Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link

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Partner schools working on Zero Waste

19 March 2019

When Isabel was over in Hastings SL at the end of February, she attended a meeting of our partner schools’ pupils councils, where the main item on the agenda was […]


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Enthusiastic Battle and Langton Pupils raise funds for Twinned Schools in Sierra Leone!
Enthusiastic pupils from Battle and Langton School handed over a cheque to the Sierra Leone Friendship Link after a hugely successful fundraising campaign before Christmas. The school is one of the recent local schools to join the Link’s School Twinning Programme which is supported by the British Council.
Pupils joined the Mayor of Battle, David Furness to hand over the cheque for £344 to Isabel Hodger and Roger Mitchell who manage the Twinning Programme for the Link.
Izzy Watkins, who with Lilia and Owen Smith is championing the fundraising as members of the International Pupil Council at the school, explained “We held cake sales, quizzes and collected donations from our Christmas events, to raise the funds and we are going to carry on raising funds to help our twinned school in Sierra Leone. We will also be working on a Zero Waste project with the children in Sierra Leone to help improve both our environments”
David Furness, Battle Mayor and a long term supporter of the Link said “I am delighted that a all the local Battle schools have been able to join the twinning programme, it will provide a huge learning opportunity for the children and help them understand more about children’s lives elsewhere in the world including environmental issues”
Isabel Hodger, one of the Twinning Programme Managers for the Link added: “We would like to thank the children of Battle and Langton School for their hard work fundraising and their generosity. The funds raised will go toward our project to bring fresh water and improve hygiene and sanitation in the twinned schools in Hastings Sierra Leone. ”
Richard Homewood, Link Chairman went on to say: “The Schools Sanitation Project is our latest initiative. Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children. In Sierra Leone the lack of these basic facilities in our twinned schools is impacting on their education and their futures. Children often miss out on education because they spend hours every day collecting water and are exhausted if and when they get to school. Many older girls have to miss school on a regular basis due to the lack of menstrual hygiene facilities. We can help improve the prospects for the future of children in the schools we are twinned with in Hastings, Sierra Leone by ensuring they have a sustainable water supply, good basic sanitation and hygiene facilities. We have already had a survey of the schools undertaken to establish what facilities they currently have and don’t have. We are now working with the schools to plan how we can improve the facilities and give the children a better chance for the future. The funds raised by the children of Battle and Langton School will help as we continue to raise funds to complete the project in all 14 schools”
People can donate to the project by going on to our website, www.Hastingshastings.org.uk and using the My Donate button .
Find out more about the Friendship Link and the work it is doing in Hastings, Sierra Leone at our website:
www.Hastingshastings.org.uk/about/
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ANGLERS BRAVE WINTER WEATHER TO SUPPORT SIERRA LEONE SCHOOL SANITATION PROJECT
A band of around 15 hardy anglers from the Hastings and St Leonards Angling Association braved the winter weather on Boxing Day in a beach angling competition to help raise funds for the Friendship Link’s Schools Sanitation Project.
Although there were not many fish caught during the morning competition, the anglers raised £200 and Mark and Mandy Hinxman presented the cheque on Saturday at the Association Club House to Richard Homewood and Isabel Hodger of the Friendship Link.
Mark Hinxman explained: “This is a traditional annual event and it gives members the chance to contribute to worthy local charities whilst enjoying some fresh air and a bit of friendly rivalry after the excesses of Christmas Day. We always try to identify a worthy local charity and Mandy has been involved in the twinning links with schools in Hastings Sierra Leone so we thought it would be good to support the Project.”
Richard Homewood, Chairman of the Friendship Link added: “We would like to thank the Hastings and St Leonards Angling Association for their generosity. The funds raised will go toward our project to bring fresh water and improve hygiene and sanitation in the twinned schools in Hastings Sierra Leone. ”
Richard went on to say: “The Schools Sanitation Project is our latest initiative. Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children. According to UNICEF, every day, over 800 children die, worldwide, from preventable diseases caused by the lack of these. It is acknowledged that Sub Saharan Africa, which includes Sierra Leone, lags far behind other continents in addressing the problem. In Sierra Leone the lack of these basic facilities in our twinned schools is impacting on their education and their futures. Children often miss out on education because they spend hours every day collecting water and are exhausted if and when they get to school. Many older girls have to miss school on a regular basis due to the lack of menstrual hygiene facilities. Whilst we can’t tackle the problem in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa, we can improve the prospects for the future of children in the schools we are twinned with in Hastings, Sierra Leone by ensuring they have a sustainable water supply, good basic sanitation and hygiene facilities. We have already had a survey of the schools undertaken to establish what facilities they currently have and don’t have. We are now working with the schools to plan how we can improve the facilities and give the children a better chance for the future. The funds raised by the Angling Association will help as we continue to raise funds to complete the project in all 14 schools”
People can donate to the project by going on to our website, www.Hastingshastings.org.uk and using the My Donate button” .
Find out more about the Friendship Link and the work it is doing in Hastings, Sierra Leone at our website:
www.Hastingshastings.org.uk/about/
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Friendship Link Charity Ball a huge success
The Friendship Link’s Schools’ Sanitation Project received a major boost from the Charity Ball on Saturday 3rd November. Over 100 guests raised almost £3,000 as they dined to an amazing classical performance by Jada and Steven Marsh and danced the night away to the music of the renowned local band, the Kytes.
Lynn White, one of the Link Trustees who led the organisation of the event said: “We are delighted by the success of the event and by the amount raised for the Schools’ Sanitation Project. It has exceeded all our expectations. We are extremely grateful to all those people who gave their time making the event such a success or donated prizes for the raffle and auction on the night. Without their support we could not have achieved such a great result”
Richard Homewood, Chairman of the Friendship Link added: “We would also especially like to thank Dani and the team at the Montgomerie Suite for their service and support, and the Kytes and Jada and Steven (who gave their time and skills free of charge) to make the evening such a great success.”
Richard went on to say: “The Schools Sanitation Project is our latest initiative. Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children. According to UNICEF, every day, over 800 children die, worldwide, from preventable diseases caused by the lack of these. It is acknowledged that Sub Saharan Africa, which includes Sierra Leone, lags far behind other continents in addressing the problem. In Sierra Leone the lack of these basic facilities in our twinned schools is impacting on their education and their futures. Children often miss out on education because they spend hours every day collecting water and are exhausted if and when they get to school. Many older girls have to miss school on a regular basis due to the lack of menstrual hygiene facilities. Whilst we can’t tackle the problem in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa, we can improve the prospects for the future of children in the schools we are twinned with in Hastings, Sierra Leone by ensuring they have a sustainable water supply, good basic sanitation and hygiene facilities. We have already had a survey of the 14 schools undertaken to establish what facilities they currently have and we are now planning how we can improve the facilities and give the children a better chance for the future. The funds raised at the Charity Ball will help us start the process but we need to raise an estimated £45,000 to complete the project in all 14 schools”
Lynn concluded “We have a lot of work to do to raise more funds but the generosity of our patrons, members and the general public never ceases to amaze me. It is difficult to describe the impact these donations can have on the lives and health of children in Sierra Leone, but believe me, simple things like clean water, good sanitation and hygiene can really change their opportunities for learning and their prospects for the future. A good education is the key to a better future and breaking out of the cycle of poverty. If we can give that gift to just a few hundred children in Hastings, Sierra Leone then we will have had some success. People can still donate to the project by going on to our website, www.Hastingshastings.org.uk and using the My Donate button”
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Grand Charity Ball, 3rd November 2018. Montgomerie Suite, Bannatynes Hotel, The Ridge West, Hastings.

