Monday, September 7, 2009

Hastings Trust Annual General Meeting

That time has come round again - our annual celebration of all that the Trust has done.

The AGM will be held on Thursday 17th September at F-ISH Gallery in Robertson Street (the same venue as last year) at 12.00 for 12.30.

Refreshments will be available and there will be a chance to meet staff, trustees and volunteers.

If you would like to vote at the AGM you need to be a member, and if you would like to stand as a trustee you will also need to become a member. Please make sure your membership is up to date and if you would like a membership form to join, or more information about being a member or a trustee, please give me a ring (446373) or drop me an e-mail (

I look forward to seeing you on the 17th.

MyPlace at St Mary in the Castle

I'm really pleased to report that I've just come from Hastings Borough Council's Cabinet meeting where there was unanimous support for granting the lease of St Mary in the Castle to Hastings Trust to enable the project to go forward.

Tomorrow we submit all of the documentation that we've been working on with young people, architects, and other partners for the past six months and hopefully by the end of December we will have had our 'in-principle' grant converted into a real offer of cash!

It's great news for Hastings Trust and for young people in the town, as well as for others who are interested in a sustainable and vibrant future for St Mary in the Castle.

The new facility will be called The Point at St Mary in the Castle, a name selected by young people, and its new logo has been designed by our own youth client team member, Elissa Seddon, a graphic design student at the University of Brighton - well done Elissa.

More updates as they happen

Employability Through Experience Pilot

We are just about to launch an exciting new work placement initiative funded through Hastings Borough Council's Area Based Grants programme.

Steve Shonk has been appointed as Employer Liaison Officer, and Ben Browton as Personal Adviser. Both started at the Trust today to work with Heather to deliver the project.

Keep an eye on our website and in the Hastings Trust Resource Centre for more information, and a huge welcome to Ben and Steve.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Vacancies at the Trust

Hastings Trust has two vacancies to deliver an exciting pilot project, Employability Through Experience, funded through Hastings Borough Council's Area Based Grants (Special Measures) Programme:

Personal Advisor - 16 hours per week, £10 per hour

Employer Liaison Officer - 37 hours per week, £28,860 per annum

Both posts are fixed term until 30th June 2010

For more information and an application pack please contact me on 01424 452523 or e-mail

The closing date for completed applications is Friday 31st July, 5pm

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Meet the architects

Myplace @ St Mary in the Castle – Meet the Architects

Tuesday 14th July 3pm – 7pm

Hastings Trust Resource Centre

Hastings Trust and the appointed architects, Dunn and CTM, will be available for an informal ‘drop-in’ at Hastings Trust Resource Centre, 35 Robertson Street, between 3pm and 7pm on Tuesday 14th July to talk through ideas and design concepts for St Mary in the Castle. We are keen that the wider community has an opportunity to meet the architects and discuss their own views and concerns.

Please pop in on Tuesday to find out more.

Are you looking for studio space?

Are you looking for studio space?

We are working on a new project in partnership with Hastings Trust.

Currently we have:

12 self-contained studio spaces with amenities, a large basement and a shop with separate access. The spaces are bright, clean and in a very good state of repair.

We would like to hear all your suggestions for its use and are particularly keen on the idea of the building working as a whole, creating a recognisable identity that will form a distinctive aspect in the further development of the America Ground Hastings, where the space is located.

There will be a meeting at F-ISH on Thursday 16th July at 5pm.

Please contact:
Simon Hedges 0796 4545 702
Carol Biggs 01424 446373

Gallery 45 Robertson Street Hastings TN34 IHL
Office 6 Wellington Sq Hastings East Sussex TN34 1PB
Office 0845 4090560 Gallery 0845 4090561 Bookings 0845 4090562

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Myplace Update

MyPlace at St Mary in the Castle Update June 2009

For those of you that are not yet aware, we now have the architects confirmed that will be working on the St Mary in the Castle project – a collaboration of two local firms, coming together as Dunn & CTM. The selection process included a vote from the young people who attended the design day and witnessed 3 very different presentations.

