Surviving Christmas 

Surviving Christmas will be a visible presence during the Christmas period, with a Christmas grotto on 21st and 23rd December, 10.30-3.30, at the Salvation Army hall in St. Andrews Square; a chance for children of local disadvantaged residents to meet Santa and receive a free Christmas gift. 

The hall will also be open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day offering a two-course home-cooked Christmas meal, refreshments and entertainment for any elderly, disabled, lonely or homeless people in the Hastings and Rother districts. There will also be medical assistance, hairdressing and a clothes shop.

For more info visit

Food and comfort on the street

Volunteers will continue to provide food and comfort for those in need over the Christmas period. As well as Surviving the Streets (Wednesday/Friday), those operating will be Xtrax Soup Run (Monday), Warming up the Homeless, mobile food and supplies (Monday/Wednesday/Friday Hastings, Tuesday/Thursday St Leonards) and Dom’s Food Mission (Tuesday/Sunday) as well as Seaview (Monday to Fridays) on their premises. (Hope Kitchen will be closed from 21st December to 2nd January.)

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor donate!

The Deputy Mayor’s Sock Appeal

The Appeal for 2019 has now been launched! You can donate any new and unused socks, underwear, hats, gloves and scarves (for men and women) at various locations in town. All garments will be donated to local charities working with the homeless and vulnerable in the local community.

Locations for donating these items are: Asda, The Stag Inn (All Saints Street), Hastings History House (Courthouse Street), His Place Community Church and Cafe (Robertson Street), Hastings Town Hall: Community Contact Centre (next to Priory Meadow Shopping Centre), The Steamie Laundrette (Mount Road), Broomgrove Community Centre and Ore Community Centre.

A gift tag on the Giving Tree

The return of the Giving Tree

Priory Meadow Shopping Centre Giving Tree has returned this Christmas, encouraging shoppers to purchase a Christmas gift for children cared for by Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, their charity partner, between December 1st and December 17th.

Chestnut Tree House cares for 300 children in the South East, 60 of whom are from East Sussex, all of whom are unlikely to reach adulthood. TheirCommunity Nursing Team visits families at home, taking children out to explore their local community or simply giving tired families and carers the chance to take a well-earned break.

Referring to the great response in 2018, Andy Harvey, the Centre manager said, “We hope that the community can come together again to purchase presents for children that deserve some extra Christmas cheer.”

Shoppers can select a tag from the tree located outside M&S, purchase a suitable gift, then take the gift and tag to the management office on the first floor between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

For more information visit Facebook @priorymeadowhastings or visit

Snowflake Winter Night Shelter: an opportunity to help

Now In its eighth year, the Snowflake Winter Night Shelter runs from 29th November 2019 to 20th March 2020, using seven Church Halls provided free by the Churches involved. The night shelter provides supervised overnight accommodation to people who would otherwise sleep rough in Hastings and St Leonards during the extreme winter months. 

The shelter includes a warm bed and hospitality with the engagement of willing volunteers to facilitate wellbeing and positive self-esteem. There are also hot drinks and meals and the opportunity to liaison with specialist agencies. 

Volunteers are always needed, particularly for the night and morning shifts: 10.15pm-7.00am and 6.45-8.30am. Prospective volunteers are invited to a Registration Meeting at the Council Chambers in Muriel Matters House, on 11th January 2020 at 10.00am. The Trustees and staff look forward to welcoming everyone – no need to book a place, just turn up!

The joy of giving is shown in comments from volunteers such as:  “It was the most wonderful, most rewarding experience and made me wish I had started doing this years ago!” or “It literally saves lives and I really enjoy doing my tiny bit to help the cause”.

Find out more by visiting or contacting [email protected]

Children from Enjoycation with their cards

Last-minute Christmas cards

The charity, Association of Carers and community interest company, Enjoycation – next door to each other in HVA’s Jackson Hall in Portland Place – have come together this Christmas to produce lovely packs of charity Christmas cards.

The children of Enjoycation have drawn Christmas designs which the Association of Carers turned into beautiful cards; profits from the sale of which will all benefit the charity.

Jane Caley of Association of Carers said: “A lot of the people that our charity supports are older people, so it’s great to see the younger generation taking an interest in supporting them and us!”

Cards on sale from Association of Carers shop at 26 Queen’s Road, or for more information contact Jane Caley 01424 722309 or email
[email protected]

The Big Busk

This will be the third year of The Big Busk, an event inspired by the then fledgling organisation (and now charity) Warming up the Streets (dedicated to changing the face of homelessness). This will run from 11.00am until 4.00pm on Saturday 21st December – though watch out for a change of time if terrible weather.  Last year 20 musicians took part to provide lots of free entertainment as well as raising over £1,000 for the charity. Not just money, but also solidarity on the streets.

Celebration at Seaview

Seaview Project has an event to showcase the wonderful work on their recovery service called RADAR Celebration Day on Friday 13th December from 2.00-4.00pm 

For all those who are reading this on the morning of issue of the paper, you might want to pop along to see what this wonderful charity has been doing, working with people who have complex lives.

Seaview’s free Christmas dinners will be served on 20th December from 12.30, first sitting and then again at 1.30pm. There will be a raffle with fantastic prizes too. 

The Chef at Hastings Court entertains

‘Gift of Christmas’ to Town’s lonely older people

A care home in Hastings is helping to tackle loneliness this Christmas Day by opening its doors to isolated members of the community for Christmas lunch.

Hastings Court on The Ridge is asking locals and organisations supporting the town’s older people to nominate individuals who may be facing the festive season alone.

“Good company and good food can do a lot for our wellbeing and who knows – it could also be the start of a lovely friendship for someone,” said home manager, Georgina Gamble. 

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