HAILSHAM: Twin groups highlight need for greater support

TWINNING associations across the county need more support, a meeting in Hailsham has concluded.

A joint meeting between local twinning associations in East Sussex has once again highlighted the need for greater liaison and support for the groups.

The meeting, which was hosted by the Hailsham & District Twinning Association, took place at the Hailsham Town Council offices on Friday (April 8) in order to share ideas and identify common problems and solutions to issues currently facing twinning associations and groups across the region.

In addition to the Hailsham & District Twinning Association, groups from Chiddingly, East Hoathly, Polegate, Crowborough, Rotherfield, Newhaven, Peacehaven, Seaford, Uckfield, Heathfield and Herstmonceux Twinning Associations were invited.

Representatives from the associations were given the opportunity to give a short report on their recent activities and future plans, including some fundraising ideas, membership drives and other activities.

Keith Townsend, chairman of the Hailsham association, said, “Joint meetings between twinning associations in the region are of great importance to all concerned.

“Not only do these meetings provide each group with a chance to promote themselves, but they also help one another to identify problems - such as those relating to logistics, fundraising, publicity and membership – by sharing their varied experiences and innovations.”

Hailsham Town Clerk Liz Jones, who also attended the meeting, said, “Increasing membership levels in particular is the issue regarded by many twinning associations as a major struggle.

“This is despite the fact a number of associations are well supported by their local councils financially.”

“Attracting new members - and especially younger people in the community - is now a priority for the Hailsham & District Twinning Association and will be one of its focal concerns for 2011.”

The Hailsham & District Twinning Association recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Twinning Charter with its twin town Gournay-en-Bray in Hailsham in October of last year, and more recently in February, when the charter was officially renewed in Gournay-en-Bray.

For further information on how to become a member, contact John Puttick (membership secretary) on 441787 or collect details from the Hailsham Town Council Offices in Market Street.