Lightning Fibre broadband supports Hailsham Active with effective local partnership focused on sport.
Despite the partnership being relatively new, since local internet service provider Lightning Fibre broadband and Hailsham Active joined forces in November 2021, the organisation shave achieved a number of successes. The partnership was created to “increase access to, and develop, sport and physical activity across the area”, and has two key focuses. These are:
To support local Sports Clubs and Physical Activity organisations to develop and grow, promoting healthy lifestyles and inclusive activities; and to develop,with partners, the sporting infrastructure in Hailsham.
Steve Wennington, Chairman of Hailsham Active, said ‘We are very appreciative of the financial support and engagement from Lightning Fibre, enabling us to support many of our amazing local sports and recreation clubs, as can be seen with some of the examples in this article.”
Rob Reaks, Lightning Fibre’s Marketing Manager added, “It’s important to us here at Lightning Fibre that we engage with and support the local communities we serve. We’re rolling out a brand new full fibre network across East Sussex and we felt this partnership would help deliver results at grassroots level, improving the health and welfare of people in Hailsham through sport. We’re thrilled with the success stories, so early on in our partnership. Well done Hailsham Active.”
Successes and ongoing work:
* we created a Sports Club Directory. This created a regular contact point with the people who run sport and activity locally. It also helped us find out about club and organisations’ aspirations going forward. It also showed where the gaps were.
* we realised clubs sometimes just needed a small amount of funding to kick start an activity or enable a segment of the community to be able to start taking part. We set up the Hailsham Active Quick Win funding scheme, which gave clubs access to a professional fundraiser, undertaking funding bids up to £10,000 free of charge.
* we used the sports directory for a key liaison effort on what facilities clubs felt should be part of the proposed Wealden District Council Sports Hub. This feedback from clubs has really helped Hailsham Active continue to develop a multi-million pound plan with the Council for sports facilities for both sport and physical activities across Hailsham and surrounding areas.
Specific Projects currently being supported:
* we are developing Netball across the area. Netball has traditionally been a women's sport, but more men are now playing. There are no netball teams,and very few facilities for netball, locally. Through the partnership, we now have a netball champion who is currently taking qualifications for coaching, first aid and walking netball. A netball court has been identified, and a grant will be applied for once the club is inaugurated over the next few weeks.
* we are assisting Hailsham United Junior Football Club to find funds for a portakabin for storage of equipment. In Autumn 2021, we raised £1,040 to purchase goal posts to enable anew pitch to be created in Hailsham, for training and games for HUJFC for girls football.
* we have been liaising with Fighting Fit Boxing club to set up womens’ self defence sessions. An indoor venue has been agreed with Hellingly Parish Council and the first session started on Wednesday 9th February. Over 50 women have expressed an interest in attending! Also, a grant for equipment is in the process of being applied for.(Wednesdays, 7-8pm, Hailsham East Community Centre, free of charge - just turnup)
* we are applying for grant aid for the Hailsham Fun Run, which will involve an‘inclusive’ mile where we expect to see people who wouldn’t usually enter an event like this take part. People in wheelchairs, people with mobility aids, older people, and others. We intend to have a large group of volunteers who will assist anyone who needs help toachieve the mile run! In addition there will be a 10k, 5k, and also a 3k run, as it allows those aged 6 and above to join in the run (the age limit for 5k is 11 years old).
* we are helping Hellingly Cricket Club to find funding for equipment to enable coaching and training.
* we are working in partnership with the following organisations to develop new facilities for hockey, football 3G pitches, pathways, a pump track, changing pavilion:
Hailsham Hockey Club, Hailsham Community College, Horam and Village Hall and Recreation Ground Charity, Hailsham Town Council, Hailsham Town FC, local primary schools, Wealden District Council, Hellingly Parish Council.
* we are anticipating upgrading existing recreation grounds for greater all year use (better drainage/paths etc), and to enable people who could not access grounds before, due to mobility, disability, age,parents with buggies, to get outdoors, exercise, and simply enjoy being close to nature.