Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Currently 3 million people in the UK juggle paid work with unpaid caring responsibilities – 1 in 9 people in any workforce. This issue is also likely to become even more important in the next few years; the Government’s Refresh of the National Carers Strategy: Recognised, Valued and Supported acknowledges that by 2017, we will reach the tipping point when the numbers of older people needing care will outstrip the numbers of working age family members. Research by Carers UK and Ipsos (MORI) indicates that as many as 1 in 6 carers give up, or cut back work, to care. This is generating an unwelcome financial impact on businesses faced with losing skilled employees in whom they have already made a considerable investment.

Caring is an issue which faces all of us. Changing demographics and an ageing population mean that 3 in 5 people will end up caring for someone at some point in their lives. The number of carers in the UK is set to grow from 6 million to 9 million in the next 30 years. This is an issue none of us can afford to ignore.

Joining Employers for Carers can help your organisation identify the needs of carers in the workplace, to outline the business case for their support and to provide practical and sustainable ways in which you can support them and their managers.

East Sussex County Council, in partnership with Southdown, are able to offer SME’s in East Sussex free membership to Employers for Carers, a membership forum of employers – large and small – chaired by British Gas and supported by the specialist knowledge of Carers UK who are rising to the challenge of supporting carers in their workforce.

Benefits of membership

The actual membership offer to employers provides:

  • Resource pack including: an employer’s guide which provides information on relevant legislation, practical tips and the business benefits of supporting carers at work; a carer’s guide for employees; a guide to the right to request flexible working; a manager’s handbook with practical information and support for line managers.
  • Dedicated website with password access for EfC members to a range of online practical resources including: EfC electronic guides as above; benchmarking tool; sample policies; good practice examples and case studies; information on key workplace issues including FAQs; toolkits and tips; information on the business case.
  • Latest information about legal and employment policy through e-bulletins and briefings
  • Networking and learning from the practical experience of other employers at EfC member events.
  • Resources for employees including free access to all EfC electronic guides and information on the website; complimentary online membership of Carers UK for employees who wish to take this up; and tailored lunch and learn sessions with an opportunity for individual advice sessions.
  • Access to expert consultancy and training
  • Latest news on innovations and technologies to support working carers

Ten examples of practical ways in which we support our members:

  1. Awareness raising activities (through published information or events) to encourage employees to identify themselves as carers and come forward for support.
  2. Awareness raising activities with line managers to promote understanding of caring.
  3. Training and supporting line managers to implement carer friendly policies.
  4. Engaging with carers in the workforce including developing and supporting staff carer networks (including online networks).
  5. Signposting employees to sources of workplace and external support.
  6. Providing specific information for employees on caring matters including health and disability issues, care and support services, housing, benefits and pensions.
  7. Building consideration of carers into staff recruitment and retention practices.
  8. Reviewing and ‘carer proofing’ current policies and practice.
  9. Establishing clearly identifiable sources of support and champions within the workplace.
  10. Monitoring and measuring outcomes and business benefits.

For more information on the free offer to SME’s in East Sussex please contact Paul Turk from Southdown on 07805 811186, or e-mail paul.turk@southdown.org


Organisations in Hastings Town Centre have voted to introduce a Business Improvement District (BID). 

Voting took place between 13 October and 10 November and a total of 456 businesses and organisations in Hastings town centre were eligible to place their vote for or against the BID, a total of 206 votes were cast.

In order for the vote to be to be a ‘Yes’ and therefore for the BID to proceed the ballot had to secure aggregate rateable value in favour and a majority vote in favour of the BID.

A total of 206 votes were cast with an aggregate rateable value £10 058 400. Of those 206 votes cast 148 were in favour (72%) and the aggregate rateable value in favour was 5 576 950 (55%) therefore the BID will go ahead.

The Hastings BID, to be managed by a newly created Hastings Town Centre BID Company, aims to improve the experience for residents, visitors and businesses in Hastings and to market the town as a great place to work, live, shop and visit. It wants to reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of the town, provide a voice and support for town centre businesses and lever in more money from other sources to supplement budgets.

