Welcome to Pett on the Net – the Community website for Pett & Pett Level.
This website is provided by Pett Parish Council for the community of Pett and Pett Level. If you want to post a news item of interest to the community, publicise an event, your group, society, or organisation, or report or comment on local events, then please contact Mary Philo
Any views expressed on this website are not necessarily those of Pett Parish Council or the webmaster.
If you are visiting, or planning to visit, Pett and Pett Level, this is our website where you will find information about the area, including latest events, church services, local history and adverts for local services, including B&B, accommodation, pubs etc.
Our Village Magazine, which can be accessed here, also contains local advertisements and other useful information.
Emergency telephone numbers and useful addresses can be found here
|East Sussex is holding local elections on Thursday 6 May – but did you know you can arrange to vote by post if you apply now?
The elections are for all 50 county councillors, for some seats on district and borough councils and for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex.
Polling stations will be open as normal, but if you’d rather vote by post than in person, you can apply now to do this.
|Their dedicated Rural Crime Team (RCT) is tackling this devastating crime by working closely with partner agencies, gathering intelligence and highlighting crime prevention among the dog owning community. Reports of dog theft are thankfully relatively low in Sussex but police do ask dog owners to take necessary steps to keep them safe.
Sussex Police recorded 31 dog thefts in 2020, but at least 12 of those were disputes over dog ownership between known parties. The 19 remaining cases include:
You can protect your dog from being stolen or getting lost by:
If you believe your dog has been stolen or you have concerns about suspicious behaviour, report it to Sussex Police online or by calling 101.
You also need to notify your microchip database provider immediately and advise your local dog warden.
If you have information about dog theft or puppy farming and don’t feel comfortable talking to police, you can call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
|Message Sent By
Derek Pratt MBE (NWN, Administrator, Sussex)
At present vaccinations are taking place in hospital hubs; GP led vaccination services; roving services to care homes and the housebound; and in mass vaccination sites/pharmacy sites across the country.
Hospital hub vaccination services are up and running at the Conquest Hospital in Hastings and the Eastbourne DG Hospital. These hubs are currently vaccinating all NHS, health and social care workers who are working on the frontline.
GP-led vaccination services are where the majority of the current population are being offered their vaccinations. In total in Sussex there are 15 sites which have gone live to date. In the majority, each service is supported by a number of GP practices (within their Primary Care Network footprint) working together to vaccinate their collective population. Currently in East Sussex, six GP-led vaccination services have gone live and have all started to vaccinate patients over the age of 80.
Roving service – the vaccine is being taken into care homes and into people’s own homes if they cannot attend a vaccination site. This is being stepped up over the coming weeks as more supplies of the vaccines become available. GP surgeries are in the processing of contacting their housebound patients in order to schedule their vaccinations. All housebound patients over the age of 70 are due to be vaccinated by 15 February.
Mass vaccination centres & pharmacy sites: From 25 January, a new vaccination centre opened in Brighton to provide eligible people across Sussex greater opportunity to receive their vaccine. People who are in the top four priority groups currently eligible to receive their vaccination will be the first to be invited to get their vaccine at The Brighton Centre. They will book their appointment through a national booking system and will receive their vaccine by teams from Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, who are running the service. The centre gives all those who are eligible another way to receive their vaccine, in addition to their local GP-led vaccination services. While the centre is based in Brighton and Hove, it is available for the wider population across Sussex and beyond.
Pharmacy-led sites have also opened in Ticehurst and Hastings. Patients in receipt of an NHS letter can choose to book into a pharmacy-led site through the national booking system. If the options for these do not appear, this will be because the slots have already been taken. More slots will open up when supplies of vaccine are confirmed. It would therefore be helpful to ring or log into the site at a different time if a pharmacy site is your preference.
The national NHS booking service will be writing to eligible people providing them all the details they need to book an appointment online or over the phone. Anyone receiving a letter from the national booking service can choose whether to book an appointment at a vaccination centre, or wait until they are contacted by their GP for an appointment if that would be more convenient.
Some areas have been more challenging and I am afraid that the more challenging areas to set up vaccination centres in the constituency have been Rural Rother (which includes Rye). I’ve been working with the Sussex Community NHS Foundation to provide a solution for Rural Rother.
