Viva Brighton Issue #85 March 2020

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NO #85


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#85 MAR 2020




Viva Magazines is based at:

Lewes House, 32 High St,

Lewes, BN7 2LX.

For all enquiries call:

01273 488882.

Every care has been taken to

ensure the accuracy of our content.

We cannot be held responsible for

any omissions, errors or alterations.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when we started

exploring ‘care’ – our theme for this month’s issue.

The word is all too often couched in terms of a

broken, costly and overburdened system. Would we

find lamentable stories of the forgotten, beleaguered

and downtrodden?

Of course not. Quite the opposite in fact. We

found people who consider their caring role to be

a privilege and who know that in caring for others

we care for ourselves. Like the extraordinary team

at the Martlets hospice, whose work with the dying

reminds them of what’s truly important about life.

We discover the stories of Helen Boyle – Brighton’s

first female GP and a pioneering mental health

doctor, and the philanthropic Mrs Marriott – who

arranged for almshouses to be built for the poor.

And then there are those who care for the carers:

the Young Carers Project who support kids whose

lives are affected by the health condition of a loved

one, and the psychologist who developed an inhouse

counselling service for NHS workers. We

meet people listening out for the lost and the lonely

and the unsung: a series of books putting underrepresented

voices in the Spotlight, a social worker

who’s helping young and unaccompanied female

migrants to navigate their futures, and the people

at Grassroots Suicide Prevention charity who are

throwing a lifeline to those at their lowest ebb (and

teaching others to do the same).

It’s true that caring roles can be woefully underpaid

(if they are paid at all), but the stories in these pages

remind me that care, compassion and kindness are

still free and, mercifully, in abundant local supply.



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EDITOR: Lizzie Lower lizzie@vivamagazines.com

SUB EDITOR: David Jarman

PRODUCTION EDITOR: Joe Fuller joe@vivamagazines.com

ACTING ART DIRECTOR: Rebecca Cunningham rebecca@vivamagazines.com

PHOTOGRAPHER AT LARGE: Adam Bronkhorst mail@adambronkhorst.com

ADVERTISING: Sarah Jane Lewis sarah-jane@vivamagazines.com;

Jenny Rushton jenny@vivamagazines.com

ADMINISTRATION & ACCOUNTS: Kelly Mechen kelly@vivamagazines.com

DISTRIBUTION: David Pardue distribution@vivamagazines.com

CONTRIBUTORS: Alex Leith, Alexandra Loske, Amy Holtz, Ben Bailey,

Charlotte Gann, Chris Riddell, Ellie Evans, JJ Waller, Jacqui Bealing, Jay Collins,

Joda, Joe Decie, John Helmer, Lizzie Enfield, Mark Greco, Martin Skelton,

Michael Blencowe, Nione Meakin, Paul Zara, Rose Dykins and Sophie Darling.

PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden becky@vivamagazines.com

Please recycle your Viva (or keep us forever).



Photo by Justine Desmond for the National

Ambulance Resilience Unit

Bits, books & bobs.

8-29. Sophie Darling and her carefully

constructed cover design; Joe Decie is

finding selfcare a cause for concern; and

Alexandra Loske tells the tale of two

extraordinary women. Lemn Sissay invites

us to join the Imagine Nation at this year’s

Brighton Festival; Martin Skelton takes

time over thé; and we find more wisdom

on the washroom wall. Plus, Helen Boyle –

Brighton’s first female GP and pioneering

mental health doctor – is on the buses; and

Nione Meakin finds out about Brighton’s

young carers. In books, we thumb the

pages of Climate Change: A Very Peculiar

History; the Spotlight Series that’s shedding

light on under-represented writers; and

a mindfulness picture book for kids.

Meanwhile, Alex Leith takes refuge in The

Thomas Kemp and JJ Waller pays a visit to

his elders.

My Brighton.

30-31. Clare in the Community cartoonist

(sea dipper and Gap shopper) Harry





32-37. Justine Desmond captures the carers

in her fly-on-the-wall portraits of the

healthcare system.


39-43. John Helmer is dusted, Lizzie

Enfield cares too much and Amy Holtz

could care a little more.

On this month.

45-57. Ben Bailey rounds up his pick of

the local gigs; Anita Corbin’s 100 First

Women Portraits are at Brighton Museum

and Art Gallery; Polly Toynbee looks back

on a terrible decade at Lewes Speakers

Festival; and DJ duo Monica are at the

Tempest. A heavenly choir assembles

at St Batholomew’s for The Dream of

Gerontius; the sensational Sasha Velour

brings her one-queen drag show to

Brighton Dome; and Rebel Boob explores

life after breast cancer at The Old Market.

Photo by Tanner Abel

....6 ....



Art & design.

58-65. There’s dark domesticity in Shani

Rhys James’ paintings at Charleston; artist

and therapist Rue Asher is at Chalk Gallery

in Lewes; and some of what’s on, art-wise,

this month.

Kelly Gallagher, CBE. First Woman to win British Winter Paralympic Gold. November

2016, Scrabo Tower, County Down, Northern Ireland. Photographed by Anita Corbin.

The way we work.

67-71. Adam Bronkhorst spends a morning

at Martlets hospice in Hove.


73-77. Ember-baked leeks, grilled chicory

and chargrilled cabbage – we share food

from the fire at Kindling. A roasted roots

salad to make you happy from Gemma

Ogston’s Self-Care Cookbook; Joe has

a chicken and mango sandwich at Café

Domenica in Hove Library, and just a

taster of this month’s food news.




78-87. Emma Croman explores stories

of body confidence, self-acceptance and

empowerment in the VALID project; we

talk to NHS Psychotherapist Donna Butler

about caring for the local NHS workforce;

and Paul Zara gets an update on the ‘three

T’s redevelopment’ at the Royal Sussex

County Hospital. Brighton-based charity

Grassroots Suicide Prevention are tackling

the taboo around suicide and teaching us

how to have life-saving conversations, and

Rachel Larkin is uncovering the stories of

young, unaccompanied female migrants.


89. Michael Blencowe remembers his mate

Alf and prepares for a frog frenzy.

Inside left.

90. Brighton & Hove Grammar School,

1914: back when BHASVIC was a home for

the war wounded.

Photo by Gemma Ogston

....7 ....



“It was inspired by the recent Japanese

wood-cut exhibition at Brighton Museum,”

says Sophie Darling, who crafted this

month’s wonderfully layered cover. “Artists

like Eizan and Hiroshige. Their brushwork

is like nothing else, and I loved the fluidity

and use of pattern and motif in their work.

And the gradient colours. I was there

for hours with my sketchbook, finding


I’m speaking to Sophie in her eponymous

pop-up space in the Lanes, where she sells

her own and other Brighton-based artists’

fabric designs, draped, folded and hanging all

around us, in a creatively composed riot of

pattern and colour. “It’s so much more than

a pop-up, it’s an extension of my creativity,”

she says. “I’ve decided to keep it open. I just

love the space.”

Sophie trained as a fine artist, and was

known for her abstract paintings and

screen prints, before she was lured into the

corporate world in the 90s, creating murals

in restaurants and composing branding

designs for events, working for the likes of

Rizla and Evian. She has also worked as a

design director and was a founding director

of the screen-printed leather handbag

company Kimchi, stocked in Liberty’s

stores the world over.

“All the time I was also working on my

own screen prints and collages,” she says,

“with an idea of eventually setting up my

own fashion label, which I did in 2013. I

believe in ‘slow’ fashion, trying to limit

the footprint of the business as much as

possible. The fabrics are all designed and

printed in my studio in Brighton, and handmade

by our local machinists around the

corner. Where possible, we deliver on foot.

“I like creating a juxtaposition of soft,

painterly, illustrative form, and modernising

this with contemporary hard-line geometric

patterns,” she says, of her modus operandi.

....8 ....



“My designs are largely abstract, though I do

include recognisable motifs – in the case of

this cover, the geological formations. It’s all

about adding layer after layer after layer.”

“The word ‘Viva’ is a joy for a graphic

designer,” she says, of her funky masthead

logo, “with all those angles and parallel

lines. I looked around and found a font that

would give the cover a spacey feel, and then

tweaked it to make it my own.”

Elements of this design will live well beyond

its month-long residency as March’s Viva

cover. “I’ll develop it further and recycle

it,” she says. “Hence all the repetition, and

mirroring. It will be incorporated into my

next collection.”

Like all our cover artists, Sophie was given

a fairly open brief, being asked to create

something which in some way represented

the term ‘care’. “I went beyond the idea

of ‘care in the community’,” she says. “I

wanted to address the global side of caring,

to inspire people to care about their planet.”

She has incorporated a rising sun in the

design. It’s a common motif in her work,

“encompassing hope for the future.” AL

Sophie Darling, 2 Hanningtons Lane,

sophiedarling.com / @sophie_darling_

....9 ....

'Fantastic place, full of beautiful magazines. I just love this shop.’

the world of great indie mags is here in Brighton.

22 Trafalgar Street












I have written about two large portraits by the

painter Angelica Kauffman in the collection of

Brighton Museum before. Kauffman was one of

the superstars of the European art scene in the

18th century. She had come from Austria to carve

out a glittering career at the newly founded Royal

Academy in London and secured many high-profile

commissions, including from the Royal Family.

Our paintings Penelope at her Loom and Portrait

of a Woman (in Neapolitan Dress) are the kind of

artworks that would have graced large country

houses, and were possibly bought by a young male

aristocrat on the Grand Tour in the 1760s. But

there is another, smaller, and rarely seen painting

by Kauffman in our collection: a quarter-length

portrait of a woman, stylishly but not lavishly

dressed, sporting an elaborate hairstyle, exuding

both elegance and a hint of melancholy.

The sitter of this sensitive portrait is Margaret

Marriott, a wide-eyed beauty who was born in

1742 on an indigo plantation in South Carolina.

She was the mother of two daughters, Dorothy

and Philadelphia Percy (the latter also sometimes

referred to as Anne). The girls were the

illegitimate offspring of Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of

Northumberland (born Hugh Smithson). This

was public knowledge – the girls took their father’s

surname – and did not seem to have damaged Mrs

Marriott’s reputation in society. The Duke even

paid for the girls’ education in Paris. It appears

Mrs Marriott, by Angelica Kauffman, c.1766-1775. Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton and Hove

Portrait of Angelica Kauffman, engraving after Joshua Reynolds, 1780. Courtesy of Alexandra Loske




that Marriott and her daughters lived in Marylebone,

London, but also had connections with

Brighton. Sadly, the sisters both died in their early

twenties: Philadelphia in 1791, Dorothy in 1794.

Astonishingly, they are buried in Westminster

Abbey, near their father.

On the request of her daughters, Mrs Marriott

arranged for six almshouses to be built in Brighton

as a memorial to them. The small yellow-brick

houses at the bottom of Elm Grove, now nos. 4 to

9, Islingword Road, were the first Gothic revival

buildings in Brighton. The inscription under the

eaves reads ‘These Almshouses were erected and

endowed at the request of the late Philadelphia

and Dorothy Percy AD 1795’. The two-story

cottages, now overlooking a busy junction, housed

six poor widows of the Church of England, who

were also granted £48 a year, and a new gown and

cloak every two years.

We don’t know when exactly or where the

stunning portrait by Kauffman was painted,

but it is highly likely that it was between 1766

and 1781, when Kauffman lived and worked in

England. It is quite possible Marriott sat for her

portrait around the time her daughters were

born. She certainly had the taste, and the money,

to be painted by one of Europe’s most celebrated

artists. The painting was bequeathed to the Museum

by a Miss Eleanor M Wilde in 1939, who

also donated various papers relating to the family

to the East Sussex Record Office.

Mrs Marriott died in 1827, having seen her

almshouses do much good over three decades. In

1859 six more almshouses were added (three to

either side) by Revd Henry Wagner and his sister

Mary, in memory of the Marquess of Bristol. In

the 1960s there were plans to demolish these

almshouses, but in March 1971 they were listed

and restored in 1975-6. They are now private


The story doesn’t end there. The girls’ halfbrother,

James Smithson – another of the duke’s

illegitimate offspring – became an internationally

renowned chemist. He decreed that after

his death his wealth should be used to create

‘an establishment for the increase and diffusion

of knowledge’ in the United States. This is the

famous Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

These modest almshouses therefore have a link

with one of the greatest museums and research

centres in the world.

Alexandra Loske, Curator and Art Historian

The portrait of Mrs Marriott by Angelica Kauffman

is currently on display on the upper floor of

Brighton Museum.


The Percy & Wagner Almshouses, Brighton. Photograph: Alexandra Loske





Lemn Sissay MBE is Brighton Festival’s 2020

Guest Director. ‘Please be open’, he invites, in the

programme. ‘There is going to be something for

you in this festival but broaden your horizons and

try something different too.’

There are more than 120 events in this year’s

programme, and they’re spread across the region: a

Sumatran rainforest in a warehouse in Hove; gravity-defying

kinetic sculptures at Shoreham Port; a

modern day interpretation of The War of the Worlds

in Worthing; a new work from Hofesh Shechter at

Brighton Dome; and events at Glyndebourne, the

Attenborough Centre, and Lewes’ Depot cinema.

