Last year we wrote about all the help the Hastings community was giving to others during the Christmas period. The article, called Christmas: The Joy of Giving, celebrated the community spirit in our town, but at the same time touched on the way that we all benefit from a sense of involvement with others.

Coming back to the topic this year, we realise we only scratched the surface of what goes on in this town. Taking a dive into all the organisations and individual initiatives reveals a very complex web of support: some of it has been going on for years and some of it has emerged as a result of the pandemic or is related to other emerging societal issues; some of it has been going on throughout the year with special meaning at Christmas, such as ‘food and comfort on the street’ and others just for the Christmas period, such as help provided by the organisation Surviving Christmas.

At HIP we would like to publicise as much of the work that is going on as we can, both to help with donations and volunteering as well as to bring what is going on to as wide an audience as possible. 

This article will give a call out to some of those we have managed to contact so far, and we will continue in the next issue. We will also be promoting the work on our Joy of giving Instagram Advent Calendar focussing on one organisation every day. 

For all those who wish to appear in the next issue, or on the Advent Calendar, please get in touch at [email protected]

Association of Carers: Anyone looking for local Christmas cards to help a local charities can get some from the Association of Carers shop please email [email protected]. for more information. As with last year, these cards have been produced in collaboration with community interest company, Enjoycation.

Goodmans Coffee shop: After realising what individuals can do to help provide food for children over the holidays, Matt Pearman of Goodmans Coffee and his partner Ben Goodman of Goodman’s Barbers @g_o_o_d_m_a_n_s  decided to something similar with toys (see goodmanscoffeespot on Instagram). There has been a huge response (but keep it coming). Brand new toys will be provided for children in hospitals and women’s refuges among many others. See also their facebook pages for information.

Emmaus: Emmaus Hastings & Rother provides a home and work for formerly homeless people in a supportive, family environment which is particularly important at Christmas and the New Year. With the second hand superstore now open, anyone looking for unique gift ideas for Christmas can find something there: “clothes, bric a brac, glasses, linen, furniture and much more!” as they announce on Facebook. You can also or drop off unwanted items to clear your house before Christmas. Just 18 days as shut for Christmas from 21st December.

Surviving Christmas: Although they have had to cancel their normal two-day event over Christmas Day and Boxing Day, the organisation will be providing Christmas hampers to nominated residents in the Hastings and Rother Districts. As they have been unable to fund raise this year they are now doing so through Crowdfunding. Help them reach their target of £22,000 to provide a minimum of 700 hampers at

Priory Meadow: The Giving Tree is returning this Christmas. Shoppers can purchase a Christmas gift for children at Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice: take a photo of a suggested items on one of the posters hung on the Christmas tree outside Marks & Spencer, purchase a suitable gift and leave it with the team at Kids Stuff Toys anytime shops are open.

Chestnut Tree House: They currently care for 300 life-limited children, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes. Their goal is to provide the best quality of life for children, young people and their families, and to offer practical, social and spiritual support throughout each child’s life, however short it may be. Over Christmas they will be offering much needed support.

Seaview Project: Providing welcome help and support for the homeless and disadvantaged, Seaview has recently gained funding to remain open over the weekends and can now provide its services seven days a week.

Dom’s Food Mission: This award-winning organisation has been busy all year recovering food that would otherwise go in the bin and getting it into the hands (and mouths) of those that need it. They have set up a number of food hubs over this year working with Optivo at Four Courts Community Centre, the Food Store at the Ore Community Centre, the Broomgrove Community Centre as well as many other local organisations. The food is especially appreciated over Christmas and it will often be supplemented with Christmas gifts.

St Michaels Hospice: The hospice raises money throughout the year to keep its important work going – and of course carers and the terminally ill need that support over Christmas. If you like fancy dress get your best festive outfit on and encourage family and friends, or your workplace, to do the same, each making a donation to the Hospice. You could even host a virtual festive fancy dress competition. For more information email the Fundraising team at [email protected]
(See also Lights of Love article here)

Warming up the Homeless: According to the director, Trudy, the organisation has “come on in leaps and bounds” this year and is now the largest homeless service in Sussex. They are doing their usual Monday/Wednesday/Friday slots in Pelham Car Park. This will include Christmas Day when they provide a full Christmas dinner. For more details visit

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