Press Releases week beginning 20 June 2016
Child Maintenance Group secures Workplace Wellbeing Charter Award
The Child Maintenance Group (CMG) at Ashdown House, Hastings has been awarded the Workplace Wellbeing Charter Award.
The Workplace Wellbeing Charter provides an opportunity for employers to demonstrate their commitment to the health and well-being of their workforce, whilst providing employers with an easy and clear guide on how to make workplaces a supportive and productive environment in which employees can flourish.
Hastings Borough Council's Environmental Health Team carried out the assessment on behalf of Health@Work for the National Award for England; the "Workplace Wellbeing Charter"
An application for the Charter Award was made by the Child Maintenance Group (CMG), part of the Department for Work and Pensions located at Ashdown House, Hastings and the council have been involved in assessing this application for the award by CMG over the last twelve months.
Cllr Judy Rogers, Mayor of Hastings explained:
"The Wellbeing Charter covers eight discrete standards: Leadership; Absence Management; Health and Safety; Alcohol and Substance Misuse; Smoking; Mental Health; Healthy Eating and Physical Activity.
"The CMG have worked very hard to achieve the required standards in all eight categories and so have now been accredited with this prestigious award. I was very happy to present the award to them as it demonstrates their commitment to the health and wellbeing of their staff. Their investment in this way leads to a happy and healthy workforce and we actively encourage this."
Nik Wilson, CMG South East Region's People Lead, added:
"We are elated to have achieved this prestigious and nationally recognised award, and to such a high level. The accreditation process was rigorous but the council's assessors were really supportive and professional, and helped make it a really positive experience.
"Gathering the evidence revealed how much we already do and how far we have come in terms of supporting our people's wellbeing and engagement. This is not the end of the journey though; the Charter structure also helps to point us in the right direction to focus future efforts. We are looking forward to the challenge!"
66 Objects - a new display opens at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery
The Story of Hastings in 66 Objects
The Battle of Hastings may be the most famous date in British history, but a lot has happened in the 950 years since. To mark the anniversary and as part of the ROOT1066 Festival of Contemporary Arts, Hastings Museum & Art Gallery will be opening a new, permanent display of its local history collections, from 1066 up to the present day.
Cllr Dawn Poole the council's lead member for culture explained:
"The idea for the exhibition was to take 66 Objects that represent key stories that portray some of the people, some of the places and some of the events, both national and local; those that have really shaped the town of Hastings.
"950 years is a long time with a lot of history to cover and 66 objects is actually a lot of objects to look at! In the new exhibition we've included some objects and some events that have national significance such as the Spanish Armada and the first and second world wars but we've also included events that are very particular to Hastings
"As far as possible we have tried to put people at the centre of the story from local characters like the 11th century moneyer Dunninc and medieval Godfrey the Scrivener, to those who have had an international impact, like Robert Tressell and John Logie Baird.
All sorts of objects have been selected, from everyday items to coronation costume. Cllr Poole is putting in the third object in its case. It's a wine jug that dates from around 1100, which was excavated at Hastings Castle. The base has signs of blackening, showing that the wine was probably heated over an open fire. Wine became increasingly popular after the Norman Conquest and the Domesday Book records many newly-planted vineyards for the Norman rulers.
The new display will be open from Saturday 25 June at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery.
Museum opening times: April to October - Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm. Sunday 12 noon-5pm. Entry is free.
Old Time Jazz at the Stade
As part of the Stade Saturdays programme funded by Hastings Borough Council, Fumi Okiji's Old Time Jazz Band will be performing this Saturday 25 June from 6pm at the Stade Open Space.
The Old Time Jazz Band is a group of musicians hailing from London and Hastings who perform tunes from early jazz.
Cllr Dawn Poole the council's lead member for culture and leisure explained:
"The Old Time Jazz Band celebrates the great tradition of jazz song. They perform jazz with a coolness that is laid back yet sets the pulse racing. Their repertoire consists of tunes from the early years of jazz's inception up until the 1940's taking in the blues, New Orleans, black vaudeville, Louis, Ella and Billie.
"It's one not to miss and of course, like all Stade Saturdays events it's FREE!
The band comprises Fumi Okiji, Idris Rahman, Ben Davies, Stuart Hall and Roy Dodds all of whom play with the foremost names of the English jazz scene. They have built up a faithful London following over the past couple of years and have played at many jazz clubs including the Vortex, St James Theatre, the Oxford, the Spice of Life and at the Crypt's Camberwell Jazz Festival. "
Ore Village Primary Academy Pupils are Walking Winners!
Five schools across Hastings took part in the May Walk to School Week challenge, organised for local schools by Hastings Borough council's Active Hastings team.
