will be an opportunity to develop employability skills, raise aspirations and safely grow and prepare food for sale.

“Sacred Heart’s project is designed to encourage Year 2 students to learn about architecture through the years, leading to an enterprise project where participants are able to sell the goods they have designed. We look forward to seeing the schools’ project presentations in due course”

The achievements of 70 students from Hastings and Rother schools were commended at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, July 13 at the University of Brighton’s Hastings campus.

The event was the grand finale to the ‘Be the Change’ programme, an initiative to boost the aspirations and job prospects of young people aged between 13 and 14. Over the last four months the students have been taking part in a series of activities designed to improve hope, happiness, confidence, relationships, to change negative behaviour and to introduce them to job and career opportunities.

The students were congratulated and awarded certificates by their business mentors who had been working with them throughout the programme, on both an individual and group basis, supported by Carlo Missirian and Graham Moore, founders of humanutopia.

Carlo said: “It has been an incredible journey not just for these brave young people, but for everyone who has been involved – the teachers, the business volunteers and ourselves.  Over the last few months we have been inspired by the way in which the students have engaged with us and their peers and as a result have become happier, more confident of their abilities and excited about their futures. We have thoroughly enjoyed working in partnership with LoveLocalJobs to create the powerful ‘Be The Change’ programme’.”

The students come from six secondary schools in the area: ARK Helenswood Academy, ARK William Parker Academy, Robertsbridge Community College, Rye College, St Richard’s Catholic College and The St Leonards Academy.

Gary Peters, MD of LoveLocalJobs.com and co-founder of ‘Be the Change’ said: “It’s a harsh world out there for young people and many of the students on ‘Be the Change’ have already had to face challenges that most of us couldn’t imagine.  Our aim is to help them to value both themselves and other people and to develop skills which will enable them to take responsibility for their lives and ambitions.” 

A student from St Leonards Academy who took part in the programme said:  “I just really want to say thank you because now I can safely say ‘I can do it!’.  I’ve valued this experience more than anyone understands.  This has been a massive turning point in my life, so thank you.”

‘Be the Change’ Hastings is a collaboration between LoveLocalJobs.com and social enterprise humanutopia with support from Hastings Borough Council, Sussex Learning Network, University of Brighton, Heart FM and local businesses. In addition, volunteers from 12 local businesses have provided mentoring and opportunities for work place visits to the young people.

Sarah Williams, Director of Sussex Learning Network, said: “‘Be the Change’ is a really innovative way to inspire and support vulnerable young people to be the best they can be and I have no doubt that for most of the students, this experience has been life changing.  Sussex Learning Network is delighted to have sponsored ‘Be the Change’ and we hope to be able to continue to support the programme for years to come.”


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.


i-Rock a new service for 14 -25 year olds has been launched in Hastings this week (Monday 11 July).

The new service based at Rock House, Cambridge Road offers young people help and advice with issues including, emotional wellbeing, mental health, education, employment and housing.

“I really welcome this project which is a vital link to the many services which can help with the wellbeing of young people and I am pleased that the Clinical Commissioning Group recognises the priority” said Cllr Sue Beaney, Hastings Borough Council’s mental health champion.

She added: “As a psychotherapist practising locally I am increasingly receiving referrals for younger teens and am glad the age range has been reduced to 14. It is around this age that many young people begin to suffer from uncertainties and pressure and feel alone and unsupported.  i-Rock offers services that will help young people to make sense of an increasingly unstable world and hopefully prevent the development of more serious mental health conditions”.

The wellbeing of young people in Hastings and Rother is of key importance to the Hastings Youth Council. They have been involved with the consultation process for this new service and were pleased to attend the launch and to support this project.

The service is open three days a week Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11am – 7pm on a drop-in basis.

Five schools across Hastings took part in the May Walk to School Week challenge, organised for local schools by Hastings Borough council’s Active Hastings team.

During May 400,000 pupils across England, Scotland and Wales swapped their usual school run car journey on four wheels for two feet during the week-long challenge.

Cllr Dawn Poole the council’s lead member for leisure said:

“The health of young people in Hastings is really important. Walking to school is a great way to get the daily exercise young people need and this combined with fresh air makes pupils more alert and ready to learn in class.

“We are trying to encourage as many families as possible to include walking to school as part of their weekly exercise regime and it will also help to relieve traffic congestion that so many schools experience.

“Ore Village Primary Academy did really well in the walk to school challenge with the highest uptake of children walking to school for the week 16 – 20 May. Our congratulations go to them for such a great achievement – well done!”

The pupils were presented with a special Walk to School week trophy in their assembly (20 June) and five free lunchtime activities to be delivered by Active Hastings.

Active Hastings are encouraging schools to work with Living Streets and their WOW campaign; Walk Once a Week. WOW rewards primary school pupils who walk to school at least once a week with a monthly collectable badge. The badges are designed by pupils and are made from recycled yoghurt pots!

It’s fun and easy to join the WOW campaign and only takes a few minutes of a teacher’s day to make a big difference, logging journeys and awarding badges.

To find out more about walking to school contact Alan Foster, Active Hastings afoster@hastings.gov.uk


The University of Brighton, Hastings Campus are inviting people to go and see their final year undergraduate projects and learn about them from their creators.

