Hailsham

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COMMUNITY FORUM: If you are a local community group or charity and wish to benefit from sharing experiences and ideas with other local groups, the Hailsham Community Forum is looking to expand its membership and is open to all community groups, associations and charities in the area, to help build a better communication network and create a louder voice between them and other voluntary and statutory groups. The long term benefits of joining the Forum could be cost savings to your group, for instance more leverage with ordering leaflets, printing costs, sharing resources and more. Several groups have already benefited from the forum by taking stalls on the Hailsham Street Market. The next forum meeting will take place at 6.30pm on Wednesday December 7 at the Hailsham Parish Church lounge. Meetings are also scheduled for Tuesday January 10, Thursday February 9 and Wednesday March 8 next year. If you are interested in attending contact Michelle Hagger at Hailsham Town Council on 01323 841702 or by email: michelle.hagger@hailsham-tc.gov.uk

PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY: On Saturday November 10, Hailsham Photographic Society hosted the annual KCPA Audio Visual Competition held at Hailsham Civic Hall. This is the second time HPS has organized this event and this year two members won trophies: Colin and Janet Monk ARPS for Best AV Sequence and David Mills ARPS Best Photography. Thanks to a team of 15 members the day ran smoothly and was enjoyed by all. On Thursday November 17 members were treated to a lecture on Sussex Landscapes by Finn Hopson. Finn opened the Brighton Photography Gallery in 2014. Having spent many years cycling and walking on the South Downs he now spends his time photographing them trying to capture the unique places, shapes, patterns and textures. Finn’s obvious love of our local Downs was prominent in his photos and members were blown away by photo after photo capturing small pockets of the area taken in such a variety of weathers and atmosphere. An inspirational evening for all members.

SHOEBOXES: Simon Rooksby of Computers for Charities would like to thank all the people who contributed to the Shoebox Appeal. Simon was collecting them from North Devon last weekend and has also been collecting from Wolverhampton and Bournemouth. Thanks also to Hailsham’s Helen Deehan and her friends who just keep on going, with sorting and packing in progress. It is great to have Kathy and Rowland Jenkins back in to oversee this aspect of the shoebox preparation. Another big thank you to Helen Deehan and friends for a whole load of Gift bags for all ages. Well done and great stuff. Plus of course the knitters of Knit and Natter who meet at Hailsham MI club every Monday from 2pm to 4pm. Each year CfC clocks up thousands of miles just to collect the boxes and other items, plus thousands of miles to distribute locally and further afield to Eastern Europe. Preparations are now underway for departure on December 16 to aid the increasing number of disadvantaged children and adults locally, Nationally and wider afield. This year’s beneficiaries again include UK Food Bank recipients, UK Homeless groups and ongoing support to projects in Eastern Europe and further afield, who day in and year out provide support to disadvantaged and vulnerable children and elderly people.

BEST WINDOW DISPLAY: Shopkeepers in Hailsham are being invited to take part in a Christmas window display competition. The Best Shop Window Christmas Display competition, organised and judged by Hailsham Forward, is based on the criteria that covers all aspects of Christmas, including overall impression and visual impact, creativity and ideas, and innovative themed displays. Traders across the town are encouraged to create bright and decorative displays with special awards being given for the best efforts. If you have a display, it will automatically be included in the competition. There will be no specific theme although marks will be given to Christmas interest linked to Hailsham, as well as to the shop business. Long-established Bloomfield’s Florists scooped the coveted Best Shop Window Christmas Display award last year, wowing judges with their front window display which incorporated a traditional winter wonderland theme to get people in the festive spirit. The presentation of the award for the Best Christmas Shop Display competition will take place in December, details of which will be announced soon.

HOLIDAY CLUB: Freedom Leisure has limited spaces for their Christmas holiday club on December 22 and 23. Go along and take part in a number of activities including ten pin bowling, trip to the cinema to see Moana, team games, arts and crafts. The club is open to children aged 6 to 12 years. Bookings can be made now. To book, phone 01323 846755.

HAILSHAM PANTO: Full of magical characters and a sprinkling of Hailsham Theatres panto magic, this is the perfect festive family treat. From the same team behind last year’s sell-out pantomime Treasure Island, Hailsham Theatres present another family friendly hilarious pantomime about the girl with the magical golden hair. Join Rapunzel and her Prince in this wonderful production of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy-tale. Don’t miss all the hair-raising fun this January in this fantastic pantomime version of Rapunzel. Packed with great songs, dance routines and plenty of laughter for all the family. The Pavilion Box Office (01323) 841414.