There are also more free events than ever, and

plenty of tickets for under £10. Lemn’s message

reverberates: “art is

for everyone”.

His highlights

include The Young

Americans – an exhibition

of Native

American art; Ethiopian writers Maaza Mengiste

and Aida Edemariam; jazz legend Mulatu Astatke;

and Canadian trans storyteller Ivan Coyote. Lemn

too will discuss his own memoir, My Name is Why,

with British-Eritrean writer Hannah Azieb Pool.

And he invites each of us to ‘adopt’ him – for a

conversation, where “you tell me one thing you’ve

learned about family…” Tickets are on sale now.

2nd-24th May, brightonfestival.org

Photo courtesy of Brighton Festival



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We had a succession of notable

family birthdays in 2018

(no secrets being revealed)

and to celebrate we scooped

ourselves up and went on a

family holiday to Japan. To

the western eye Japan can be

slightly weird (perhaps to the

Japanese eye, too) but, overall,

the experience is simply astonishing.

It’s difficult to imagine

not coming back and wanting

to go again, before too long.

‘Care’ is at the heart of the

astonishment, in many ways. The ticket collector

on the train stood at the entrance to each carriage

and bowed formally before checking our tickets.

The shop assistants in the large department store

stood still by their counters and bowed to each

other just before the store opened. The simple,

cheap gift we bought was wrapped beautifully by

the shopkeeper, without being asked. The paper,

of course, was handmade.

And then, of course, there was the tea ceremony.

We had pre-arranged a private session. I guess it

was still a touristic session but as we sat or knelt

for 45 minutes the care with

which the tea was made, the

precise hand movements, the

cleaning of each cup or utensil

and the slow speed that

enabled everything to be just

right created a ritual in front

of our eyes. Perhaps ritual

without care is impossible.

Which brings us to the Journal

du Thé, this month’s magazine.

It’s obviously about tea

but it is equally about care.

The beautiful photographs of

old cups and water pourers by Takash Homma;

the work of glassblower Jochen Holz; a photo

essay on the tea fields of Kusumorido and Ukina

no Yamacha; a visit to Soho’s ‘My Cup of Tea’

shop and so much more are all about the care

that is inherent in tea and tea making but also

in the creation of a beautiful magazine made by

people with a passion.

On its own, the Journal du Thé is restful. Joined

by a cup of slowly made tea it’s a tool for daily

self-care. Just lovely.

Martin Skelton, MagazineBrighton


In a world where you can be anything (goes the

cheesy saying), be kind.

And – just in case you needed one – here’s a handy

diagram to remind you why.

But where is it?

Last month’s answer: The Hop Poles

Photo by Ophelia Schultz-Clark




Find out more at brightongirls.gdst.net


Rosie McColl

Head of Brighton Girls

“A GDST girl is confident and fearless,

nothing will hold her back”

Tell us about your new role. I am the

new Head at Brighton Girls, one of the

founding schools of the Girls’ Day School

Trust (GDST).

Where did you grow up and go to

school? Otley, West Yorkshire, so Brighton

feels familiar – I’m used to friendly people

and lovely views. Both my parents were

teachers; I went to the local state school

and then I was lucky enough to get an assisted

place at an independent school. I went

on to read English Language and Literature

at Lincoln College, Oxford.

How did your own education affect

your ethos? Being lucky enough to have an

independent education changed my life.

I really value the ethos, the freedom to

teach and learn beyond the test, the

academic stretch, the excellent care and

extra-curricular opportunities. My education

gave me confidence. I want to offer that

chance to other girls.

Tell us about Brighton Girls. We are an

all-through school in the heart of the city of

Brighton. Our innovative teaching, reimagined

classroom spaces, and keen sense of

social responsibility make this a place where

girls can learn without limits.

Do you have any notable alumnae?

Yes, many, including Suzy Menkes, Editor of

Vogue International; Karen Pickering, Olympic

swimmer; screenwriter Olivia Waring

and Lib Dem peer, Baroness Northover.

What’s your vision for the school?

I want to throw open the doors of Brighton

Girls, welcome the city in and fuse the classroom

and community. This is such an amazing,

diverse, dynamic city. It is a tech hub,

full of independent business owners, media

people, creative types, people who make

things happen. I want to harness that creative

energy and channel it into Brighton Girls.

What does Brighton offer as a learning

environment? We have a new Design

Hub that will allow girls to benefit from a

design-thinking approach to teaching that

encourages them to be active participants

in what they are learning. We are setting

up partnerships with creative businesses

in Brighton to become a truly innovative

centre of 21st century learning.

What is the GDST? The Girls’ Day

School Trust is the UK’s leading family of independent

girls’ schools. At a GDST school

academic excellence is a given but we also

develop character beyond the curriculum.

We champion girls’ education; a GDST girl

is confident and fearless, nothing will hold

her back.

Do you have a favourite place in

Brighton? Absolutely. Our new family tradition

is Friday evening fish and chips from

Wolfies of Hove.

To find out more, attend one of our Open

Days on Friday 6th and Thursday 19th March.





The annual Garden Show at Firle Place is back

bigger and better than ever for its 13th year, and

we’ve got some tickets to give away. As ever the

gardens will host an array of stalls selling plants,

garden goods, homeware, garden furniture, art

prints, sundries and more, as well as a range of

talks, workshops and demonstrations. Entertainment

for all the family will include a funfair,

archery, tombola and a pirate treasure hunt, and

there will be music from The Jazz Trio and South

Downs Folk Singers among others. We’re going

to pull three names from our competition draw

– each will win a pair of tickets or a family ticket

(you choose). To be entered, send us your name,

number, address and answer to the following

question: Which plant name comes from the

English word dægeseage, meaning ‘day’s eye’?

Please send answers to admin@vivamagazines.

com by Tuesday 31st March. For Ts and Cs see

vivamagazines.com/competitions Good luck!

17th–19th April, thegardenshowonline.com


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t: 01903 891466





We define a young

carer as any child

between the age of six

and 17 who is affected

by the health condition

of a loved one.

The traditional idea is

of a child taking on the

chores that the disabled

person within the family

can’t manage – and that’s true in many cases. But

it can also mean a child who has a parent with a

disability and doesn’t get to access as many outof-school

activities as other children. Or a young

person who is being bullied because their peers

discover they have a disabled family member. Or

a sibling carer who perhaps feels embarrassed

about having friends over or is frustrated that

the family’s focus is on the disabled child.

Last year we supported 320 young carers

in Brighton and Hove, but we believe there

are a lot more than that out there. Data from

the last census suggested the figure was nearer

to 2,000 – and that was nine years ago. But it

can be challenging to identify them. We have a

schools worker who does assemblies and PSHE

lessons to highlight how we define a young

carer and what to look out for. We also do

awareness-raising events including Young Carers

Awareness Day.

Quite often when we do home visits, we’re

the first people to have put a name on what

these children are doing – to have called

them carers. Many of them just take it as part

of everyday life so they don’t know there’s

support out there for them. Sometimes families

are defensive about admitting their child is

caring for someone, or

children worry that they

could get their parents

in trouble with social

services – all fears we

try to alleviate when we

first get in contact.

All carers need support

but particularly

those who are young.

At an early age they may not entirely understand

what their parent or sibling’s health needs are

and why they might act the way they do. Then

there’s the balancing of social life and caring –

helping them to make time for their own needs.

As they get older, there’s the question of what’s

going to happen to them in the future – can they

become independent, can they go to university

or are they bound by their caring role?

We offer one-to-one emotional support to

help young carers through these sort of transitions,

helping them to think broadly about the

future and to realise their potential. The second

strand of our work is advocacy – making sure

the right people in schools, social care and other

services know about a family’s needs. We also

offer activities, including a Wednesday drop-in,

and art workshops, outings and the occasional

residential respite in school holidays. We’re

lucky to be quite secure in our core funding but

we really welcome support for the activities we

run. There are donation points in both of the

Seven Dials Co-ops, and we’re always on the

look-out for sponsors and people who might like

to do some fundraising for us.

As told to Nione Meakin by CEO Tom Lambert


Young carer Harmony (left) and her sister Skyla






Brighton’s first female

GP, Dr Helen Boyle,

was born in Dublin in

1869. She studied at

the London School of

Medicine for Women

from 1890 to 1893,

and later worked as a medical superintendent

at Canning Town Mission Hospital, in the

East End of the capital.

Her first-hand experience working with

mentally ill women in poverty, inspired Helen

and her associate Dr Mabel Jones to set up

the Lewes Road Dispensary for Women and

Children in 1897, a GP surgery in Roundhill

Crescent. The dispensary ‘offered free or

low-cost treatment to women who couldn’t

afford GPs’ charges, in a sympathetic femaleonly

environment – and was a great success’,

according to brightonmuseums.org.uk.

Helen later founded the Lady Chichester

Hospital for Women with Nervous Diseases

in New Church Road, Hove in 1905. The

hospital was the first of its kind in England,

treating women with mental illness before

they became certifiable and were committed

to asylums. This ground-breaking treatment

was intended to stop women in working

class areas being ‘neglected and maltreated

until… they were turned into the finished

product – lunatics.’

Helen went on to become the first female

psychiatrist at the Royal Sussex County

Hospital, and the vice-chairman for the

National Council for Mental Hygiene,

which became the charity Mind. She died in

Pyecombe, West Sussex in 1957, aged 88.

Joe Fuller

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)




The peculiar histories are nutshell guides:

this one’s on a subject we all need to care

about. The book describes the years

2020-2030 as ‘the Doomsday Decade’:

‘These ten years are our testing time.’ Or,

as Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington, is

quoted: ‘We are the first generation to feel

the sting of climate change, and we are the

last generation that can do something about it.’

Penned by Chailey’s David Arscott, and published

by Brighton’s Book House, this excellently succinct

account is deftly assembled. One can feel the

author’s concern as he writes. And that’s compelling.

But the guide also bulges with figures and facts. It’s

fascinating, and terrifying.

It compassionately talks us through worst (now

likely) case scenarios – such as, the ‘perfect storm’

of unrest the government’s chief scientist

Professor John Beddington predicts,

‘as people flee from the worst-affected

regions’ – and steps we as individuals can

adopt (if you can’t face giving up meat,

suggests Jonathan Safran Foer, why not

cut it from your breakfast and lunch?).

There are initiatives afoot to, for instance,

refreeze the poles – and reforest the globe: that,

plus a commitment to leaving remaining fossil fuels

in the ground, seems crucial. We have the means

(technology), but lack the will (regulations).

In August last year Iceland mourned their first

departed glacier. They mounted a plaque: ‘This

monument is to acknowledge that we know what

is happening and what needs to be done. Only you

know if we did it.’ Charlotte Gann

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The Spotlight series is a joy to behold: six

small books, three poetry and three prose,

designed to shine a light on writers who are

under-represented in the industry due to

mental or physical health issues, race, class,

gender identity or social circumstance. The

winners of a competition organised and

judged by a triptych of Brighton institutions

– Creative Future, a charity that nurtures

under-represented artists in their creative

development; New Writing South, who

are committed to supporting an inclusive

community of writers; and Myriad Editions,

who publish award-winning literary fiction,

graphic novels and political nonfiction – these

collections have been sending ripples through

the local literary scene.

Don’t be fooled by the size of them (around

45 pages each), these books pack a punch. No

word is out of place and each pocket-sized

book is perfectly packaged to take everywhere

with you. Let’s start with the short stories.

Georgina Aboud’s Cora Vincent is bold and

edgy with a cast of unforgettable characters.

Crumbs, by Ana Tewson-Božić is a pacey,

timely tale of a psychotic breakdown, with

language so incisive it takes your breath

away. The Haunting of Strawberry Water by

Tara Gould depicts a mother suffering from

post-natal depression with sensuous, visceral

language. The protagonists’ fatigue seeps into

your bones as you read. Sarah Windebank’s




collection of poetry, Memories of a Swedish

Grandmother spans generations and a multitude

of feelings, places and even languages,

while Stroking Cerberus by Jacqueline

Haskell is written with a moving, lyrical

voice, tackling themes of family, genetics,

life and loss with an almost other-worldly

feel to them. Last, but by no means least,

Summon by Elizabeth Ridout is poetry of a

high order: thought-provoking reflections

on bi-polar disorder told with buzzing energy

and rhythm.

The series is dazzling. Such small books,

making such noise. I can’t help but feel

frustrated that we still need programmes like

this. What if there weren’t incentives like

Spotlight to uncover marginalised writers?

I’d like to think these authors would be

discovered and nurtured regardless, but

the reality is that they likely wouldn’t be.

To quote Spotlight judge, author Kerry

Hudson, the series shows ‘that if the barriers

can be vaulted there is true beauty to be had

from the lesser-walked streets of literature.’

