Here’s my story behind the making of ‘Poverty in Eastbourne’
“I had heard people saying that poverty doesn’t exist in Eastbourne and I’m sure that you have all heard the criticism from agencies like Foodbank saying that they are creating a demand… well I wanted to do something about it.
I began to share my thoughts with others about how we could make people more aware of the problem however I didn’t want it to be all doom and gloom as a lot of help is available in Eastbourne – if you know where to go that is! What I didn’t know is that in one of those conversations I had Ed from Take Two productions was sitting behind me listening to the conversation. He offered to help! So thanks Ed for listening in to the conversation as I couldn’t have done this without you!
So Ed, Zoe and I began to visit some agencies. We started off visiting some of our homeless people by going to the Winter Night Shelter on a Saturday night at the Elim Family Church. We then went to the Shaftesbury Centre to see how they are helping people with advice and counselling. We spoke to the police – where we did the interviewing for once!
We also visited other agencies that are often the first place people go to when they find themselves in a difficult situation. We had a great time meeting the team at Matthew 25 and were blown away not only by the time they give to serve but how passionate and willing they are to do it.
I then left Ed and Zoe to do the final interviews and cuts.
Eastbourne’s Faith Champion, Sandy Medway recently presented some research conducted by the Cinnamon Trust who are doing a national survey on the value of the social impact that churches and groups are involved in. From the results from the 43 people who completed the survey – the survey shows that £6.8 million pounds is given in time by churches and projects. And that is only about a third of the real picture. This showed me 2 things:
- There is great need
- There is a lot of help already happening
However despite the amount of help available we know that more needs to be done!
Along with Martyn Relf, Chair of Churches Together Eastbourne, and many other agencies I involved in a social inclusion group where the voluntary sector have agreed to work together in order to do something about social isolation and loneliness in Eastbourne which seems to be a prevalent problem that we see.
My hope is that after watching this video not only will you be more aware of some of this issues especially around homelessness but you will be inspired to do more and to do it together!
I do just have one apology to make! If we interviewed you and you are not on the video then I apologise. I know how busy we all are and as I didn’t want to make it more than 20 minutes we had to cut some of these out.
We recently showed the video to around 100 people in Eastbourne, including the Mayor, our Lead Councillor of Eastbourne Borough Council, other councillors, church leaders, volunteers and some people who have experienced homelessness for themselves. The result of this showing is that this isn’t the end that you will hear about poverty in Eastbourne as it’s now on the agenda for our town! So keep in touch as more developments will be here soon!
I will now leave you to watch the video!