Hastings Independent Press wishes all our readers a very merry Christmas. Making Christmas special involves giving as well as receiving, so we are running a feature on things people do in the community to help others – and a few ways you can get involved yourselves.

Inside there is also some good news on ‘receiving’ with a £2 million National Lottery fund to celebrate The National Lottery’s 25th Birthday – neatly coinciding with the Christmas period. Read Page 7 to see how residents of Hastings, and the rest of the country, can come up with ideas to bring communities together by getting help from this fund.

One group helping the less fortunate over Christmas is Surviving the Streets. They have partnered with the YMCA Y Centre to provide two full days of celebration for those in need over Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with a good night’s rest in between. The celebration includes a three course Christmas dinner, Father Christmas and his helpers and live musical entertainment from local young musicians. The event is open to the elderly and less fortunate families as well as the homeless. Dogs welcome.

The event links up with other organisations and agencies, including the More Radio Toy Appeal. Boxing Day will begin at ‘The Y’ with a full English breakfast and there will be facilities on hand to have a relaxing day – and even a haircut.

Surviving the Streets has also come to an arrangement with Hastings Borough Council to keep the night shelter in Christ Church London Road, St Leonards open every weekend, whether or not there is Severe Weather Emergency Protocol operating. A bed in the winter given with kindness.

On Page six there are more examples of things being done for the less fortunate between now and the New Year. There are many others, and some working unsociable hours to help us all. Whether in the public and private sectors or volunteers, whether in the NHS, taxi service or on the lifeboats, we thank them all.

See more here

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