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 schedule on:
Hastings and St Leonards locals who would like to contribute content can do so through filling out a google form which contains full details.
If you’d like to contribute a show, please fill out our google form here: https://forms.gle/5hZpqP4tALEcQaMh6
For interviews please contact:
About Leisure & Learning (Hastings) Ltd
The 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 since 1985.
Leisure & 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.
Underlining 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 multi-faceted.
For more visit: www.theobserverbuilding.org.uk/leisureandlearning
About The Common Treasury of Adaptable Ideas
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.
For more visit: www.commontreasury.org.uk
About Hastings Voluntary Action
Hastings Voluntary Action supports charities, communities and social enterprises in the Hastings area, promotes volunteering, and runs community projects to support people in the Borough.
For more visit: www.hastingsvoluntaryaction.org.uk