Due to the tight schedule laid down by the Big Lottery, Dunn & CTM are very keen to undertake another 2 or 3 design workshops with young people in a bid to draw together and tighten up the ideas we have collected through various consultations. The first of these workshops was held on Monday June 22nd at St Mary in the Castle. The idea behind it is to engage the young people in situating the ideas within St Mary’s using structural plans and a model of the building to see the feasibility of the suggestions made and start focusing on design layout etc.

The youth client team working on this project recently had a day trip to the Sorrell Foundation’s Somerset House, where they participated in several workshops surrounding design and facilities for young people. After lunch they were given a tour of the Roundhouse in Camden to see what work was done within this Grade 2* listed building; especially considering the structural similarities. The young people that attended enjoyed the day and gained lots more ideas around designing and placing facilities within St Mary’s and the constraints it has due to its listed status.

Jodie, Youth and Community Engagement Officer, is currently going out to schools and local youth agencies to promote myplace and encourage greater participation from young people across the whole town. We have a summarised copy of Dunn and CTM’s presentation that was shown at the design day which available to be shown to young people and the wider community - should you know any agencies/organisations that may want to see this then please do contact Jodie so that arrangements can be made.

We are aware that there are some questions surrounding the involvement of the wider community in the facility once it is up and running, and also in the design ideas for St Mary in the Castle. The aim of the youth hub is to create a world class facility for the young people of the town, so it is a must that the young people have a great impact on the design layout and the chosen facilities to be placed within St Mary’s, however young people themselves want to wider community to make use of the building, and it is a key output of the funding that we provide intergenerational opportunities. Young people will welcome the community into the building, will help them to access the facilities and resources available, and will work with the wider community to promote community cohesion and joint working. The widest possible involvement and use of the building is essential to the sustainability of the project. Young people themselves will be presenting design ideas to the wider community (date in July to be confirmed), and there will be opportunities to feedback and help to refine the ideas into the final design concept. There will be an exhibition of ideas during August, prior to the submission of the final detail to the funders, and further opportunities for involvement beyond.

Notwithstanding the fact that young people are key to guiding the design and facilities, we are keen to hear your views and options regarding what facilities and resources you would like to see in the building and therefore we encourage you to contact us with your ideas, or if you would like to be more involved.

Contact details:
Jodie Taylor – Youth and Community Engagement Officer
Mel Bonney-Kane – Executive Director
Carol Biggs – Assistant Director

Telephone 01424 446373

Independents Day in the America Ground

You are invited to join us in celebrating the beginning of the next chapter in the historic story of the America Ground Hastings on Saturday July 4th 3pm - 6pm at F-ISH Gallery, 45 Robertson Street, The America Ground, Hastings TN34 1HL

'Independent Day' and partners will be launching the new America Ground logo and website

'Independent Day' is working closely with Designcrew, Hastings Trust, Cmc, Sea Space, the residents of the America Ground and the White Rock and America Ground Business Group.

For further information and to R.S.V.P. please contact Simon Hedges and John Knowles on 0845 4090560 or e-mail

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pathway to Construction 2009

Saturday June 6th saw the third year of the Pathway to Construction event held at Alexandra Park. A great day, bigger than previous years, this years event was opened by Cllr Eve Martin, Deputy Mayor, Hastings Borough Council, compered throughout the day by Lauren McFee of Respond Academy, and entertained by three local bands. Throughout the day there were stalls, workshops and activities, and a schools' construction competition, which was won by Filsham Valley School working with Booker and Best. A contractor led event, this was a great example of partnership working to aim to build awareness of the construction industry, particularly amongst young people.

Thanks to Hastings Borough Council, George Stone Ltd, ConstructionSkills, Booker and Best, Filsham Valley School, Timber Frame-It, Claverham School, Westoaks, Rye College, Sussex Coast College, Bexhill High School, Willmott Dixon, New Horizons School, Mclaren, Homewood School, JD Architects, Icklesham Joinery, Playden Primary School, Winchelsea Primary School, Hastings and Bexhill Wood Recycling Project, Trade Paints, Broxbourne Plant, Product Development Centre, Interplay, Myplace Hastings, Paper Pod, Eco-Fab, Chalkdown Lime, Amazonails, F-ISH Creative Trust, Respond Academy, Underclass, Killing the Senses and The Reason in Jealousy.