There is such a lack of representation in

the publishing industry. Authors who don’t

have a big enough following, who are

considered ‘under educated’ or unable to

leave the house are often sidelined. We need

competitions like this to make sure their

voices are heard and that the books that are

released represent what’s really going on in

the world. Anna Burtt

The Spotlight series is available from all good

bookshops (£24 for a set at City Books or £5

each) and directly from myriadeditions.com

(25% off and free UK P&P using the code

BTNBOOKCLUB). Find out more about the

Spotlight series at creativefuture.org.uk /

myriadeditions.com / newwritingsouth.com



on you

Counselling, Psychotherapy

and Psychological services

in central Hove

01273 921355






Imagine eating lemons.

Can you feel your face

scrunching up a little and

your mouth watering? It’s

an exercise Jason Rhodes

likes to use as an example of

how powerful our thoughts

can be. It’s also the motif

of his new picture book,

which introduces children

to the concept of mindfulness

via a character called Chester Chestnut.

Chester is a cheerful chap ‘but sometimes his

tummy hurts. A tiny thought will grow and grow

and make him feel much worse’. Situations that

make his tummy hurt include starting school,

having to perform in a talent show, and thinking

about losing his pet. He starts to learn ways to

deal with those feelings, from slowly taking a

deep breath in, to listening to the noises around

him, until the tummy ache goes away. “It’s not

about making kids sit and meditate but about

becoming aware of how thoughts can make us

feel,” says Brighton-based Rhodes. “It’s about

giving them some simple tools, really, to deal with

situations where we feel scared, or worried.”

The book seems to have come at just the right

time. Mindfulness – in which one purposefully

attempts to bring one’s focus to the present moment

– is already popular with adults as a means

of dealing with stress, anxiety and depression.

Now the government is trialling mindfulness

lessons in schools. “We tend to think of kids as

living in the moment – and that’s probably true in

a lot of cases – but when they start to get to about

seven or eight, and certainly when they reach the

teenage years, they often become more self-conscious

and that’s when

anxiety can start to arise.”

Rhodes was 14 when he

first experienced anxiety

(he’s 34 now). “I didn’t

know that’s what it was

called though. I just felt sick

and on edge. As I got older

it started to happen more

and more.” He was working

as an actor when it reached

a peak. “Performing especially made me feel incredibly

anxious and insecure. At my worst I was

physically sick with worry.” When he eventually

discovered mindfulness, it changed everything.

“Suddenly I had these tools to deal with feelings

that had seemed overwhelming.”

He thinks these are skills that should be taught

from childhood, when our brains are more malleable.

“If kids can learn when they’re young

that they are not their thoughts, if they can

learn ways to return to their bodies when their

brains are buzzing, they’ll have the ability to go

into adulthood more aware, more present, and

more content.”

Inspired? The practice of mindfulness doesn’t

need to be a full-time project, says Rhodes.

“Anything can be an opportunity to take a step

back – even washing your hands. You can focus

on the sensation of the water, listen to the sound

of it going down the plughole, think about the

way the towel feels on your hands. It’s about

introducing these moments of mindfulness and

connection throughout the day, so it becomes a

habit.” Nione Meakin

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In July 1860 the brig ‘Transit’

of Shoreham, carrying coals

from Newcastle, was shipwrecked

in a storm near the

chain pier. Hundreds watched

from the shore as its crew of

nine were rescued by means of

a rope fired by a cannon across

the roiling waves. Once ashore

they were taken to the Burlington

Arms, on St George’s

Road, to recover.

160 years later, I can understand

something of their relief

at walking through those welcoming

doors. The Burlington

is now called The Thomas

Kemp, and I’ve just braved

Storm Ciara to get there. I’ve

never known such wind, which

has turned a ten-minute stroll

into a 20-minute ordeal, and

blown my glasses clean off my

face, never to be seen again.

Talk about a haven.

Earlier in the day I’ve been

checking out the history of the

pub in the newspaper archives,

and have learned of another

violent storm, in 1836, during

which ‘a chimney stack broke

through the roof into a room

where some persons were

playing billiards. Happily

none were hurt.’

These glimpses into the past

of an establishment certainly

liven up the experience of

going there in the present, and

I tell my companion what I’ve

found out, as we wait for our

roasts (it’s Sunday). The earliest

mention of the Arms dates

back to 1826, when its landlord,

a Mr Daniel Lockyear,

‘preferred a complaint against

D Bennett for riding through

his premises on a donkey, and

insulting his wife with very

abusive language’.

Back in the present, the atmosphere

is gently buzzing, though

the only hoofed animals in

evidence are on the menu. My

beef is wonderfully tender, and

every element of the surrounding

cast of food, from the

creamed Jerusalem artichokes

to the perfectly risen Yorkshire,

is a pleasure to eat.

I wash it down with a fine pint

of Bedlam APA, as my friend

fills me in with some more recent

history of the pub, when

it was known as the Polar

Bar East, selling alcopops to

a suspiciously young-looking


I’m happy that incarnation is

long gone, because I really like

the Thomas Kemp’s current

shabby-chic look and feel. I

live nearby and it’s become

a regular haunt, perfect for

a good natter with a bunch

of friends, especially in the

summer, when you can sit in

the garden, surrounded by

NHS workers enjoying their

10% discount.

Alex Leith

Painting by Jay Collins


Award-winning independent

3 screen cinema

Next to Lewes station

Pinwell Road, Lewes BN7 2JS

01273 525354




JJ Waller’s poignant image was made on a recent visit to a family member.

“The tenderness and compassion as well as the friendship between my 95

year old relative and her carer is simply outstanding.” JJ said. “The carer’s role in our

society is becoming increasingly vital – it deserves recognition.”




Photo by Adam Bronkhorst




MYbrighton: Harry Venning

Clare in the Community cartoonist

Are you local? No. I came here from London,

via Wales, via London again. I came as

part of a couple, then stopped being part of a

couple, and never got round to going back to

London. That was in about 2000. Now I am

part of another couple, and we have a teenage

daughter. We live in Fiveways.

Your long-running Guardian strip, Clare

in the Community, is about a social

worker. Who is she based on? Nobody

in particular. An ex was a social worker, so I

know that world. Clare is in the wrong job.

She hasn’t got the right qualities, but she

thinks she has. Social workers who read it

never tell me it reminds them of themselves,

but they always tell me it reminds them of

their colleagues. It’s not a coruscating attack,

though, it’s more affectionate. It’s also about

me, and about all the liberal people around

me in Fiveways. There’s endless material:

sometimes I don’t even have to make it up, I

just write what people have said, verbatim.

You also write a strip called ‘Hamlet’, for

The Stage... That’s about a pig, who’s an

actor. There’s a luvvy element to me: before I

became a cartoonist, I did a year in a touring

company. Sharing a van with five people for

twelve months created a lot of tension, so I

decided to change profession. But 25 years

later I’m still using the material it gave me.

How do you spend your leisure time? I

love playing football, mostly with other guys

who are over 50. I play one game on a Monday,

and another on a Tuesday. On Tuesdays

we end up in the Falmer Swan for a few pints.

That’s the only pub I go to regularly. Not like

the old days: when I lived in Hanover The Sir

Charles Napier was like my living room.

When did you last swim in the sea? Last

Saturday! [February 1st.] Though you

wouldn’t call it a swim, more of a quick

immersion. We were at that sauna place

near Yellowave on the seafront, and we went

between saunas. I’m not going to make a

habit of winter swimming but I sea swim a

lot between May and October. It makes me

inordinately happy.

What don’t you like about Brighton? Not

much. The other day I saw a guy dressed

up in 1920s gear with a big, well-trimmed

moustache and I thought ‘you pillock’, but

then I realised that was just my inner Daily

Mail reader talking and I’d much rather live

in a place where people dressed extravagantly

than a place where everyone only shopped

in Gap, like me.

What’s your favourite Brighton landmark?

The i360. When it landed, I hated it, because

it replaced The Wheel, which I loved.

Aesthetically there’s not much to it, but I’ve

loved going up it, I’ve been four times. It’s too

expensive, though, it should cost a tenner.

Where would you live, if not in Brighton?

Cardiff. Interview by Alex Leith






Retail exhibition

Design installations

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& A C C A





Justine Desmond

Healthcare, portrait, and business brand photographer

My first proper

photography job,

about 20 years ago, was

for the South London

Press. I walked in off

the street and asked for

a job. They said ‘Start

tomorrow… if you’re

not good there’ll be no

more work.’

I used to get a fax every morning with up to

12 jobs on it, from photographing prize-winning

vegetables to door-knocking, asking a

bereaved mum if I could take a portrait of her

holding a framed photo of her teenage son,

who’d been stabbed to death the night before.

It was a challenging job, but I learnt how to

focus and get it done.

After a year at the paper, I decided to go it

alone. I’d made lots of contacts and could count

on key people being willing to take a chance on

me, not least the Head of Communications at

the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

One thing leads to another and when somebody

in the healthcare sector likes an image they

check the credit and that leads to more work.

Around 60% of my work is in that sector.

I also do lots of portrait photography and

branding work. There are so many talented people

in this city, who have turned their passions

into businesses and commissioned me to create a

visual brand identity and supply content for their

social media platforms. These include musicians,

yogis, chefs, hypo-birthers, life coaches, makers,

artists, designers, models and actors.

My work can be challenging mentally and

physically. I work with people who are sick and

dying, newborn babies, small children, the elderly,

people with dementia,

people with life threatening

and life-changing

injuries, people who are

incarcerated in high security

prisons. I’ve been

a fly-on-the-wall during

many real-life accidents

and emergencies. I’ve

had to climb through

windows, crawl through tunnels, up ladders

and through rubble. Once I had to climb to the

top of the Telecom Tower, without a harness. I

was hyperventilating and could clearly hear my

client shouting ‘just think of the money’. I was

thinking of the shot.

I don’t carry a lot of equipment around when

I’m on location, especially in live situations. I

can’t afford to intimidate my subjects and I have

to work fast because time is short and client

briefs are long. I work with available light and

think on my feet. I use a Canon 5D Mk 4, with a

standard zoom lens.

I use Lightroom to correct any shooting

issues I’ve encountered and to enhance

my work. I paint the images using the brush

tools. My clients tell me it’s about quality, not

quantity, they want images that are ready to

drop into print.

My job has been tough at times, but I’ve always

had support from the people I’m working

with. I feel hugely privileged for the opportunities

my career has given me and have a lot of

admiration for healthcare professionals. I see

how hard they work. We have much to thank

them for.

As told to Alex Leith





Photo by Justine Desmond for the National Ambulance Resilience Unit

Photo by Justine Desmond for the National Ambulance Resilience Unit




Photo by Justine Desmond for In Health Group Ltd




Photo by Justine Desmond for North East Strategic Health Authority

Photo by Justine Desmond at Evelina London Children’s Hospital for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust




Photo by Justine Desmond for the Royal College of Nursing at University College London Hospitals

NHS Foundation Trust

Photo by Justine Desmond for the Royal College of Nursing at the Royal London Hospital


01273 776 097




John Helmer

Dusty answer

It’s midnight, and liveliness stirs, together with a

growling hunger. But just as I am poised by the

exit assaying the night air for traces of fox, I hear

a key in the door.

After some fumbling and crashing about, the

oldest of my humans stumbles into the kitchen,

greeting me with the two harsh monosyllables

that seem to have become his new name for

me: a pair of ugly barks, evidently learned from

the dogs (stupid creatures) issued in a tone that

contrasts strongly with the soft and pleasing

sounds made by the younger, female members of

the family when speaking to me. When stroking

me. Because they love me. The look in his watery

old eyes speaks not of such fondness.

Throwing his backpack down on the kitchen

table, the half-cut gerontion hastily divests

himself of his coat and heads unsteadily for the

small room where I

sometimes drink.

My attempts to

impede his progress

by rubbing myself

lovingly against his

trouser-leg meet

with a sidestep


deft in one so

evidently drunk

but – let’s face

it – this has

become a familiar


He pauses before


through the

door, thinking of... who knows what passes

through that dull, enormous head. His blue

eyes are empty. Perhaps he has forgotten his

spectacles, his phone – his name? Staring up at

him, willing him to focus, I speak plaintively of

my hunger for treats. At the sound of my cries,

he seems to snap back to life. He repeats my new

name with extra vehemence and closes the door.

I don’t know how he manages to show, after all

this time, not the least trace of the love I have

laboured so tirelessly to inspire in him. There

have been such efforts. I have selflessly gifted the

most rare and effulgent of my essences, liberally

spraying them into every piece of luggage he

owns while packing for business trips, so that

he will not forget me while away. I seek out the

special favourite places in the house where he

likes to sit, and regurgitate hair-balls for him to

find there. I scarify each new piece of flat-pack

furniture artistically, with my own claws. What

more can I do?

And yet, among the occupants of this crowded

and bustling family home, who are all so

appreciative of my sinuous grace, attractive fur

and admittedly slightly rough-edged play (which

among us can truly say they have never shed

the blood of their humans?) he alone somehow

doesn’t seem to get it.

The door of the small room opens and he

emerges, the wine-smell now minted with

toothpaste. As he heads for the stairs he stoops

to confer a nugatory, insincere caress, for which

there is no possible response but the one I give it.

Recoiling, barking once again my new name, he

shows angry eyes.

I have to face the fact. He just doesn’t care.

