Money helps make lives ‘that bit better’

More than £100,000 has gone in to projects in North-East Hastings in the last year making people’s lives, ‘that bit better’.

Residents of North-East Hastings gathered at the Bridge Community Centre on Saturday for the Annual General Meeting of Big Local North-East Hastings.

In 2012, 150 areas in the country were granted £1 million of National Lottery money to spend as local residents saw fit over a ten-year period to improve their area. North-East Hastings is one of these areas and the Resident-Led Partnership (RLP) oversees how the money is spent.

The meeting heard from RLP chair Richard Street, how £107,759 had been allocated since the previous AGM: “Every penny paid out in grants has contributed to our mission to make the area a great place to live. We may not be able to change people’s lives but we can make them that bit better,” he said.

Of this £19,994  was through the Small Grants fund which invites organisations to bid for up to £1,066 to provide activities and services for residents of the Big Local Area. These have covered an enormous range including Christmas decorations in Ore Village, summer outings, a puppet workshop, play activities for young children and other activities for older youngsters. Older folk haven’t been neglected either with activities for them funded as well.

In addition, £107,349 was paid out in larger grants. These included a continuation of the highly popular Get Connected digital training for older members of the community and two major projects aimed at teenagers supporting the GAP Project and Motivate with Optivo’s Fresh Visions both of which provide very constructive ways of engaging teenagers and diverting them from anti-social activities as well as providing funding to ensure the survival of the Men’s Shed in its present location at Manhattan Gardens.

In his annual report, Mr Street wrote: “Many residents of the area would never have had the opportunity to get away and experience great locations and activities further afield without this funding. The extensive programme of events over the school summer holidays has also provided respite for harassed parents and brilliant, new experiences for the children taking part.

“I was particularly pleased that we agreed to a grant to Sussex Prisoners Families to provide much-needed support to the families of those serving prison sentences who often face isolation and exclusion through no fault of their own.”

The partnership is always looking for new people living in the area to join them and bring their ideas and experiences to the table when decisions are made about spending the money.

Anybody interested should contact Jan Papworth, Community Development Worker, jan@hastingsvoluntaryaction.org.uk or 01424 444010.

Small Grants approved by Big Local

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