This August, the very first clothes swap was hosted by Our Slow Salon at St. Cuthman’s Church in Whitehawk.
The event was designed to help local families to swap the clothes they no longer wore, with community volunteers on hand to help with alterations if required. Our Slow Salon also put on cookery workshops throughout the day plus free food including a popcorn machine!
The aim was to use food, fashion and creativity to bring people together to promote a sustainable and zero-waste ethos.
East Brighton Trust funded the event through our small grants scheme with an award of £500.
Organiser Charlotte Hastings told us “St. Cuthman’s is a bright, welcoming space, where we could have creative tables for kids and parents, repair and updating and making tables for the clothes brought in and of course make lots of delicious food to keep us going!”
People attending the event had some really nice things to say too:
“Had a really wonderful time today, swapped quite a few tops and ate some lovely food”
“Thank you for organising this event, it’s much needed and very helpful to people who don’t have much money. The food was amazing and I got my jeans fixed and some new clothes.”
“Great way to meet new people and great to swap clothes we grew out of for new things to fit into.”
“Fabulous event! Huge success, great atmosphere, delicious food. Warm community atmosphere enjoyed by all.”
Charlotte wrote to thank us for the donation, saying “Our Slow Salon - ‘creating a mend, make and share community’ - has been lifted into action in Whitehawk by East Brighton Trust - now we can’t wait to put on more events bringing the community together for a creative, active, sustainable future.”
We can’t wait either and hope to see this fantastic initiative evolve and grow to reach more families across Whitehawk.
We're thrilled to announce that in our Summer 2021 round, all eligible small grants were awarded. The groups that have received funding from us are:
1st Brighton Brownies
1st Brighton Guides
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership
Brighton and Hove Speak Out
Brighton Peace and Environment Centre
City Gate Community Projects (Fareshare Project)
East Brighton Food Co-operative
Flock Theatre Makers
Fresh Start Community Association
Friday Friends Community Group
Friends of Maggie's Corner
Kemp Town Gardening and Community Group
Kidz Klub Brighton & Hove (registered charity since 2008)
Making Our Mark!
Manor Boccia Group
Moulsecoomb Skatepark Group
Our Slow Salon
SEDS Sussex Ehlers-Danlos syndromes and hypermobility support group
The Manor Gym CIC
The View FC
Whitehawk Football Club
Whitehawk United FC
Please note: our partners at Sussex Community Foundation are still awaiting information from some of the above groups to enable the funds to be transferred. They have done their best to contact the groups but have not been able to reach everyone. If you are on the above list and have not received your funds yet please contact Peter Jones at Sussex Community Foundation on 01273 409440.
Since the spring East Brighton Trust has responded through our grant giving to a range of recent emergency situations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the past few months we have awarded a significant amount of grants totalling over £60,000, directing funds where they were most needed and benefiting thousands of people across East Brighton. The communities that we support have found new ways to come together and support each other - responding to emergency need in the first instance whilst swiftly developing new ways of working throughout the pandemic and into the future.
East Brighton Trust is pleased to have been able to respond quickly with grants where financial help was most needed.
Here is an overview of where our funds have gone over the past few months.
We ran our Autumn small grants round as planned and were able to support the following local projects to deliver work and activities in the East Brighton area: The ABC Fund, Badgers Tennis Club, BELTA, Bevendean Community Garden, East Brighton Food Cooperative, The Flamenco & Spanish Group, Good News Brighton, Moulsecoomb Community Market, RAW Youth Club, Salaam Football Club, St Georges Hall, Whitehawk Community Food Project, The World Food Project and the On your way job club.
Though we have cancelled our January 2021 round due to our funds being awarded early as and when they were most needed, we hopeto be in a position to recommence our small grant funding later next year.
Emergency food provision
Many people in the areas we work in were already facing hardship, and the lockdown only increased the pressure on families who were already struggling to make ends meet. As the need for emergency food and provisions went through the roof, established food projects ramped up their outreach and new initiatives were created to fulfil newly identified requirements.
The food projects we supported with grants during the lockdown are:
Sussex Homeless Support - to set up a food bank and get food to homeless people in and from the East Brighton area.
