Link Chairman Richard Homewood writes:
Around 250 people turned out last Friday (2 December) to support the Link’s Christmas Concert at St Clements Church in the Old Town. This year’s event was a mixture of music song and monologues and provided a varied and entertaining evening for everyone who attended. It proved a huge success with the audience and the Church was filled with joy and laughter and the Christmas spirit.
Our thanks go to all of those who helped put together this extremely ambitious programme of Christmas themed entertainment, especially St Mary Star of the Sea Year 6 Choir, Cantabile and individual performances from Steve Corke, Claire Adams, Mike Evans, Jacqueline Lawrence, Jenny Hanley, and Julian Anderson with accompaniment on the piano and organ from Stephen Page’. Our thanks also go to the Church Wardens at St Clements for allowing us to use St Clements Church which was a wonderful backdrop and venue for the event.’
The event raised over £1500 for the charity which was almost doubled by a hugely generous donation from Hastings Rotary Club.
Every penny of the money raised will go towards the Link’s work in the Hastings area in Sierra Leone as we continue to help them rebuild their lives after the Ebola outbreak and the serious flooding in the area which followed. Work is continuing to improve health care facilities in the village to tackle some of the highest rates of infant mortality in the world and the ravages of disease such as malaria and HIV as well as improve general health care to the community. Work is also underway to re-establish the teacher exchange programme to help raise education standards. The Link is determined to increase its efforts to raise funds to help the community improve their livelihoods and build a sustainable future. We are working on a new Strategy for our work over the next five years and are developing action plans focussed on its key themes of Health, Education and creating employment which we hope will help the community build a sustainable future for themselves. .
Next February sees the tenth anniversary of the Twinning of Hastings, UK with Hastings, Sierra Leone which formally recognised several years of hard work by the Friendship Link helping the community recover from the ravages of the rebel war which decimated the village. The Friendship Link is working with Hastings Borough Council, here in the UK, Western Area Rural District Council and the Hastings Sierra Leone Association in Sierra Leone on plans to recognise the momentous anniversary both here and in Sierra Leone.
We will be increasing our fundraising efforts as the tenth anniversary approaches and we need to try attract sponsorship from local businesses and individuals if we are to achieve the ambitious plans to secure a sustainable future for the village that are in the Strategy we are developing in partnership with them.
We are continuing to improve health care facilities in the village to tackle some of the highest rates of infant mortality in the world and the ravages of disease such as malaria and HIV as well as improve general health care to the community. The Link is determined to increase its efforts to raise funds to help the community improve their livelihoods and build a sustainable future.
We are also working to re-establish the teacher exchange programme for 14 schools in the UK twinned with schools in Sierra Leone to help raise education standards. It is hoped that with the help of the British Council it will be possible to resume the exchange programme in February to coincide with the tenth anniversary commemoration with a group of UK teachers visiting their twinned schools in Sierra Leone and for other Link Members to visit to continue with their work on health care and environmental issues.
Further details of plans for the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Town Twinning will also be released in the coming weeks.
Here are a few of the superb photos taken at the concert by Colin Foy.