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Hastings Community of Sanctuary Round Up – July 2019

It’s been an incredibly busy 2019 so far, with lots more to come in the second half of the year!

We’ve been engaging with national lobbying through the Lift The Ban campaign; launched a brand new Creative Cafe and Exhibition Space – OPEN; held our annual Fesitval By The Lake and much more. What follows is a brief overview of our 2019 so far.

Don’t forget, we update the website regularly with events and blogs so please check in regularly to see what we’re up to!

EALS Campaign, January and February: We succesfully campaigned with other groups to save the East Sussex English as an Additional Language service from closure. This service is still potentially under threat, as the discussions between the schools and the Council continue. We are ready to relaunch the capmaign if necessary, so keep an eye out for further updates later in the year.

Lift the Ban Coalition meeting, 21st January: Amnesty Office, London. Our Chair Felicity Laurence and Lift the Ban campaign-lead Jay Kramer attended this coalition meeting, and Felicity was asked to speak about our work in Hastings, and to contribute to short film about the campaign.

Coats for Calais, February: The Hastings Supports Refugees group rallied again in response to an urgent call out from Calais to collect coats for refugees in the Calais camps.

Nae Pasaran at the Kino, 15th February: The Hastings & Rother Refugee Buddy Project hosted a screening of the film Nae Pasaran followed by a discussion panel, and the launch of the fundraising effort for the Project.

Woman Of the World award presented to Rossana Leal, 8th March: The UNHCR and Migrant Organise declared Rossana Leal, Founder and Organsier of the Hastings & Rother Refugee Buddy Project, Woman of the Year 2019 at a star-studded evening at the Royal Festival Hall!

Vigil at Hastings Mosque, 22nd March: In a joint call to action between Hastings Community of Sanctuary, Hastings Supports Refugees and The Hastings and Rother Refugee Buddy Project, we organised a vigil for Christchurch terrorist murders of Muslim community, and in support of our local Muslim community which was attended by 300 people.

Hastings & Rother Refugee Buddy Project training day, 23rd March: the first of our twice-yearly training for the Buddies, followed by a fantastic social gathering for Nowroz Festival which was attended by over 200 people!

Piano recital, 21st April: Stables Theatre, with Margaret Fingerhut, raised nearly £1000 for Hastings Community of Sanctuary!

Pop up Boutique, April 27th: Hastings Supports Refugees organised another event based on the tenent of charity with dignity, offering good quality adult and children’s clothes for free at Hastings Mosque.

OPEN Creative Cafe and Exhibition Space, 13th June: we officially launched OPEN, with a photographic exhibition and a packed launched event!

Lift the Ban Day of Action, June 15th: Stall on Kings Road St Leonards 11am-1pm followed by ‘One Hastings Many Voices’ event for Lift the Ban at the Greek Orthodox Church Hall, 7-10pm, with music, food, speeches.

Festival by the Lake, 23rd June: The third annual event in Ashburnam Place was attending by over 700 people.

Refugee Tales, 10th July: The Refugee Tales Walk culminated in Hastings this year, with an event at The Kino Theatre, with story, music, poetry. We will write more about this in our next newsletter!

Schools Project, Ongoing: Our Chair, Felicity Laurence, has been working with a local school, using music to develop the children’s understanding of refuge and safety. The schoo hopes to become a School of Sanctuary in the near future!