FESTIVAL OF ARTS: The Festival Committee have met to discuss this year’s events and plans for the future. Delighted with the 2016 festival, many thanks are due to everyone who gave their support, and they have had a lot of positive feedback. Please do let them know if you have any suggestions for improvements. They are looking at moving the festival dates slightly for 2017 to a little later to September 24. If you have any comments or opinions, please let us know. Our next committee meeting is December 14. As a spin off from this year’s successful annual Art Trail, it is now hoped to set up a local Artist’s Network. In addition to having had enquiries about linking artists with service providers to work on art projects, other opportunities have arisen out of the art trail for artists to collaborate with local venues and businesses. They would also like to increase the size of the committee so please do get in touch if you would like to help with plans for the 2017 Festival by contacting @HailshamArtsFestival, email hailshamartsfestival@gmail.com or visit their website at www.hailshamartsfestival.co.uk or telephone (01323) 846938.

CAROLS IN THE PARK: On Saturday December 4, join Hailsham Free Church and other local churches for this outside family event in Western Road Recreation Ground at 4pm for Christmas Carol Singing. There will be refreshments in the hall afterwards. Please bring your own chair and torch.

CHRISTMAS MARKET: The special Christmas lights switch-on event, which is always a highlight of the year in Hailsham, takes place in Vicarage Field this evening, Friday. Then next Saturday December 3 from 9am to 4pm Vicarage Field and the High Street will be home to stalls, various festive refreshments and hog roast with festive entertainment throughout the day for all the family, including carol singing. A giant snow globe for families to have their photos taken in is expected to be a major attraction. There will also be balloon modelling, face painting, gingerbread decorating and the Rotary Club’s Santa and Sleigh attending to hand out free presents to children. Christmas music will be playing courtesy of Hailsham FM.

LIONS: Join something new in the New Year. On Tuesday, and on the first Tuesday of every month, Hailsham Lions monthly meeting is at the Charles Hunt Centre, start 7.30pm. New members welcome. Phone 0845 833 9828 (local).

RAMBLES: Hailsham Ramblers have a long and a shorter walk on Wednesday. The long is the East Dean to Birling Gap circular with a couple of hills. Distance 5 miles with Tom and Eileen (848997). The short walk, also on Wednesday is at Shinewater Park with Nobby (440624). If you would like to go along, please contact the walk leader for the details.

CAN YOU HELP?: A couple of Hailsham residents have set up a group to deliver random acts of Christmas kindness to those in need in Hailsham. These could be families, the elderly or anyone else in need. Organisers, Mel and Jess are asking you all, ‘knowing just how generous us Hailsham folk can be’ to donate such things as toys, clothes, and money for items to be bought for those in need. People can contact them through Facebook searching for the page called Random act of Christmas kindness Hailsham. You can donate, or you can ask for help. These ladies will be getting nothing out of doing this, it is just Jess’ act of kindness this year, to those who get over looked or don’t want to ask for help. Once all donations are gathered, she will set up somewhere in Hailsham town centre for distribution as well as visiting our elderly in homes who may be lonely this year to give them a gift. She will also speak with the Food Bank so they can allocate to those in need too. Please help make Hailsham just that bit happier this Christmas. You can contact her via private message or leave a comment on the Facebook page if you can help her do something wonderful this year. No matter how big or small. You never know what might just make someone’s Christmas. They are also looking for companies and businesses (both local, independent and nationwide) that would be interested in working with them and/or donating gifts, toys, gift vouchers, hats, scarves, gloves or food. Any money donated will be split 50/50 between buying a selection of the items listed above and donating to a charity or children’s organisation to help benefit the community. No donation is too small. You never ever know what will make someone’s Christmas. Jess and Mel will be joining Simon Herbert tomorrow, Saturday, on Hailsham FM online radio to talking in more detail about the project.

CATTLE MARKET CAROLS: The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) and the Farmers Community Network (FCN) invite you to a Christmas Carol Evening followed by refreshments in the Market Café next Friday, December 2, at 7.30pm. This is always an extremely popular event so get your tickets early (tickets are limited) at £5 each from Hailsham Parish Church, Mark Betson on 01403 891367, Sally Field on 01903 882741 or from Colin at the Market Café on the Cattle Market South East Marts site. Dress up warm and go along to the auction ring at Hailsham Cattle Market in Market Street.

CHRISTMAS FAIR: Tomorrow, Saturday, at the Charles Hunt Age Concern Centre (Waitrose car park), Vicarage Lane from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Raffle, tombola, stalls, cakes and lots more.

CATS CHRISTMAS FAIR: On Sunday the Cats Protection Centre at 63 Marshfoot Lane, will have Christmassy stalls and refreshments from noon to 3pm. Entry is 50p or a tin of catfood.

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