Saturday, March 8, 2008

News updates

Once again work has kept me so busy I've not had time to post.

So......what's been going on?

Community assets transfer - working in partnership with HBC, HVA and the wider community a bid has been submitted to the Community Assets Fund for funding to convert Jackson Hall, Portland Place from the Tressell Training base to a new community hub. If successful in our bid for 3/4 million, the building will be refurbished and transferred by the Borough Council into the ownership of the community. We've also had facilitated workshops with the Development Trusts Association (as you know, Hastings Trust is a member of the DTA) to help partners to identify the needs and best uses for the building. We've got through the first stage cull and are hoping for a decision by the end of March. Your support is needed to help this valuable bid go forward. Thanks must go to the Council for their commitment and willingness to transfer such a valuable asset to the community, and thanks in particular to Glyn Carter, Economic Development and Inclusion Officer, for his hard work and support.

Working Neighbourhoods - HBC will receive almost £2.2 million funding for 2007-08 to deliver a programme of initiatives aimed at helping to support employment and enterprise development in Hastings. I had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop at the working neighbourhoods conference held at the Town Hall recently which will inform the delivery of the programme. It is important that the role of the third sector in enabling community economic development and inclusion is recognised and I am happy to work with partners to advocate this position. Get in touch if you want to know more.

Hastings Voluntary Action AGM and annual conference - this excellent event was held at Horntye Park and I was elected onto the Board of Hastings Voluntary Action. This is great for me as it will help to strengthen links between two key third sector infrastructure organisations in Hastings, and was a personal pleasure as I am a relative new-comer to the sector in Hastings - so thanks to everyone who voted for me. I look forward to serving on HVA's board and supporting the incredible work of this key organisation.

Welcome to Respond Academy - I am pleased to be able to report that we have welcomed Respond into the ground floor of our premises at Silchester Mews, St Leonards. I look forward to being able to work with JC and Pablo and support their excellent work.

And more property news - our state of the art training facility at Linton Viaduct, Braybrooke Terrace is in the process of being leased to our private sector training partners Study Xpress who have been key to the delivery of construction training with our Skills2Build project. Study Xpress' excellent work should be commended as should their commitment to Hastings shown by the recent opening of their second training facility in Western Road, St Leonards.

The Resource Centre, Robertson Street - thanks to the investment of Hastings Community Resource Ltd, watch out for new and improved facilities within our resource centre. This has commenced with the installation of an all-singing, all-dancing colour photocopier which is available for use by local residents and groups for community printing.

Volunteering opportunities - as you probably know our resource centre is staffed by an fabulous team of skilled and professional volunteers, but we are always looking for more. If you want to join our team full training and support is available. It's a great way to gain valuable experience to help you to find paid work, and is a fantastic way to support your community and your local Development Trust. If you want to know more, call in and speak to Heather.