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Executive Committee

Marie Casey

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Health and Wellbeing

WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE AN HCN ELECTED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER?

I have worked and lived in Hastings for over 20 years. I believe I can offer the network knowledge and skills based on years of working in a number of voluntary organisations and the NHS in Hastings and in other parts of East Sussex. I am committed to Hastings and have worked for years on reducing inequalities and I’d like to continue that work. HCN is the best vehicle for that in the County.

WHY IS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION SO IMPORTANT?

Community representation is essential in decision making. Community representation ensures that the views of those who are least likely to attend public meetings and get their voices heard are taken into account. They also provide policy and decision makers with real time information on life in their community of place or interest. Alternatively they can explain policies and decisions and support people to get the most out of services and support. Community reps are strong advocates for their community

Carole Dixon

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Health and Wellbeing, Children and Young People, Education, Enterprise and Learning

WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE AN HCN ELECTED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER?

I have a passion for improving the life chances of children and families in Hastings. As an educationalist who has worked across primary, secondary and adult learning, I moved from working with schools and local authorities to the EAZ and the Excellence Cluster, in order to achieve this ambition.
At the close of the Excellence Cluster, I transferred to lead the Education Futures Trust, and I am proud of what has been achieved in the two years of its existence. I believe that I retain a strategic insight into education in Hastings, whilst also understanding the challenges faced by the voluntary sector.

WHY IS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION SO IMPORTANT?

I believe that working together as community members is the best way for ensuring that local voices are heard and respected, and that influence becomes a reality, particularly on local policy.
As Chief Executive of a local charity, I feel able to understand the needs of our community. The Trust faced an uphill battle in its early days but, through support from the community, we demonstrated the power of working together to succeed; leading to the Trust raising £500,000+ in additional income to support education in Hastings for 2013-14.
As such I would be honoured to be a part of guiding the community network and using my influence in local/county strategic groups to extend its voice.

Pam Brown

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Carers Services, Communities, Health and Wellbeing, Housing

WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE AN HCN ELECTED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER?

I would like to be elected so I can work with others to try to protect/restore relentless cuts to services in the community.

I believe I can give some helpful input to efforts to promote community activity with people of like minds, and welcome the opportunity to contribute to ideas and initiatives from other HCN members who I know are keen to play their part.

WHY IS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION SO IMPORTANT?

It is a vital link in coordinating activities in the statutory and voluntary sector

Catherine Orbach

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Arts and Culture, Children, Families and Young People, Communities, Disabled People’s Services, Education, Health and Wellbeing

WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE AN HCN ELECTED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER?

Hastings and St Leonards has a vibrant arts community. I’d like to see more people access and benefit from the skills and resource this brings. The arts and cultural sectors are often absent from voluntary and community sector planning. Given the role the arts can play in helping people find inner strength, resilience and the skills to succeed in life, we need to see them included in discussions about community development in the town. I have worked in Hastings since 2004, making links between arts, education and community, initially with Creative Partnerships, and since 2011 through Culture Shift.

WHY IS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION SO IMPORTANT?

Hastings faces significant social and economic challenges.  With such a strong and diverse voluntary and community sector, representing many different facets of the community, we need to have a mechanism through which people can influence and shape local decision making.

HCN appears to provide just that, a way for people to work together around shared issues and a way to make representation within local government.

Naomi Ridley

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Advice, Housing, Poverty, Training

WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE AN HCN ELECTED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER?

I think I would represent a slightly different part of the sector because HFS is a social enterprise as well as a registered charity. We provide training opportunities as well as helping people with low incomes access furniture and electricals, and we work in partnership with several other groups. I’ve worked in the charity sector for about 20 years and I’ve been a Trustee of other charities too.

I’d like HCN to be a really strong voice for the sector, to bring forward collaborations, ideas and strategies and encourage the statutory sector to support and work with us better.

WHY IS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION SO IMPORTANT?

I think it’s important for grassroots organisations to work together, to help inform decision-makers, advocate with service users and campaign to get better services for everyone.

Tracey Rose

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Communities, Education, Enterprise and Learning, Health and Wellbeing.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE AN HCN ELECTED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER?

I have lived and worked in Hastings for the last 15 years, working in both Children’s Centres where I managed all of the centres across the town, and more recently with Horizons Community Learning as the CEO. I have a strong commitment to the town and feel proud to be a resident and to contribute towards the achievements of people who live and work in Hastings.

I feel strongly that learning is a valuable way to support people in improving their lives. HCN is an important vehicle for change and it would be a pleasure to be a committee member.

WHY IS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION SO IMPORTANT?

No one person or organization has the answers to everything. Working together comes with opportunities for more people and organisations to be heard and lead to more sustainable and committed action.

A shared approach to decision making with more involvement of the community leads to ownership and a feeling of worth and inclusion. To be able to be part of this, represent HCN and influence at a strategic level would be an honour.

