downloading the Earth Challenge 2020 app, you’re joining a community of
activists answering critical questions:
in the air where I live and breathe?
kinds of litter and trash are polluting my environment?
can I take action as a citizen scientist while homebound during the COVID-19
app is easy: Just take pictures of the air or litter on the ground and submit
the photo through your phone or tablet. Your data will be added to the global
citizen science database mapping the health and safety of citizens across the
world. And you can do this from the safety of your own home.
On Wednesday 25th March, The Observer Building
(Hastings), launched a Facebook channel to offer a platform to the local
community during the nationwide lockdown. The channel, Isolation Station
Hastings, is working with a range of local people and organisations to
live-stream daily content from people’s homes and is calling out to the local
community to contribute live-streamed content.
In its first three days, the channel has gained
almost 2,000 followers and 50,000 minutes viewed with a daily chat show, and
music performances from renowned jazz singer Liane Carroll, BRIT Award winning
song-writer Blair Mackichan, Wildflowers singer Siddy Bennett, Doc Savage and
Buddha Triangle. This week’s schedule includes a life-drawing class with Sue
Tilley,who posed for Lucian Freud’s £17m painting ‘Benefits Supervisor
Sleeping’, a film show interviewing local film-makers, Coastal Currents Arts
Hour, a pottery class, yoga and a
Saturday-night zoom party for up to 500 participants.
The channel has been prompting viewers to raise
money to support local NHS workers with Liane Carroll’s performance, raising
over £1600 alone. They also have a daily community news show led by Hastings’
local emergency volunteers who are part of the Hastings Emergency Action
Response Team (HEART).
Jess Steele OBE, who oversees The Observer
Building project, said: “Our town is renowned for its creativity, culture and
community and we want to do our very best to keep that alive during these
unprecedentedly challenging times. Staying at home doesn’t mean we can’t stay
connected and keep our spirits high, as well as offer our services to those
most in need.”
The platform offers live-streamed Facebook
slots to artists, performers, creators, pubs, local businesses, organisations,
teachers and anyone who has an idea for content that could be entertaining,
informative or offer learning. Some slots are paid, some offer funding
opportunities through viewer donations, and some will raise money for a charity
of the content-provider’s choice.
The channel is being run by The Observer
Building, which was due to launch this spring with a season of events,
workshops and other projects, which have been cancelled due to COVID-19. The
channel is funded by Leisure & Learning (Hastings), the Common Treasury of
Adaptable Ideas and Hastings Voluntary Action.
The channel is live with an ever-evolving
Hastings and St Leonards locals who would like
to contribute content can do so through filling out a google form which
contains full details.
Hastings Commons is a collection of interconnected buildings and spaces in the
town centre that have been brought into community ownership since 2014. In February 2019, the Commons was expanded significantly
with the purchase of The Observer Building, a 7-storey, print factory, derelict
& Learning is a charity set up to ‘activate and animate the spaces of the
Hastings Commons’. Our programming
offers a broad mix of lifestyle and life-long learning, vocational training and
community education intermixed with cultural and popular entertainment events.
all our activities is a desire to create positive social impact by providing
life-changing and place-shaping opportunities for local people, especially
those who usually miss out. Our
programming is designed to be diverse, inclusive, affordable and
The Common Treasury of Adaptable Ideas creates
spaces for people who want to make a real difference to the local
community-enterprise sector. By
showcasing change-makers and great ideas from elsewhere, our events act as a
springboard for inspiring and energising positive change in Hastings.
With the generous support of the Big Lottery’s
Power-to-Change programme, the programme
launched in March 2019 and has been extended for a further year, to February
2021. The programme includes
knowledge-sharing, idea-development, seed-funding and peer-mentoring, helping
participants to transition great ideas
into actionable enterprises in the community.
The Common Treasury aims to help shift mind-sets – moving thinking
from beyond existing ‘damage-limitation’ approaches – to thinking about what
community-led enterprises look like when based on a sustainable local economy
that makes links between people, place and planet.
Led by Hastings Voluntary Action, co-ordinating all local VCSE (Voluntary,
Community and Social Enterprise) sector activities in partnership with Hastings
Borough Council, the CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups), ESCC (East Sussex
County Council) and the NHS
CV-19 EMERGENCY HELPLINE FOR HASTINGS
hosted by Hastings Borough Council,
open Mon-Thurs 9-5pm; Friday 9-4.30pm
On Saturday, 1 February, 30 Transition Town members came together at the White Rock Hotel to explore, debate and agreed on some exciting new priorities for 2020. We agreed to focus on some exciting new projects – details below.
If you’re interested in knowing more or want to get involved, please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and feel free to spread the word !!!
A Green Hub for Hastings and St Leonards
A real or virtual hub that provides space to connect –
bringing together individuals and groups keen on creating a more sustainable
and integrated community. Similar conversations are taking place within The
Common Treasury, in XR and at Energise Sussex Coast (ESC) so this is a great
opportunity for collective action! Talk to Kate Meakin or Julia Hilton for info.
A Library of Things:
Initially introduced at The Common Treasury in October,
it’s a great idea that has members keen to get one happening in Hastings. Why
buy, if you can borrow? If you want to know more, check out
Planting trees was a popular priority – in town and country! Kate Meakin, Mary
Dawson and Ken Davis are our champions.
Field Trips and Feasts
A series of learning journeys to places that inspire
(Great Dixter and The Bevy got special mentions) and our always-popular potluck
dinners. More events that bring us together for food and fun. Talk to Sherry
Clark if you have any suggestions!
Map the Territory
From Living Streets to empty buildings, members are keen
to contribute to creating an inventory of what’s there, what can be done and who
is doing what – to help bring like-minded people and groups together. Sarah
Macbeth and Julia Hilton are the go-to-gals for this one.
Hollington Gardens Friends:
A new initiative that matches keen volunteers with
neglected family gardens. Lynn Savage or Maya Evans can tell you more.
We also agreed to continue to invest in existing projects
The Community Garden at Warrior Square
Station (talk to Chris Petts, Alan Jeffries, Mick Studd or Michelle White)
The Big Lunch – this year on Sunday, 7 June in Warrior
Square Gardens (Talk to Sherry Clark)
points around town, where you can fill up your reusable water bottle (Talk to
Hannah Robbins at Wonderfill)
Activities related to Sustainability on Sea (Talk
to Kate Meakin or Sarah Macbeth)
Sustainable transport, architecture and urban-planning
(Contact Ken Davis or Julia Hilton)
A few projects have been put on hold – for now. We just can’t
Sustainability on Sea will happen next in
Spring 2021, following on from a hopefully successful and inspiring COP26 in
Glasgow in December
Car Free Day: after a great turnout in
2019, despite adverse weather, we are still looking for volunteers keen to take
this forward in 2020 or 2021. The newly-formed Living Streets group is
also keen to get involved in street
Swap shops, a local currency scheme, a network
of initiatives around Sussex and beyond.
This concludes the project to which so many lovely members of the public contributed. It makes the square in front of St Leonards Warrior Square Station look so much more vibrant and welcoming. And it’s so wonderful to see children and adults looking for the piece that they completed and take pride in it… Thanks again to all those who helped – we have helped make St Leonards look even better!