Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper


‘Crowd-sourced’ book needs your thrifty tips!

Are you a stickler for recycling materials, enjoy up-cycling items others would rather discard and know how to get the most out of every penny? Then the Hastings and Rother Furniture Service needs your words of wisdom for their new ‘Thrifty Tips’ book. The crowd-sourced book will be launched at ‘Thrift Fest’ on 22 September: a day-long event celebrating 30 years of HSF’s work, providing households with affordable, reused furniture. HOT’s Jordan Dixon spoke to HSF’s Chief Executive Naomi Ridley about the motivations behind the event and book launch, future aspirations and the importance of engaging the local community.

What were the motivations behind ‘Thrift Fest’ and creating the ‘Thrifty Tips’ book?

It’s the 30th anniversary of HFS starting this year and we wanted to do something to mark that and celebrate the ethos of the charity: reuse, creativity, DIY – and living well for less.

We were chosen as King’s Church Charity Of The Year this year and they offered us the use of the huge Hastings Centre for a day free of charge, which gave us the perfect opportunity to hold the kind of inclusive community event we wanted. Thrift Fest was born!

We’ve put the invitation out to all kinds of community groups that offer opportunities for local people to live full, active, creative lives without costing the earth – and we’ve had an amazing response from people who are coming along to offer craft tables, singing workshops, story-telling, exercise tasters, demos, talks and entertainment.

We know local people are incredibly inventive and come up with all kinds of ways to prevent waste, so the book is a way to gather those tips and involve everyone in creating a useful book. The book is being ‘crowd-sourced’ in that we are asking people to send in their thrifty tips to make the book. Successful entries will get their name in print and a free copy at Thrift Fest.

Send your ‘thrifty tips’ to Submissions must be made by the end of this August to be printed in the book.

Member of the HFS team.

Members of the HFS team.

What are your hopes for the book?

We hope the book will be a useful resource that inspires people to reuse and recycle creatively and try new things. If it also encourages more people to get involved with HFS that’d be great!

Are there any plans or aspirations to make Thrift Fest an annual event?

People seem incredibly enthusiastic about the idea, so we’ll see – if people want us to do it again, we’ll try.

Will your book be a solo project or do you have any future plans?

We have an amazingly talented team at HFS so we’re able to do all the graphic design in-house and it will be printed by Martel in St Leonards, who are really supportive of our charity. I wouldn’t rule out more books in future!

Why do you believe it’s important to draw together the local community at such an event?

HFS's manifesto poster, designed by Mark Thomas

HFS’s manifesto poster. Designed by patron, Mark Thomas

People often say it’s hard to find out about the things on offer from our diverse community groups and clubs. Thrift Fest will be a fun way for people to find out about – and try – activities.

After years of austerity and overwhelming funding cuts, it’s important to celebrate the things we can do, the groups that persist and the creative ways we can live well without costing the earth. Local charities like HFS keep going against the odds: we have to celebrate surviving 30 years!

Small charities like HFS rely on the support of the community to keep going; local people shop with us, donate to us, volunteer with us and work for us. HFS wouldn’t exist if the community didn’t need us and support us.

Could you provide your own thrifty tip?

Shop at HFS! You can buy good quality reused solid wooden furniture for a fraction of the cost of brand-new flat-packs: it will last longer and if you don’t like how it looks, you can sand it, stain it or paint it. If your household gets any means-tested benefits, or you’re a pensioner or student, bring proof to the store with you and we’ll give you a discount and free local delivery!

Thrift Fest will be held Saturday 22 September at the Hastings Centre, The Ridge, TN34 2SA. Tickets are free if you book in advance at

Posted 06:00 Thursday, Aug 16, 2018 In: Shops & Things

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