The Bevy – to support their Bevy Meals on Wheels service to isolated older people who would normally have attended their weekly lunch clubs.
East Brighton Food Co-op - to distribute food to local people in Whitehawk, Bristol Estate and Manor Farm via two community kitchens that have been set up specially for this purpose.
Craven Vale Food bank - to purchase food helping them to supply almost 100 households with provisions.
Bevendean Food bank - to help them address the increase in demand they had experienced since the beginning of the pandemic and help them supply food to 50 families. We also gave them some funding to spend on craft supplies to keep families entertained over the holidays.
Brighton food factory – to source surplus food from the catering trade and redirect it to local food projects.
BELTA (Bristol Estate Leaseholders and Tenants Association) – to supply equipment to help their volunteers coordinate the emergency food provision on the Bristol Estate.
St Cuthman's Church - to provide a takeaway service for young people on the Whitehawk estate who would regularly attend their weekly Youth Café.
Very local food hub - to help them set up and begin providing low-cost food parcels of fresh produce to residents of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, enabling people to cook nourishing meals for their families.
"We would like to say a MASSIVE thank you!! for your contribution and support with funding, allowing us to upgrade our tech support. We have a new laptop and will soon have two mobile phones to use for the ongoing work with BELTA and the Bristol Estate and East Brighton communities. The laptop is a great addition and allows us to work remotely and not have to access the office (Community Hub) so often."Stefan at BELTA
"The money has enabled us to share not only food, but a true sense of goodwill between those who are in need and those who enjoy packing and delivering it - we truly believe that the food bank is pulling the whole community closer together.”Alan Cook, Secretary of the Craven Vale Community Association
Community support & projects
To help with other community and family needs, our funding went to:
Brighton Women’s Centre - to buy devices to help them cope with a surge in demand for their services during the lockdown whilst also having to swiftly adapt the way these services were being delivered. Some funding also went towards keeping their freephone helpline free.
Fernee Forest Club - to help them teach their sessions online and to send out education packs to local families.
St Andrew's Church – to enable them to purchase equipment so they could livestream church activities online.
"The money we received will have a great impact on our helpline service, allowing us to reach more women who are feeling isolated through the pandemic. The service is already having a great impact, providing these women with emotional support, and directing them to services that can support them with food, recovery and financial advice. Thank you for supporting us when it was most needed."Brighton Women’s Centre Volunteer Services Coordinator Madison Hartwright
We sponsored local community resource Gladrags to deliver two projects during the pandemic:
A Covid stories blog in which people were invited to submit their experiences of how they spent lockdown. The stories have now been made into a teaching resource for local schools and community groups to reflect on their own experiences of the pandemic and those of others’.
A community bunting project where crafters across the city made flags, which were sewn together by volunteers into lengths of bunting which will be loaned out for free for community events and activities.
And last but not least, as well as issuing the next instalment of our enrichment grants to the local primary schools (which you can read more about here) we also topped up their funding at the beginning of the pandemic.
Moulsecoomb Primary needed to buy tablets to help pupils with onsite and remote learning. This came in particularly useful in enabling young people to access the online Oak Academy in which almost 10,000 free lessons are available for pupils of all ages.
St Mark’s Primary used the EBT top up funding to provide school meals, transport and cooking equipment to families who urgently needed it, with the remainder of the funds going towards resources such as stationery packs for those learning from home. At the end of the school year we also helped give the year 6 leavers a decent send off, sponsoring the pupils to plant an oak tree and create a mosaic which will leave a lasting legacy at St Mark’s as they transition to secondary school.
East Brighton Trust funding 2021
We're glad to have been able to support our community during this unprecedented situation. Due to our funds being assigned when they were most needed, East Brighton Trust has decided to cancel our January small grants round in 2021.
We hopeto be in a position to recommence grant funding later next year and remain committed to supporting the communities of East Brighton as everyone recovers from the pandemic and its economic effects and starts to look towards the future.
This summer, East Brighton Trust sponsored local charity Gladrags to create a teaching resource to help children talk about their own experiences of the pandemic and those of others.