Illustration by Chris Riddell


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Lizzie Enfield

Notes from North Village

“I can’t believe they said that about me.”

I am reading the comments attached to an article

I wrote for a national newspaper, the comments

that readers are allowed to make below every

article, no matter how inane or personal.

I try not to care but it’s hard; the comments are


One of the things I like about writing for this

magazine is that it has no online feedback

facility. The articles are published and you may

comment on them quietly, within the confines

of your own kitchens, but you cannot go online

immediately to say how much you hate my

column, what a fool I am and how you like the

other columnists better.

Almost everything else I do is subject to that. I

try not to read book reviews because the one bad

one always immediately cancels the seventy-six

good ones.

I try not to mind when I do read them but

inevitably I do.

I am only human. I care what people think – too

much for my own good, sometimes.

There is a book out at the moment called The

Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, which sounds like

a good art to attempt to master.

It’s become an instant bestseller, perhaps

unsurprisingly in the age of social media when

all the talking that used to be done behind backs

is now done online. You need to be pretty thickskinned

not to care at all.

Most of the magazines and newspapers I

work for have immediate unfiltered comment

facilities and a steady supply of readers gagging

to make them.

The one I am busy minding about appeared in a

tabloid’s health section: a fairly innocuous piece

about spotting the signs of childhood asthma. I

mentioned that for a while I thought my son’s

asthma was simply a chesty cough, and the paper

decided to include a photo of me with my son

looking asthmatic to illustrate the feature.

The article included signs and symptoms to look

out for and was intended to be helpful to other


Cue the abuse about what a bad parent I was,

a terrible mother who should’ve recognised

asthma and clearly didn’t care for her son.

My son reads the article and scans the

comments, mildly amused by most of them,

warming to the possibilities of reinventing

himself using the neglected child persona.

And then we come to the comment that

particularly sticks in my throat.

“Honestly do they really think that?” I wonder.

My son looks at the comment.

It’s from a reader who says I look “really scary.”

And this, my son concludes, is proof that I really

am a bad mother. Not because I look scary

but because I care more about having been

told I look scary than having been told I am a

negligent parent.

I take his observation on the chin and try not

to care.

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)




Amy Holtz

The truth is, I’m a Minnesotan

We’re moving house, which

means so far I’ve done a lot

of delegation to my partner

and friends; significant

pointing; remarking ‘Oof,’

and ‘That looks heavy!’

while the door frame judders

from large appliance impact;

and clapping excitedly when

something is dropped in

the van with a crash. They

say that when you find what

you’re good at in life, you

should stick with it, so I’m

flexing my specific skill set to

maximum effect given the circumstances.

But our friends are gone now and mine are

the only spare set of hands. A wardrobe and

desk, the latter branded with the telltale scorch

mark of an 80s curling iron, must, sadly, leave

the sunny room they’ve lived in for 30-odd

years. We pause, acknowledging the poignant

moment. Then, my partner glances at me with

an expression that reads, ‘I guess you’ll have to

do.’ I know, suddenly, how that wardrobe must

have felt all these years.

“Now,” he begins, “this is heavier than it

looks.” ‘That’s what she said,’ I think to myself,

snorting. He’s exaggerating no doubt, as it’s

just a bit of chipboard and air. “Go over there

and hold your arms out... no, Amy, go to the

end of the wardrobe. No, THAT END.”

I pirouette like a show poodle before throwing

up my hands. “What, here?”

He takes a deep breath. “Yes. Now, put your

hands up there, I’m going to lift it. Are you

ready to catch that end as it comes to you?” I

nod solemnly, arms aloft. Then, blocking out

all the light in the universe,

the giant wardrobe descends

and my life flashes before

my eyes, fingers scrabbling

against the smooth, timeworn

surface to find something

to hold onto. It smashes

down, all eight foot of it, into

the crooks of my elbows,

ramming into my chest.

“Owwww… why?” I moan.

“I asked if you were ready.”

“Let’s just move it.” I huff

testily. It’s then I figure out

I’m the one who has to walk

backwards, negotiating doorways and boxes full

of books, winter coats, mismatching socks.

Driving this train through the rearview, I spy

a shopping bag full of CDs neither of us could

part with and hit the brakes abruptly, not

noticing that – while my partner is itching his

nose – one side of the wardrobe has slipped and,

mid-step, his leg connects to it with a thump.

And now he’s left the whole thing in my weedy

arms while he’s jumping about, holding his shin.

“Are you ok?” I ask, trying to find some concern

to inject into my voice. My empathy levels lie

somewhere between psycho- and sociopath, so I

don’t know what he’s expecting really.

As he whimpers, we take a moment to assess

our progress, coming to the rapid realisation

that the carpet has been cut away underneath

the wardrobe, so it’d been growing out of the

floor like some creepy clothing tomb, beige

carpeting blooming around it like a hedge.

“Is that normal over here?” I ask, confused,

noting the fresh horror on my partner’s face.

“Does this mean we have to put it back?”


league of rock comes to


may 13 - july 15 2020



EMAIL: ukleagueofrock@gmail.com OR CALL HUGH: 07980897052



Ben Bailey rounds up the local music scene


Mon 9th, Komedia, 7.30pm, £8

Gaffa Tape Sandy played

The Great Escape a couple

of years ago, and presumably

liked the city so much

they moved here – and the sentiment is mutual.

The band’s 2019 EP Family Mammal opens with

a child yelling about their “banging tunes” and

it’s a pretty accurate review. The trio give off

the same sparks of mischief and excitement as

bands like Tilly and the Wall (sadly no more)

and Pixies (sadly still going). They’ve also got

a similar boy/girl shared vocal thing going on,

which adds an extra fillip to their catchy and

tongue-in-cheek tunes. They’ve been gigging

hard for the last three years, but this is the start

of their first UK headline tour.


Wed 25th, Green Door Store, 7pm, £9

It’s been four years since the last Peggy Sue

record, but the band’s hiatus ended last October

with Motorcade which was both an upbeat

breakup song and a redefining comeback single.

They followed it up last month with their

fourth album, Vices. Rosa Slade and Katy Young

apparently rediscovered their mojo after singing

in a choir together and going back to writing

songs in their living room. This back-to-basics

approach bodes well for those who remember

the duo playing in Brighton a dozen years ago

as Peggy Sue and the Pirates. Of course, they’ve

moved on in many ways, including decamping

to London. Nevertheless, this tour date should

feel a little like a homecoming.


Thu 26th, Rose Hill, 7.30pm, £10/8

Formerly known as Post Heather, Hanya established

themselves last year as a four-piece with

a run of festival and support slots, and now

they have an EP of lush dream-pop to launch.

Their music to date has a pleasantly sparse and

airy sound, defined by electric guitar arpeggios

dripping with reverb – and wall-of-sound choruses

that allow Heather Sheret’s vocals to soar.

It should be a good year for Hanya, who follow

on the heels of likeminded Brighton bands

Penelope Isles and Porridge Radio, both of

whom they happen to be friends with. Support

comes from local alt-folk artist Amelia Caesar

and indie shoegazers The Daylight.


Fri 27th, St Nicholas’ Church, 7.15pm, £8/5

Nick Williams has been

working towards this

moment for a long time.

His band’s debut album

Everyone is Watching from Afar is finally released

this month at a special show with Ellie Ford

and AK Patterson in Brighton’s oldest building.

The record is a startling hybrid, with Nick’s

falsetto vocals weaving tenderly around an array

of acoustic instruments and subtle synthesized

sounds. The music reveals the sensibility of a

folk musician and the attention to detail of an

electronic producer. Fans of James Blake and Bon

Iver should pay attention. Having road-tested the

material over four European tours, Night House

are back in Germany this month before finishing

the album trail where it began, in Brighton.




Edith Kent, First Woman to receive equal pay (1943) November 2009

Odaline de la Martinez, First Woman to conduct the BBC Proms, May 2014

Hope Powell CBE, First Woman to achieve the UEFA Pro Licence, March 2011

100 First Women Portraits

Anita Corbin’s project of a lifetime

Brighton Museum & Art

Gallery has just unveiled a new

exhibition celebrating

100 pioneering women of the

21st century, from beatboxing

champions to bomb detection

experts, blast furnace managers

to boardroom CEOs.

Its creator, photographer Anita

Corbin, talks to Viva about realising

the project of a lifetime.

I’ve been a photographer all

my life, and as I approached my

50th birthday in 2008, I started

asking myself: ‘What was I

going to leave behind? What

would be my photographic


I wanted to mark the centenary

of women in the UK

winning the ‘right to vote’

with a celebratory collection

of 100 iconic portraits of

trailblazing women who were

first in their field. Focusing on

women from all walks of life, all

ages and races, it was my dream

assignment and I spent the next

decade travelling 100,000 miles

around the country in search of

these modern pioneers.

The idea came to me like

a bolt of lightning, but then

followed much research and

writing to First Women. It was

often a case of finding a lead,

and then charming my way

through or around the gatekeepers:

not always easy!

I knew that it was important

to include women in the

Armed Forces, and it took

several years of persistence and

patience until the MOD offered

me a list of their Firsts in 2015.

It seemed as though there was a

new understanding: if they were

going to encourage women to

join up, they needed to show

women in these roles.

Baroness Boothroyd, the

first female Speaker of the

House of Commons, wrote

back to my request straight

away – by hand. I went to meet

her at the Houses of Parliament

and she was so charismatic –

beautifully dressed and totally

in command. While setting up

her picture with Big Ben in the

background, I had to get down

on one knee. I used it as an

opportunity to propose, rather

cheekily, asking if she would be

my Patron. She agreed immediately

and has been a constant

source of support and advice

ever since.

Some of the women were




Elspeth Beard, First Woman (UK) to ride a motorcycle around the

world, May 2015

Kelly Gallagher, CBE. First Woman to win British Winter Paralympic

Gold, November 2016

Rt Hon. Baroness Betty Boothroyd OM PC, First Woman Speaker of the

House of Commons, April 2010

surprised when I asked

to photograph them. Kim

Cotton, the first woman to be

a surrogate mum back in 1985,

said: ‘Why would you want

me? I’m just someone who

had a baby.’ There were a few

Firsts that I didn’t capture, like

architect Zaha Hadid who sadly

passed away a week before our

booked session. Helen Sharman

didn’t want to be remembered

as the first female astronaut

because she was more proud of

being the first British astronaut.

And Margaret Thatcher never

responded to my request – I

think she wanted to be remembered

as a Prime Minister, not

the first female Prime Minister.

But 95 per cent of those I approached

– once I’d contacted

them – said yes straight

away. I think they felt they had

a responsibility to show how

far we as women have come

and to be role models for the

next generation. It was never

about ego; it was much bigger

than that. All the women shared

a great sense of humour and

sense of perspective; they were

confident in their abilities

without taking themselves too


I’ve had to remortgage my

house to fund this project. I

tried to get funding but, while

corporations were interested,

none actually came up with

the money. And I didn’t want

to compromise after ten year’s

work. The portraits are life size

and immersive: over a metre

high, without glass or mount,

the photograph comes right up

to the edge of the frame. I want

the viewer to feel as though the

women are walking out to meet

them and asking – in a friendly

way – ‘what are you going to be

first in?’

As told to Nione Meakin

Anita Corbin: 100 First Women

Portraits is at Brighton Museum

& Art Gallery until June 7th.

Monique Simmonds OBE, First Woman Director of the Kew Innovation

Unit, April 2014

Baroness Patricia Scotland PC QC, First Woman Attorney General,

July 2011
















April – December

cft.org.uk 01243 781312




Polly Toynbee

The cost of austerity

Polly Toynbee is one of the speakers at this

month’s Lewes Speakers Festival, which

coincides with the publication this month of

her latest book, co-written with David Walker.

Called The Lost Decade: 2010-2020, and What

Lies Ahead for Britain, it shines a light on our

‘devastating’ times.

“I don’t think people realise quite how remarkably

terrible the last ten years have been”, she

tells me. “Certainly, no other decade in my

lifetime – I was born in 1946 – has come close.

There’s been no time like it since the Napoleonic

War – where wages and living standards have

gone backwards.

“Little by little we progress; this has been the

decade when that hasn’t happened. And it’s been

a shock. And a lot of deprivation is invisible. You

have to look to find it. We think of ‘hard times’,

and expect to see doleful dole queues. But

today there’s high employment; it’s just people

are earning very little. There are over 4m poor

children in working households…”

Polly and David published a book ten years ago,

in 2010, called The Verdict: Did Labour Change

Britain? “This,” she says, “was to record

what Labour had done – both good and

bad. We travelled the length of the country

talking to people about how their

lives had changed. Now we retraced our

steps. Mostly, what we heard was about

people running hard to stay still. Not

collapsing – but finding it hard. We

heard what Universal Credit is

doing to families. And we used our

2010 findings as a benchmark

against which to measure 2020.

Not one gain has been made.”

So why, I ask, has this decade been so bad? Why

now? “The disaster of the financial crash was

then infinitely worsened by austerity,” is her

response. “George Osborne cut back when he

needed to borrow and spend. It turned into a

vicious downward spiral. The question now is

how long will it take to get us back? There’s been

a huge rise in the numbers of children in care

– because there are fewer and fewer services to

prop up families – and £12bn cuts in benefits.”

