Mar 102016

March 10


BHT Finding Futures are going to be doing The John Muir Award ‘Discovery’ Award this summer and we desperately need equipment.  We will be discovering, exploring and conserving a site on a farm near Pevensey & Westham in East Sussex.


We will be:

  • observing and recording the animals, birds, insects and plants
  • planning and starting a conservation project – clearing non-indigenous shrubs and plants, dredging a pond and clearing drainage channels, planting to encourage wildlife, especially bees and butterflies, in and around the hedgerows and the pond, building and installing wildlife havens e.g. owl, bird and bat boxes, hedgehog hotels, insect hotels and a hibernacula for amphibians.
  • spending quality time in nature away from the stresses of our everyday lives and focusing on our health and well-being


Then we will be sharing our experience by way of a presentation of sorts, but it will include photographs, video, diary extracts, observations, drawings etc.


Once we’ve done all of this we can apply for John Muir ‘Discovery’ Award certificates for our learners.  If you want to know more about the John Muir Awards check out this video:


However we are in desperate need to tools/equipment so if anyone has anything they are willing to donate we would be extremely grateful.  The kind of stuff we need is:


  • Cutting tools e.g. secateurs, shears, scythes, hand saws
  • Spades
  • Forks
  • Rakes
  • Hand trowels
  • Wellie boots
  • Gloves
  • Waders


Thank you




Sarah Blessington
BHT Finding Futures
Renaissance House, London Road, St Leonards on Sea, TN37 6AN
T 01424 718984

 Posted by at 12:45 pm
Feb 262016

Feb 26 have published the following story:

Welfare reforms risk leading people into severe hardship, report finds – News from Parliament – UK Parliament”

The Work and Pensions Committee’s report on the local welfare safety net says central and local government must co-ordinate better to fill gaps in the welfare safety net and prevent severe hardship and destitution.”

This prompted us to remind people of the amazing effort of hundreds of volunteers last year to create the Bare Necessities film – unfortunately the film we made last year is as relevant now as it was then.

Please share, post and tweet. This information, this story cannot be told, shared and published too many times

“The Advice & Community Hub and HFS supported by over 200 incredible volunteers have created an amazing film highlighting the cuts in Local Welfare Assistance Grant funding. The film was made with ZERO budget and could not have been made without the incredibly generous support of film makers, sound recordists, choirs, a local social enterprise cinema, a local pub, carpet company and various other volunteers. At our launch event……

  • People sat on free cinema seats, with the venue provided free by the Electric Palace Cinema, High Street Hastings

1 2

  • People walked to the Electric Palace along a red carpet (actually non slip industrial vinyl very kindly donated by Kileys Karpets, St Leonards)

3 4

  • People watched a film recorded by, and on equipment kindly provided by kneecap media

5 6

  • People watched a film starring Si, Jessica and Harry who kindly gave their time for free (well apart from Jess and Harry who were bribed, sorry, provided with sweets fruit)


  • People listened to the sound kindly recorded by, and on equipment provided by Casper from Surfhunter Music


  • People listened to the music and voices arranged by Debbie Warren and sung by Soundwaves, Harmony One, Hastings Town Singers and Brighton City Singers choirs.


  • People mingled after the screenings at The Jenny Lind who very kindly provided a sectioned area, and arranged the space and facilities for free

11 12

  • People were bestowed with awards very kindly designed and put together by staff and learners from the BHT Finding Futures Project

13 14 15

  • People kindly gave their time to attend the event and leave comments, including Peter Chowney, Leader of Hastings Borough Council

16 18 17

We would really appreciate it if you would not only watch the film but to tweet, facebook and share it everywhere. This film will be part of a national campaign. PLEASE don’t forget to put the hashtag#KeepTheSafetyNet.


We made the campaign film……

And a Making Of film…..

The second behind the scenes film tells the story of how the film came to be made, and the incredibly generous people who helped make it all possible, please do watch both and share, share, share.

Finally a quote from the person behind the inspiration for the film, Jo Wilson……

“Local Welfare Assistance Fund was brought in just over two years ago after Community Care Grants and Crisis loans were removed. Government gave some monies to Local Authorities but the money was not ring fenced. Next year the Local Welfare Assistance will be no more, and there are currently no plans to replace it. I didn’t need any more reason to feel passionately about trying to do something about this issue, but then the Chief Exec of Hastings Furniture Service told me what happened during one of their deliveries to a family who had just been moved into a property, they had no furniture, the delivery people were taking the bed frames and mattresses into the children’s rooms and the mother just stood in the hallway crying. The delivery people thought they had done something wrong so as they left they asked if she was ok, the woman replied “I was only expecting bedframes and mattresses but you brought duvets and pillows as-well which means I can tuck my children in to bed tonight”. So if my begging and pleading doesn’t get you tweeting and facebooking I hope this true story will.”

 Posted by at 10:12 am
Feb 242016

feb 24

The Advice & Community Hub drop in service will be closed this morning Wednesday 24 February for training. We are still open for those who have pre-booked appointments. We will be open again from 1pm this afternoon as usual. We apologise for any inconvenience. Telephone advice is available by calling Adviceline 03444 111 444 from 9am this morning.

 Posted by at 9:16 am

Hub drop-in service closed Monday 15 February

 Hub Opening Times  Comments Off on Hub drop-in service closed Monday 15 February
Feb 142016

Feb 14

The Advice & Community Hub drop in service will be closed on Monday 15 February for training. We are still open for those who have pre-booked appointments. We will be open Tuesday 16 February from 9am as usual. We apologise for any inconvenience. Telephone advice is available by calling Adviceline 03444 111 444 from 9am Monday morning.