The nearest site for Hastings residents is at The Hastings Centre, The Ridge. This vaccination Centre is for patients at the following surgeries:-
Beaconsfield Road Surgery, Carisbrooke Surgery, Churchwood Medical Practice,
Harold Road Surgery, Hastings Old Town Surgery, High Glades Medical Centre,
Priory Road Surgery, Sedlescombe House, South Saxon House Surgery, The Station Practice, and Warrior Square Surgery
Laycock Pharmacy in Ore opened as a vaccination centre on 28 January.
Rural Rother (including Rye)
For numerous reasons, it was not possible to achieve a Primary Care Network solution in these parts therefore work has been taking place with the Sussex Community NHS Foundation and the local GP surgeries to agree a system to vaccinate their patients.
As a solution, rural Rother GP practices will be served by a vaccination hub at Etchingham village hall which began its first vaccinations on 20 January. More than a thousand people have now received their COVID-19 vaccination at Etchingham.
The GP led vaccination service at Etchingham Village Hall is a partnership between Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and the following GP practices:
Fairfield Surgery, Ferry Road Health Centre, Martins Oak Surgery, Northiam and Broad Oak Surgery, Oldwood Surgery, Rye Medical Centre, and Sedlescombe and Westfield Surgeries.
Patients from those GP practices who are over the age of 80 will be the first to receive the vaccination from this service.
I have had a number of constituents contact me from Rother Levels asking why they need to travel to Etchingham. The reason is that the Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at very low temperatures, which is why large sites needed to be set up to deliver a significant number of vaccines every day. This is also why people who are being vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine need to travel to the hub to get the vaccine.
Whilst it’s great news that Etchingham has started vaccinating I am still pushing for a solution in Rye and rural Rother. I am working closely with our local NHS on an almost daily basis about further locations in the area and how the vaccination can be offered from GP practices to make it as easy as possible for people to receive this vaccination. However, for this to be viable we need greater supplies of the Astra Zeneca vaccine.
I’ve asked the Vaccines Minister and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to consider a more simplified contract for GPs which is less onerous on opening hours and would see the GPs in this area take Astra Zeneca only. The Pfizer vaccines which have more challenging storage and transportation should be focussed at the bigger venues.
This is a fast-moving programme and there may be the option to provide the vaccine from more sites across our communities confirmed this week.
Travel to Vaccination Sites:
Please be aware that under government guidelines a family member or friend is permitted to take a person to their COVID-19 vaccine appointment, which is classed as an exemption as it is a ‘medical appointment’. Guidance on how to do this safely is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-forpassengers#private-cars-and-other-vehicles (scroll down to ‘Car sharing’). Information about community transport can be found on the East Sussex County Council website: https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/public/communitytransport/guide/a bout/. Other options are being explored for those who cannot call upon friends and family.
When going for a vaccination
People are asked not to arrive early for appointments. Arriving on time will help manage numbers at the site and help to keep everyone safe.
Always remember Hands, Face, Space. It will save lives and help the NHS.
Vaccination Types and Logistics Challenges
When the vaccine programme was developed, it was hoped that GP surgeries would inoculate their own patients. The Pfizer vaccine was the first vaccine to be approved. It has logistical challenges with its deployment and this has led to a number of GP surgeries, particularly in rural areas, being unable to participate. With the Astra Zeneca vaccine now approved, rural areas may now be better served as supplies arrive.
The following vaccines have now been approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency:
This was the first vaccine to be approved for use but it has logistical challenges (including transportation type and storage conditions of minus 70C). As a result of the challenges, GP surgeries have formed Primary Care Networks in order to provide one centre to deliver the vaccine. East Sussex has two areas where no such network has been able to source a centre. The Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust has worked in partnership with the local GPs to find premises.
This was signed off for use at the beginning of January. This vaccine can be stored at fridge-temperature levels and is therefore more effective for GP surgeries to use along the lines of the flu jab. It is hoped, as more supplies become available, that residents in Rural Rother (including Battle) and Heathfield, and its surrounds, will be able to receive it locally, via their GP surgery, and not be required to travel longer distances to receive a vaccine. Residential care settings are also better able to deliver this vaccine. As care home residences are the highest priority for the vaccination, this may have an impact on supplies to surgeries.