Students from their BSc (hons) courses –  Digital Games Production, Internet Computing, and Computer Systems with Networking will be demonstrating their projects on themes including Augmented Reality, Data Visualization, Serious Games, Human Computer Interaction, Web Development, and more.

The event will be taking place on Tuesday 24 May at the Hastings Campus between 13.00-17.00.

For more information contact Jon Nicholson here

On Saturday 14th May there will be a public rally/demo taking place against the proposed closure of the Hastings Campus and Hands Off Hastings would love a many of you as possible to join them.  Why? Because the closure of the Hastings Campus will have a direct and negative impact on the local community and economy, it will also impact on the creative culture that Hastings thrives on.

At present the town has over 600 students studying in Hastings.  Each one of those contributes to the town in one way or another.  Students work for local businesses, raise money for charities and offer their skills during work placements and volunteer placements.

From art students, computer students, post production students, business students, Biology students, games production students, Radio and TV students and so many more.

Rachael Kamara said ‘This is the kind of creativity we need to keep in the town, we need to encourage the university to invest not divest in our community and we need to fight for a better future for the younger generation.  We can do this by showing the board of governors and senior management what Hastings is all about and how much this community works together to make this an amazing place to live and study.  The opportunities provided by the Hastings Campus should not be taken away and we hope that you can join us in our campaign.  We want Saturdays rally to be about, the culture and passion of Hastings.  If you are a dancer, a pirate, a bogie, a drummer, or just an exhibitionist we would love you to come along in full colour and help us turn a rally into a party.’

Detail of the event can be found here.


Please help us spread the word.  If you can’t join us on Saturday, tell your friends or sign the petition below.




Students from secondary schools in Hastings and Rother learnt how to be role models for younger students at an event on Wednesday, May 4, at the Hastings Centre.

Some 80 students aged 13-14 from local secondary schools were joined by 10 and 11 year olds from Hollington Primary Academy, The Baird Primary Academy and ARK Little Ridge, as part of the inspirational Be the Change programme.

Facilitated by LoveLocalJobs.com and social enterprise humanutopia, along with mentors from local businesses, education and the public sector, Be the Change helps young people fulfill their potential and improve their life chances.  It focuses on happiness, confidence, hope, relationships and employability by identifying and removing barriers to success and raising aspirations.  Over the course of the school year the students have six opportunities to work with business volunteers at day long events, one-to-one mentoring sessions and workplace visits.

humanutopia’s founders, Carlo Missirian and Graham Moore, both former teachers who understand the challenges facing young people today, led the hero training event. They said: “Our vision is for every young person to have raised hope and confidence, to have the chance to develop life skills and create positive cycles that will prepare them for life.

“Working with the younger children brings out the “hero” or role model in our students.  It promotes qualities such as leadership, team working and a sense of responsibility to those around them, especially younger and more vulnerable people. This activity also offers a great chance for the 10 and 11 year olds to develop their confidence and experience of being around secondary school students in preparation for moving into higher education.”

Jane Cotman, Year 5 teacher from ARK Little Ridge Primary School, commented: “It was a fantastic afternoon for our year 5s! They really enjoyed the activities, particularly the opportunity to speak out about their feelings using the microphone.”

The secondary schools involved in the programme are ARK Helenswood Academy, ARK William Parker Academy, Robertsbridge Community College, Rye College, St Richard’s Catholic College and The St Leonards Academy.

Shelley Clark is the Behaviour Systems Manager at Rye College. She said: “What an impactful day! It was lovely to see the changes in all the students in such a short space of time. This has been a great programme so far and I hope it has the opportunity to continue and grow.” 

The idea for Be the Change came from Gary Peters, Founder of LoveLocalJobs.com.  He said: “We believe that Be the Change has the power to dramatically improve lives.  David Cameron said earlier this year that there are around 25,000 pupils about to start their GCSEs who are at-risk of under-achieving or dropping out and that he wants businesses to mentor at-risk teenagers. Well, this is exactly what we are doing right here in Sussex in collaboration with local employers, universities and local authorities.”

There are three separate programmes taking place across East and West Sussex. Be the Change Hastings is a collaboration between LoveLocalJobs.com and social enterprise humanutopia with support from Hastings Borough Council, Sussex Learning Network, University of Brighton, Heart FM and local businesses.

Sarah Williams, Director of Sussex Learning Network, said: “The Sussex Learning Network is delighted to be sponsoring the Be the Change programme right across Sussex this year – it’s providing a fantastic opportunity for our educational partners to engage with young people in a really innovative and inspiring way, and we hope to be able to continue to support the programme for years to come.”

Cllr Dawn Poole, Hasting Borough Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration, added: “We are very pleased to support Be the Change. Providing opportunities and enabling young people to develop skills and qualifications they need for better futures is imperative. We look forward to the future success of the scheme and to see aspirations raised in the young people of Hastings”.

Sussex Coast College Hastings has developed the following engineering courses for apprentices and management in the manufacturing sector in response to industry requirements, starting in September 2016. Manufacturing companies locally have been asking for years for somewhere to provide this training and Sussex Coast College has delivered these courses to cater for this need.

Check out the course flyer here

(click to enlarge)

its time o hire an apprentice engineer a stronger workforce