Disability issues in East Sussex

East Sussex Disability Association has sadly closed and many people have wondered how issues can now be raised and discussed between the different community and self-help groups of disabled people. One way is to attend the forthcoming East Sussex Disability Summit being run by organisation Possability People based in Brighton. This group also provides a wide range of information and advice across East Sussex Brighton and Hove. https://www.possabilitypeople.org.uk/

Thursday, June 29, 2017 – 10:00 – 14:30
The View Hotel Grand Parade Eastbourne BN21 4DN
They write
Please join us to find out what we can do together to support disabled people in East Sussex. Meet, connect, make change.
Booking telephone number: 01273 89 40 40 which also their help line number
Booking email address: hello@possabilitypeople.org.uk

Lewes’ future – have your say

A lot of work has gone into the draft Neighbourhood Plan for Lewes which is now available to view and feedback is invited .

The Pre-Submission Draft of the Lewes Neighbourhood Plan is open for a six-week public consultation. This consultation period begins on Monday 8th May and ends on Wednesday 21st June 2017

There will be a drop-in event presenting the draft plan at the Town Hall on 25th May from 1.00pm until 10.00pm and on the 26th May from 9.30am until 1.00pm. Please come along to this event where you can find out more about the plan and ask any questions you may have.

There will be a slideshow presentation at 7.30pm on Thursday 25th May. This presentation will explain more about the plan and be an opportunity for questions and answers.

Responses can be made on paper or via the online form here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Lewes_Reg-14_Consultation

The whole documents, together with the research and other considerations that fed into it, can be viewed online or downloaded via the website here http://www.lewes4all.uk/, note some of the files are large so may take a bit of time to download.

New member profile

The Lewes Group of Parkinson’s UK was formed in 2016 by local members of the existing Mid Sussex Branch of the national charity to provide friendship and support to people living with Parkinson’s in the Lewes area, their friends, families and carers. They meet regularly and, recognising that appropriate exercise is the primary self help therapy for people living with the condition, have established, from the start of 2017, weekly exercise classes in the town for people with Parkinson’s, led by a specialist physiotherapist.

Contact Clare Carroll  Email: clare@thecarrolls.org.uk Telephone: 07518 053655
Website: http://www.parkinsons.org.uk

Community Drop-in Event Saturday 18 March

Community drop in-1   Picture5

Mayor of Lewes Dr Graham Mayhew  did the rounds at the recent community event where he found out about a range of different agencies in the town.

He spent over an hour chatting to people about their valuable work in helping build a rich and supportive community. A steady stream of members of the public called in to chat to people and pick up leaflets. Free cake (courtesy of Tesco’s) and refreshments were available .

Over a dozen local projects were represented including… Community Transport Lewes Area, Lewes Area Access Group, ESCC Locality Link Worker, Wave Leisure with a range of community based sporting and healthy living initiatives; Recovery Partners peer support for people experiencing mental health problems;  Now! charity; Nevill Juvenile Bonfire Society; Tenants of Lewes District Council; East Sussex Winter Home Check Service (with advice and goodies to give away); Local Food Banks; East Sussex Credit Union and Lewes for a Living Wage.

A range of volunteering opportunities were on display for those looking for ideas of how to offer their time and Lee Shepherd from the East Sussex Volunteer Centre was on hand to talk with people as they passed by.

The Lewes Town Partnership is grateful to the House of Friendship committee who helped out on the day and made their light and cheerful premises available for the event.

Also to the volunteers of the Lewes News who helped to collate, stuff and deliver the colourful flyers about the event to all the households in the town in time for the weekend.

For a pdf version with photos please see this Write up after the event

All in It Together … with FREE cake


Are we all equally affected by the current social and economic environment? Lewes is seen as a wealthy town; politically and socially active and caring but without obvious aspects of poverty or deprivation. The town partnership however is aware that there are some people who may need help. The aim of the drop-in event on Saturday March 18th 10am – 1pm at the House of Friendship is for people to drop by, have a free cup of coffee and cake and find out about the wealth of self help and other support in place around the town.

A Community Swap Shop pin board will be in place for people who may have ideas for new projects, or can offer their time or help to others. East Sussex Volunteer Centre will have someone on hand to talk to; look out for Lee Shepherd.

Tables will be arranged under the following themes:

  • Transport/ Getting About
  • Leisure/ Health
  • Housing/ Help with Heating/ Financial Help
  • Wellbeing and Volunteering

For more information drop a line to Lewes Town Hall,  High Street, Lewes BN7 2QS attention of Lewes Town Partnership or email lewestownpartnership@mail.com

Are you getting the correct benefits?

Free, confidential, quality assured, expert benefits advice is available locally….
there are various options:

Call CAB Advice line 03444 111 444. Telephone advice times Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 09.30 – 16.00

Call Lewes District Information Hub 01273 51737

Drop in to the Lewes Citizens Advice Bureau, The Barn, 3 North Ct, Lewes BN7 2AR. Drop in service and appointments Monday, Tuesday, Thursday   09.30 – 15.00

For all people registered with a GP in the High Weald Lewes Havens CCG area a referral can be made by a third party for someone to get advice from the High Weald, Lewes & Havens CCG Benefits Advisor.

Download and email the high-weald-lewes-havens-referral-form- to: info@harcuk.com or post it to: HARC, Renaissance House, London Road, St Leonards on Sea, TN37 6AN

There are other sources of help and advice see http://www.lewes.gov.uk/localhelp/24018.asp

Improving Lewes for people with access needs

At our recent AGM Jean Lawrence the acting chair of the Lewes Area Access Group told us a bit about their work. She herself works with visually impaired people and helps them to orientate themselves about, through training with white sticks etc. She is passionate about improving the physical urban environment for blind or partially sighted people.

The LAAG meets regularly to raise issues where access could be improved and to work with the authorities to share their experiences to improve the town for everyone. They greatly miss their Access Officer Sue Dunkley, made redundant recently from LDC. They cannot locate any replacement for the vital role she played in advising the council, as well as liaising with the public over disability access matters. She was able to make the links with departments such as highways when problems were identified. Jean has tried contacting the council but is not clear who is being passed any correspondence and if it is being logged anywhere.

Jean reminded everyone that access affects everyone at some point, whether mums with prams, older people (we will all get older eventually and face cognitive as well as physical decline), carers have valuable insights into where problems lie, also those people who may have less visible impairment. The LAAG will work with the LTP and the Sussex Past heritage interpretation project to seek ways of improving information for the public and to help develop the capacity of the group to support itself in the absence of ongoing help from the authorities.

The changes made to Cliffe High Street are a poor example for disabled people, in fact many local visually impaired people will avoid it due to the cars parking on the pavements, the café overspills and the uneven cobbles. There are many issues that the LAAG hope to raise with the developers of North Street around the concept of Shared Space and they will seek to have input at the right time to show how this is not a solution to the blind or partially sighted, more of an additional barrier to independence.

Contact the group via Jean at j.lawrence@seeAbilility.org