People brought together by the Growing Communities scheme have celebrated its first year with a festive get-together.
Run by The Conservation Volunteers in the Eastbrook area of Adur and the Northbrook area of Worthing, the environmental scheme is backed and part-funded by Adur and Worthing Councils.
There is a busy programme of free activities, designed to encourage people to improve their health and wellbeing by using parks and public open spaces, as well as by getting involved in community projects.
David Simmons, executive member for health and wellbeing at Adur District Council, said: “We’ve been really impressed by the scheme so far and it’s been wonderful to see residents and groups across Eastbrook and Northbrook come together to celebrate its first year.”
More than 100 guests gathered at Eastbrook Manor Community Centre in Fishersgate for the first birthday party, which included a circus performance, face painting, hula hooping and festive arts and crafts.
There was also a visit from Father Christmas and refreshments, including mince pies and mulled wine.
John Haigh, operations leader for Growing Communities, said: “We were delighted to celebrate our first birthday with such a successful event. Many of the attendees stayed for several hours, enjoying all the activities, meeting friends and making new ones.
“They also appreciated the range of activities on offer, which reflected what they had asked for during the last year’s consultation.”
The celebration was organised in partnership with the Eastbrook Explorers.
Norman Turner taught guests how to paint a watercolour landscape and Sussex Clubs for Young People ran a reindeer food station, where children could collect treats to put out on Christmas Eve.
Brighton-based Circus PaZaz and Vida Active, which runs regular classes at the centre, hosted fitness sessions for all ages, and children took along collages and pictures of their park in winter for the Arts in Parks competition.
Edward Crouch, executive member for environmental services on Worthing Borough Council, said: “Growing Communities offer so many valuable opportunities for residents to help improve their wellbeing and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2019 will bring.”
To find out more about Growing Communities and free activities in 2019, go to the TCV Growing Communities Facebook page to sign up to the mailing list or view the Growing Communities page on the TCV website.