The Buddy Open Space is a new charity shop concept showcasing the talents and creativity of refugees and all people seeking refuge and safety.

Located at 19 Grand Parade, St Leonards on Sea, the shop will be a centre for workshops, exhibitions, sharing knowledge, and sharing food and drink!

OPEN, at 19 Grand Parade, will be launching as a community-run creative café and exhibition space with ‘From Hastings, With Love’, for which Grainger has taken portraits of families who have arrived in the area as part of the Syrian Resettlement Project, alongside their Buddies – the local volunteers who, as part of the Hastings & Rother Refugee Buddy Project, have been welcoming them to their new homes over the past 18 months.

Taken around the town in places chosen by the families and buddies themselves, Grainger’s photographs promise to give an emotional insight into the friendships which are being built by this local project.

‘From Hastings, With Love’ will run until mid-July.

Following the launch on 13th June, the space will officially open as a community café, alongside the other businesses present onsite. Yard & Quarter, Hairdresser James Nash, On the Wall Framing with Dominic the Framer, and 55 Prints, a new screen-printing company, will continue to operate out of the space. There are three desks to hire to the rear of the property. Rummy Thind, Mindful Meditation Practitioner and teacher, will be renting one, the second is earmarked for the Buddy Project administrator, whilst the third is available for hire.

Alongside the exhibition space and community café, OPEN will also host a range of workshops and be available for hire for events and pop-up activities. The aim is to feature artists who are not usually able to show their work, but all enquiries about hiring the space are welcome.