Polly also talks of our “dangerous weariness

with democracy itself.” This she finds profoundly

worrying. “We take democracy for granted,

and underappreciate its value. We treat voting

like shopping, and throw up our hands when we

don’t get what we want. It’s juvenile. And Trump

I think has traded on this ‘anti-politics’ a lot.”

So, what are the bright spots? “Our last

chapter is devoted to examples of things that

are working, and proving transformative,” she

says. “The top-performing school in London

is in Newham, a deprived area. It still has a

Sure Start scheme, nurturing families from a

baby’s birth, until they’re 11. So, mothers,

many of whom don’t speak English, are

encouraged into the school community

on day one; the headteacher, who’s

been there 20 years, is brilliant. And

the results are stunning. It’s not

impossible, it’s not rocket science.

We know what works. It’s about

finding the will to apply it.”

Charlotte Gann

Lewes Speakers Festival,

21st-22nd March.




University of Sussex, Gardner Centre Road, Brighton BN1 9RA



Monica DJs

Techno at the Tempest

Monica are a DJ duo who have

been pushing the boundaries

of the Brighton club scene,

moving bodies and opening

minds through a shared

passion for underground dance

music. They’ve become regulars

on Codesouth FM and at

the Green Door Store’s Berlin-Brighton night.

This month they bring the fourth instalment

of their Foucault event to the Tempest Inn on

Brighton seafront, with a guest appearance from

Tunisian-Berlin producer Skatman.

What is Berlin-Brighton? It’s a monthly techno

night, run by the infamous, glittery German that

is Markus Saarländer. To mark its 6th anniversary

it’s just moved to a new and bigger home

at Chalk. We’ll miss it being at the Green Door

Store; it was small but a really special space. We

can’t thank Markus enough for the love, support

and trust he has given us over the years.

What do you consider a perfect club atmosphere?

First of all, fewer phones, low ceilings

and minimal lighting – easy right? Music can

sometimes catch people off guard. It can challenge

them; to let go of themselves and enjoy

the moment. And having someone film you

doing that isn’t ideal!

Tell us about your Foucault night at the Tempest

Inn... We want to showcase the music and

artists we really love and admire. Our guest this

time is Scatcity Records boss, Skatman, all the

way from Berlin. His sound caught our attention

very early on and it’s a real pleasure to have him

joining us. We’ll be on support duties, along with

Markus Saarländer and Faide. Most likely we will

be drinking a few tequilas and

having a good dance.

What’s the idea behind

these nights? The inspiration

comes from Michel Foucault’s

concept of heterotopia, which

we learned about on a boat

party in Croatia! We aren’t

philosophy students, but for some reason we were

immediately drawn to this idea... that spaces have

more layers of meaning than meet the eye.

Such as a club? Well yeah, some people hear

the kick drum or the vocal and they dance to

that. But if you wander around you see people

dancing to different elements in the music –

the low synths or the off-beat percussion. We

strive to play music that has many layers to it:

the weird and ever wonderful, strange noises,

trippy percussion or pitched-down vocals talking

about the tides of time... haha, for us that’s

the beauty of music.

Do you have go-to tunes you know will get

a good reaction? I have thoroughly enjoyed

playing Terrace by Rampa over the last year. It’s

a very dancefloor-ready track. Also Skatman’s

track Psyche has blown away a dancefloor for us

on many occasions.

What would you like to play if you thought

you could get away with it? We have always said

that if (when!) we get to close the main room at

the DC10 club in Ibiza, we would love to play

Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer as the last track.

That would be pretty special!

As told to Ben Bailey by Owen Griffiths

Foucault, Tempest Inn, Sat 14th March, 10pm

(free entry)










Cello Concerto


Suite No.3

1.3 | Folkestone Quarterhouse

Damien Jurado

5.3 I St. George’s Church

A Winged Victory

For The Sullen

26.3 | The Rose Hill


29.3 | The Hope & Ruin

Pictish Trail

4.4 | Westgate Chapel, Lewes

Alex Rex

2.5 I St Luke’s Church

The Handsome


2&3.5| Charleston, Firle, Lewes

Shirley Collins | Brian

Catling | Matthew Shaw

5.5 | St George’s Church

Ezra Furman

8.5 | Folkestone Quarterhouse

Richard Dawson

4.6 | Folkestone Quarterhouse


13.6 | Folkestone Quarterhouse

British Sea Power


27.03 | atom promotions presents

10cc’s Graham Gouldman

& Heart Full of Songs

09.05 | Live Nation presents

Ward Thomas

Tickets for shows are available from your local record shop,

seetickets.com or the venue where possible.


TICKETS FROM £14.50-£42.50

(50% discount for students/under 18s)

Brighton Dome Ticket Office 01273 709709 • brightondome.org

Park for just £6 at NCP Church Street between 1 & 6pm

Short talks on dementia and latest research. Hands-on demos and

discussions. Free for all members of the public.

Date: Tuesday 10 th March 2020



American Express Community Stadium

iTalk Lounge

2:30pm – 5:00pm

Short Talks and Activities 2.30-3.30

Presentations 3.30–4:30

Close 5.00




For further information please contact: L.C.Serpell@sussex.ac.uk or

M.Bukar-Maina@sussex.ac.uk or M.S.Yeoman@brighton.ac.uk

Free parking and good transport links: http://bit.ly/get-to-AMEX

Tea, coffee and refreshments provided.

Registration: http://bit.ly/2NJDs6c or call 01273678057



The Dream of


The more the merrier

The massed ranks of East Sussex Community

Choir (90 singers), East Sussex Bach Choir (40),

Brighton Orpheus Choir (10), and players from

the Musicians of All Saints (44), will squeeze

into St Bartholomew’s Church this month, to

perform a momentous choral work: Elgar’s The

Dream of Gerontius. Conductor Nick Houghton

tells me about the plot of the piece, a heavily

abridged version of a poem by John Henry

Newman, written in 1865.

“It’s a story of a man dying, Gerontius. In the

first half he’s taken towards the next world.

Part two opens and he’s in a dream, he doesn’t

know where he is. His guardian angel takes

him on a journey to meet God, and on the way

he meets… DEMONS”, (Nick emphasises the

word for dramatic effect), “who have a deep,

earthy sound, and aspire to become saints. Then

there’s this big moment where he meets God:

nothing’s said, it’s just a magnificent orchestral

climax. The angel says ‘we’re about to meet

God’ and the orchestra starts very quietly: a

lovely, huge build up, a massive chord, ending

with Gerontius being judged, and yelling to be

taken away into Purgatory.”

The programme will include the words, so the

audience will be able to follow the story, and the

“imposing, vast” environs of St Bartholomew’s

Church should help give the evening an epic

feel. “There are certain types of music that work

well in St Bart’s: the slow grandeur of Gerontius

will be fantastic in there. And we’ll be using the

organ at the back end as well, played by our

accompanist Andrew Wilson, a lawyer at the

University of Brighton by day.”

Local connections abound. Gerontius will be

sung by Lewes-based tenor Paul Austin Kelly,

while the part of the Angel will be played by

mezzo soprano Rebecca Leggett, an ex-student

of both Nick’s and ESBC conductor John Hancorn.

“She is now at Trinity College London as a

singing student; she’s got a fabulous voice and it

was so lovely to give her a chance to do this.”

Gerontius holds some significance for Nick

too: it was the “first big choral work” that he

conducted. “When I was conducting a choir in

Croydon, we did a performance in Croydon

Parish Church, on April 1st 2000, almost 20

years ago to the day of this performance. I’d

done lots of smaller things but this one was quite

the experience.” Nick hopes that the audience in

St Bart’s will be similarly “impressed and moved.

It’s a simple story, but very emotional: I want

them to feel that they’ve gone on a journey”.

It seems that many singers yearn to go on the

journey too. “I kept meeting people who’d say

‘ooh I hear you’re doing Gerontius, I’d love to

sing it again’. I said ‘come and sing, the more the

merrier’.” Joe Fuller

St Bartholomew’s Church, 21st, 7.30pm,


Photo by Rachael Edwards




Photos by Tanner Abel

Sasha Velour

Sparking joy

Sasha Velour wants to take drag “to the next

level”. The season 9 champion of RuPaul’s Drag

Race is bringing her innovative, internationally

acclaimed one-queen show, Smoke & Mirrors, to

Brighton Dome this month. Sasha has directed

and choreographed the show herself, believing

that “it’s important for drag artists to have a

hand in many different aspects of what we do”,

and seeing drag as a “multimedia artform”. The

show is traditional in some ways – with lip sync

performances, costume reveals and gags – but

also features technological experimentation.

I have one performance inspired by a turn

of the century magic trick, where a magician

would saw his assistant in half. I saw myself in

half, but the thing I’m sawing is actually just a

video that’s projected onto a flat surface. It’s kind

of magical drag technology.

I love English audiences so much. What I’ve

noticed is that a greater variety of people have

a passion for drag. People of all ages: gay and

straight, male and female. I think that that speaks

to something in the culture: a love of camp

perhaps; an open-minded sensibility. People here

also love older music and I miss that sometimes,

performing drag in the States. Sometimes it’s

a bit hostile to get people excited there about

Shirley Bassey or Judy Garland, but in England I

have no problem!

Ru Paul’s Drag Race is a big reference for

drag all over the world, for better or for

worse. It’s amazing being able to connect with

people of very different backgrounds, and we still

do see eye-to-eye on our art, and what drag is all

about. I think that drag is mostly more similar

than different around the entire world.

I’ve been researching the way that drag

artists have been part of classical theatre,

art, and dance for a really long time. The

ancient world is full of gender fluidity on stage,




of course. Sometimes in queer ways, other times

in misogynistic ways, but we take what we can! I

love getting to have drag in these grand theatres.

Brighton Dome is an absolutely wild theatre: I’m

so excited to see it and perform there. Getting to

see drag on that grand stage, it means something.

Drag shows queer, trans, gender nonconforming

people that being yourself is essential:

it is beautiful, it has value and you can exist

in a community of people who will make you

feel normal. Even beyond that, I think it speaks

to a love of, and a joy in, life. That is especially

vital when there are voices telling you that

you’re unwell or disgusting or sick. Even for

people who don’t have that experience: who

aren’t queer, who haven’t experienced that kind

of oppression. Everyone needs this message:

that you and your identity is something that

you can take pride and joy in.

Drag also brings people together in real

spaces, often with similar political values,

in terms of making people feel safe and

accepted. And it puts people in a great mood.

I find that drag inspires activism, it inspires

conversations, just by bringing different people

together. It’s really a safe space for people to be

themselves. As told to Joe Fuller

Brighton Dome, 5th, 8pm




Fri 6 Mar



Sat 7 Mar


Fri 27 Mar



Thur 2 Apr


Mon 20 Apr


Sat 25 Apr


Thur 7 May


Fri 22 May



Sat 23 May


Tue 26 May



Wed 27 May



Thur 28-Fri 29 May

box office 0844 847 1515 *


*calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone

company’s access charge





2–24 MAY 2020





Rebel Boob

Life after cancer

Being diagnosed with, and treated for, cancer is

devastating – but putting your life back together

can be no picnic either.

Research carried out by Breast Cancer Care

and mental health charity Mind found that

one in three women experience anxiety for the

first time in their lives after their diagnosis and

treatment, and almost half feel continuous fear

that the cancer may return, which can severely

impact day-to-day life.

Worryingly, a 2018 survey of nearly 3,000 women

with breast cancer in England also revealed

eight out of ten women are not told about the

possibility of developing long-term anxiety and

depression by healthcare professionals.

Picking up the pieces following her own mastectomy

has inspired Hove resident Angela El-

Zeind to create a play about women’s experiences

of life after breast cancer: the result is Rebel

Boob, which will be shown at The Old Market

as part of the Reigning Women programme this

month, and again during Brighton Fringe.

Angela, who heads up Speak Up! Act Out!, a

community interest theatre company, has woven

the testimonies of a number of local women to

create a play that uses digital technology along

with heart-rending monologues and movement

to take the audience on their own journey.

She wants to shine a light on the period when

treatment stops and you have to learn how to

move on and live your life again.

“We are still in the dark about cancer. It is still

a taboo subject and we aren’t talking enough

about the numbers of women – and men – who

survive and go on to live rich, fulfilling lives,”

explains Angela.

“This play is not about chemotherapy and

it’s not about death, even though we may talk

about it a bit. It’s about life, and it is about reevaluating

who you are and what is important.

“It is a raw, funny, honest and beautiful insight

into the magic which can happen when your life

as you know it stops. This piece is all about the

strength of women, and what our bodies and

minds are capable of.”

As part of the preparations for Rebel Boob, Angela

recently ran a retreat-style weekend – with yoga

sessions, theatre workshops and more – to thank

the women who are taking part. It’s something

she’d like to do more of. “We hope to incorporate

this into a future outreach programme

and offer sessions for women affected by breast

cancer throughout the South East.

