Big Local projects reveal lack of Wi-Fi, devices and skills in North East Hastings

This year’s annual general meeting for Big Local North-East Hastings was held online but in spite of the pandemic, the resident-led partnership which decides how £1 million of lottery money is spent in the area, continues to meet and allocate grants.

Much of the AGM was dedicated to hearing about the support for residents during the pandemic. 

Big Local funded ten organisations through its Small Grants scheme, Chair Richard Street said: “It was really humbling to hear about the amazing work we have funded to support people in our local community who are seriously suffering during the pandemic.

“It’s great to know that, when the chips are down, there are wonderful people in our local community who step up to help.” 

Family support projects included activity packs for delivery in Downs Farm and Broomgrove, additional food and supplies distributed at the Food Collection Service based at Broomgrove Community Centre and enabling access to online youth clubs, drumming workshops and creative puppet workshops,  through the provision of tablet computers and broadband. 

Tablets were also provided to Big Local residents staying in St Michael’s Hospice to ensure continued family contact through lockdown.

The lack of Wi-Fi connections, devices and the knowledge to use them was a common theme identified by the projects which limits how support can be safely delivered: “This causes a major problem by further excluding many people who are already excluded financially and socially,” Mr Street says., adding, “I’m proud to be part of the Big Local which in a small way can help to address some of these issues.”

Full details of the grants awarded last summer:

St Michael’s HospiceTo provide tablets, to enable their patients to keep in contact with their families who are unable to have visitors at the moment.£440
Mind in Brighton and Hastings  To deliver well-being packs to Down Farms residents that will include activities and games that families can do together during this period of social distancing.£1,000
East Sussex Recovery Alliance To distribute well-being packs to clients recovering from drug and alcohol addiction many of whom face particular problems due to the absence of face to face support during lockdown. £625
Oasis – Broomgrove  To provide supplementary food items for the multi-organisation project delivering food parcels to residents in need living in Broomgrove and operating costs.£2,000
In2Play To provide play packs for families in the Broomgrove area to complement the food provision and costs of delivering the project.£2,000
Ore Village Primary Academy’s Parents, Teachers & Friends AssociationTo provide children in years 2,3 and 4 with additional reading books.£1,068
Ore Church Mice Pre-SchoolTo provide multi-sensory play resources at home.£305
GAP ProjectTo provide tablets, internet access and IT support for online drumming lessons.£1,685
IdolRich TheatrerottoFor materials so children can make items and create filmed material to be edited into a show.£1,830
Fresh VisionsTo buy dongles to enable internet access for young people in Broomgrove and Down Farm to enable them to participate in Motivate Sussex Youth Club online.£500
  • Big Local is a ten-year, resident led programme that provides at least £1m to each of 150 communities in England. 
  • Big Local is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and managed by Local Trust.
  • Big Local North East Hastings is administered locally by Hastings Voluntary Action.

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