'Polish' weather just in time for get-together

Polish and English Eastbourne residents joined together to hold a party at Community Wise on Sunday.

The temperatures may have plummeted outside, but inside there was plenty of warmth between partygoers.

The bash was held to celebrate the launch of Polskie Eastbourne, the town's first Polish language newsletter, as well as the first anniversary of local English language teaching project English in the Community (EITC).

More than 40 guests took part in festivities which featured English and Polish food, music and dancing.

Members of the Polish community, EITC students and Community Wise staff joined the Polish folk group in a sing-along and had a go at traditional English folk dancing guided by a local dance instructor.

Polskie Eastbourne editor Miriam Miklaszewska and team member Agnieszka Diffenbach, who organised the event, were amused to find 'Polish weather' had arrived just in time for their party. "This is good, right now it's just like Poland outside," said Agnieszka.

Miriam said she was delighted by the response to their newsletter so far.

"We've left copies of the newsletter in various places around town and most of them were gone within days. It was a very good start for our new project.

"Everyone in the Polish community seems to have read or heard about it. Now we can't wait until we launch our new website in June."

EITC's many volunteers also had much to celebrate. At just one-year-old the organisation, which offers English language lessons for the local immigrant community, has taught more than 80 students from 19 different countries.

Lessons are held at Community Wise community centre in Motcombe and Eastbourne Seniors Club in Cornfield Lane.

The project has recently expanded to offer lessons in Hastings. EITC also worked in partnership with Community Wise, helping the centre to set up its hugely popular Polish lessons which have received considerable interest over the last few months.

EITC project leader Zephyr Grayland said, "In just one year we have gone from strength to strength, helping so many people to achieve the language skills they need to understand and take part in their local community.

"None of this would have been possible without the dedication and hard work of our wonderful volunteers and the brilliant partner organisations we work with. We thank you all."

Those who would like to know more about Polskie Eastbourne can e-mail info@polskieeastbourne.org.uk.

English in the Community's website is www.englishinthecommunity.org.uk

For information about Polish lessons and any of the many other activities at Community Wise, please see www.communitywise.org.uk or telephone 01323 722924.