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'Fuel bank' scheme used by 500 children in Hastings in less than a year

A 'fuel bank' that's been running for just under a year in Hastings has already helped more than 1,100 people - including 500 children.

The scheme gives foodbank users vouchers for gas or electricity so families don't have to choose between keeping the lights on and heating their home.

Jeffery Beale, manager, said: 'During the last few months, we’ve seen an increase in people coming through our doors for both food and fuel support, largely due to the roll out of Universal Credit in our area.

'With waiting times of up to six weeks before receiving any benefit means that not only those out-of-work are struggling, but also those in-work and on low incomes.'

Shop assistant injured after iron bar attack

The hospital where the victim was treated Credit: ITV Meridian

A shop assistant has been treated for serious cuts and bruises at the Conquest Hospital after being attacked with an iron bar.

Five men, one armed with what appeared to be a gun, targeted a supermarket in the Silverhill area of Hastings.

The men escaped with what is believed to be several hundred pounds in cash.

The incident happened just after 8.30pm on Tuesday 31st January at the supermarket in Sedlecsombe Road North.

The 35-year old male shop assistant was hit in the face with an iron bar.

All of the suspects have been described as black.

The first man to enter the store and who took the cash is described to be in his mid to late twenties, with a full beard and wearing a long green coat with the hood up.

They are believed to have left in a white van which drove away down Paynton Road.

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  1. Tom Savvides

Hospitals on the mend but still in special measures

One of the south-east's biggest NHS Trusts will remain in special measures despite making significant improvements. East Sussex Healthcare Trust runs various sites, including Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Conquest in Hastings. Inspectors say real progress has been made in surgery but low staffing levels in Accident and Emergency need to be addressed. Tom Savvides talks to Director of Nursing, Jayne Cannon, Chief Executive Dr Adrian Bull, patient campaigner Liz Walke and Alan Thorne from the Care Quality Commission.

Youth council demands better mental health services

Credit: Hastings council

The Hastings Youth Council has submitted a petition to the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd to appoint a mental health minister to overlook and monitor mental health and ensure an adequate response to a growing mental health crisis in Britain.

They presented the petition with over 280 signatures to the Hastings and Rye MP at her local constituency office in St Leonards.

Mental health is very important to the young people in Hastings and this is why it's been a campaign of ours.

– Huda Caglayan, chair Hastings Youth Council

One person rescued after fire at Sussex hospital

Credit: Google Images

One person was rescued and other patients evacuated from their beds after fire broke out at the Conquest hospital in Hastings.

Fire crews were called at 12.30am on Sunday morning after the blaze started at the mental health centre.

There are no reports of any injuries.

A spokesman for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said four pumps were called, and the fire was put out by 2am.

He added that crews returned to the scene this morning to check for damage.

Investigations are under way to establish how it started.

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Reward offered for man on the run

Grant Searle is wanted by police Credit: Sussex Police

A reward has been offered for locating a man who is on the run from police.

Grant Searle, who is 25-years old, was originally jailed for four-and-a-half years for burglary in April 2014.

Following his release on licence, he is suspected of continuing to offend and he has now been recalled to prison.

Searle has links to the Hastings and St Leonards area and it is thought that he is still in the area.

He has been wanted since the end of September and a £300 reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest.

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