Charley Bolding-Smith

The Hive: A Circle of Sisters is a very active new women’s community group happening in St. Leonard’s. It’s a funded voluntary organization which was started this autumn by St Leonard’s resident Sarah Bullock, whose background is in movement and drama therapy. I’d seen their intriguing flyers on several of the notice boards around town and decided to meet up with Sarah to get some firsthand information on what it’s all about.

She told me that The Hive: A Circle of Sisters offers support and mentoring for women aged 16 upwards. “At the moment, the age range of the group is from 18 to women in their 60’s – I love the whole bandwidth of the thing.” laughs Sarah. The Hive happens every Tuesday evening at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary Magdelene (‘Greek Hall’) on Church Road. Facilitated sessions run for 6 weeks with a 2 week break and then back for another 6 weeks through until July 2017. Each week there’s a different facilitator. Areas explored so far include sound healing, chanting and drumming, yoga, art and drama therapy, art, drama therapy, nutrition, and tantra. Confidence, too. “I really wanted to create an initiation for women – helping to build their confidence.” says Sarah.

Paradoxically, The Hive: A Circle of Sisters was inspired by Sarah’s association with a men’s group, abandofbrothers, a charity established by men committed to positive social change through personal development and community building. They support young men, many in social services. The organisation has communities in Brighton, Eastbourne, and Crawley. “I love that vision.” says Sarah. “That’s where I want to take Circle of Sisters; I want people from different backgrounds – The Hive is so inclusive and embracing – anyone who comes along has always felt very welcome.”

Sarah has many plans for campaigns here in Hastings in 2017 in support of the women’s movement, but swore me to an oath of omerta about these for the present. They sounded exciting, though.

She’s really positive about how things have gone so far. “There are so many people in Hastings and St Leonard’s who are really gifted – that was the idea of getting different people involved. Let’s network with each other, let’s support each other, and let’s build a community – and it’s beginning to happen quite beautifully!”

■ The Hive: A Circle of Sisters. For more Information see http:// acircleofsisters.org or email Sarah at hive@acircleofsisters.org