Grant awards of up to £1,066 each to community groups in North-East Hastings for financing of forthcoming projects have been announced by Big Local (BLNEH), the resident-led partnership that administers Lottery funds within the area. BLNEH, which offers a round of these grants twice
a year out of its total budget that averages £100,000 per year, had allocated a little over
£7,600 to the current round. As with previous rounds it was oversubscribed. Nevertheless chair Richard Street and development officer Jan Papworth are confident that they have identified worthwhile activities to support over a wide cross-section of the community. “I’m delighted that we have once again been able to provide funding for a very varied set of projects which will provide support, learning and fun”, says Mr Street.

The projects to be funded include:
• to Ore in Bloom towards a Christmas tree and lights in Ore Village;

• to Oasis for winter outings and activities for older residents of the Broomgrove area through the Elderberries group;
• to Ore in Bloom for planting daisies and sunflowers to brighten up the area and teach children about plants;
• to Albion in the Community to provide further football sessions at Hastings Academy;
• to the Ore Centre for practical cookery demonstrations to encourage users of the Centre’s Community Store to produce tasty, nutritious meals with food from local supermarkets that would otherwise have gone to waste;
• Sensory Soft Play to provide soft play sessions and other activities for families with children with additional needs;
• to Radiator Arts for a play project for children and their parents/carers to create a magic Zebicorn at the Broomgrove Community Centre;
• to Sussex Prisoners’ Families to provide emotional and practical support for the families of offenders serving sentences for serious offences.

In addition to the small awards which are bid for by existing local community groups, BLNEH commissions more substantial projects which fulfil needs which residents have identified.  Older people have been benefiting this year from a programme delivered by Hastings Works (selected after a competitive tendering process) at an overall cost of £10,000 to teach the use of tablet computers. Those attending training sessions can keep the tablets on long loan at home. A community interest company In2Play has been supported to provided after-school clubs for primary school-age children, two afternoons a week at both The Bridge and Downs Farm community centres. Up to 50-60 children have been enrolled and entertained at each venue.

BLNEH has also funded feasibility studies for the potential redevelopment of the small learners swimming pool at Sandown school, including the possibility of a full-size pool with additional facilities there; and for establishment of the section of Greenway route within the area that is aimed to provide an off-road pathway across town. A further aggregate contribution of £55,000 has been made over the past two years to engage local residents in activities around the redevelopment of the former Broomgrove power station by the community group Heart of Hastings to assist the latter’s aim of providing affordable homes.

For further background to the operation of Big Local North East Hastings, click here

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