Do you have a good idea to make a positive change in your area? Then get support to make it happen

Have you ever had a good idea that you think could really help your local area or community, but haven’t known where to start? Fortunately, expert help is now at hand from the Making It Happen team. Get in touch through their online form, and a member of staff could help you turn your idea into reality.

Making It Happen aims to help people to come together in their neighbourhoods to create positive change to the things that matter to them the most.

Once you get in touch, the team can provide as much or as little support as you need. From listening to your idea, to connecting you with others who feel the same, signposting you to training, or putting you in touch with people with the right expertise, resources, or information about funding – there are lots of ways they can help.

Fill out the form today to tell the team about your idea, no matter how big or small, and find out more about how they can support you.

What is Making it Happen?

Making It Happen is about discovering, celebrating, and building on the positive things in our neighbourhoods to bring communities closer together and create healthier and happier places. Support is provided by a partnership of voluntary sector organisations that employ staff to meet, listen to, and work with local people and organisations to make positive change.

Everywhere there are stories about people doing incredible things, often without even recognising how amazing they are.  Like the person making bee hotels, who together with his neighbours, is creating a bee corridor where they live. Or the school children and residents of a day centre for older people who became pen pals during lockdown. Or, the two residents with a passion for art who want to create a local network for residents to meet, make friends, and tap into their creativity.

Everywhere, there will be people who think your idea is amazing. Whether you have a fully formed idea, an interest that you would like to share, or place, like a park, that you think could be improved, contact the team to find out how they can support you.

For more information visit

A huge thank you to all volunteers

During Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) we want to say an enormous thank you to all volunteers in health and care across East Sussex. It goes without saying that volunteers have played an essential role in the pandemic response. During an exceptionally difficult year, people from all walks of life have taken the time to volunteer and made a huge difference to their communities – just as they do every year.

This is a time for us to come together and thank all volunteers for their invaluable contribution. During Volunteers’ Week local health and care organisations will be sharing examples of the vital work volunteers have been doing, messages from our organisations, and ways that you can get involved to volunteer in the future.

Visit the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website to read local volunteer stories, and for information on local volunteering opportunities: Volunteers Week 2021.

Keep an eye out on Twitter @Sussex_HCP and join in the conversation between 1 and 7 June.

Urgent care that’s not an emergency this bank holiday

The local NHS is urging residents in East Sussex who need urgent care that’s not an emergency this May bank holiday to choose the right service to meet their needs, freeing up hospital emergency departments to treat those in most need.

Dr Elizabeth Gill, Chief Medical Officer for the Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “It’s important to remember that if you need medical help the NHS is here for you.”


Patients needing a face to face appointment with a health professional are being asked to call NHS 111 first, who will help direct people to the most appropriate service for treatment.

NHS 111 by phone or online at, available 24/7 and offers advice and guidance for patients experiencing non-emergency, urgent healthcare needs.

NHS 111 can advise on local NHS services, connect patients to a medical professional, arrange appointments and offer self-care advice.

If you’re ever unsure whether you need to go to A&E, call NHS 111 first.

NHS Urgent Care alternatives to A&E in East Sussex

The Minor Injury Units (MIU) Crowborough and Uckfield and will be operating as usual from 08:00hrs to 20:00hrs, 7 days per week.

The Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Lewes is there for you to treat most injuries or illnesses that are urgent but not life threatening and will be operating as usual over the bank holiday weekend from 08:00hrs to 20:00hrs, 7 days per week.

Local pharmacies

A pharmacist can also help, offering treatment advice, recommend remedies and give guidance on giving medicines to children for issues such as colds minor cuts, bites, rashes.

No appointment is necessary to see a local pharmacist and most have private consultation areas. Check local pharmacy bank holiday opening hours online.

Improved GP access

Residents can also benefit from more evening and weekend GP and nurse appointments, by calling their GP or NHS111.

Patients can make an appointment between 6.30pm and 8.30pm during the week and from 10am to 4pm on a Saturday or Sunday by calling their practice.


Making Caring Visible and Valued

This year, Carers Week takes place on 7-13 June. The week celebrates and recognises the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers – over 69,000 in East Sussex – who look after a relative, friend or neighbour who couldn’t manage without them.