“Our first performance at The Old Market is

going to be a research and development piece

so there’s the chance for the audience to ask

questions and give feedback at the end to help

us shape the performance to reflect what people

feel. We also have a residency at Brighton Girls’

independent school which we are using to share a

message of resilience and empowering women, to

show that nothing can hold us back.”

Ellie Evans

The Old Market, 13th March, 7.30pm


Black Chandelier (2012) courtesy the artist and Connaught Brown

Shani Rhys James

Tea on the sofa, blood on the carpet

Heartbreak and tension lurk beneath the

surface of polite domesticity in a new exhibition

at Charleston. Tea on the sofa, blood on

the carpet brings together recent works by

the world renowned, Jerwood Prize-winning

Welsh painter Shani Rhys James. On these

vast canvases, scenes from the artist’s past

play out again through the distorting mirror

of memory in an expressionistic, somewhat

abstracted style. Several are blood red

and convey a surreal, almost horror movie

intensity while, in others, huge gimlet eyed

faces silently accuse us. In Rhys James’s world,

‘domestic’ is emphatically never shorthand

for ‘pretty’ or ‘comforting’.

Rhys James was born in Australia in the 1950s

but moved to the UK in her childhood, a dislocation

that seems to have affected her profoundly.

‘I’m trying to make sense of my own

personal mythology’, she mused in a recent

documentary. One picture, Glass of Water visits

Rhys James’s mother in bed after a stroke,

her face radiating fear and helplessness. The

bed in which she cowers, metal-framed and

somewhat cage-like, has transformed from a

refuge into a prison. It’s powerful stuff.

Alongside the intensity in this show, however,

it’s worth saying that there’s plenty of beauty

on display – albeit of a slightly wild and untethered

variety. Rhys James’s sense of colour

is keenest in a brace of flower paintings, one

of which, Boy and Bouquet, is a highlight of the

show. The blooms fill the onlooker’s field of

vision with paint so thick they seem to cast

their own shadows.

The show has been carefully chosen for




Charleston, and provides an interesting

dialogue with the main collection. The

neighbouring gallery offers a small display

examining the work of former Charleston

residents Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell,

whose own complicated family dynamics play

out across colourful canvases depicting, much

as in Rhys James’s work, interior scenes with

flower vases and decorative wallpaper.

Rhys James herself also makes the point that

in the main farmhouse, which is preserved

as a time capsule of the Bloomsbury group,

‘the chairs, the bowls, the plates, the table

were all aesthetically chosen and became part

of their painting.’ Her dramas are likewise

presented in domestic spaces in which bowls

and glasses, kettles and jars assume totemic,

oftentimes frightening significance. In several

pieces, for example, the artist depicts pots

of her mother’s beloved anti-wrinkle cream.

These are steeped in pathos: impotent

weapons against time’s unstoppable march.

In one such work, Oil of Ulay 2, Rhys James

appears to have scratched lines into the

paint with the other end of the brush, in a

kind of impassioned counter-assault against

her mother’s desire to apply balm and make

everything smooth.

These are intensely physical pictures, best

enjoyed in the flesh. They are wilfully confrontational,

deliberately provoking a certain

discomfort in the viewer, while simultaneously

offering a cathartic, even uplifting experience.

We connect to Rhys James’s passion.

She returns us to our own domestic worlds,

our senses sharpened. It’s an engaging exhibition,

and a rare chance to enjoy the work of

one of Britain’s most exciting living painters.

Peter James Field

Tea on the sofa, blood on the carpet continues

until 19th April 2020. Ticket also includes

entry to Gifted exhibition.


Glass of Water (2017) courtesy the artist and Connaught Brown

Boy and Bouquet (2017) courtesy the artist and Connaught Brown

Shani Rhys James in her studio © Graham CopeKoga









25 MARCH, 12:30PM-LATE





‘Oil Sure


by Rue Asher

80cm x 80cm

Acrylic on canvas

How abstract is this work?

It’s not entirely abstract. It’s

part of a self-initiated project.

I’ve been going down to

the Pells area in Lewes, and

drawing, using black acrylic

on white paper. I also like to

write – not what I’d describe

as poetry, but streams of words

to describe what I see and hear

and feel. Sometimes I make

videos too. Then I go back

to the studio and cut up my

sketches, and make collages

from the pieces, which, along

with the words and recordings,

spark off the inspiration for

my paintings. I’m trying to

describe the full sensory experience

of being in that space.

Are the colours you’ve used

representative of the setting?

They are reminiscent of

the mood I was in when I was

in that space. I love colour but

I prefer to limit my palette, so

it becomes about the value and

tone of the colours.

You’re a therapist, as well.

Are the two careers a good

‘fit’? Art is a very solitary

business, and sometimes,

even when I’m not painting,

I like to sit in silence: that’s

when the best thoughts come.

My therapy work is all about

meeting people, and that’s

a real pleasure. But they

can have a lot in common.

Therapy explores how people

sometimes distort and alter

their experiences in order to

form memories. Making art

can be a similar process.

Has any other painter

directly influenced this

painting? The contemporary

painters I admire don’t

always make work that looks

like mine. I love Hsaio-Mei

Lin, Marlene Dumas, Rose

Wylie, Cathie Pilkington,

Barbara Rae and Fiona Rae.

All women!

Do you work in silence?

No, I have to have music on.

It’s funny, the more abstract

my work becomes, the more

abstract the music I like to

play. I used to listen to a lot

of Nick Cave; now I’m just as

likely to listen to contemporary

classical composers like

Anna Þorvaldsdóttir or Hildur


Are you a messy painter?

The paint goes everywhere!

But hopefully everything ends

up in the right place.

Interview by Alex Leith

Rue is the featured artist at

Chalk Gallery, Lewes, from

24th February to 8th March.




Flexible and affordable drawing,

painting and printmaking classes all

year round, open to all abilities.

For details of our drop-in life drawing

programme and painting & printmaking

workshops visit draw-brighton.co.uk

or follow us: @Draw_Brighton

TOWNER Eastbourne

Alan Davie


David Hockney

Early Works

15 February to 31 May 2020

Devonshire Park, BN21 4JJ




Towner Members can enjoy unlimited

free access to this ticketed show.

Join for as little as £35 per year.

David Hockney, Arizona, 1964, acrylic on canvas, 60 60 ins

© David Hockney, photo: Fabrice Gibert



Group Drawing (WIP) by Kelvin Burke


In town this month

The Rockets

stage a gallery


at Phoenix


later this month.

From the 7th of March, join them for

Work in Progress: Towards Inclusion – a

major exhibition and programme of

pop-up art events led by the artists collective. Described

as ‘diverse artists with diverse practices for

diverse audiences’, the programme includes artists’

walks; meeting the makers; thinking-through-doing

workshops and inclusive interventions. ‘Noone

should tell you what to do in the gallery’ says

Louella Forrest, Rocket Artist and member of the

curation team, so expect the unexpected. (Continues

until 26th April, Wed–Sun, 11-5pm)

Alongside the fascinating

collection of

bones and birds, the

Booth Museum of

Natural History

hosts a stunning selection of wildlife photographs.

The twelve images were shortlisted

from more than 600 entries for

the Sussex Wildlife Trust 2020 online

calendar: download a new image each

month at sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk. Entry

to the Booth Museum is free, see brightonmuseums.org.uk/booth

for opening

times. Also, free to visit for two weekends

this month is Kemp Town’s wonderful

Secret Garden. Usually hidden behind

high walls and locked gates, don’t miss

this rare opportunity to enjoy some tea

and cake on the terrace on the 21st, 22nd,

28th and 29th of March. (11am–5pm,

secretgardenkemptown.co.uk )

Photo by Paul Boyland

Kemp Town Secret Garden

Join Fabrica for their

2020 programme launch

event and fundraiser on

the 19th of March. Be the

first to hear what’s in store

at the gallery this year and

enjoy an evening of talks

by exhibiting artists, music

by Sie Medway Smith

and an interactive installation

by digital artist and creative coder Seb Lee

Delisle. All proceeds go towards the gallery’s artistic

and community engagement programmes. (6-

10pm, £12, free for members. Book at fabrica.org.

uk/events) Also, at Fabrica this month, students

on the Art & Design Extended Diploma at East

Sussex College Lewes present a free exhibition

entitled WE ARE HERE, with painting, sculpture

and photography all responding to the theme of

climate change. (25th-26th March, 10am-4pm)


Jiyoun Kang

On March 25th, Brighton’s digital arts

charity Lighthouse present The Space in

Sound: a day of talks and an evening performance

at The Old Market (12.30pm-

11pm). Suitable for anyone with an interest

in the creative possibilities of sound,

the event brings together leading sound

designers, composers, DJs and sound artists,

offering a unique opportunity to sit

within a 360º sonic scape and experience

some of the most exciting and innovative

electronic musicians working today. Tickets


£10, visit


org.uk for





Hot wax painting suitable for beginners, students and practicing artists

interested in using an ancient medium in a contemporary manner

Weekend workshops,

tuition and practice

covering all aspects of

painting with hot wax


Cost £150 pp.

10.00 till 4.00pm.

All materials provided

All materials provided

together with

a sandwich lunch.


British Painting and






We look forward to welcoming

you to our gallery in Hove.

Wednesday 25th March 10-4pm

Thursday 26th March 10-4pm

Admission is free

Please visit our website for

further details.





In town (cont.)

Coming up early next month, the first ever annual Brighton

Design Show takes place between the 2nd-5th of April in Wagner

Hall. Part of Design Brighton – a new festival featuring the urban environment – it focuses on products

and interiors showcasing the best established and graduate designer/makers working locally. Enjoy the

retail exhibition, design installations, pop up design and book store, and a varied schedule of talks and

workshops for all ages. (See brightondesignshow.com for details)

Spark & Bell

Cliffs at Peacehaven Early Spring by Julian Le Bas

Out of town

Encounters – a solo exhibition of new

works by Julian Le Bas – is at Lewes

House from the 7th-15th (10am-

5pm). Born in 1958, Julian is a master

of plein air painting and has been

capturing the light rolling across the

Sussex Downland for decades. This

exhibition features familiar local vistas

as well as seascapes and landscapes

from the Scilly Isles, along with still

life paintings and drawings. (See

sarahokane.co.uk for details)

Whist at AltPitch

AltPitch is in Hastings

this month (20th, 27th and

29th). This mini festival

merges the arts, technology

and business communities

with a programme of

workshops, talks, performances

and networking

opportunities designed to help “people think about

technology in a more responsible way”. Free tickets

for under 20s (altpitch.org). The programme for the

31st Charleston Festival (15th-25th May) has been

published, with themes including the interaction

between art and politics, the climate crisis, inspirational

change-makers and identity politics weaving

through it. Highlights include appearances by Salman

Rushdie, Ai Weiwei, Bernardine Evaristo,

Tom Stoppard and Gloria Steinem and actors

Helena Bonham Carter and Tobias Menzies read

the intense love letters that passed between Lydia

Lopokova, star of the Ballets Russes, and brilliant

economist John Maynard Keynes in a specially commissioned

piece. Priority booking is underway; general

ticket sales open on the 5th March, with 1,000

£10 tickets available for festival goers aged under 30.

The exhibition of early works by Alan Davie and David Hockney continues at

Towner Gallery. Comprising 45 paintings, collages and drawings made between

1948 and1965, the exhibition explores the convergence between these two major

figures of post-war British painting, tracing their parallel paths and shared preoccupations

with passion, love, sex and poetry. Brink – an exhibition of works from the

Towner’s own collection, curated by Caroline Lucas – continues alongside.

David Hockney, Self Portrait, 1954

© David Hockney



This month Adam Bronkhorst visited the extraordinary Martlets hospice

in Hove. He asked five of the people who work there:

“What’s the best part of your job?”

adambronkhorst.com | 07879 401333


Imelda Glackin, CEO

‘‘Working with an extraordinary team of people every day, all working

towards the same goal. I have learned so much about what is truly important

in life from patients and those close to them.’’


Heidi Pession, Senior Specialist Palliative Care

Occupational Therapist (& Rehab Team Clinical Lead)

“It’s a privilege to help people at the end of their life to achieve their goals, enhance

their independence, maximise their quality of life and maintain their dignity.”


James Dunbar, Sister

“When I decided to specialise in palliative care, I never expected to work

with such a positive, friendly and skilled team doing amazing work

every day – it’s extraordinarily life-affirming.”


Robert Parker, Area Sales Manager

“The best part of my job is working in a busy retail environment with a real purpose.

Every sale is supporting our community and it’s a great feeling.”


Dr Simone Ali, Medical Director and Consultant in Palliative Medicine

“Helping people to achieve things they thought were impossible, when they feel all

hope has gone. There is no greater reminder of why I do what I do than

when I see patients and colleagues smile.”


“My child’s health

inspired my new

career in Nutrition”

By Mariana Sheppard, CNM

Nutritional Therapy graduate

(College of Naturopathic Medicine)

I decided to study nutrition at CNM after

experiencing the impact diet changes had on my

little girl’s health. She was very poorly between the

age of 1 and 3, with frequent trips to the hospital

due to recurrent chest infections and asthma-like

symptoms. She was prescribed corticosteroids,

antibiotics and a variety of inhalers, but I was

frustrated at simply managing my daughter’s

symptoms with medication and not actually seeing

any progress in her health. We received no nutritional

or lifestyle advice.

