A major milestone has been achieved with the completion of the purchase of the Isabel Blackman Centre (Winding Street). Following a massive community fundraising campaign supported by local charities, the building is now safely in the hands of a new Charity, Isabel Blackman Centre – in Perpetuity (IBC-IP), who will hold it permanently on behalf of the community.
Dick Edwards MBE, Chair of IBC-IP said: “We’ve been amazed and heartened by the goodwill and support our community has shown. This is the true spirit of people coming together for good. We have managed to raise the required funds to purchase the Isabel Blackman Centre and keep it in use for everyone to enjoy in perpetuity.”
Repairs to the building and daily operations will be managed Age UK East Sussex. Age UK East Sussex are the leading provider for a number of services for Older People in Hastings. They previously managed the IBC for 2 years and have an excellent team who will ensure the highest standards for centre users.
Isabel Blackman Centre – in Perpetuity are also delighted to announce that a major investment has been secured via Hastings Voluntary Action (HVA) who were selected by the Charities Commission to ensure that the assets of a former local Charity, Friends of the Old People, could be disposed of in a way which achieved effective and long-lasting benefit to Older People in the Borough.
Plans for the future are ambitious and include a drive to get Hastings designated as an ‘Age Friendly Community’ within the meaning of the World Health Organisation Framework, alongside developing service opportunities and activities both in the town centre and at Winding Street.
This work started with a series of meetings convened by HVA which led to the listing of the building as a Community asset and the development of a formal partnership consisting of HOTRA, Age UK East Sussex, the Hastings and St Leonards Seniors Forum and HVA. But above all it was the incredible generosity of local people who made this all possible.
To help shape the future for the Isabel Blackman Centre, Age UK East Sussex are running a public consultation. You can access the survey online at: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/eastsussex/our-services/ibc/ or by calling their switchboard and requesting a printed copy on 01273 476 704.
For more information contact:
Richard Scott-Clark, Business and Operations Director, Age UK Sussex
01273 476 704