vote in Hastings and Rye

Your vote counts!

We asked parliamentary candidates in East Sussex whether they would pledge to campaign to save Local Welfare Assistance (LWA) funding and ring-fence it to protect the services it funds.

LWA is a safety net that enables some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged households to get through a crisis, obtain and set up a basic home including beds and bedding, emergency food and rent deposits.

At HFS we see the direct results of this support because we source and deliver brand new beds, bedding, cookers and fridges for people in Hastings and Rother who apply to the County Council for this help (click to read more about the scheme).

Separate, ring-fenced LWA funding was abolished in April 2015. The Government said that Councils would allocate funds for the services from their core grant; they suggested amounts but refused to ring-fence funds. Council core grants are reducing each year (local Councils say their budgets have been reduced 40% since 2010) so the lack of separate, ring-fenced funding puts LWA services at risk.

If you haven’t yet decided how to vote on 8th June, please bear in mind that the candidates’ intentions on issues like this can make a real difference to local households in need. 

These candidates have pledged support:

Peter Chowney – Labour – Hastings & Rye

Colin Stocks – Green Party – Wealden

Nicholas Wilson – Independent (Vote Ethical) – Hastings & Rye

Angie Smith – Labour – Wealden

Caroline Lucas – Green Party – Brighton Pavilion

 

We’ve not yet heard from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats or UKIP.

 

 

 




Hastings winkle club

Thank you Winklers!

Hastings winkle clubWe are really grateful to Hastings Winkle Club for supporting our Starter Packs fund.

The Club donated £400 towards the packs, which help local people starting a home with nothing after homelessness, escaping domestic violence or crises such as home fires.

The packs contain basic essential items to help people cook, clean and wash for themselves and their families. HFS sources the brand new goods wholesale to make up the packs at a low cost and help as many households as possible. People in need of a starter pack are referred by organisations such as Refuge, Seaview, HARC, Social Services, Housing Departments and the County Council.

The Winkle Club is a famous Hastings institution, originally set up by fishermen in the Old Town. Each  Member (or ‘Winkler’) carries a winkle shell which they must produce when challenged to ‘Winkle Up’. Failure to do so results in a fine which goes towards local charities.

Winkle Club members have included a few very illustrious personalities such  as Lord Montgomery, Sir Winston Churchill,  the Duke of Windsor and many others. You can find out more about the Club here.

bright upcycled benches by the sea

Bedhead Benches

Our workshop team has been working on an exciting new project to reuse and upcycle unwanted bed-heads into fabulous benches for the home and garden.

Sometimes we collect bed frames that can’t be reused because parts are missing but we don’t want the wood to go to waste. These benches use up the heads, ends and slats of the bed-frames to make an attractive new piece of furniture.

It’s been a fun challenge for our workshop team. Our expert Ron has helped the volunteers to figure out how to reuse the wood and make strong sturdy bench seats. Our volunteers are local people who have enjoyed HFS courses and want to do more carpentry, restoration and painting as part of the team. Pauline, Heidi, Percival, Phil and Victor have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and we are really proud of the stunning results.

Each bench is unique. There are children’s benches as well as full-size and we have painted several in fun bright colours.

Child-size benches are £70 full price (£45 benefit discount price) and adult-size ones are up to £195 (£145 discount price).

The benches will be on sale at our Bexhill store from Friday 28th April.

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five in a fortnight

Five of our volunteers have got jobs in the last fortnight – huge congratulations to Dave (pictured), Max, Paul, John and Richard!

It’s great to see people getting on so well and moving on into work, and it means we now have vacancies for more people to join our team.  So if you are looking to take a step back to work, why not volunteer at HFS?

More info about volunteering

get creative!

 

 

 

 

 

Learn skills and make items to take home with pride!

Small supportive groups of adults—no experience needed.

Tools & materials provided.

