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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 is a centre for workshops, exhibitions, sharing knowledge, and sharing food and drink!

OPEN, at 19 Grand Parade, launched on 13th June 2019 as a community-run creative café and exhibition space with ‘From Hastings, With Love’, for which Andrew Grainger took 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 Refugee Buddy Project, had 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 gave an emotional insight into the friendships which are being built by this local project.

Alongside the exhibition space and community café, OPEN also hosts a range of workshops and is 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.

OPEN is a collaborative space, working 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.

You can contact our Café Manager Khadija at [email protected]

Find us on Facebook @TheRefugeeBuddyProject or Instagram @buddyproject_refugeeswelcome