The resource is now available to download on the Gladrags website here →
Gladrags is a charity providing costumes and educational resources to community groups and schools. The team asked people to share their individual accounts of lockdown, reflecting on how Covid-19 changed things for them and remarking on how they have adapted. Many residents of East Brighton submitted their experiences to be included in the booklet.
As well as sponsoring the Covid Stories resource, East Brighton Trust also sponsored Gladrags to run a community bunting project. They teamed up with local organisation Sew Fabulous and invited individuals to make flags from scraps of fabric which were made into bunting to be hired for community celebrations post lockdown. An event was held at The Bevy community pub where volunteers sewed up the bunting pieces and you can see a video of their impressive work over on instagram. And while you’re there you can read about the “Virtual” Royal visit. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall popped in to The Bevy via zoom and spoke to Gladrags founder Vania along with some of The Bevy lunch clubbers who talked to HRH about some of their vintage outfits.
After 3 years of delivering our Enrichment funding to local primary schools, East Brighton Trust directors agreed unanimously last year to extend the grants for another 3 years.
This fund was launched in 2017 when government cuts to school budgets meant that the schools had to cut almost all extra-curricular activities. East Brighton Trust stepped in and we now give each school a grant of £10,000 a year to pay for activities that enrich pupils’ educational experiences and their lives.
St Mark’s Primary in Manor Hill have used previous years’ funding to improve the outside spaces at the school. They have added an outdoor gym featuring miniature gym equipment and also created a secret garden library. Through the guaranteed EBT funding, the school has repeatedly been able to source match funding from other grant giving organisations, meaning even more can be achieved. The school will use their next instalment to focus on literacy, with plans in place for some wonderful new initiatives to be rolled out across the school in the post Covid-19 world. This will include early reading provision, whole class guided reading and what’s known as a Recovery Curriculum. This is a way for schools to help children get back into school life, acknowledging the experiences they have had during the pandemic. A library of quality texts will enable discussion with pupils and staff about the experiences they have been living through and will help them reflect on the past.
“As part of our recovery curriculum provision we need to ensure that children, who may not have had the same home learning opportunities as other pupils, are able to rapidly catch up and close the gaps in their learning. We envisage doing this by expanding opportunities for children to access online personalised learning programmes which we have trialled when school was closed.” Headteacher Jane Fendley
At Moulsecoomb Primary School the enrichment funding for previous years has gone towards school trips and after school activities. Each class was assigned a portion of the grant which went towards residential visits as well as dozens of day trips including Herstmonceux Observatory, Brighton Synagogue, Seven Sisters Country Park, Hastings, The Natural History Museum, the i360, Brighton seafront and Brighton police cells.
In light of Covid-19 restrictions affecting visits and trips for the foreseeable future, the school decided to direct this year’s funds towards literacy, improving their outdoor spaces, developing home learning resources and also on a Recovery Curriculum focussed on wellbeing.
These activities will include the purchase of resources to re-engage children immediately with the reading curriculum. Shelters will be built in the school grounds, including a covered area in the Fairy-tale Forest and comprehensive home learning packs will provide children with an uninterrupted curriculum in the event of further disruption or lockdown.
“Thank you all once again for supporting the school, I hope you are able to see the impact that the funding has on our children; it really does make a significant difference to what we can do.”Headteacher Adam Sutton
Earlier this year, East Brighton Trust directors decided to expand the reach of our funding to Lower Bevendean, meaning our grants schemes are now open to all eligible groups in Bevendean. We were able to help out immediately in the area due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and issued an emergency grant to the Bevendean Food Bank to support the increase in demand and to support them in switching from a drop-in to a delivery-only food service.
Another fantastic organisation in the area is the Fernee Forest Club which offers children experiences in nature by using the Forest School approach. Teaching sessions had to move online due to the lockdown, and we issued emergency funding to enable the teacher to buy a laptop to facilitate this. Some of the grant also went towards “Forest Club post” - education packs which were delivered to local families, bringing the forest school to them whilst they couldn’t attend in person. The packs contained seeds, plants and compost, a craft challenge and a butterfly spotting challenge for forest club members to participate in. A lovely idea to keep members engaged and to bring a smile to their faces.
