Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link

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Minutes of the 2017 AGM

19 June 2017

Minutes of AGM- 15 June 2017 Held at St Helens Church Hall, Hastings Present  Richard Homewood (Chairman), Derek Tomblin (Minutes), Martin Copland (Treasurer), Christine Boulton-Lane, Richard Lane, Isabel Hodger, Roger […]


Sussex Brass Concert a Resounding Success

16 May 2017

Well, admittedly, we’d have liked a bigger audience – but it was a splendid evening, Sussex Brass did us proud, and we still raised at least £500 towards our schools […]

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Schools Football Tournament feels the heat in blazing sunshine.- Ex-patriot Sierra Leonean friends living in London joined us last week to support the annual soccer tournament for local Hastings schoo...

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Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link shared their post. ... See MoreSee Less

Sussex Brass round off Tenth Anniversary Week with a rousing concert! What was to be a week of activity to celebrate tenth anniversary of the Twinning of Hastings UK with Hastings, Sierra Leone was br...

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Sussex Brass round off Tenth Anniversary Week with a rousing concert!
What was to be a week of activity to celebrate tenth anniversary of the Twinning of Hastings UK with Hastings, Sierra Leone was brought to a rousing close with Sussex Brass playing to an appreciative audience at St Matthew’s Church. From rousing marching music to the Beatles and Sinatra before concluding with Sussex by the Sea, Musical Director, Steve Holland ensured waves of sound and emotion flooded the church.
Hastings Mayor, Judy Rogers opened the evening representing the Hastings UK accompanied by the Deputy Mayor, Nigel Sinden, who had visited Sierra Leone for the 10th anniversary twinning celebrations there in February with the party of teachers and health volunteers.
It was a pity our Sierra Leonean teachers were not able to join us for the celebrations but the music raised everyone’s spirits and carried across the seas. The event raised a tremendous £500 for the schools projects in Sierra Leone.
Our thanks must go to Steve Holland and everyone in Sussex Brass for a truly entertaining evening kindly donated to the Link and to the Reverend Mike Coe and his congregation at St Matthew’s for their hospitality and generous support.
Just to remind you of forthcoming events
Thursday June 15th, Friendship Link AGM, St Helen’s Church Hall, The Ridge, 7pm
Saturday July 22nd, Wine tasting at St Paul’s School. Details and tickets from Lynn White, lynnwhi@live.co.uk
Friday 15th September, Music Quiz at St Paul’s School, Details to be announced.
Saturday 14th October, Concert and supper, St Mary in the Castle, Details to be announced.
If you have any brilliant ideas for raising funds for the Link please let us know! Visit our website www.hastingshastings.org.uk
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Schools Football Tournament feels the heat in blazing sunshine.- Ex-patriot Sierra Leonean friends living in London joined us last week to support the annual soccer tournament for local Hastings schools twinned with schools in Hastings, Sierra Leone. Our visitors provided the children with large quantities of African-style food. Children could be seen wandering the field eating fried plantain and black-eyed bean fritters. Magically, but perhaps not surprisingly, all the food rapidly disappeared.
The sun shone brilliantly as teams of boys and girls from ten primary schools and academies battled it out. This was the tenth such tournament hosted at St Leonards Academy and organised by Teresa Bennett, the School Sports Coordinator based at the Academy, with assistance from Sussex Coast College and Active Hastings.
Sports Leader students from the Academy helped with officiating and the behaviour of the players from the various schools and academies was fantastic throughout. There was strong support from parents and friends.
After the group phases of the tournament excitement rose through the various play-offs to decide the final positions of teams. The grand finals for first and second places were hotly contested, both ending with only one goal scored by the winning teams. This year the winners of the girls’ tournament was the team from St. Mary Star of the Sea RC Primary School while the boys’ trophy was lifted by All Saints CE Junior Academy.
The Mayor, Cllr Judy Rogers was there to present the trophies. Each contestant received a commemorative medallion and the winning teams a plaque to hold for a year.
The most exciting competition for years was however tinged with sadness. Schools and Academies in Hastings and St Leonards were dismayed to find that their partners from Sierra Leone, who UK teachers had visited in February, had been denied the visas they needed to fulfil this year’s exchange arrangements. The shock was the greater as no such refusal had hit them in the past.
Much of the special programme of events planned for the last week in May to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Hastings UK – Hastings Sierra Leone Twinning had to be cancelled.
Teachers who spent time teaching in Sierra Leone in February were expecting to spend the week working with their partners on projects they had started there, encouraging children to think critically in a number of areas of the curriculum.
School children who had worked hard to raise the funding to enable the visit of teachers from their partner schools have been bitterly disappointed. They will not be able now to benefit from meeting and talking with teachers from a very different environment to their own. An opportunity for valuable educational experiences has been lost.
Strenuous efforts are being made to find a way to maintain these partnerships (and there are 14 of them) on a truly mutual basis. Without two-way exchanges of teachers, enthusiasm will be increasingly difficult to maintain.
That being said spirits were high and everyone had a wonderful day in the glorious sunshine.
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A date for your diary. Come along and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Town Twinning and all of the good work achieved so far and help us achieve more in the future. ... See MoreSee Less

10th Town Twinning Anniversary Celebrations echo to the Sound of Brass The celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the twinning of Hastings, East Sussex with Hastings, Sierra Leone continue next week...

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