Section: Sussex

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RiseUp! says domestic abuse victims are being failed

Mo Kanjilal

Women suffering domestic abuse need help locally, say campaigners in Brighton who are challenging a council decision to award a contract to two national charities. A local charity, Rise, lost out, but the new providers aren’t up to the job, says campaign group RiseUp, who want to see the contracts re-tendered.

Allotment Life

Ginny Foster

In non-allotment life, advice is not always welcomed and the very idea of even listening to a good plan from an opposing viewpoint is seen as betrayal. A very appealing aspect of the allotment community is the appreciation of good advice, the exchange of knowledge based on hard experience and the respect in which the older members are held. They literally ‘know their onions’!

As Pride rightly celebrates, trans people still face bigotry

Ross McNally

LGBT+ rights have improved significantly over the last 50 years, with widespread acceptance of homosexuality in recent years. In contrast, Ross McNally argues that rights for trans people are falling behind and transphobia is widespread, not helped by negative coverage in the media. Pride should reclaim its radical roots and show solidarity with the trans community.

James Cory-Wright’s Digested Month … bubbles over

James Cory-Wright

Bubble tea shops are popping up all over the place. I counted ten in Brighton. The bubble boom is boosted by social media; there are even bubble tea ‘influencers’ on social media platforms.  So rather than die wondering, give it a try, even if it’ll probably be just the once. Before the bubble bursts.   

Mass choir’s songs of peace for Ukraine

Vivienne Griffiths

Over a hundred singers from Sussex and beyond took part in the Big Sing for Ukraine in Lewes Town Hall. Organised by the East Sussex Bach Choir, the music included Michael Tippett’s A Child of our Time and Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man. Celebrated local soloists joined in later as the choir gave an informal performance to family and friends.

Hidden treasures on Sussex shelves – the joy of reading

Tom Serpell

Sussex is rich in literary heritage, having been home to some of the greats, like Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Rudyard Kipling and A.A.Milne. The pleasures of reading are extolled in Tom Serpell’s latest article, prompted by his grandson’s new love of books. He discusses the importance of libraries and independent bookshops where reading can be encouraged, as well as new online media platforms.

Repairing, restoring and reusing in mid-Sussex repair cafés

Alison Rees

Local repair cafés are one of those developments that seem long overdue.  The UK currently has over 200 of them, with willing volunteers repairing all kinds of stuff and baking for the café.  They are an important step in the direction of community sustainability. Alison Rees visited the cafés in Lindfield and Chailey and was very impressed. 

Festival of Europe comes to the Brighton Fringe

Tamsin Shasha

The Festival of Europe is coming to Brighton on Sunday 29 May, with an afternoon of debate, poetry and music. Local MP Caroline Lucas will chair a discussion about democracy under fire, and the event features live music by the Undead Musicians Club.

Is the UK the litter lout of Europe?

Ginny Smith

Other countries manage to keep their environments much cleaner and clearer of litter and general rubbish than we do in the UK. Why is this, how do they do it, and what could we learn from them? Ginny Smith investigates.

A bigger splash: Sussex art show celebrates the sea

Rick Dillon

The new exhibition Seafaring, at Hastings Contemporary, features a wide variety of works by mainly British artists from 1820 to the present day. Rick Dillon describes the stunning range of paintings, from 19th-century shipwrecks by Romantic artists such as Géricault to contemporary canvases by Cecily Brown and Maggi Hambling.

Growing up Catholic in the 1950s and 60s

Claire Hill

Growing up in post-war Britain, in a strict Catholic household, Claire Hill and her friends were given strict rules about behaviour and dating at her convent school, but sex (like the war) was never mentioned. Inevitably, rule breaking resulted.

UPDATED

Political unity and division as May elections approach

Rick Dillon

The May local elections are being seen as the chance for voters to give their verdict on prime minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative government’s record of failing the young, the vulnerable and ordinary families. In Sussex there will be several key contests; but while parties go head to head, there have also been signs of greater compromise and partnership.

Bee bricks: constructive contribution or greenwash?

Ross McNally

Nearly half of Britain’s bees are designated as nationally or globally threatened. Leading factors include habitat destruction and the use of chemical pesticides. Ross McNally argues that the introduction of bee bricks into new buildings will not make much difference to bee survival; it’s more important to ban pesticides in gardens, streets and agricultural land.

Walking the dog – when is enough not enough?

Claire Hill

Claire Hill finds it a great comfort to walk in the countryside with her dog. It gives her time to think and here she talks about what’s important to her in life – including food, shelter, good healthcare and a decent government – and not forgetting earrings.

NEW WRITER

A cake sale for Ukraine

Claire Hill

Many of us have a sense of helplessness about the war in Ukraine and this has prompted people to give money, offer their homes and contribute help in other ways. New writer Claire Hill describes how a cake sale she organised became a local community event, involving many others in her street.

Gardeners, give insects and slugs a break: we need them

Manek Dubash

Human dominance over nature is the lens through which we have been encouraged to see the rest of life on planet Earth. But the long-term consequences of this approach are becoming clearer daily: we are damaging the environment and ourselves. We have to reverse the trend, even if in small ways. We could do worse than start with our gardens, Manek Dubash explains.