A free event which celebrated the contribution individuals and groups make to the quality of life in Seaford was sponsored by Seaford Labour Party and hosted by the Seaford Labour Parliamentary Candidate Lloyd Russell-Moyle.
The audience at Celebrating Seaford, held at Seaford Little Theatre, included invited organisations and members of the public.
The event was hosted by prospective parliamentary candidate for Labour in Lewes Lloyd Russell-Moyle. Around 40 guests, including Seaford Mayor Mark Brown, attended Celebrating Seaford on Friday May 2, including people who had made a significant contribution towards improving the town.
A poll was conducted in the audience to find who they thought had made the most significant impact on Seaford’s quality of life.
The runner up was food bank Seahaven Storehouse and the winner was The Seaford Responders, who attend ambulance calls and support paramedics.
Ways to improve the quality of life in the town further, suggested by the audience, included a timetable for improving health facilities and jobs for Seaford school leavers.
Feeling good about Seaford
Enormous, entirely justifiable Civic Pride was in evidence at “Celebrating Seaford” an open meeting at the Seaford Little Theatre on the evening of Friday 2nd May. Hosted by Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Seaford), the audience was about half invited organisations, the rest being members of the public. The Town Mayor, Councillor Mark Brown, was very warmly welcomed, and proved to be both an enthusiastic participant and a very supportive presence throughout. The 40 or so guests were those who have made a significant contribution to the Quality of Life in Seaford, but they can only be a representative sample of the wealth of public spirit Seaford fortunately enjoys. Quality of Life depends upon everyone having enough Health, Wealth and Happiness; and the invitees fell neatly under those headings.
Concerning Seaford’s Community Health, former mayor Ralph Taylor represented ‘Improving Seaford Health’. Dr Mark Barnes (from the Clinical Commissioning Group which includes Seaford) was an attentive member of the audience. Karen Plantrose, a director of Horder Healthcare, outlined some of the facilities her not-for-profit charitable trust might soon bring to Seaford, although the specifics had to wait until Commissioning was complete. Karen also indicated that she and her team were keen to play their part in responding to public demand for even more medical facilities being brought to Seaford in the longer term. Jack Stonehouse spoke movingly about the entirely voluntary work of Seaford Responders, an input which was roundly applauded.
Community Support also contributes to health. St James’ Trust provides companionship and much more for the elderly and disabled of Seaford’s residents; Roger Daw, from the now 80 years old Macreads, spoke passionately about the work of the youth centre; Ann Jacobs told of how Seahaven Storehouse presently supports nearly 70 Seaford families who find themselves in difficult circumstances. Ann paid tribute in turn to the many, very public spirited people who make regular contributions to the Storehouse.
A group of business people have maintained an excellent High Street in Seaford despite other towns suffering badly from the recession. Greg Livermore from the Co-op talked about the stores complete make-over, and the Co-op’s commitment to charitable causes. Badger Inks was complimented for excellent Customer Service. Dairen McGee, co-proprietor of Sussex Eye Care, Toytown and Stitch explained that Toytown had been his attempt to stem the tide of high street decay in order to protect his life’s investment in his ophthalmic business. Merchandising decisions at Toytown are literally in the hands of his children, their ‘thumbs-up’ meaning ‘Stock it, Dad!’
Those who educate and inform us are in turn, crucial to wealth creation. Seaford’s University of the Third Age attracts a huge following. Tributes were paid to ‘Haven News’, the web based information exchange, and ‘Seahaven FM’, our local radio station. Mike Barrett was there to hear appreciation of our excellent Museum. Sarah Speadie, deputy head of Seaford Head School, sketched out plans for the new 6th form she will lead, amusingly blaming a hitch to archaeology; thousands of newly discovered rare fossils are the culprits!
The largest group were those who volunteer to entertain Seaford through the Arts in its many forms. Seaford Musical Theatre told of its work with young folk; the Crypt Gallery enticed us with offers no one could refuse; and Jean McCapra from Seaford Music Society was so eloquent that she signed up two new members on the spot! Seaford Choral Society was praised not just for its beautiful music making, but for the money it has raised for many of the Charities present. On the Environment, Tree Warden Keith Blackburn brought the excellent news the scheme was back in business; praise was heaped upon both ‘Friends of Tide Mills’ represented by Jim Skinner, and upon the Community Gardens. The floral theme of Seaford Railway station, (due to celebrate its 150th birthday this year) was notably enjoyed by many.
Those attending could choose to take part in a Poll to find who they thought had made the most significant impact on Seaford’s Quality of Life. The Runner Up was announced first, and the Mayor was heard to exclaim “Very good! That’s one of my Charities!” It was Seahaven Storehouse; Ann Jacobs and colleagues were presented with a framed Certificate. But nobody from the winning organisation was to be found! The Seaford Responders had departed on their second “shout” during the meeting. The Town Mayor declared that the evening had been “a splendid Community Event”, and announced he would be pleased to present the Winners Certificate to Seaford Responders before the next Council Meeting, an offer host Lloyd Russell-Moyle was delighted to accept.
Sarah Speadie, Karen Plantrose, Roger Daw and Dairen McGee formed a Panel to respond the Quality of Life questions and comments about Seaford from the audience. Questions included better signposting, a timetable for improving health facilities, and employment opportunities for Seaford school-leavers. When the Host called for one last question, everyone was stunned by the simplicity yet enormity of the question asked by somebody from Seahaven Storehouse: “What is the biggest issue for Seaford today?” There came answers, but a debate could easily have followed requiring another full evening. If readers would also like to put their point of view, why not do so through the pages of this journal? Alternatively, write direct to Lloyd Russell-Moyle, 3 North Street, Lewes BN7 3PA. Lloyd promises an answer to everyone who writes to him.
This free event was sponsored entirely by Seaford Labour Party, which has recently adopted Lloyd Russell-Moyle as its Prospective Parliamentary Candidate