St John’s Tuesday Group is based at the St John the Evangelist church in Hastings. It provides a safe, non-judgemental drop-in service for families in St Leonard’s and Hastings, free and open to all.
St Leonard’s is well-documented as an area of high deprivation. There is high unemployment, especially among the young, and a very high dependence on benefits. It is a low-skilled employment area and, until recently, some schools were in special measures, although is starting to improve. Young families are really feeling the effect of a difficult financial climate and group numbers have grown, especially as St John’s Tuesday Club is open all year around.
The group received a grant from Sussex Community Foundation to take families who attend the group (and some others, known to be in difficult circumstances) on an outing to Knockhatch Adventure Park in nearby Hailsham. The day was a complete family outing, at no cost to the families. Coaches, entrance fees and a picnic lunch were all provided.
“In my view, the benefits of taking the complete family cannot be stressed enough,” says organiser Mollie Green. “In the years we have been able to arrange this ‘treat’, this fact has been made obvious, time and time again.”
“It really was a very good day, in spite of the puddles!”