On Wednesday 2nd September, Chomp Moulsecoomb hosted a pop-up event for low-income families living locally. Participants were invited to enjoy a carousel of fun and engaging, family-focused activities in the grounds of Moulsecoomb Primary School. Many of the families in the area have been facing significant challenges, made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The pop up event provided a welcome respite - everyone left with big smiles and happy memories, having spent the day learning and playing together.
The activities were hosted by partners from across the city and included table tennis, crafts, chicken handling, forest school experiences, bike riding and storytelling. Many of the partners were groups that East Brighton Trust has supported over the years, and which have received emergency funding from our Colin Sayers fund during the pandemic.
At the end of the sessions each family received a wholesome 2-course meal from The Bevy Meals on Wheels, a locally sourced fruit & vegetable box from the Very Local Food Hub and a treat from an ice cream van which came into the school grounds.
This was a great opportunity for families to spend some time together in the outdoors before the schools went back, taking part in activities they might not normally have access to.
Here is some more information on the groups involved:
Chomp Moulsecoomb hosted the event, this is the local branch of the Chomp lunch clubs which take place across the city and is run by Good News Brighton. These lunch clubs are for children and their families in school holidays to support those in receipt of free school meals. The sessions usually include a hot meal and time for craft activities and games. Parents are encouraged to stay with their children to eat together, and during games have time to speak with other parents to get to know each other and provide mutual support. Chomp Moulsecoomb as well as the other local chomps in Whitehawk & Bevendean have been beneficiaries of our small grants scheme over the years and most recently received £2,000 in our January round.
Brighton Table Tennis Club is based at Moulsecoomb Primary School as well as in other locations around the city. The club provides coaching, runs practice sessions and puts on competitions for members, many of whom come from our city’s most marginalised communities. During the pandemic they provided an emergency food distribution service too.
Bevendean Community Garden and the Fernee Forest Club provide opportunities for people to have experiences in nature, through working on a community garden and by using the Forest School approach. During the lockdown, we issued emergency funding to help the forest club to teach their sessions online and to send out education packs to local families. At the event in Moulsecoomb, project leader Sara taught everyone how to make natural leaf prints and to use natural dyes to colour fabrics.
School Bike It officer Lucy of Sustrans was there to give families practice on bicycles. Lucy and her colleagues work in schools across the city teaching cycling skills and safety.
Mark, well known across the east of Brighton as “the chicken man” introduced people to four chickens that they could meet and hold. The chickens reside at the school and Mark often brings them along to community events to make friends with local people. Spending time with animals can be really beneficial in terms of stress reduction, lowering depression and loneliness. He was funded through our seed fund last year to support him in bringing the chickens to more community events.
Gladrags Community Costume Charity had a collection of their costumes onsite, with an experienced play worker helping families to use their imaginations and create their own adventures and stories. We are proud to have sponsored two Gladrags projects during the pandemic:
A Covid stories blog in which people were invited to submit their experiences of how they spent lockdown. The stories are now being made into a teaching resource for local schools and community groups to reflect on others’ experiences.
A community bunting project where crafters across the city made flags, which were sewn together by volunteers into lengths of bunting which will be loaned out for free for community events and activities.
The Moulsecoomb and Bevendean Arts and Crafts project began at The Bevy and received seed funding from East Brighton Trust in 2019 to support them before they had formally constituted. Before the pandemic, the group hosted arts and crafts activities every fortnight at the pub, inviting teachers along to pass on new skills to local people. In September last year the group successfully applied for a small grant from East Brighton Trust to pay the teachers for their time. At the Chomp event, crafter Kat showed families how to design and make a stained glass type design from tissue paper.
The Very Local Food Hub was launched during the pandemic to support residents of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean in sourcing healthy food, so that they can cook nourishing meals for their families. The hub provides low-cost food parcels of fresh produce and was set up with emergency grants from East Brighton Trust and Sussex Community Foundation. They work in partnership with the Brighton Food Factory, another recipient of East Brighton Trust emergency funding this summer.