Three years ago the Charity Ball was a huge success and we are holding another due to popular demand. Come along and have a great evening of dining and entertainment with the locally renowned band the Kytes and supporting entertainment.

The Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link is launching a fundraising campaign in support of the Schools Sanitation Project Fund. Funds will be used to improve water supplies and sanitation in its established twinned schools in Sierra Leone and help ensure children of all ages and sexes get a better chance of a good education.
Most of the schools suffer from poor or no water supply and poor sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Chairman of the Link, Richard Homewood, explained that “children are often exhausted by the time they get to school, having had to fetch and carry water before they arrive and during the day. Many older girls have to miss school on a regular basis due to the lack of poor hygiene and sanitation facilities. As a consequence their education suffers.”
Richard went on to emphasise “education is the key to helping these children and their families out of the cycle of poverty and anything we can do to improve their chances of a good education is really important”
The Link has had a survey of the schools carried out to identify what is needed in each school and we are using this to identify the priorities for action in each school.
The funds raised from this year’s Charity Ball will go toward the sanitation fund which currently has a target of £45,000 Further fundraising activities are being planned and we would be delighted if people wish to take part in them or become more involved in the activities of the Link.

Tickets £40 which includes a 3 course meal and glass of bubbly, can be obtained by calling 01424 853356

Don't miss out book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
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Dreary British Winter exchanged for Tropical Heat
A large group, led by Isabel Hodger, one of the Hastings Friendship Link’s Education Liaison Officers, left for our Twin Town in Sierra Leone on February 9th for 10 days.
Thirteen teacher members of the group will be using their half-term break to work in African partner schools sharing experiences to bring back to their classrooms in the UK.
Two additional members of the group, local solicitors Richard Lane and Jenna French, have sporting expertise to share, eagerly anticipated by host schools.
In addition to the work of the Friendship Link in schools, support for the Health Centre in Hastings Village has been a long-term concern and Christine Boulton-Lane is travelling with the group to continue her work on this aspect. Our friends in Sierra Leone regularly express the view that Health and Education are their top national priorities.
Schools and Academies represented in the exchange are All Saints’, The Baird, Chantry (Bexhill) Christ Church, Hollington and Guestling Bradshaw Primaries and St Leonards Secondary Academy.
Classroom projects will be based around themes suggested by the British Council as part of its financial and educational support for the exchange.
Links between schools here and in Hastings Sierra Leone have been developing since the Twinning of the two towns in 2007. Roger Mitchell, who has been involved from the beginning, said, “It has been a real privilege to witness the impact these exchanges continue to make on teachers both here and in Sierra Leone and how the education of their pupils is enhanced as a result”.
Fay Jagot, from Battle and Langton School, has recently joined the partnership and commented, “I have worked with children for 20 years, yet have never previously witnessed such enthusiasm from children to find out, learn and correspond across the miles”. Corinne Harris from Dudley Infant School who has been involved for several years said, “Our link with Edest School has been an empowering project for pupils and teachers alike. Children both in the UK and in Africa have benefited greatly by meeting visitors from their partner schools
As well as time to relax with partners out of school, there will be a whole day Education Conference held at the headquarters of the British Council in Freetown.
Some members of the group will find time to see for themselves the devastation caused by the recent mud-slides in the hills between Hastings and Freetown. They will meet some of the surviving but displaced families being helped by generous donations from folk associated with the Link.
The group have returned safely and enthused by their experience. We will give reports from the teachers on their experiences and from Christine and Richard re the Health Centre and other work over the next few weeks.
It is hoped that a return party can visit the UK towards the end of the Summer Term.
Find out more about the Friendship Link and the work it is doing in Hastings, Sierra Leone at our website:
www.Hastingshastings.org.uk/about/
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Forthcoming events

No forthcoming events.