This has just been signed off as the latest vaccine. It requires storage of minus 20C (equivalent to a freezer). We await supplies in the UK and have an order in for 17 million.
Supplies and Logistical challenges
The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the Astra Zeneca (enough to inoculate 50 million people) and 40 million of the Pfizer vaccine. Combined, these will inoculate the entire population. There are other vaccine candidates which are being trialled and for which the UK has orders in.
Regardless of the orders, the vaccinations are in short supply and we need to be more upfront in saying this in national media. The Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust do not put supply orders in; they get what is made available and this could be either of the two vaccines. I have urgently lobbied the Vaccines Minister to ask for more Astra-Zeneca for the rural areas.
As of today, the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust have been told how much of the vaccine, and what type, will be delivered for this week. They have been assured that there are sufficient numbers to vaccinate all of the first four priority groups by 15 February.
Nationally, we are aiming to vaccinate 15 million people (the first 4 of the 9 current priority groups) by 15 February. This is an ambitious target given the supply requirements so I wish to personally caveat the end date. I’m doing all I can to ensure constituents are in the earlier part of this dateline.
In Sussex, 70,000 vaccinations have been delivered. As a comparison, Surrey have delivered 38,000 and the combined counties of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and
Buckingham have delivered 68,000. We expect each of the prioritisation groups to be delivered across East Sussex before the next cohort is vaccinated (so those in areas of the county where it is slower to start will have to catch up).
Priority Vaccination Groups and numbers
The Sussex Community NHS Foundation is working to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible but deploying a vaccine at this scale is unprecedented. Timing will be dependent to a large extent on manufacturing timescales and supply.
We have to be realistic that this enormous logistical task is going to take some time to get completely up and running, but good progress is already being made. The Government has set a target of vaccinating the four top priority groups (over 13 million people) by the middle of February, and I will continue to do all I can as the local MP to support the efforts of the CCG in ensuring we meet this target. This week the Prime Minister announced that 2.4 million people have been vaccinated. Across, Sussex, as of Saturday 9 January, 70,000 residents have been vaccinated. This compares to 38,000 in Surrey and 68,000 across the combined counties of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.
The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunity advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems. As the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. The order of priority groups for vaccination are as follows:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers.
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- All those 65 years of age and over
- All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions whichput them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over
It is estimated that taken together, these groups represent around 99% of preventable mortality from COVID-19. The statistics on the number of people that have been vaccinated will be released daily online and I will be monitoring this data, and the progress being made, closely.
I know that work is continuing to set out future priorities and I will be studying this carefully. The committee is currently of the view that the key focus for the second phase of vaccination could be on further preventing hospitalisation. Vaccination of those at increased risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 due to their occupation could also be a priority in the next phase. This could include first responders, the military, those involved in the justice system, teachers, transport workers, and public servants essential to the pandemic response.
With parts of the constituency not moving as fast as the more urban parts of Sussex, I am reassured that the County will look to ensure that it delivers to the first four priority groups by 15 February before moving onto the next. This will be done by ensuring supply is aimed at the areas where the first four cohorts still need to be vaccinated.
I am keen that we receive more regular detail on numbers vaccinated in order to explain and keep the pressure up. This will be achieved via improved national and local data which is expected to be released this week and will allow for a county by county picture.
The Health Secretary has committed to ensure that everyone who needs it will be vaccinated by Autumn. This should give comfort to those who do not qualify within the 9 priority groups.
This is a mammoth task and I appreciate concern about the speed at which we are delivering. Please note that, whilst the UK delivers its 2.4 millionth vaccination, France had delivered under 50,000 vaccines to its citizens as of Friday 8 January. We had been in a position of delivering more of the vaccine than the EU nations put together. I’d rather be more ambitious and seek to catch up with Israel (which has the best global record).
Vaccination for Care Home staff and residents
Older people in care homes are one of the top priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccine due to their high risk from coronavirus.