I consulted a nutritional therapist and worked

with her to modify my little girl’s diet, remove

allergens and improve her gut, including with

supplementation. She got progressively better. Her

colds became less frequent and less problematic;

within 6 months she no longer needed inhalers and

now she is a very healthy and active child. We keep a

‘reliever’ inhaler at home as a safety precaution, just

in case she catches a bad cold.

My daughter’s experience was an eye-opener

for me and I decided to re-train and become a

Nutritional Therapist, firstly in order to know how to

continuously manage and improve my own family’s

health, but also to help educate others.

I had previously worked in Marketing but after I had

my children, I ran my own online retail business from

home so I could work around them. As they grew, I

wanted a career, but also the flexibility of fitting my

hours around the school schedule.

CNM offered both mid-week and weekend classes

in Manchester, with the added flexibility of doing

much of the work remotely. The fact that the college

also operates from other cities around the country

meant that, if necessary, lectures and clinics could be

attended at other locations. They offered a package

that enabled me to work around my family’s needs.

My studies were enjoyable, insightful and sociable. I

met so many amazing students on the course, from

different backgrounds and with different motives

for studying. We became friends, and still have a

mutually supportive network. I really enjoyed the fact

that we were taught by different lecturers depending

on the subject. This gave me a good insight into

different research methods and clinic styles. What

I learnt at CNM has allowed me to turn my passion

into a totally fulfilling career.

I work as a Nutritional Therapist at a long established

clinic, as well as setting up my own clinic. What I

love about practising is the people that I get to work

with, and being part of their journey to better health.

No two days are the same; there is always a new

challenge and new areas to explore. My knowledge,

and continuous research and personal development

in the field, allows me to help others.

I am also active on social media, giving people little

snippets of how nutrition has helped our family, and

giving tips on healthy eating and living. I regularly

record and post videos on YouTube to show families

how they, too, can encourage kids to make better

choices when it comes to food.

Mariana Sheppard, CNM Naturopathic Nutrition Graduate

CNM has an exceptional 22-year track record training successful natural

therapy practitioners in class and online. Colleges across the UK and Ireland.

Visit naturopathy-uk.com or call 01342 410 505




Food from the fire

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening of

Kindling since hearing that Ramin and Jane

Mostowfi, the duo who ran Food For Friends for

15 years, were setting up a new restaurant in East

Street. Their concept for Kindling is a simple

one: good food, done well, using the best locally

reared meat, sustainably sourced fish and, with

their track record in innovative vegetarian dining,

plenty of interesting meat-free options too.

Refurbished from top to bottom, the dining

room has a sophisticated but relaxed atmosphere

with wood, stone and leather surfaces all

softened by trailing greenery. It feels intimate but

uncrowded, with space for around 40 diners and

a counter overlooking the open kitchen.

The menu is divided into snacks, small and large

plates for sharing, as well as tasting menus for

two or more, feasting menus for larger tables

and leisurely Sunday lunches. Tristan and I start

with a couple of snacks: smoked salt and pepper

almonds, and panisse (a polenta-like chickpea

cake) with tomato and fennel ketchup, alongside

an amuse bouche of pickled radish with very

crunchy crackers, and a tiny halibut fishcake.

From the small plates we choose a cold ember

baked leek with buckwheat and smoked plaice

roe. Many of the dishes can be adapted for

different diets and the accommodating staff

happily offer to serve the fish roe on the side. We

also order a salad of grilled chicory, caramelised

shallot and Granny Smith apple with goat’s curd.

The kitchen is equipped with a wood-fired open

grill which adds a smoky char to the vegetables,

softening them and intensifying their flavour.

Tristan orders the faggot and is delighted with

the generous ball of coarsely minced beef, lamb,

venison and liver. It is dark and treacly on the

outside, moist and deep red on the inside and

served with puréed, caramelised swede and a

rich brown butter jus. I’ve rarely missed eating

meat in my nine years as a vegetarian but,

with chef Toby Geneen formerly of London’s

acclaimed ‘nose to tail’ restaurant St John in

the kitchen, I can’t help but feel I’m missing

out this evening. It’s obvious that the meat here

is meticulously sourced and cooked with due

reverence. The huge Old Spot pork chops and

great chunks of beef hung to rest above the grill

look absolutely delicious.

The larger plates are designed for sharing and we

choose a whole roasted cauliflower cooked until

soft and nutty with caramelised hazelnut, wild

fennel and caper dressing. It’s possibly a little too

much cauliflower for the two of us but the sides

of salty fries with garlic mayo and chargrilled

hispi cabbage broaden out the taste and texture.

Dessert is my favourite dish of the night: a

mouth-watering arrangement of just tender

rhubarb, brittle brandy snap and silky, citrus ice

cream. It’s sherberty sharpness tempered just so

by the sweet filigree of biscuit. Good food, done

well, indeed.

Lizzie Lower

£125 for two, including wine and service.

69 East Street, kindlingrestaurant.com




Photo by Gemma Ogston




Roasted roots happy salad

Gemma Ogston makes plant-based

food to boost your mood

Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen started about three or

four years ago, when we were living in Barcelona

and I was cooking plant-based food for a few

friends. Then we came back to Brighton and the

business slowly grew. I started making breakfast

pots for Smorls, then energy bars and granola for

HISBE, and that became The Nourish Package

where we deliver prepared meals daily for the first

week of the month. It’s not a diet or a weight loss

programme; We’re offering nourishing food and

inspiration for plant-based meals that you could

go on to cook at home. You don’t have to be

vegan or to eat this way all of the time, but eating

more plant-based food does make you feel better,

both physically and mentally.

I post pictures of my food on Instagram but

I’ve never thought to post the recipes. My posts

caught the eye of someone at Penguin Random

House who asked if I’d ever thought about doing

a book. I’d always wanted to write about mood

boosting foods, so that’s how The Self-Care Cookbook

came about. It includes around 60 recipes

and wellbeing suggestions curated into sections

to help you restore, rebalance, reflect and renew.

They are all really simple to follow and pretty low

budget, so the food is accessible to everybody.

I love this roasted roots happy salad. Most people

have some root vegetables in their fridge and you

could use any here. I quite often make this the

day after a roast when I’ve got left over veggies.

Importantly, there are nuts in here and I talk

about nuts quite a lot. Walnuts and brazil nuts in

particular are very high in the mineral selenium,

which has been proven to help reduce anxiety.

Nuts can really help to boost your mental health.

Another thing that’s important in food is colour –

that alone makes you feel happy. This salad looks

beautiful, it’s super easy to make and I just love it.

Recipe: Quarter 2 carrots and 2 parsnips lengthways,

quarter 2 red onions, cut 2 raw beetroot and

1 red pepper into chunks. Toss them all together

in a bowl with a glug of olive oil, 1tbsp of honey

and salt & pepper. Spread them on a lined baking

tin with 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic and roast at

200 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, gently toast 200g of walnuts in a dry

frying pan over a medium heat until they turn a

darker shade of brown. Don’t leave them or they

will burn! Set aside to cool. Prepare the dressing

by whisking together 1 clove of peeled and

chopped garlic, 1 tbsp of mustard, 75ml of raw

cider apple vinegar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 100 ml

extra virgin olive oil, 1-2 tbsp of honey and salt &

pepper to taste.

In a salad bowl place 100g of spinach, a bunch

of chopped parsley and the walnuts. Add the

roasted veggies along with the juices from the

roasting tin. Toss well, sprinkle with 1 tbsp of

pomegranate seeds and drizzle over the dressing.

Garnish with edible flowers like primrose and

chive if you have them. As told to Lizzie Lower

Insta: @gemswholesomekitchen

The Self-Care Cookbook (£14.99) is published

by Vermillion and is available locally from City

Books, Cookbookbake, and Hold (as well as all

major booksellers).


Join us at Polpo Brighton for 10% off

your meal and a complimentary bellini!

31st March to 30th April.

20 New Rd, Brighton BN1 1UF

www.polpo.co.uk | @polpo_restaurants



Café Domenica

Bookish and bounteous

There’s a communal buzz at Café Domenica, based in Hove Library. A

striking pink colour scheme and a bountiful display of homemade cakes

and snacks does a good job of luring one in, along with the extensive range of hot drinks and sandwiches.

I’m keen to try their homemade mango chutney, so I opt for the chicken mango sandwich on brown

sourdough (£4.10). The chutney gives the sandwich a sweet, atypical, but not unwelcome new flavour: a

tasty curio. Anna goes for a more conventional ‘mediterraneo’ sandwich, with creamy homemade hummus

and roasted vegetables (£3.90). We both love the sourdough, which reminds Anna of Cypriot village bread:

similarly fresh and springy. She chooses some vegan bread pudding for her dessert, and enjoys how it’s nicely

spiced, with “notes of citrus”.

The Hove Library site is a training café for Team Domenica, who provide employment programmes for people

with learning disabilities. Their café in Hove is partly staffed by Team Domenica’s ‘candidates’, and the

food is freshly prepared by them too. I’m recommended the coffee and walnut cake by one candidate, which

he made himself (£2.85). It’s delicious: a strong coffee flavour, fluffy texture and a generous sugary mousse.

We really enjoy the very affordable, fresh food, in lovely bookish surroundings. And it can’t hurt to support a

good project while also bolstering library visitor numbers. Joe Fuller

Hove Library, 188 Church Road, teamdomenica.com


Sod the supermarkets.

Form a cooperative.

Dare to hope, to trust your neighbour,

to choose our children’s futures.

Tell yourself: “Three times a day,

I get to vote with my fork.”

Together we can achieve

what felt impossible alone.


Ethical organic veg. Delivered.

01273 880788


A-news bouche

A collective of Brighton women have

formed a new brewing company, Siduri

Brewing Co. They’re launching their first

beer, session IPA You Get What You’re

Given, at Brighton Beer Dispensary on

Sat 7th, just before International Women’s

Day. Beer experts in the collective include

Emmy Tilley from BBD, Gemma Harries

from Worthing’s Beer No Evil,

Sally O’Connor from Bedlam

Brewery, and Franklins

brewer Jaye Arghbuckle.

The Salt Room have a new head chef:

Lawrence McCarthy. McCarthy was

most recently head chef at Michelin

starred Tristan’s, in Horsham and will

be introducing a new menu, including

small plates such as mackerel nduja &

salted ricotta, spicy samphire

bhajis with brown crab

mayo, and scorched raw

mullet with egg yolk,

sake and finger lime.

The College of Naturopathic Medicine

– who specialise in fields such as nutrition

and how to prepare food as a ‘natural chef’

– are hosting an open event on the 21st,

10.30am-12.30pm, Brighton Aldridge

Community Academy. Lewes-based café

Soul Soup – who serve plant-based food

using produce once destined for landfill –

are popping up at Presuming

Ed Coffee house. Check

their Instagram account

soulsoup.cafe for weekend

brunch dates and

more info.




Real people, real bodies

An intimate portrait series by photographer

Emma Croman, Valid explores our feelings of

validity around our physical selves. Delivered

by way of a weekly newsletter, subscribers will

receive a real person’s story and portrait in their

inbox each Tuesday.

How does the name Valid summarise the

project? What it boils down to, is that everyone

just wants to feel valid in taking up space

in the world. I feel so fortunate to have captured

such a range of people and their stories

about the different things that stop them from

feeling valid.

How did it all start? For ages, I knew I

wanted to do a portrait project around the

body. Somebody fat-shamed me at the Lewes

Bonfire just over a year ago, and I shared

something about it in my Instagram stories.

So many people got in touch saying they

were so glad I shared, because the same

thing had happened to them. The word valid

came up so much. There are so many things

about our physical selves that hold us back in

life because of our feelings around validity,

things like: ‘I’ll go on that dating app when

I’ve lost a stone,’ or: ‘Maybe if my nose was

smaller, I’d feel valid.’ And, actually, we’re

absolutely valid as we are.




The stories and portraits are beautifully captured.

What’s your process? I sit down with

each person for about an hour and have a conversation,

then we do the photos. There have

been a couple of occasions where people have

been super nervous, especially when they’ve

been taking their clothes off. People always have

the choice to stay clothed, but mostly people

have wanted to liberate themselves, which has

been amazing. It’s actually all shot in a meeting

room at Platf9rm! I wanted the portraits against

a grey, neutral backdrop that lets people’s personalities

shine through.

How can people be part of Valid? There is

still an open call for participants. I want to cover

more stories around disability, skin difference

and gender identity. So far, the people who’ve

come forward to take part feel a sense of empowerment,

and they are on path to self-acceptance.

Towards the end of each story, they’ve

talked about how they’ve felt more empowered

by the body positivity movement there is now,

which is an example of the positive power social

media can have.

Has Valid helped you on your path to self

acceptance? If I hadn’t had my experience, I

wouldn’t be here doing this. Brené Brown said:

‘When we own the story, we can write a brave

new ending.’ That’s where I’m at with Valid –

when we really own our story, we can change

the ending for the better.