“This is excellent news for businesses and organisations in our town centre. The Hastings BID will start on 01 April 2017 and will fund eighteen additional town centre projects within four themes; a better feel for the town centre, better connections and communications, a stronger business voice and a safer place” said Cllr Dawn Poole, Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for regeneration.

She added “All funds generated by the BID will be held by the newly created BID Company to spend locally on its approved projects. Our thanks must go to all that have been involved in getting this project up and running”.

To find out more about the Hastings Bid visit www.hastingsbid.co.uk

The council’s Grotbuster initiative is continuing to have significant success in turning around run down and derelict buildings and other unattractive sites in Hastings and has once again achieved excellent results, this time in St Andrews Square.

Last year, councillors and council officers went on a Grotbuster walk in the St Andrews Square area to identify properties that were in need of action because of their poor appearance. As a result, warnings and/or enforcement notices were issued to a number of owners and successful legal action was taken against another.

“The action taken by the Grotbuster team has resulted in improvements being carried out to a number of properties in the St Andrews Square area and work being carried out on other properties as well” said Cllr Kim Forward Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for housing.

“One of our priorities is to build better neighbourhoods and the Grotbuster scheme is helping us to do this. The cumulative effect around St Andrews Square has meant a big improvement in the overall appearance of the whole area which is great news for the people who live there and the town as a whole” added Cllr Forward.

The continuing work of the Grotbuster initiative has resulted in over 700 properties, structures and areas of land improved across the borough since the scheme began.

havelock place hastingsCompanies can now get top quality new offices in East Sussex on ultra-flexible terms in a pioneering move to address the Brexit market.

As part of the economic development programme for the area, Sea Change Sussex has introduced a three-month notice period in its leases which, innovatively, can be served by occupiers at any time. This is designed to provide an exceptional degree of flexibility for companies facing unknown market conditions as the UK plans its EU withdrawal.

These new terms are available as part of three-year leases for Sea Change’s small and medium offices in:

  • Havelock Place, Hastings: the high-quality development in the Priory Quarter town centre business district, with eligible units from 541 to 1,659 sq ft
  • Pacific House, Eastbourne: the contemporary new business centre in Sovereign Harbour, with units available from 627 sq ft upwards
  • A forthcoming business centre on the Bexhill Enterprise Park, with units from 600 sq ft upwards pre-letting now.

John Shaw, CEO of Sea Change Sussex, says: “Companies are telling us they still want to invest and grow following the EU referendum, but they feel the economic road ahead will be less certain for some time. So we’ve introduced new leases which means they can have the quality of new premises they want along with an extremely high level of flexibility to react to market conditions as they unfold.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about Sea Change’s offices and its new ultra-flexible leases should contact one of the company’s agents:

Or visit:


Hastings Borough Council’s cabinet committee has agreed a new set of priorities for commissioning services from the community and voluntary sector, focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable people in the community.

The Community Partnership Funding (CPF) funds a wide range of services that support improved equality of service and community cohesion. However, with continued financial pressure on budgets, the council has decided to focus investment on specific key outcomes in 2017-2019, when the current round of funding comes to an end in March 2017.

“Our priorities are built around supporting the most vulnerable in our community, recognising the need to maintain a basic level of support at a time of public sector cuts,” said Cllr Kim Forward, lead member for equality and communities. “Although the council has always encouraged new and innovative funding bids, it also recognises the importance of maintaining key existing services.”

The priorities identified are: housing, legal, welfare and debt advice; domestic violence support; advice and support to organisations; outreach support for rough sleepers; and advice and support to migrants and newly settled communities.

This does not mean the council will stop seeking alternative funding to support other priorities such as digital inclusion, employment and business support and other community support activities, but this will be done outside of the CPF programme in future.

The budget for the 2017-2019 CPF will be announced in December.

What have McPhersons ever done for us? was filmed as a trailer for the 2016 Sunset Screenings at the De La Warr Pavilion. This is the second year McPhersons have been the main sponsor for the screenings and directors and staff enjoyed filming this trailer based on the Monty Python Romans Scene ‘What did the Romans ever do for us?’

Check out the video here



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.

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