The outline of the project, which is completely FREE to participants, thanks to funding from the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund, is to help up to 25 women to develop an existing business or to support them in starting a new business through a series of business skills and digital training workshops over 5 full days.

Some peer to peer sessions will be led by experienced facilitators, and there will be the opportunity to attend business surgeries to focus on a particular aspect of their business and to engage in action planning sessions to create a plan to take them beyond the end of the project.  Alongside these offerings it is hoped to provide some additional masterclasses and expert knowledge sessions as well.

It is aimed to launch the project in early March with the courses running through March/April, followed by peer to peer group work/business surgeries and action planning with the project ending in July.

 18.01.17 P R E S S R E L E A S E

FREE support for women looking to develop a business in or around the Hastings area.

Sound Architect, the Sussex-based charity that provides educational opportunities for all, has been awarded funding through the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund to continue its highly successful Swift Project that supports women entrepreneurs.

The charity successfully bid for the money, one of just 6 projects awarded funding in the South East, to help women expand or set up new businesses in and around Hastings by opening up digital and business skills training opportunities. Alongside free bite-sized courses on subjects ranging from basic steps to setting up a business, sales & marketing and finance to excel, Facebook and Twitter, the participants will be able to enjoy expert knowledge sessions on specific topics, attend peer to peer groups with like-minded women to share knowledge and experience and team up with a mentor to develop strategy and set targets going forward.

Said Ruth Maddison, Project Director, “Women face many obstacles in setting up and growing their businesses putting them at a competitive disadvantage. The Swift Project aims to combat that by not only giving participants on the programme the skills they need, but also, and perhaps even more importantly, the confidence and ongoing support they need to make their businesses sustainable. A participant on last year’s programme shared recently that until she found the Swift Project she was on the verge of winding up her company. Since taking part she has successfully generated investment in her business and won a number of contracts creating job opportunities and giving her renewed motivation and an optimistic outlook for the future of her business.”

Supported by East Sussex County Council the project involves practising professionals from
across the County including business facilitators from MDHUB, a social media whizz from
Total Social Secretary, and website and design experts from The Digi Deli and Annabel
Clements Design to name but a few.

The Swift project is specifically targeted at women who are serious about developing their
business idea or who are already in business and are committed to investing their time to
attending a programme of development. No qualifications or experience are required to
join the programme, just a desire to learn, develop, and improve digital and business skills in
an environment that supports women’s specific needs.

The programme starts in March 2017 and is open to women from Hastings & St. Leonards,
Bexhill, Rye, Battle, Robertsbridge and the surrounding area.

Places are limited to 25 and the deadline for applications is Monday 27th February, so to
avoid disappointment, please apply early by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or
calling Ruth Maddison on 01825 891094 for an informal chat about what’s involved.

For further information please contact Ruth Maddison on 01825 891094 or 07508 277371

Click here for the latest news (11th January)  from Westfield Cricket Club about junior and school cricket.

The annual Plough Celebrations take place at the end of the month at Westfield Church. There will be a Barn Dance in the Parish Hall from 7pm on Saturday, January 28, with amazing music from Garry Blakely and friends. Mad Jack’s Morris will be visiting, and there will of course be a ploughman’s supper. Tickets are £5 (children free) from Archers Butchers, Churchwardens, or on the door.

The following day at 10am we celebrate Plough Sunday, with special guests including Hannah's Cat Morris. There will be a plough brought into the church, so come and decorate it as we ask for God’s blessing on the land at the beginning of the agricultural year.

plough weekend

Congratulations to all involved in organising and displaying Christmas lights and collecting donations for St. Michael's Hospice.  The total raised was an amazing and record-breaking £11,642.61!