The food hub offers 3 different price options depending on what people can afford:
act of kindness price which means paying a bit extra so that other boxes can be subsidised
They are now running stalls every Wednesday in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, bringing fresh, healthy food to people who might not otherwise be able to access it.
Within a week of The Bevy closing for the lockdown, the team had set up Bevy Meals on Wheels – to cook and deliver hot meals to the regular attendees of their lunch clubs for seniors, most of whom were aged over 70 and shielding. Through contacts with the local schools and churches the service expanded to include local families and the scheme was funded through grants and donations for those who couldn’t afford to pay for the meals themselves. Since reopening in 2014 East Brighton Trust has supported the pub through a number of our grants schemes and we were happy to support their Bevy Meals on Wheels service too through our emergency grants fund.
Well done to the Chomp team John and Sean, above right, for putting on such a vibrant event.
Local charity Gladrags has been asking people to share their Covid lockdown stories and has created a teaching resource for schools, to demonstrate how people’s lives changed during the pandemic. You can access the resource here →
East Brighton Trust sponsored Gladrags to create this resource as well as funding them to run a community bunting project.
Gladrags is a local community gem – a charity providing costumes and educational resources to community groups and schools. They have collected individual accounts of lockdown which will form a free online and printed resource for teachers and community workers to discuss the events of Covid-19 within their schools, community projects and well-being settings.
The charity has asked people to reflect on how Covid-19 changed things for them and to remark on how they have adapted. They asked people to talk about the challenges and also any positives that have come about as a result of the pandemic.
As well as collecting Covid stories, Gladrags also teamed up with local organisation Sew Fabulous to run a community bunting project. Individuals were invited to make flags from scraps of fabric which were joined together to make bunting for community celebrations post lockdown. An event was held last Saturday at The Bevy and volunteers sewed up the bunting contributions that had been gathered. You can see some of their work over on facebook.
As we have written about before, in the current climate of the Covid-19 crisis we have decided to focus our grant giving on responding to urgent local needs in our area of reach.
Here is an update on the emergency funds we distributed via our partners at Sussex Community Foundation in May as an emergency reaction to the Covid crisis.
Craven Vale Food Bank
The Craven Vale Community Association runs a regular food bank at The Edge community centre. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, the food bank volunteers saw a threefold increase in demand for the emergency food parcels they had been providing.
East Brighton Trust supported them with £2,000 of funding to purchase food, supplementing that which they receive from FareShare, BH Food Partnership and elsewhere and enabling them to supply food to almost 100 households. Secretary Alan Cooke dropped us a line to say thanks and told us:
"The money has enabled us to share not only food, but a true sense of goodwill between those who are in need and those who enjoy packing and delivering it - we truly believe that the food bank is pulling the whole community closer together”.
Brighton Women's Centre
Local charity Brighton Women's Centre saw a surge in demand for their services during the lockdown whilst also having to swiftly adapt the way these services were being delivered.
They informed us of their urgent need for additional mobile devices to enable contact between clients and volunteers in the East Brighton area as well as funds to ensure their telephone helpline service remained free for those who needed it. We were glad to be of help and awarded them £2,000 to support the women and families they work with.
Volunteer Services Coordinator Madison Hartwright told us "The money we received will have a great impact on our helpline service, allowing us to reach more women who are feeling isolated through the pandemic. The service is already having a great impact, providing these women with emotional support, and directing them to services that can support them with food, recovery and financial advice. Thank you for supporting us when it was most needed."
Bevendean Food Bank
Bevendean Food Bank runs a regular service for individuals and families experiencing food poverty in Lower and Upper Bevendean, Moulsecoomb, Bates Estate, Saunders Park, Meadow View and the Lewes Road corridor. In April, EBT directors unanimously voted to extend the East Brighton Trust area of reach into Lower Bevendean enabling us to support some of the fantastic initiatives in this area, such as the food bank. We awarded the Bevendean Food Bank £1,000 to support the increase in demand they had experienced since the beginning of the pandemic. Switching from a drop-in to a delivery-only food service to accommodate social distancing and safety guidelines, they now have more than 50 households on their books, meaning a much higher requirement of food supplies.