During May 400,000 pupils across England, Scotland and Wales swapped their usual school run car journey on four wheels for two feet during the week-long challenge.
Cllr Dawn Poole the council's lead member for leisure said:
"The health of young people in Hastings is really important. Walking to school is a great way to get the daily exercise young people need and this combined with fresh air makes pupils more alert and ready to learn in class.
"We are trying to encourage as many families as possible to include walking to school as part of their weekly exercise regime and it will also help to relieve traffic congestion that so many schools experience.
"Ore Village Primary Academy did really well in the walk to school challenge with the highest uptake of children walking to school for the week 16 - 20 May. Our congratulations go to them for such a great achievement- well done!"
The pupils were presented with a special Walk to School week trophy in their assembly (20 June) and five free lunchtime activities to be delivered by Active Hastings.
Active Hastings are encouraging schools to work with Living Streets and their WOW campaign; Walk Once a Week. WOW rewards primary school pupils who walk to school at least once a week with a monthly collectable badge. The badges are designed by pupils and are made from recycled yoghurt pots!
It's fun and easy to join the WOW campaign and only takes a few minutes of a teacher's day to make a big difference, logging journeys and awarding badges.
To find out more about walking to school contact Alan Foster, Active Hastings email@example.com
Hastings Round Table supports StreetGames Boxing
Hastings Borough Council's StreetGames has secured funding from Hastings Round Table to support Family Boxing for Fitness; non-contact boxing sessions at Hollington Youth Centre.
Cllr Dawn Poole, the council's lead member for leisure explained:
"The family oriented sessions run by StreetGames on Saturday mornings is based on non-contact boxing. The sport allows people to get physically active, build fitness, confidence and self-esteem.
"We are very grateful to Hastings Round Table for their generous financial support which will go towards more equipment for the whole group and to pay for one of the young volunteers to gain his Boxing Leaders Award qualification.
"It's very important to us to be able to offer sporting activities and opportunities like these to local people. Through Active Hastings and Street Games we provide a wide variety of sport and activity sessions for everyone in the town to participate in."
Paul McCleery from Hastings Round Table presented the cheque to the group last Saturday (18 June) at their regular Saturday morning session. He added:
"The Round Table is not known by everyone in the town, so when we get chance to help out a local community project like this it not only helps raise awareness of the Round Table, but shows how many people can benefit from our help. It was great to see all ages taking part in this session and we were very pleased to have been approached for help, StreetGames coordinator Ken Dullaway continues to do a great job and gives up so much of his time."
Family Boxing For Fitness takes place at Hollington Youth Centre, Old Church Road, Hastings on Saturday mornings 11.00am - 12.00pm.
To find out more about all Active Hastings StreetGames activities on offer visit: activehastings.org.uk
Council Leader Demands Action from Rail Bosses
Cllr Peter Chowney, the leader of Hastings Borough Council, has demanded action from the management of train operator Southern to end the bitter dispute with its conductors.
Cllr Chowney said "Today local rail customers have suffered a third strike day, with no Southern trains running to or from Hastings at all. This has caused massive disruption to many, be it to young students who use the train to get to and from school, regular commuters, or those with important hospital appointments to attend, or flights to catch.
"And the strike days are in addition to the enduring delays, longer journeys, and massive overcrowding caused by the many cancellations of Southern trains recently, apparently caused by conductor sickness.
"Many, many people, local residents and visitors, depend on Southern trains, and it is just unacceptable for their lives to continue to be disrupted in this way.
"This simply cannot continue indefinitely, and I therefore urge the management of Southern to do whatever is necessary to meet with the RMT, the conductors' trades union, and resolve their differences."
Heavy Forestry Horses return to the Glen
Hastings Borough Council has once again enlisted the help of Frankie Woodgate and her two forestry horses, Yser and Tobias to help manage the habitat at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve.
Cllr Warren Davies, the council's lead member for environment explained:
"Warren Glen is an area of the country park that is very difficult to access with machinery so having Frankie's help is invaluable.
"The terrain is steeply sloping and rough and therefore difficult to manage without grazing animals. Highland cattle, Exmore ponies and recently introduced Belted Galloway cattle have made a real impact on reducing the gorse and bracken in this area. By supplementing the bruising with grazing, the bracken can be kept at bay and more areas of special habitat will be opened up for wildlife to flourish.
"The working horses pull heavy rollers to bash and bruise the bracken as an effective, traditional and low impact method of reducing the vigour and growth of bracken in these hard to reach areas.
"The horses are working on the site until Friday 24 June. They are a magnificent sight on the slopes - why not go along and have a look for yourself!"
Yser and Tobias spend most of the year extracting timber from woods around Sussex and Kent but spend the summer rolling bracken.