This year’s focus is ‘Making Caring Visible and Valued’. There are lots of ways you can get involved and show your support. There’s also a range of free events and workshops for carers taking place throughout the week, like information and advice groups, emotional wellbeing groups, walk and talks with coffee, dance lessons, cookery courses and lots more.

Visit the Care for the Carers website to find out how you can support Carers Week and for the events calendar: Carers Week.

Local people’s experiences of COVID-19 vaccination

Healthwatch East Sussex have published their report into the feedback provided by nearly two thousand people on the COVID-19 vaccination process.

During February and March, their public survey captured the experiences of 1,558 people who have been vaccinated and the views of 297 about receiving one in the future.

Read the findings here: Your views on COVID-19 vaccinations – Healthwatch East Sussex.

Helping people in East Sussex get the food they need

Over the last few years, the amount of people needing to use food banks has increased significantly. During the coronavirus pandemic even more people have struggled to access or afford the food they need and have relied on a food bank. In East Sussex, there was a 168% increase in people accessing a food bank in 2020, compared with 2019.

To help people get the food they need, East Sussex County Council has been providing extra money to food banks to help them cope with this increase in demand. The council has also set up a food security fund. This fund provides money to local programmes that support people around the root causes of their food poverty and offer steps away from food bank use.

As well as financial support, the Council has been working closely with partners in the voluntary sector to set up local food partnerships across East Sussex. Continue reading

Advice and support if you’re self-isolating or shielding

If you need extra help to get food, medicines or essentials during the coronavirus pandemic, or you are lonely and isolated, there is support available.

You may need extra help for a range of reasons, for example if you’re self-isolating with COVID-19 symptoms, following shielding guidance, avoiding public places because you’re at higher risk, or quarantining before a medical procedure.

In the first instance, you’re encouraged to ask trusted family, friends and neighbours if they can help. If you don’t have anyone you trust living nearby, there is community support available.

You can find out about services that can help with specific issues and what to do if you can’t get food, medicines, or are lonely and isolated on the community support web pages:

This includes how to ask for help from NHS Volunteer Responders, and how to get in touch with the five community hubs in East Sussex. Anyone who feels they need extra support to cope during the pandemic and has no other way to get help can use a community hub. 

If you’re identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to coronavirus you are currently being advised to shield. Visit our website for advice and support if you’re in the shielded group:

For more advice and information during COVID-19, and to sign up to coronavirus updates from the County Council, visit:

Have you needed help or advice during the pandemic?

Have you needed help or advice during the pandemic? Have you helped someone else? Opportunity to tell East Sussex County Council about your experiences

East Sussex County Council want to improve how we share information about adult social care and coronavirus with local people. To help us do this,  we’ve asked an organisation called Activmob to speak to 50 people in East Sussex that have needed help during the coronavirus pandemic, or who have helped someone else like a family member, neighbour or friend. We’d particularly like to hear from men, older people, and people from an ethnic minority background.

We want to know: what do you know, or think, about social care in East Sussex? Are you getting the information and help you need during the pandemic? Have you had any problems getting information? What’s working well, or needs to improve?

You don’t need to have any experience or knowledge of adult social care to take part.

If you take part, the conversations will last about 30-40 minutes by phone, or by video call if you prefer. All the conversations are anonymous, unless we are worried that you or someone else is at risk of harm. You’ll be told at the time if this is the case.

If you would like to take part or be sent a briefing sheet with more information, please contact Debbie by phone or text on 07902 414133 or email Please let us know if you need an interpreter or translator.

It’s possible not everyone who gets in touch will take part as there are a maximum of 50 interviews.

When will I get my jab?

You will probably be very keen to get your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible and will want to know when and where you can get your jab.

Visit the ‘When will I get my jab’ web pages for all the details on when and where you will get your jab: When will I get my jab?

You can find lots more information on the vaccine roll out in Sussex, including frequently asked questions, leaflets, and daily updates, on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website: Sussex COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

Support for people worried about money and debt

Are you worrying about money troubles or debt? Due to Covid-19 in particular, people may be facing financial difficulty, struggling to pay their bills or concerned about growing debt.

Additional support is on offer through local East Sussex quality assured, free, confidential advice providers.

If you are worried, you can call 0333 344 0681 or email for a financial health check which may be able to help you pay your bills and manage your debt.

The service will be available until March 2021.