We need support more than ever

I write to you as the chairman of Seaview.

As you may know this year is our anniversary.

Over the past 30 years Seaview has provided a year- round service for people who are experiencing many problems in their every-day lives.

These range from homelessness, to mental health problems, often overlaid by complex physical health problems.

In recent years the people of Hastings have provided support to Seaview in numerous ways; participating in The Big Sleep, supporting our Christmas concerts, generous donations from the Round Table to name but a few examples.

This support has enabled us to continue our work, helping the homeless, insecurely housed and vulnerable, last year we:

1Worked with more than 1,000 service users across the project;

1Served over 6,626 affordable hot, nutritious meals ;

1Assisted 200 individuals who presented as homeless with resettlement housing advice and support;

1Saw 175 individuals receive housing related advice and accommodation support, helping many sustain their tenancies and live locally;

1Worked with 92 rough sleepers and those in imminent danger of rough sleeping, and secured 61 housing placements;

1Developed our Street Activity Outreach Project aimed at the problem street community and engaged with 142 different individuals on the seafront and the streets of central St Leonards; and

1St John Ambulance Homeless Service recorded a total of 225 individuals using their services at Seaview.

The reason for reminding your readers of these activities is that they will be under threat if the cuts go ahead as proposed.

The Day Centre already runs at a loss, and is cross subsidised via a complex fundraising picture made up of individual support, grants from other organisations, and sheer goodwill (day centre staff routinely work over their contracted hours).

Moreover Seaview absorbed a cut of 25 per cent of its income six years ago.

Despite this, the opening hours have remained unaffected thus far.

This is at a time of unprecedented need where the numbers of clients and complexity of the problems being presented to us have increased.

There is no fat left to trim without impacting on the opening hours.

The concern is that a reduction in these services will be devastating for those using the centre and also to other services who rely on Seaview to provide a holistic service to those in greatest need.

Let County Hall know about the effect on Seaview; its possible Lewes is too far away for the impact to be fully understood.

So please make your views known on the proposed cuts via the website.

We need your support, now more than ever.

Anna Barnes



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