There is a national target to have all care homes vaccinated by the end of January. In Sussex, we have one of the highest numbers of nursing and care homes per capita across the country and so this is a significant undertaking.
As of today (26 January), more than 8,381 residents across a total of 454 care homes for older people (equating to 90 per cent of all of our care homes for older people in Sussex) have been vaccinated.
Vaccines in care homes are being delivered through the Sussex GP-led vaccination service, managed by the local Primary Care Networks (PCN). This will cover the majority of the care homes in Sussex, with the remainder being served by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) vaccination teams.
Unfortunately anyone with COVID-19 is unable to receive the vaccine while they are recovering. Some care homes are currently experiencing positive cases of COVID-19 amongst their residents and in these cases the home or those residents who are unwell have not been able to have their vaccination at this point. The vaccination teams have a clear schedule in place and will be revisiting them 28 days following the positive test.
NHS staff were the first to receive vaccinations in the hospital hubs. There are 70,000 NHS and care worker staff who need to receive the vaccine in East Sussex. Care Home staff are being vaccinated alongside residents are or via the hospital hubs. This will include agency, domiciliary and nursing staff.
Thank you to all of the NHS and Caring staff who are doing such an amazing job.
From 13 January care staff have been invited to book their appointments at hospital and further information can be found at this link:
With my other colleagues in East Sussex, I will have weekly calls with the Vaccines Minister and with our local CCG team. I am also holding weekly or regular calls with other stakeholders (such as the County and District Councils, Hospital Trust, Sussex Police and Ministers and their officials). I will update my website so do please keep a look out. I am so sorry that there is much concern and uncertainty. The vaccine programme is vital to deliver a solution. I will do everything I can to get this delivered across the 200 square miles of the constituency.
Sally-Ann Hart MP
Member of Parliament for Hastings and Rye
Further information on the roll-out of the local Covid-19 vaccination programme can be found at this link to the Sussex Health and Care
The CCG have set up a dedicated inbox for enquiries about the vaccination programme. If you have any queries please email them
For information about local vaccination sites:
https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussexcovid-19-vaccination-programme/covid-19-vaccination-sites/ Frequently Asked Questions (being constantly updated) – https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussexcovid-19-vaccination-programme/faqs-about-the-covid-19-vaccine/
|Message from Neighbourhood Watch
Online dating has become a very popular way to meet someone new, whether you’re looking for love, companionship or just a bit of fun. Millions of people around the world have turned to the internet because of the choice and convenience it offers.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, even more people are dating online, some to combat loneliness, others following a change in personal circumstances. Whilst the internet has come to many people’s rescue, we’ve also witnessed a substantial increase in romance fraud, where someone you meet online actually turns out to be a scammer, either working alone or part of an organised cybercrime syndicate. Other people have fallen victim to catfishing and other online harms. To the victim, the results range from often substantial financial losses, to major, sometimes life-changing trauma.
Most suitors are genuine, but you can never really tell who you’re talking to when it’s not face-to-face.
The Get Safe Online experts have put together a set of tips to help you protect yourself, your finances, your identity and your personal safety, so that you can date online with safety and confidence.
If you become a victim of romance or any other fraud, don’t be embarrassed but report it immediately to Action Fraud on www.actionfraud.police.uk or on 0300 123 2040 (if you’re in Scotland, Police Scotland on 101). Also, report it to the dating site where you met the perpetrator. Report any assaults to the police.
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of information and advice on online safety and security, for the public and small businesses. It is a not-for-profit, public/private sector partnership backed by law enforcement agencies and leading organisations in internet security, banking and retail. For more information and expert, easy-to-follow, impartial advice on safeguarding yourself, your family, finances, devices and workplace, visit www.getsafeonline.org.
If you’re interested in joining Neighbourhood Watch, or want to find out more, visit www.sussexnwfed.org.uk or send an email to .
|The Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) and DriveSmart, Surrey are launching ‘Is it worth the risk?’ road safety campaign from today (Monday 1 February) which coincides with the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s month of action against using a mobile phone behind the wheel.