 Posted by at 8:46 pm

New CEO Tracy Dighton welcomes Peter Chowney to the Bureau

 News  Comments Off on New CEO Tracy Dighton welcomes Peter Chowney to the Bureau
Jan 152016

Jan 15            TD & PC Jan 16


On Tuesday 12 January, Tracy met with Peter Chowney, Leader of Hastings Borough Council, at a Citizens Advice 1066 workers meeting. Tracy and Peter addressed the staff and volunteers and then answered questions.

Tracy, who has been appointed as new Chief Executive Officer at Citizens Advice 1066 said:

I am delighted to begin my work at Citizens Advice 1066. It was great to meet Peter and I look forward to working with him and Hastings Borough Council to support our clients.

Peter Chowney, Leader of Hastings Borough Council said:

I was very pleased to be able to welcome Tracy to her new job in Hastings. I’m sure she’ll be a very effective leader for the CAB at a time when they’re under so much pressure to provide support and advice for the more vulnerable members of our community.  With big cuts in government funding, it’s going to be a difficult time ahead for local authorities and the non-statutory sector, it was good to meet and talk to the CAB advisers to find what their concerns are, and what they think our priorities should be.

TD & PC Jan 16 1

Marc Turczanski, Chair of The Board of Trustees, Citizens Advice 1066 said:

On behalf of the Board, I would like to congratulate Tracy on her appointment. Tracy has a proven track-record for transforming strategy into results in public and voluntary sector settings.

Citizens Advice 1066, together with BHT and HARC, work out of The Advice and Community Hub at Renaissance House, London Road, St. Leonards. The Advice and Community Hub is an integrated advice centre providing free, confidential and quality assured advice on a full range of topics, including debt, welfare benefits, housing, employment, immigration and relationships. The Hub is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9am and 4:30pm, and on Tuesday and Thursday between 9am and 12:30pm. You can contact us on 01424 721458. More information on our full range of services can be found at, or you can follow us on facebook ( and twitter ( and

 Posted by at 11:24 am

Hub Closed for Drop-In Service 12 January

 Hub Opening Times  Comments Off on Hub Closed for Drop-In Service 12 January
Jan 122016

jan 12


The Advice & Community Hub drop in service will be closed this morning, Tuesday 12 January. We have a workers meeting and training and are only open for those who have pre-booked appointments. We are also closed every Tuesday afternoon and will be open tomorrow morning from 9am as usual.

 Posted by at 9:13 am

Advertising Opportunity at The Hub

 Services  Comments Off on Advertising Opportunity at The Hub
Jan 072016

Jan 7


Are you interested in advertising at The Hub? In 2015 we had over 10,600 visits to the Advice & Community Hub. We are happy to promote selected services and organisations. We have a television screen in our reception that currently shows a mix of news, radio and our own promotional material. If you are interested in advertising on the screen in our Reception area, please contact, message me or call me on 07977336610. Many Thanks, and please share, share, share….

 Posted by at 10:15 am
Dec 092015

Dec 8


Just over a year ago I asked for help updating The Advice & Community Hub website. At the time there was no budget and I was very conscious that I was asking a big favour. I made it clear that I wanted to do most of the work myself and would manage the website going forward. I was looking to ‘borrow’ someone for quite a while, ask them loads of questions, and basically download and take away for free their knowledge and experience of website design, development and management.

C21web offered their time, extensive knowledge and experience, and many cups of tea. And all for free. I had no previous experience of working on websites, and from their base in Norman Road, St Leonards, and with admirable and considerable patience, they guided, educated and supported me.

This post is our way of saying a big and very public thank you to C21web. They have been incredibly supportive and generous and we really couldn’t have done it without them.

Thank You

 Posted by at 8:41 pm
Nov 032015

Nov 2


Advice & Community Hub Press Release

Advice & Community Hub Opening Times

Changes to Drop-in Times

The Advice & Community Hub, London Road St. Leonards is changing it’s opening hours from the week beginning Monday 2nd November.

The Advice & Community Hub at Renaissance House in St. Leonards is home to Citizens Advice 1066, BHT and HARC. The changes are to the drop-in sessions and do not affect anyone with a pre-booked appointment. The Advice & Community Hub provides a reception and gateway service during the new opening times. The new opening times are:

Monday        9:00am –   4:30pm

Tuesday        9:00am – 12:30pm

Wednesday  9:00am –   4:30pm

Thursday      9:00am – 12:30pm

Friday                        9:00am –   4:30pm


Dee Woollard, Interim Chief Executive of Citizens Advice 1066, Jacky Everard HARC Chief Executive and Jo Wilson, Manager of BHT Hastings Services said “It is with regret that we have decided to reduce the days and hours we are open to the general public. This difficult decision is a consequence of a cut in the amount of funding we have received. We have tried to lessen the impact of the funding cuts by closing on two separate afternoons, whilst  still keeping the service open every weekday. We will continue to provide quality, free and confidential advice to all who need it.”

Citizens Advice provide free, confidential and impartial advice on subjects including debt & money, employment, consumer and discrimination. HARC provide free specialist welfare benefits advice and BHT provide specialist housing advice. All three agencies will continue to work together at The Hub to provide a one stop shop where Hastings & St. Leonards residents can access a high quality and free advice service.

The joint statement continues “We are disappointed to have to close our doors on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, but without sufficient funds we really can’t afford to offer the same level of service. We see over 10,000 people each year at the Hub, and provide vital services that help people when they are most in need. We strive to provide a quality service and to secure adequate funding, and we will continue to do so.

For further information, please contact The Advice & Community Hub,

Renaissance House, London Road, St. Leonards. East Sussex TN37 6AN

01424 721458

 Posted by at 12:37 pm