Julia Wells

AREAS OF INTEREST:

BME and Cultural Communities, Communities, Health and Wellbeing, Education, Enterprise and Learning, Faith Groups, Small Community Groups.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE AN HCN ELECTED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER?

I would like to be elected so that I can put forward the voice of the BME Seniors alongside the other Seniors Forums and Voluntary Sector Organisations in East Sussex.

WHY IS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION SO IMPORTANT?

Community Representation is an important role for Hope – G so that we can put forward views and services to commissioners and providers to try and ensure that services are meeting the needs of the older BME Community

Annie Whelan

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Advice, Arts and Culture, Communities, Disabled People’s Services, Enterprise and Learning, Gender Groups, Health and Wellbeing, Housing

WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE AN HCN ELECTED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER?

I am committed to not only the needs of my own organisation being expressed and championed but in the overall strengthening of the VCS sector through a collaborative voice and a joining of purpose.

I feel that I would be able to stand in that collaborative space as an elected representative to represent the wider local VCS sector. I very much want the voice of the VCS sector as a whole to make a difference.

WHY IS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION SO IMPORTANT?

I believe that in this changing landscape the VCS sector faces both threat and opportunity and it is only by harnessing our combined energy and finding effective contact points to stand together on that we can positively influence the direction and shape of the future.

It is important that the VCS sector is able to, where appropriate, not only have a voice but take a lead in shaping change because we in turn are very much shaped in direct response to the community and expressed need of individuals

Jacky Everard

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Communities, Health and Wellbeing, Housing, Advice

WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE AN HCN ELECTED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER?

I have worked for HARC since 1985, so feel that my background and experience place me in a strong position to act on behalf of the sector to ensure that we have a strong collective voice.
The public sector funding cuts along with the welfare reforms will continue to have a huge adverse impact on our local residents. The challenge is to ensure that we remain sustainable in order to continue delivering much-needed services to local residents; I feel it is imperative that the advice services are represented at a local strategic level.

WHY IS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION SO IMPORTANT?

The community sector works with a whole range of different groups and residents with complex and different needs. To ensure that the voice of the community is heard, it is vital that there is a mechanism into which this voice is both listened to and respected, thereby shaping service provision to guarantee equality and fair access to all. Representation helps improves the quality of life for all local people so that the most vulnerable residents and groups are not excluded.

Andrew Colquhoun

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Environment, Communities, Health and Wellbeing, Education, Enterprise and Learning, Advice

WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE AN HCN ELECTED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER?

As a co – opted member of the Executive Committee since mid 2013, I have been impressed by the quality of its work for the local community right across the board. I hope I have already been able to make a small contribution to its work on bathing water quality and on education. I would welcome the opportunity to serve in other ways too. I could bring to the role, not only my past experience in charity management, but also my continuing work with counselling charities and with the Mediation Service, as well as my work for the local allotment movement.

WHY IS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION SO IMPORTANT?

Many local voluntary organizations are continuing to face serious challenges in their methods of working as funding systems change and the operating environment becomes in some cases more competitive. HCN plays an invaluable role both in facilitating networking between them and in coordinating their views and then promoting them to various local authorities and agencies. In this way, the informed voice of the community organizations can carry more weight with decision – makers than if they were working alone.

Marc Turczanski

Project Coordinator, Links Project

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Communities, Health and Wellbeing, Advice, BME and Cultural Minorities

WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE AN HCN ELECTED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER?

I have spent the last 10 years working in Hastings and St Leonards predominantly with excluded BME groups. This work has put me in contact with a wide range of individuals and families who make up some of the most vulnerable residents in the town. It has also helped me become more aware of the challenges they face in their day to day lives which could include multiple disadvantage, discrimination, inequality of service and reduced life chances.

I am a volunteer member of the Sussex Police Independent Advisory Group and I am also a trustee for Citizens Advice 1066.

WHY IS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION SO IMPORTANT?

I feel that as an elected member of the HCN, I would bring knowledge and experience of issues that affect a growing local community that are often under represented at a strategic level. Without this representation, equality of access will become worse particularly when planning services or changes to delivery models.

Steve Manwarring

Director, Hastings Voluntary Action

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Communities, Support to Voluntary and Community Sector Group

 
WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE AN HCN ELECTED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER?

I have been a member and supported the development of HCN for over 10 years. My role as Director of HVA provides me with a good understanding of the issues VCS groups face. I am able to represent the sector on key strategic bodies in an accountable and inclusive way and currently serve on a range of partnership including the LSP and the East Sussex Strategic Partnership. I consider myself to be able to negotiate on behalf of the sector and to represent its interest with focus and creativity.

WHY IS COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION SO IMPORTANT?

It is crucial for the sectors interests to be represented with skill and in an accountable way to policy makers and politicians. A network must reach out to those whose voices are less likely to be heard and that we adopt a proactive approach to this. The Hastings Community Network is a unique organisation through which the community can have a clear and consistent voice around key decision making tables. At this crucial time it is vital that we are able to have both strong and powerful advocacy but also the skill and creativity to work in partnership with service providers for the local area.

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