Using a mobile phone while driving is one of the Fatal Five offences that contribute to incidents of those killed and seriously injured (KSI) on our roads. In order to reduce the number of KSIs and improve road safety for all road users, the campaign seeks to highlight the dangers and consequences of being distracted at the wheel when using a mobile phone.
The Casualty Reduction Officers, working with the Safety Camera Team will be out across Surrey and Sussex deploying the camera van at locations to spot those flouting the law, giving out advice and enforcement activity where appropriate.
The SSRP and DriveSmart are urging the public to be aware that using a handheld mobile phone while driving or riding is both dangerous and illegal yet we continue to see people risking their life and the lives of others on a daily basis.
Distractions whilst driving can have serious and potentially fatal consequences for the individual and other road users, which we unfortunately continue to see on roads across Surrey and Sussex.
This campaign seeks to educate the public on the risks of using a mobile phone across a multitude of everyday scenarios. Encouraging people to ask themselves that before they get in their car, what is likely to be so important that they need to use their phone whilst driving? The message is clear, don’t risk a near miss, being stopped by police, or causing a collision. Do the right thing and pull over to use the phone.
If you are a social media user please support the SSRP and DriveSmart by sharing or retweeting their social media posts from Monday through to Sunday 21 February. They are using #ItCanWait, help share their message.
If you’re interested to find out more about the SSRP road safety initiatives, visit their website here.
|Message Sent By
Sussex Police (Police, Force-wide message, Sussex)
|Message From Neighbourhood Watch|
|Yesterday we circulated information about scams connected to the COVID-19 vaccine. We have received some excellent feedback on this, plus a number of questions. Today we would like to draw your attention to a reliable local source of additional information about the vaccine, issued by Sussex Health and Care Partnership. This easy to read information can be found at https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/faqs-about-the-covid-19-vaccine/ .
The main areas it covers are:
Section 4.3 provides additional information about scams.
We know that some people are rightly cautious about clicking on links in E-mails. If you prefer, you can search the web yourself for Sussex Health and Care Partnership FAQs about the COVID-19 vaccine, which should lead you to the same location.
|Message Sent By
Derek Pratt MBE (NWN, Administrator, Sussex)
As of Monday 1st February 2021 the following changes will come into effect –
Hastings usually opens 9am – 8pm Monday – Saturday, but we are going to start closing at 6pm. We have made this decision based on the fact that we have the least amount of foot fall between 6pm and 8 pm.
Battle is usually open Monday – Friday 9am – 12pm. We are seeing very few people utilising this facility, so are going to remain open on just a Wednesday from 9am – 12pm to allow for some contact for those that can’t travel to Hastings.
It is not too late to complete this and send back.
If you have lost your postage paid envelope put it in a regular envelope and address it to
unfortunately you will have to pay postage.
Please be aware that there is a reduced 101 bus service service at the moment – 2-hourly rather than hourly.
Over the last few weeks, Rye Food Bank has had to rationalise their stock management and warehousing in order to comply with new safety precautions to ensure that all donations are quarantined for 3 days before distribution and also to reduce the amount that anyone handles.
Since we started our Appeal last July we had – until January – been making weekly deliveries not only from our collection boxes, but also from shopping for additional specific items bought out of financial donations.
Pett WI seems to have become one of the RFB’s largest regular donors, so we’ve been liaising regarding the best way we can help them within these new requirements. As a result, we’ve agreed that, whilst our collection boxes continue in the same way, the WICAID Team will no longer do any shopping.
Our routine has changed slightly in that only 2 of us now go over with our deliveries at a pre-agreed time slot – and, as the Food Bank Team can no longer help us unpack, we have to put all our donations into crates for them at the door ready to be weighed – and then take home all of our packaging.
I’m delighted to say, however, that none of this has impacted on us very greatly and we’ve been able to make deliveries each week through January.
At our December Pett WI Zoom meeting I reported that we’d sent 4,830 items to RFB since July last year.
Including the delivery made on Wednesday 20 January, this figure now stands at a terrific 6,368 – 732 of which have been taken this month – a remarkable result considering lock-down, the weather and some of our regular donors have now switched to financial donations!
Talking of which, we’re incredibly fortunate to continue to receive generous financial donations, not only through the Pett WI membership of course, but from our local communities too.
