To gather residents’ views and foster engagement with neighbourhood management, quarterly Neighbourhood Panel meetings are held involving residents, Ward Councillors, Police, landlords and council staff.
The community centre remains the focus of a range of activities, despite significant pressure on local budgets, which are bringing more households into the centre regularly. The weekly Talk and Toddler group is now run by community volunteers, with support from 3VA, Eastbourne’s voluntary sector umbrella organisation.
Youth activities have been sustained, with two weekly evening youth sessions run by YMCA and East Sussex Targeted Youth Service and a Wise Up wellbeing confidential drop-in for young women. The East Sussex Targeted Youth Service have also delivered periodic mobile outreach and detached work to maintain service contact with young people not engaging in the weekly sessions.
The Trees Community Association have raised over £80K to fund an extension to the community centre, and are engaged with architects, users and stakeholders to develop revised designs and proposals for a community café, which are currently being discussed with Council.
A key community priority has been disabled access, and four drop kerbs have been installed in priority locations across the neighbourhood identified with a local disability group, with funding from the Hampden Park Area Panel and Places for People, to improve access to the shop and community facilities at the centre of the neighbourhood for those with mobility issues.
To enhance the kerb appeal of the properties, pilot solutions developed in consultation with residents, including decorative render and community garden spaces, are now being replicated on tiled gable end elevations across the estate, which have suffered chronic damage issues caused by ball games and vandalism, with work due to start in the autumn.