Newsletter: Issue 26 (30 June 2022)
Update on the Society’s Remodelling Proposals
As mentioned in the last e-bulletin, the Hastings & St Leonards Society’s core team has been reviewing its aims and methods in the light of recent social changes. This is the main reason why the 2022 AGM has not yet taken place. However, we now have a date in view for this: Monday 12 September. The meeting will be held in-person but will also be accessible via Zoom as individual members prefer. This will be the Society’s first hybrid event and further details will follow. It will be the last AGM of its kind as the Society’s new structure will no longer require these to be held in the traditional way. We will be considering what form of annual meeting, if any, might be appropriate.
We are looking to offer a mix of online and in-person events – perhaps a hybrid model that is better adapted to how people wish to engage and participate. We feel this will encourage an expanded membership and greater flexibility of participation. It also means that core team members can be more agile and efficient in how the Society is organised and run. From January 2023 there will no longer be membership subscriptions. Donations for specific events will be sought on a purely voluntary basis as and when the need arises via an online ‘just giving’ form.
We will continue to hold public meetings about issues of local concern and support specific events of interest. As an umbrella organisation we encourage the networking of local groups. We will also continue to support the Town Criers annual gathering and other local heritage events.
We are particularly keen to engage younger people. Many clearly appreciate the historic heritage of Hastings and St Leonards but view this in relation to the borough’s attractive natural setting and the energy and creativity of the creative arts and cultural heritage, which is part of the town’s vibrant and diverse character. As a Society, we are actively seeking to attract members adapted to the digital age and familiar with social media. Research shows that heritage societies can seem stuffy and conventional, involving unnecessary formalities, and therefore unable to appeal to younger people. As a Society, we think it’s critical to engage people of all ages and walks of life.
We hope you agree with the rationale behind our thinking; but please do email your thoughts or suggestions as to how we can improve on our plans. We would welcome any input you may offer; and if you are interested in joining the core team, please get in touch. We look forward to an exciting new phase in the life of the Society.
Chair: Dr Deborah Madden
Vice-Chair: Dr Chris Joyce