We were especially thrilled before Christmas to receive (completely out of the blue) a cheque for £500 from locals Kit and Janet McLean. This came from money raised through admission charges collected on the gate from cars entering their Elm Tree Boot Sale, all of which, I believe, they give to different local charities.
As a result of this, and other financial donations received to the end of December, we were able to send £1,255.26 to RFB this week.
The Food Bank Team continue to tell us how very much our donations are appreciated – and they’re constantly amazed at what we achieve for them.
From the latest information available our help still seems to be very much needed, as I understand that the numbers that they are helping continue to grow.
Early January figures were 78 adults and 94 children with deliveries to 25 households in Rye and surrounding villages – to people that can’t get to the food bank because of illness, disability or needing to care for others.
Apparently Rye Food Bank are distributing around 2 tonnes of food each week and the heavy work is considerable as they handle and move deliveries and donations. These are often large and heavy boxes of tins – so a call went out this month for additional fit and strong volunteers!
With limited storage space available, the Food Bank don’t always require all of the donations we receive, so the WICAID Team separates sanitary products, nappies, toiletries and a few other bits and pieces to pass on to the other organisations that we support. As a result, this month around 235 items were also delivered to Dom’s Food Mission who distribute to local hostels etc.
So, yet again, we’ve certainly proved that a little kindness goes a long way and I’d just like to take the opportunity to say a huge thanks, as always, not only to my wonderful WICAID Team colleagues, but also to everyone that has – and continues – to support this Appeal.
A reminder, if anyone needs assistance from the Food Bank to please make contact with Rother District Citizens Advice & Representation Centre (HARC) on 0333 3440681 or email and they will be happy to help.
If you would like to drop off a donation, our collection boxes are currently around Pett and Fairlight at:
- Pett Village Hall (Lobby)
- The Old Butcher’s Shop – Pett
- 1 Arthur’s Close, Pett Road, Pett
- “Nanini Tal”, Cliff End Lane, Pett Level
- Fairlight Post Office & Stores
- Wakehams Farm Shop, Fairlight
- The Barn, Shepherd’s Way, Fairlight
- The Firehills Cottage, Channel Way, Fairlight
Alternatively, financial donations can either be made by cheque (made payable to Pett WI) and sent to Jane Sweaney at “Oakhurst”, Pett Road, Pett, TN35 4HG or made directly into the Pett WI Bank Account – Lloyds Bank – Sort Code: 30-98-97 – Account No: 70587368 – with the reference for both as “Food Bank” please.
Usually by now we would have published our annual programme but with last year’s having to be put on hold we are taking more of a relaxed attitude to our scheduling and will not be organising anything too far in advance! Despite this we have been very encouraged over the last few months by several new members joining us, despite the fact that we are unable to meet in person at this time.
Throughout 2021 our meetings will continue to take place the third Wednesday of the month from 7.30pm and when we are able to meet in person we do hope to be able to do so back at Pett village hall although of course we will be governed by regulations throughout. So for now we are back to holding our general monthly, and also social meetings, by Zoom which have been proving very popular by those who have been “attending”. However, in line with many other WIs around the country, the committee wishes the take-up was better so we will continue to offer tech-support for any member wanting to tip their toe into the wonderful world of online meetings and it is so heartening to see many of our more senior members doing just that.
Feedback on our Zoom meetings from members has been heartening –
Sharon “I really enjoy our WI Zoom meetings, it gives me a chance to see my friends’ faces and hear their voices during these very uncertain months. Zoom is very easy to master and it’s the best chance we have of a ‘normal’ meeting in these worrying times, so let’s keep doing it!”
Tracy” Having virtual WI meetings has made it so accessible for me. I joined the WI during lockdown so have never been to a ‘real’ get together, but every virtual event helps me learn more about my new friends in the village where I have lived for years. This has been a great opportunity for me to really feel ‘home, at home’. Everybody has been so welcoming and the speakers have been informative and fun. I have now met a few WI ladies in real life and look forward to joining in with more activities when it is safe to do so, but for now I shall immensely enjoy the fun and friendship virtually. I encourage anybody sitting on the fence to give it a whirl, what’s to lose? Thank you for welcoming me.”
