Heathfield is a ‘trailblazer’ according to its MP.
Opening the town’s new community hub in the Parish Council offices, MP Huw Merriman said: “I am proud not only to serve Heathfield but to have lived in the community for the last ten years and witnessed special people doing some amazing things. The level of volunteering and civic engagement is incredible. Those who volunteer in, and represent, Heathfield are trailblazers for other parts of East Sussex. This is a parish with a dedicated commitment to public service. When I speak to other towns and parishes I tell them to go to Heathfield to see a model of what a community can do when it pulls together.”
The hub is where people can now find information about almost every aspect of town life including planning, public transport, local government, library services, recreation, allotments, venues for hire and most of what they want to know about where they live. It is aided by a public access computer and is a central point for vital information that was previously complex and time-consuming to track down. Also operating from the hub is a volunteer centre, open on Thursdays and Fridays, where would-be volunteers can find out what opportunities match their skills and bring them together with organisations needing help.
County councillor Rupert Simmons, District Council community lead member Nicholas Collinson and Parish Council chairman Andy Woolley welcomed colleagues and townspeople to the formal opening which was introduced by the Town Crier from Burgess Hill. This reflected the set-up support given by David Carden who had led the way by centralising council resources in the town.
Cllr Simmons cited the Heathfield Works scheme which supports young people to access full-time education or find jobs as an example of the town’s innovative approach to supporting its community from within.
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