 

Mixed Crafts   Tues 4th April   6 mornings 10-1.30   Hastings

Carpentry    Thurs 13th April    6 mornings 10-1.30   Bexhill

Upholstery    Weds 19th April   6 mornings 10-1.30  Hastings

Mixed Crafts   Thursday 11th May   6 mornings 10-1.30  Hastings

Shabby Chic Paint Effects    Tues 9th May     6 mornings 10-1.30  Hastings

Furniture Restoration     Thurs 25th May     6 mornings 10-1.30  Bexhill

Upholstery     Saturday 27th May   4 days 10-3      Hastings

 

Course fees are £60 per course. Free for people in receipt of means-tested benefits.

Pay a refundable deposit to book your place.

Read more.

did you know ... refuge sessions

Learn more about HFS in seconds

Learn more about HFS in seconds with our Did You Know slideshow (click the picture to view)

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Welcome the WoW van!

wow-at-four-courts-mediumWe’re excited to be launching our ‘Workshop on Wheels’ – making DIY and craft activities accessible to people in a wide range of community venues and neighbourhoods around Hastings and Rother.

The large WoW van has been customised with workbenches and tool cupboards so that our skilled tutors can take the workshop to visit groups of people and provide practical activities such as repairing furniture, making items from scrap wood and craft projects.

Having run workshops and courses at our stores in Hastings and Bexhill for many years, we are excited to have found a way to take some of these activities out into the community so that more people can enjoy taking part without the difficulty or expense of travelling to us.

The positive impact of making activities on health and wellbeing is well documented, and we hope that the small neighbourhood groups will be a great way for people to meet up with their neighbours as well as getting to know new people in their area. Our in-store workshops have taught us that, for many people, making or repairing something for their home is a deeply meaningful activity that increases their confidence and gives them a more positive outlook on life.

The WoW project has been supported by the Hastings and Rother CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group), allowing the workshop sessions to be offered totally free of charge to local residents.

The interior of the WoW van has been kitted out with funds raised by HFS patron Mark Thomas at a pre-gig talk at St Mary’s in the Castle in November last year.

First stops on the WoW van’s journey will be:

  • Four Courts Community Centre on Stonehouse Drive
  • Robsack Centre in Bodiam Drive

The workshops will run every Friday at 10am and 1.30pm respectively for four weeks starting from February 10th. Future venues and dates will be added to our workshop calendar throughout the year so watch out for WoW popping up somewhere near you!

To take part, just come and say hello to our team with the WoW van at your nearest location.

Spring 2017 workshop dates

spring-17-training-datesOur springtime workshop dates are now available!

Join a small, supportive group to enjoy decoupage, furniture restoration, carpentry or paint effects at one of our workshops in Hastings or Bexhill.

Free or low cost – discounts for low income households. All materials and tools provided.

Make something special to take home with pride.

See the calendar and joining info here.

 

to let boards

Need work space?

to let boardsWe need you to tell us about your work space needs in a short online survey.

If you have been looking for space to start an enterprise, make a change from working at home, use as a creative studio, or even re-locate an existing small business, we want to get your views about the things that would make a work space attractive for you.

Your feedback will inform the plans for redeveloping our Bexhill site, extending the buildings to create units for people to rent for work, and help us apply for funding to make it happen one day.

There isn’t any space available at the moment, we need your views to help make a case for it.

Click here to take the short survey (10 questions)

craft workshop at Hastings Furniture Service

Crafty workshops for 2017

craft workshop at Hastings Furniture ServiceOur happy new prices prozac online, year starts with some wonderful workshops.

Join a small group and get creative at one of our workshops in Hastings or Bexhill.

Starting in January:

Decoupage – starts Tues 10th

Furniture Restoration – starts Weds 11th

Carpentry for beginners – starts Thurs 12th

Paint Effects – starts Fri 13th

These courses run for 4-6 weeks and are open to anyone. Free if your household receive a means-tested benefit or working tax credits.

Read more about the courses and how to book.