This month our scheduled speaker was Jenny Gibbs – who in 1990 aged 50 travelled alone to Turkey and soon found herself living in an inland mountain village, where the villagers spoke no English and still lived a traditional way of life, and where Jenny still lives for part of each year to this day. Her talk traced her adventures from leaving her English home to her arrival in her mountain village and her discovery of a completely different and fascinating way of life.
Pett Women’s Institute Community Aid News!
We continue to be overawed by the level of support our continuing WICAID initiative is receiving to help Rye Foodbank. Led by coordinator Hilary Dymott the team including Wendy Burgess, Sharon Sellens, Trish Walker and Sally Watson are still able to organise your kind product and financial donations.
Particular thanks must go to Kit and Janet McLean for the wonderful £500 donation (representing entrance monies raised at the very popular Elm Tree Boot sales which are then donated to local charities – and do follow them on Facebook if you can at https://www.facebook.com/ElmTreeBootSale) Thank you Kit and Janet!
We are also grateful to many others who have donated monies to help us shop for the Foodbank on their behalf. Look out for the separate update on this initiative.
Email us on if you would like a membership pack to join us this year. From 1 April the annual subscription is £44 – around £3.65 a month – for membership of a fabulously warm and welcoming group! We would love to have you join us – our current membership includes ladies from all the nearby villages and Rye, Hastings and St Leonards too.
Search for us on our social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and for more details about the WI visit thewi.org.uk
President, Pett WI
Find out how to make sure that your cesspit, sceptic tank or small treatment works do not harm the environment by reading this leaflet available here.
21st January 2021
(Thanks to Healthwatch East Sussex)
On Wednesday 19th January senior managers from Healthwatch East Sussex met with Joe Chadwick-Bell, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Steve Pheonix, Chair East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust Board.
The Trust continue to treat high numbers of COVID-19 positive patients across all sites, however they are hopeful of improvements on the horizon as community rates are slowly falling and the vaccination roll out programme is gathering pace.
On behalf of the Trust we were asked to share these important messages with local people:
1. If you absolutely need to come to hospital, please do so
2. If you are asked to come in, please do come in
3. If you have an appointment booked…please attend
4. We may ask you to go somewhere else for treatment, normally within Sussex, if so, we will discuss transport with you
It was reassuring to also hear, how well the system across Sussex is working together to get through this crisis, however a huge challenge for the Trust at the moment is staffing levels, especially at Eastbourne. All staff have been offered their first dose of vaccine, which is helping the Trust get through this truly horrible time. The vaccine hubs at Eastbourne and Conquest sites are working hard to provide local health and social care workers with the vaccine and the Trust are working across Sussex and with the local council to make sure that is done it a managed way.
We are also talking to Trust about some potential shared Volunteer Opportunities, building on our successful Hospital Discharge Well-being check service, where our volunteers followed up telephone interviews with almost 1800 patients from August to November; about how our experienced volunteers can continue to support the Hospital Discharge process by temporarily joining the Trust’s volunteer team. We aim to publish the hospital discharge project findings as soon as we can.
It is critically important that we at Healthwatch East Sussex continue to hear your experiences either as an inpatient, outpatient or as a carer; we are particularly interested in your experiences of the Hospital Discharge process and you can contact us about this or any other experience using the details below.
We appreciated the time taken by both Joe and Steve to meet with Healthwatch East Sussex during these very difficult times and expressed our thanks and gratitude to them and all the staff on behalf of East Sussex Residents.
The NHS is working to ensure that all East Sussex residents who are eligible for a vaccination will be offered one as quickly as possible.
This is following the same priority list for vaccinations as in other parts of the country, which is focusing on these groups before the middle of February:
1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
3. all those 75 years of age and over
4. all those 70 years of age and over and Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.
However, people in these groups with similar characteristics or living in the same area may still get vaccinated at different times. For these reasons it is important to be patient and wait to be contacted by the NHS for your invitation.
Variations may exist because:
· Vaccination delivery sites are still being set-up. Some sites have started vaccinations, and others will do so shortly. In East Sussex, all Hospital and GP-led sites should be up and running by the week commencing 25th January.