If your group or organisation in the East Brighton area requires urgent funding then please get in touch via our emergency funding form →
And our partners at Sussex Community Foundation continue to distribute the Sussex Crisis Fund which provides simple and quick access to funding for emergency and unexpected needs. Please visit their website for more information and how to apply →
In the current climate of the Covid-19 crisis and for the foreseeable future, East Brighton Trust directors have decided to focus our grant giving on responding to urgent local needs in our area of reach - that is Moulsecoomb, Bates Estate, Saunders Park, Manor Farm, Whitehawk, Craven Vale, Bristol Estate & Bevendean.
In mid-April, we distributed funds via our partners at Sussex Community Foundation to a number of projects as an emergency reaction to the Covid crisis.
Here is an update on where the funds went:
Moulsecoomb Primary School
We were pleased to award the school £3,000 to provide tablets to help pupils with onsite and remote learning.
The school has been in touch to say this will particularly help with getting young people access to the new online Oak academy – where a schedule of lessons is being provided to cover all ages from reception to year 10.
Headteacher Adam Sutton emailed to say:
“Thank you so much for this, it really is welcome. The recent announcement regarding the online 'National Oak Academy' has made this even more essential if our children are not going to be further disadvantaged by this crisis. This money will enable us to purchase laptops and data-dongles to allow those children without access to technology and the internet to try and keep engaged with the curriculum at home."
We were also able to assist them with a bit of technical support for the school website - helping them make home learning resources and welfare information more prominent as well as adding a link to their fantastic YouTube channel on which they are sharing a storytime each day.
St Marks Primary School
£3,000 was awarded to the fantastic St Marks to provide school meals, transport and cooking equipment for families who need it as well as resources for those learning from home.
Headteacher Jane Fendley emailed to say:
“Thank you very much for your very generous donation of support. This is a lifeline for many of our families."
A tweet (including the pictures below) said "We are so lucky to be able to put together further learning packs to supplement what has already been sent home. @RoedeanSchool have supplied us with a book for every child & @EBT_UK have funded our stationery packs. These will all be sent home next week with more activities."
Both of these emergency grants to the local primary schools are in addition to the Primary School Enrichment Grants which enable the schools to provide extra-curricular activities to enrich pupils’ educational experience and consequently their lives.
East Brighton Food Co-op
We awarded £3,000 to the emergency efforts to distribute food to local people in East Brighton.
East Brighton Food Co-op and their partners have opened two community kitchens as part of the Covid-19 emergency food response for the Whitehawk, Bristol Estate and Manor Farm areas. They have been cooking and delivering meals every day since 30th March - either free of charge or for a £2 donation.
You can find more info on their website and they frequently share updates on facebook including pictures of Buddy the horse out and about making deliveries.
The Bevy Meals on Wheels
We donated £1,000 to support The Bevy's community Meals on Wheels service in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean. They have now delivered over 900 meals and as well as providing tasty, nourishing food, their team is also able to maintain contact and keep an eye out for people in the community they know to be vulnerable. Find out more on the service on The Bevy website.
Some quotes from recipients and some pics below:
“What a lovely, lovely meal. Please thank the chef and everyone and the delivery lady and you. And the strawberries were lovely, you’re doing a great job thank you very much.” Pearl
“The meals have been a weight off my mind because although [my sister] was getting meals delivered before they were frozen and she couldn’t work it out and we were throwing endless meals away. But she loves these hot meals and she is eating them. It’s been a life saver and a godsend for her and for us. Thank you for everything you‘re doing there’s obviously a need.” Jenny
“Thank you so much for all the lovely food. Please let the chef know my daughter thoroughly enjoys his cooking as we all do.” Jacqueline
“The food is absolutely lovely, we really appreciate it. It’s become their highlight of the day and it also helps us keep track of the days and weeks because it’s easy to get lost.” Patrick
Sussex Homeless Support
We awarded Sussex Homeless Support £1,000 to set up a food bank and get food to homeless people in and from the East Brighton area. The images below are from their facebook page, on which they frequently post updates of the food they are serving - up to 90 meals each night.