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

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: or post it to: HARC, Renaissance House, London Road, St Leonards on Sea, TN37 6AN

There are other sources of help and advice see

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

Advice and support for your group

Looking for help in running your group? You can drop in on Thursday 9.30 – 1.00pm to Southover House and speak to Lee Shepherd of 3VA. He can help with setting up a new group, identifying potential sources of funding, and recruiting and retaining your volunteers.

Lee can also help if you are looking to do some volunteering as he has knowledge of many of the local groups and organisations who may need help. He can help you think through why you want to volunteer, how much time you can offer, what your skills are that you are offering  and what you are looking to get out of it. Try searching the national volunteering website

Or call Lee on 07535992638

Update on North Street developments

The recent AGM of the town partnership invited Clive Wilding (of Santon the developers of the site) to give an update and provide a timetable of what to expect over next time period as people have wondered what is going on since the planning permsission was granted. Most of the first phase’s buildings by Phoenix Place are getting prepared for demolition. People who were living or working there have now been moved and there are barriers in place. This work is meant to start before Christmas.

During any demolition process there are plans to restrict nuisance for neighbours and dust and noise, on similar lines to that of the Magistrates Court workings. It was requested at the meeting, and followed up with Santon, that any loss of car parking spaces are replaced with similar for the duration to avoid problems for people living and trying to park on nearby residential roads.

Heritage surveys have been undertaken and any industrial or pre-industrial finds will be published. Santon have agreed that any structures that formed part of the old iron works that can be rescued will be passed to the Phoenix Rising group.

Clive Wilding was asked to focus specifically on the issues of affordable housing and the proposed Health Hub. You can download and read the notes from the discussion here ltp-2016-agm-discussion-session

Landport Living History Exhibition


The Landport Living History Exhibition is a community history project. To find out who lived the houses on the estate in 1939 and what they did, the meaning of the street names in Landport etc, etc. Landport Residents’ Association put on a three day exhibition at the end of October at Landport Youth Centre in Lewes.

 The project’s aim was to engage with people who lived and worked on the estate, and gather their memories of Landport past and present. This was done over a period of several months, and then all the memories were collated and put into a folder for people to browse through at the exhibition.

 As well as this, people were asked for their personal photos of life on the estate and articles of interest. Some material came from The Keep, books on local history, and from Newhaven Fort.

 The exhibition was a great success, with lots of people from the estate and the local area of all ages coming along to see it.  The project has had a very positive response overall and some of the things said in the comments book are as follows- 

  •  ‘I found this all very interesting. A lot of hard work has gone into this display, thank you.’
  •  ‘The sense of community is evident, such a variety of people’s accounts.’
  •  ‘As a new resident really enjoyed seeing and reading some of the history of the area. Great exhibition. Well done.’

 If you would like advice on how to do something similar for where you live, be it on a small or large scale, they would be very happy to talk to you about how they went about it. Please email For those that are interested, much of the exhibition content is available online. Please go to

 My thanks to all the people who contributed to this very successful exhibition. In particular they wish to thank Tenant Participation Officer Sue Wells, for her invaluable help, and Landport Residents’ Association committee members Kirsten Bowen and David Pickbourne.