We will all now be working on the development of next years event - if you would like to be involved please let us know

Youth and Community Engagement Officer

I am pleased to announce that Jodie Taylor, Youth and Community Engagement Officer (Myplace), started working with Hastings Trust in May. Her role requires her to work with young people and the wider community to ensure that they feel involved in and able to influence work on the youth arts and cultural facility proposed for St Mary in the Castle. Contact Jodie on

Monday, March 30, 2009

Myplace Hastings - Job Opportunity

We are currently recruiting for a part time (21 hours per week) Youth and Community Engagement Officer on a one year fixed term contract to support the development of the MyPlace @ St Mary in the Castle project.

For more information and for an application pack please e-mail me on or telephone 07837 612788 / 01424 452523.

The closing date is 14th April with interviews to be held on the 16th / 17th April.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

4.2 million investment in youth facilities in Hastings

I am so excited to be able to announce that Hastings Trust has been awarded over 4.2 million from the MyPlace programme. Please see the extract of the press release on the Big Lottery website:

The funding is the result of successful bids to the Department for Children, Schools and Families’ (DCSF) myplace programme, administered by the Big Fund (BIG), the non-lottery arm of the Big Lottery Fund.

In Hastings, a huge grant of over £4.2 million is awarded to Hastings Trust who will work with a number of other local organisations, including Hastings Youth Council, Hastings Borough Council, and East Sussex County Council, to deliver the Hastings Hub project. A town centre building will be refurbished to create a central place for young people in Hastings aged between 13 to 19 years old. At the Hub they will have their own live performance area, music studio and digital media workshop and will also be able to find practical support and advice on training and employment, sexual health and mental health issues.

Mel Bonney-Kane, Executive Director, Hastings Trust, said: “ We are delighted to be able to develop this exciting project with the young people of Hastings - it will create a fabulous resource to help our young people create their own opportunities which enable them to fulfil their greatest potential.”

The project will provide young people in Hastings with many new opportunities, encouraging them to learn new skills and also take on ownership and responsibility of the Hub as they will have a key role in designing and managing it themselves.

Today I had the pleasure of accompanying Billy Thompson (Chair) and Elissa Seddon (Vice-Chair) of the Hastings Youth Council to Hoxton Hall in Hackney for the press launch of the My Place programme.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hastings Trust invests in its people

I'm pleased to announce that, following our Investors in People review yesterday, our assessor is recommending that Hastings Trust retains its Investors in People status. Well done to everyone in the team - volunteers, trustees, and staff - for working so hard, and working together, to ensure that we continue to meet the standard.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Energise Hastings!

Energise Hastings
A club for everyone interested in reducing fuel bills and tackling climate change through energy use in the home.

Launch meeting

9.30 a.m. for breakfast
10 a.m. ~ 12 noon

Saturday 24 January 2009

Bridge Community Centre
361 Priory Road, Ore Valley,

• Make your home more energy efficient through draught proofing and insulation.

• Explore how to generate your own electricity and heating from renewable energy sources such as solar panels (photo voltaic and solar thermal), small wind turbines, wood burning stoves and air & ground source heat pumps.

• Learn about the different ways that energy can be generated, which technology is best for your home energy needs and which grants are available.

• Take the practical steps to get renewable energy equipment installed, find out about local training opportunities, become an accredited installer.

For more details or to confirm your attendance at the launch meeting contact:

Derrick G. Knight - Project Coordinator, Energise Hastings
Email: Mob: 07812 795537

or Chantal Lass - Sustainability Officer, Hastings Borough Council
Email: Tel: 01424 451483

Saturday, January 10, 2009

HBC Community Partnerships Funding

We're really excited and grateful that Hastings Borough Council has supported our consortium to the tune of £126k over two years to deliver vocational and life skills training. The Consortium is made up of Hastings Trust, Hastings Furniture Service, Horizons Community Learning and the Fellowship of St Nicholas. Watch this space to see how you can get involved when the project launches - we can't wait to get started.