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A Weekend of Action, Hastings-Style

10th-11th October 2020

By Felicity Laurence, Communications and Campaigns, HCoS

First thing on Saturday morning was the Refugee Buddy Project’s Banner event – ‘Hastings
Welcomes Refugees – A Celebration. Together against the hostile environment‘ all along the beach front, with beautiful messages of solidarity for our fellow humans seeking sanctuary with us, and also to the Government calling for an end to its Hostile Environment which destroys so many lives, and even takes lives completely. In the evening, projections appeared on our hillsides – sending the message far and wide.

You can watch it all on the film here – an incredible and extraordinary testament to the
kindness and openheartedness across our community.

Then, as recorded in the film as it moves from beach to town, this narrative of support was
again powerfully evident at the Food Collection for Care4Calais and the Hastings Food bank;
from 11am-3pm, people came and donated gifts of food, and other items desperately
needed by those forced to sleep outside in Calais as winter approaches, and also money.

And throughout the town, in shops everywhere and along the seafront, are now displayed
the heart-breaking posters that show fragments of conversations between people in Calais,
those who are feeling from war and persecution, and those who are there to support them.
Again, a momentous testimony from so many voices of a compassionate community.

Here is HSR convener and Co-Chair HCoS Jane Grimshaw’s response to the food collection
(see also here):

Saturday was amazing, humbling, surprising.
As ever our wonderful town pulled together and showed its generous side.
During these very hard times we weren’t sure how successful the annual collection would
be. The grand total at the end of the day was two full car loads of aid for Calais and a similar
volume of food donations for the Hastings food bank.
Food bank donations were delivered this morning and they have passed on their heartfelt
thanks to everyone. Food bank use is at an all-time high and these are very trying times.
The donations for Calais will be going over hopefully towards the end of the month.
We were also astounded by how generous people were with monetary donations, with
nearly £400 being given on the day and another £300 being paid directly into the HSR bank
account. All of this we will transfer directly to Care4Calais.

We handed out all of the ConversationsfromCalais postcards for people to send to Sally-
Ann Hart, with our message to her please to read these so that she might better
understand why so many of us support safe passage for refugees and welcome them here.

And we handed out loads of badges kindly made for us by Patsy Solanki.

ConversationsfromCalais posters are up all over town so please look out for them.
And finally an enormous thank you to all the amazing volunteers who helped with the stall all day, we really couldn’t have done it without you.

HASTINGS YOU ROCK! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