Charity head to step down

Mel Bonney-Kane
Mel Bonney-Kane

HASTINGS Trust is to bid farewell to executive director Mel Bonney-Kane at the end of the year.

Mel has been at the helm of the charity, which focuses on enabling community-led regeneration for the last five years.

She and her family are relocating to the north in order that Mel can take on her new role as CEO of Ryedale Voluntary Action and Seachange Community Trust.

Mel said: “It has been a privilege to serve the trust and the people of Hastings for the past five years and although excited by my new venture it is with some sadness that I leave such a remarkable organisation and I shall miss the commitment and energy of staff, volunteers and trustees.

Leslie Brissett has been appointed as interim CEO to take over the reins in January.

Leslie said: “I am delighted to take on this interim chief executive role.

“Hastings Trust has a long history around regeneration in the borough of Hastings, and I look forward to working with the dedicated trustees, staff and stakeholders from across the county to prepare the ground for the next phase of the trust’s work.”

Hastings Trust is a registered charity and not for profit company established more than 21 years ago to enable community led regeneration.

In the last five years alone it has generated more than £3.5 million in charitable funds, supported 22,000 volunteer hours, and engaged with more than 20,000 local residents through its projects and resource centre.

Recent projects include the affordable loans scheme Innovative Finance, which over the past five years has lent £576,000 to 1,950 people.

Two volunteering development projects are Community Enablers, which helps people to get involved in volunteering activity as a means of building confidence, supporting established community activity and increasing employability, and Neighbourhood Enablers, which helps residents with an idea for a social action project to gather wider community support and put their idea into practice.

Trustees and staff will be holding their festive celebration on Friday, December 21 at 12.30pm at the White Rock Hotel, and friends, old and new, are welcome to say farewell to Mel and to welcome Leslie aboard.