First Years Funding

2014 – 2017

Living Legends – 2013

The very first major Community Event which we supported took place on the 14 th July 2013. Local community artist, Clare Hackney-Ring, created a stunning mural featuring life-sized Music Legends, to camouflage some boarded-up shop fronts in Eastbourne. Her art project was funded by a grant from Eastbourne Borough Council and, to celebrate its completion, a street party was held in the street next to it. Devonshire West Big Local used some of their “Getting Started” grant to assist with the costs of the party and purchase some play equipment. This work proved very popular with the local people, providing an excellent back-drop for photographs and remained in place and undamaged until removed when the site was rebuilt in 2022.

Age Concern – 2015 – Ukulele Club – £600

“The ukulele club is here to stay at Age Concern Eastbourne. The initial funding has enabled us to set the group up and we plan to continue to develop the group.”

Age Concern

The Ukulele Club was a huge success with approximately 30 people attending each week. After the introduction of this new activity, two classes were provided on an on- going basis following a rolling programme rather than set courses with defined start and end dates. Members of both sessions gelled and improved to the point they were ready to do concerts, with some of the group volunteering to do a solo. Group members learned new skills, helped each other out if they were struggling, and made some lasting friendships that will extend beyond the Ukulele Club.

Bo Ho Festival – 2016 – £6,913

The Bo Ho Festival exceeded the organisers’ expectations, it was a fantastic event with many positive comments being received from the public and schools who took part.  The inclusion of school workshops, community workshops and a light procession created a wide interest in the period leading up to and on the event night itself – social media was still talking about it many weeks later.

Boho commissioned the Shed Project (engaging 50+ males) to make base wooden products to be painted in a workshop and Mencap made an art piece to be displayed in the Grotto.  Both groups cater for the “hard to reach” people who are prone to isolation.  Bourne School was key in terms of diversity and contacts were made within the Portuguese and Polish communities.

This non-religious event brought together the diverse residents of Devonshire West – over 200 people (school children and members of the community who had taken part in the community workshops) walked in the light procession to Leaf Hall.

Small film of procession

Community Stuff – 2015 – Fun Stuff – Play and Activities – £4,569

Community Stuff provided 20 play sessions for all the family, toddlers, children, teenagers, parents and grandparents all took part, playing and being creative together. They made sock puppets, created rangoli art, cooked wraps, played games, learnt circus skills, sang, played music, ran races, enjoyed animal encounters with ZooLab and made several amazing model cities out of recycled materials. Lots of people met their neighbours for the first time whilst their children played happily together in a fun environment.  Without the sessions they may not have met up and several mums arranged to meet up for coffee during the summer.

Community Stuff – 2015 – World Bread Club – £1,865

Twenty-one clients with young families learnt how to bake real bread products confidently within this course.  They also gained confidence in cookery generally and were introduced to new tastes at a formative time in their children’s eating development.  The parents learned to work confidently from recipes, to cook everything from scratch and learned to appreciate delicious home cooked food.  As well as freshly baked bread, they also took dough home each week and cooked it with their children. This working together in the kitchen will stay with them all for life and engage their children with a joy of cooking from an early age.

“It was great that they taught by demonstration, because I can’t read or write – it was perfect.  I loved sitting together and eating at the end with the children too.  Everything now is always cooked from scratch and I won’t be buying bread from a shop again!”

Creative Force – 2015 – Art Project – Fit In Your Space – £2,486

Although originally intended to cater just for children on Seaside Recreation Ground, the group had to transfer their location to the Pavilion Gardens at short notice.  However, this meant they could work with a wider age range of the local population in a larger space.  The organisers were keen to ensure that people should find this event fun, creative and non-intimidating, so programmed it accordingly.

Eastbourne Health Champions were invited to join the organisers in encouraging people to be creative about ways in which they could be healthier whilst having fun too.

Also in attendance were Groundwork South who informed people about biodiversity in open spaces and also keeping healthy and warm at home using eco-friendly items.  Sport Eastbourne proved to be a powerful addition to the event as they were also able to work with adults, which was tremendously successful.  Older people were, for example, (re-)introduced to hula hooping which they found great fun and an inexpensive way towards fitness.  Children tried out sack racing and both adults and children tried out the portable long jump.  The team, which included the Sport Eastbourne mascot, Dash the Dog, were able to offer fitness advice to adults as well as motivate children.

Creative Force commissioned Eastbourne artist Sheridan Quigley to develop creative play techniques for children and adults to think about healthier living whilst also offering gems of information about healthy lifestyles.  She created a colourful and fun exercise during which the creators were asked to craft their own examples of healthy living in ‘growing pots’ made using simple materials. The pictures were themed: something healthy to eat, something healthy to do and something you really like, and the pots were taken home as a reminder to continue working towards being healthy.

Eastbourne Multicultural Education Program – 2016 – £3,000

This unique event, designed to raise awareness of the activities of other cultures and encourage respect of the multi-cultural diversity within Eastbourne, was attended by people from different communities and different parts of Eastbourne.  The organisers hoped that , by working with the children, future generations would grow up with a better understanding of the numerous cultures that make Eastbourne a more diverse place to live in.   All the parents and children happily joined in the wide range of creative activities.

One of the mums said “I can’t believe the smiling face of my daughter after face painting.”

Eastbourne Multicultual Education Project

Devonshire Collective – 2016/2017 – £120,000

DWBL provided funding to help set up a Community Interest Company to run the Devonshire Collective, a distributed creative hub for the creative and performing arts.

The project was complex as it was across three buildings, involved a variety of professional disciplines and departments within Eastbourne Borough Council, and was funded by Eastbourne Housing and Economic Development Partnership, East Sussex County Council and Devonshire West Big Local.  The launch programme started on time for the first building and a phased approach was adopted for the other two buildings and the inaugural exhibition.  In the long term it is envisaged that Devonshire Collective can provide a catalyst for significant change in Seaside Road.

Devonshire Collective

Matthew 25 Mission – 2016 – Rent for Shop – £3,000

In 2016 Devonshire West Big Local approved a grant to fund the rent for M25M’s charity shop, however the shop had to undergo structural repairs, so it was relocated to a small ‘cabin shop’ which Christ Church kindly allowed them to site in the church car park.  DWBL was happy for the initial grant to be used towards this change of use.  The temporary ‘shop’ was used until they were able to move back into the main shop, with a brand new shop front, new interior décor, a brand new carpet, and a grand re-opening.

Matthew 25 Mission

Royal Hippodrome Theatre – 2015 to 2017 – £5,000 and £56,000

The Royal Hippodrome Theatre is the oldest theatre in Eastbourne and has received two grants.  The first paid for technical support towards their Heritage Fund application for much needed improvements.  This was unsuccessful so DWBL offered a grant towards the refurbishment of its front facade and internal improvements if matched funding from another source could be secured. Fortunately, the John Jackson memorial Trust agreed to provide this, and essential improvement work was carried out to secure this heritage site for future generations. The theatre is now a very lively place, bringing people into the area from the town and beyond. This benefits local businesses such as restaurants, pubs, guest houses and hotels that contribute so much to the local economy.

Royal Hippodrome Theatre