The latest list of East Sussex vaccination sites is available here.
· Different groups are being prioritised for vaccination at different sites.
For example, people aged over-80 are the focus for all GP-led vaccination sites, but anyone aged over 80 who attends a hospital may receive it as part of their appointment.
GP-led sites will focus on vaccinating those patients registered with them. Until all vaccination sites are up-and-running, some patients may experience a slight delay.
If you have not yet been approached about having the Covid-19 vaccination, please read the information: why you are being asked to wait.
Please remember – The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine, so please do not contact your GP or visit a delivery location to seek a vaccination before the NHS contacts you.
If you miss your invitation or appointment to be vaccinated, the vaccine teams will attempt to rebook you, contacting you either by telephone, by letter, or both methods if necessary.
Detailed information on the vaccination process is set out on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website which is regularly updated.
For further information and resources, please see our COVID-19 Vaccination Hub which has:
· Key updates and information
· Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
· Vaccination sites in Sussex
· Vaccination Champions
Message from Sally-Ann Hart MP for Hastings and Rye (21st January 2021)
I want to provide an update on the current state of play of the Covid19 vaccine rollout across Hastings and Rye.
Over the last few weeks, I have had regular meetings with the Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who are responsible for the local rollout of the vaccine programme; East Sussex County Council; Rother District Council; Hastings Borough Council; our local NHS Trust and regular meetings with Ministers and local MPs.
We are all resolved to ensure that we in East Sussex meet the goal of ensuring that all those over the age 70, the clinically most vulnerable, care home residents and frontline NHS staff and social care workers all receive the offer of a vaccine by the 15 February. At the moment the CCG is confident we are on target to meet this goal.
Moreover, the CCG has set a more ambitious goal of ensuring that every care home resident across the whole of Sussex, including in Hastings and Rother, will receive the offer of a vaccine by the end of Sunday (24th January). Again, the CCG is confident they will meet this target.
Across Hastings we have two main sites for vaccines. The first is the Hospital Hub at The Conquest Hospital, and the second is The Hastings Centre on The Ridge (opposite the Conquest Hospital). Residents from across Hastings and St Leonards are currently being asked to visit one of these sites, and progress is going well across the Borough. In Rother I am pleased that the Etchingham Hub went live yesterday (20 January), taking the first of the residents living in Rye and rural Rother areas. The focus to start with is on the over 80s at this stage.
I know that many residents in these areas have been angry, frustrated and disappointed by the slow start to the vaccine rollout in Rye and some Rother areas. I too have been frustrated. I am also just as anxious as many that the Etchingham site is well beyond the ten mile zone that the Government has set as the furthest distance people should travel to get their vaccines. This is not ideal at all.
At present I am in the process of working with Ministers, having now spoken with the Vaccines Minister and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care this week, to see what can be done to get the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to local GP surgeries or pharmacies, especially in Rye.
The reason for the Hub at Etchingham is that local Primary Care Networks (PCN) have had to pick central locations in order to administer the Pfizer vaccine which requires specialist storage arrangements and as little transportation as possible. That is why residents are currently being asked to visit Etchingham. Once we have access to more supplies of the Oxford vaccine there is a possibility of a more localised rollout, but this is still being worked out.
A concern for many with the Etchingham site is the need for transport. I am acutely aware of this and I am working with local organisers and the CCG to see what can be put in place for those that do need assistance with getting to Etchingham.
I had further meetings this week to try and resolve the lingering problems of the roll out in the Rother area, and address the concerns of local residents. I do however, want to reassure everyone that the CCG is confident that we can still meet our goals and deadlines, and that in the coming weeks we will see a ramping up of the delivery of the Covid19 vaccines.
I want to thank everyone for their patience and perseverance as the largest logistical exercise in the NHS’ history is deployed.
In the meantime, can I please just remind everyone that we are still in a perilous position with the virus and the pandemic still rages around us. Therefore, remember the clear guidance to Stay At Home. Cases maybe beginning to show signs of coming down locally, but the pressure on our local hospital is immense, and whilst we continue to work hard to speed up the delivery of the vaccines and improve access to them, we can all do our bit still by Staying At Home.