Funded by the National Lottery in conjunction with The Big Lottery Fund
and ITV/STV, the People’s Projects will award £3 million in prizes of up to £50k to the most popular community projects in the country. It is organised regionally and five projects have been shortlisted in the South East. The next stage will be the public vote and the three winning projects will receive funding. As two of the projects, The Hope Project and Dementia Drawing, are based in Hastings, you can help to bring this much-need funding to our town.

Lee Shearman running a wellbeing workshop

The Hope Project
What does hope mean to you? The Hope Project, a collaboration between Hastings-based artists, writers and producers Janey Moffatt, Pip Rowson, Lee Shearman and Sophie Shaw, aims to offer a space for people to develop and communicate their ideas of hope. Working in existing spaces like Seaview, members of the project encourage people to work with their hands in order to explore their own feelings about hope and to discuss these in groups. By combining arts and coaching, this project enhances wellbeing and supports goal setting and will culminate in an exhibition, bringing together the individual experiences and hopes of all involved and presenting a rich picture of life from a range of very different perspectives.

Janey Moffatt, Crafter and Chief for The Hope Project, known locally for her work with Jerwood Gallery and for Yarn Bombing on Hastings Pier, said “We know how beneficial creative activities can be for people’s mental health, whatever your situation. These sessions will give people the opportunity to be clearer about where they want to go and when you have a clear picture of what you want, it is easier to take steps to get there.”

If successful, The Hope Project will use the grant to work intensively with five groups of people who are either vulnerable or on the margins of society, to explore ideas around hope, aspiration and change.

Robert Sample, art tutor with Celia and Julia Mortimer

Dementia Drawing
This project brings life drawing classes to people living with dementia. It currently holds sessions in three care homes. Project Director Judy Parkinson said “Our classes involve a nearly naked model, an art teacher and a few sticks of charcoal plus some cartridge paper. There’s always a lovely atmosphere with a lot of laughter. People draw with a freedom that allows a special kind of vision and creativity. People living with dementia still have a relevant place in the world and we help them express themselves in new and surprising ways, and in the process try to break stigmas attached to dementia. Our classes are for carers too, giving them new things to talk about with those who may have lost the art of conversation.”

One of the participants is my own mother Celia and I have written before about the benefits we gain from these sessions. Helping her to draw should be heart-breaking but this strange role reversal is joyous. Dementia Drawing helps me see what she sees and it gives me the chance to enter her world for an hour.

If Dementia Drawing wins People’s Projects funding they could become an established organisation that will meet the need in the dementia community for regular classes for more people, in more places.

Before deciding, you can see both projects on TV. Dementia Drawing will be featured on ITV Meridian East on Monday 16 April and The Hope Project on Tuesday 17 April, both at 6pm. 

Voting opens at 9am on Monday 16th April at and closes at midday on Monday 30th April. You can vote once per region
by email address or for details of how to vote by post, go to where you can find T&Cs and further information.

These are both exciting, innovative projects that bring huge benefits to people in our community and we can ensure continued funding for one, possibly both, just by voting.

Janey Moffatt with an installation of work

 For more information and to vote go to

The creative results of the class filmed by ITV

 For more information and to vote go to


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