What’s next for Valid? I’ve just launched a

crowdfunder for a Valid coffee table book and

an exhibition. Valid will run for six months, and

at the end of the project, the book will contain

26 stories. Rose Dykins interviewed Emma Croman



Onemed Medical Centre

Health in the Mind




Pioneering in-house counselling

Brighton and Sussex University

Hospitals NHS Trust offers an inhouse

counselling service known as

HELP (Health, Employee, Learning

and Psychotherapy) to its staff

of around 8,500. We spoke to the

service’s manager, Donna Butler,

who developed the HELP model

while working as a psychotherapist

in Royal Sussex County Hospital’s

A&E department.

“HELP covers two sites: the Royal Sussex

and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards

Heath. Referrals to HELP can be for clinical or

non-clinical staff members. Regarding therapy,

one size doesn’t fit all so we offer person-centred,

Gestalt and psychodynamic therapy, CBT, and

mindfulness for example.”

Do NHS staff have any particular mental health

needs? “You have to be really mindful of being

exposed to trauma, such as dealing with deaths

in the hospital. And that burnout is more likely

for people who see suffering in other people. It’s

about us catching signs of trauma before it gets

too far down the line. We can all break, we all

have a finite level.”

HELP also offers specialist EMDR trauma

therapy (eye movement and desensitisation and

reprocessing) to help employees overcome such

trauma. “It’s normal to be a little bit shaky for a

while after a traumatic event, or to have flashbacks

for a certain period of time. We use EMDR

if these flashbacks are not decreasing over time.

In REM sleep we’re processing what’s gone on in

the day: EMDR mimics some of that and helps

us to process and work through events. It’s quite

remarkable: I’ve had it myself.”

HELP now supports around 500 members of

staff every year, and referrals have

been steadily increasing since it

launched in 2009: Donna sees a

clear link between cuts to public

services, benefits and social care,

and the impact they have on employees’

mental health. HELP has

received ‘Best Practice’ recognition

from the NHS, and Donna gets

“enquiries from other Trusts”, who

might adopt the model themselves.

The success of HELP has led to her writing a

book with friend and prolific author, Gill Hasson,

which has been endorsed by the Chief Executive

of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie. Mental

Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace outlines

“really practical measures for employers and

employees. There are case studies too, such as an

ex-Paramedic who was burning out because they

couldn’t say no, and were taking on too much.

“We mention Wellness Action Plans, which are

a helpful tool: managers can sit down and have

conversations with employees about what’s going

to keep them well, and what managers should

look out for if an employee is having a decline.”

Donna explains that it takes emotionally intelligent

managers to recognise the importance

of good mental health and wellbeing in the

workplace. “We train managers, not only to raise

the awareness of what to look out for, but also in

what to do about it. If you are going to get the

best performance out of staff, you have to look

after them. But you’ve got to have buy-in from a

senior level, as well as all the way across whatever

hierarchical system that you have.”

Joe Fuller

Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace is

published in May, by Wiley Publishing


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The Royal Sussex County Hospital

The 3Ts redevelopment

We’ve all used the Royal

Sussex County Hospital

over the decades. You

might have been born

there, like my older

son, or had treatment.

Happy times and sad

times, but one thing we

all knew – it wasn’t a very

nice place: a warren of

buildings, some very old, hard to navigate; overall

a joyless experience. Now we’re getting a brand

new state of the art hospital. It’s a tricky build on

a very constrained site. There was a lot of talk a

while back about building a new hospital out of

town which probably wasn’t a bad idea, it would

have certainly been easier to construct, but it was

decided it should stay in Kemp Town and it’s well

on the way to completion now. It’s costing around

£500 million and it’s called the ‘3Ts Redevelopment’,

Teaching, Trauma and Tertiary Care.

By last summer the main structure had been

completed and now the exterior is progressing

fast. You must have noticed the helideck on the

roof of the Thomas Kemp Tower, you can see it

from all around the city. This means you won’t

see helicopters landing in the city’s parks any

more (unless Elton’s doing another gig). It will

be a significant care improvement for critically

ill patients.

The new hospital is being built in phases, the

first being the south east corner, and that’s very

well progressed, as you will have noticed if you’ve

taken the No7 bus along Edward Street. Once it

is complete all the services in the Barry Building

(the oldest building still

in use by the NHS apparently)

will be transferred

here. Work can then

begin on the next stage,

a lower building that will

house the new Cancer

Centre, with more than

double the capacity of the

existing facility, and will

include a large roof garden, a place of calm for

patients and their friends and family. The final

stage will replace the current Cancer Centre with

a new service yard.

Overall there will be over 40 wards with five

times as much space per bed compared to what

there is now. The majority of the beds will be

in single, en-suite rooms. Anyone who has had

treatment at the Sussex County or has visited

friends or family will appreciate what a change

that will be. The others will be in single sex,

four-bedded bays. Parking, always a controversial

issue, is also being sorted, with dedicated patient

and visitor parking beneath the new buildings.

And it will be much easier to get around the

hospital site from the new entrance hall.

A delightful feature is CONNECT, the public art

programme, which aims to “enhance the hospital

environment for patients, staff and visitors”.

Good public art can make it easier to find your

way around the buildings, raise the spirits and just

make the whole place feel less institutional.

Nobody wants to go to hospital. But if you do

have to, it will, very soon, be a far more pleasurable

experience. Paul Zara


Grassroots Suicide Prevention

Life-saving converstaions

“The fact that one in five people considers

suicide in their lifetime still shocks me,” says

Alex Harvey, “and I’ve worked in this field

for more than ten years. But it is a lot more

common than most of us assume and I think

we don’t realise because we don’t often talk

about it.” Brighton-based charity Grassroots,

where Harvey works as a Development Officer,

is trying to change that. By opening up the

conversation around suicide, it hopes to reduce

the number of people dying.

Since the charity was founded 14 years ago, it

has trained around 16,000 people in suicide

prevention and it is now rolling out its model to

the general public via its Stay Alive app, downloadable

resources, Real Talk interactive video

and workshops – including a series of free, short

courses available in the evening and at weekends.

While the charity’s two-day training courses

teach skills ranging from ‘core listening’ to how

to carry out a full intervention, the shorter sessions

are primarily intended to give people the

confidence to start a conversation with someone

they are concerned about and connect them with

further support.

The training advises people to be aware of

potential markers that someone may be thinking

about suicide. “It might be that you’ve noticed

someone isn’t looking after themselves, or is

using drugs or alcohol a lot. Perhaps they are

behaving in a way that’s out of character. You

might use these things as a segue into saying that

you are worried about them.” It’s important then

to really listen, he explains: “Don’t just jump

into problem-solving mode. Let them talk.”

But at some point the question of whether they

are thinking about suicide should be raised. “If

you ask directly, you’re letting someone know




that you’re prepared for them to answer yes.

If they are thinking about it, it can be an

incredible release to have that conversation

and can really shift someone’s trajectory. If

they’re not, it’s a myth that you can put the

idea in someone’s mind. We’re simply not

that impressionable.”

Those who have completed the charity’s

in-depth training might then work with the

person to develop a plan for staying safe.

“In suicide prevention a key principle is that

between life and death there’s a third option

which is staying ‘safe for now’. You’re not

choosing to live or to die in that moment, but

just giving yourself space to think.” Others

might use it as a cue to signpost the person to

professional services (the Stay Alive app offers

a useful list: bit.ly/getstayalive). “One of

the barriers to people talking about suicide is

the idea that if you ask someone about it you

suddenly become responsible for that person.

But often the most important thing is actually

to connect them with further support, rather

than taking it on yourself.”

Research shows that around two thirds of

people who die by suicide have not accessed

professional help. “So we know there could

be a huge impact if more of us felt able to

start these conversations with people we’re

concerned about, and connect them with

help. Talking might not sound like much but

it really could save someone’s life.”

Nione Meakin

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and need support, you can:

• Call your GP and ask for an emergency appointment

• Call NHS 111 for out-of-hours help

• Contact your mental health crisis team (in Brighton & Hove this is on

0300 304 0078, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

• Phone a free helpline such as:

• Samaritans who offer a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week support service.

Call them free on 116 123

• CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) open 5pm-midnight.

Call 0800 58 58 58

• Papyrus HOPElineUK for young people up to the age of 35 or

anyone concerned about a young person. Call 0800 068 4141

For a list of further resources you can visit the Grassroots website:



“Every time you spend money,

you’re casting a vote for the

kind of world you want.”

Anna Lappé

Lewes FC is the only football club in the world to

pay its women's team the same as its men's team.

Endorse us, support us and help us do more.





Rachel Larkin

Helping female migrants find a voice

“I didn’t know her name, or her

country of origin, and I knew nothing

about her life experiences.”

Rachel Larkin is remembering the

moment when, as a social worker

on the south coast, she became

responsible for the care of a teenage

girl found abandoned at a UK port.

Despite her professional training

and years of experience, Rachel felt

ill-equipped to work out how best to support

this young woman in the care system.

“The majority of migrants coming to the UK

are young men,” she says. “Their journeys

and experiences are likely to have been quite

different from unaccompanied females under

the age of 18, who may have been trafficked or

sexually exploited.”

When she realised that their voices were underrepresented

in guidance for social work practice,

Rachel took action.

She returned to the University of Sussex, where

she had studied for her Masters in Social Work

in the 1990s, and began doctoral research into

the experiences of both the unaccompanied

young females – who account for just a quarter

of those seeking asylum – and the social workers

tasked with helping them.

Through interviews and by encouraging both

the social workers and the refugees to do “free

drawing” to express their thoughts and feelings,

Rachel and her PhD supervisor Professor Michelle

Lefevre began to understand some of the

underlying issues.

“Creative methods help people to express those

thoughts that they find difficult to verbalise,”

she says. “For example, one of the social workers

drew a boat with migrants and a

question mark because she found it

hard to understand why the young

woman she was helping wasn’t more

traumatised by her dramatic boat

journey. She found herself doubting

the story.”

And far from identifying as passive

and vulnerable, one adolescent with

aspirations to be a doctor (an ambition

denied her in her own country) drew her

social worker as a protective tree, and herself as

a series of trees – with the last being taller than

that of her social worker.

“Having spent their early lives in spaces where

being young and female was constructed in

particular ways, their notions of what was

possible as a young woman were shifting,”

says Rachel. “But in the UK they feared being

viewed through fixed lenses that they could not

influence and which might affect their support

and care.”

She found that, from the refugees’ perspective,

it was critical for them to be seen as individuals

rather than victims, and to have consistency of

contact with a social worker who could get to

know them.

Rachel, co-editor of the social work practice text

book Social Work with Refugees, Asylum Seekers

and Migrants, is continuing to feed her findings

into social work practice.

“This is a critical time to understand these

refugees,” she says. “The climate crisis is likely

to create greater numbers and we’re seeing a rise

in hate crimes. To make sure that social workers

can provide appropriate care, we need to hear

the voices of these teenagers.” Jacqui Bealing


my vet’s open

all night

Susan Hart, Lewes.

The Coastway Vets’ veterinary hospital

in central Brighton is open 24 hours a

day for emergency cases and provides

cover for most of the region’s vets every

evening, weekend and bank holiday.

For more details call:

01273 478100


One of the country’s finest Elizabethan houses with award-winning gardens.

Set within an ancient deer park below the South Downs.

Open 12 April – 11 October 2020

on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Photograph: Trevor Sims




Common Frog

Passion in the pond

Illustration by Mark Greco

My friend Alf passed away recently. He loved

Sussex and he loved wildlife but Alf’s real passion

was amphibians: newts, frogs and toads. Alf loved

them so much his funeral service ended with

that Paul McCartney Frog Chorus song. That’s

commitment for you. I spent the rest of the

week with that annoying ‘bom-bom-bom-ayee-aye’

tune rolling round my head. I’m sure Alf

was laughing somewhere. While I was helping

Alf’s family clear his house I was honoured to be

given one of his prize possessions: a clock which

chimes each hour by playing a variety of frog

croaks. Long ago Alf’s wife, Iris had made him

take the batteries out because it was unbearable.

But there was no silencing Alf’s pond each spring.

Each year it would come alive with the sound

of a real frog chorus. Alf was proud of his pond.

Creating a garden pond, no matter what size, is

one of the best things you can do to help wildlife

in your garden. If you’re lucky in March it will

turn into a hotbed of sexual activity as Common

Frogs return to mate and lay their eggs. After

spending the winter hidden away in the garden

it’s time to go a-courting.

Approach the pond quietly with a torch and you

can observe the mating frogs. Look closely and

you may be able to identify the male frog (darker

with a bluish tinge to his throat) and the female

(white granulations on her flanks). But if you

can’t notice these features, then the males are

on top and the females are on the bottom. The

lustful male will hop on the female and grasp

her as tight as he can. He even develops special

extra-grip pads on his forearms so she can’t get

away and he’ll use those powerful legs to boot off

any rival males who try to muscle in. In theory

males with the longest and loudest croaks are

the most attractive, but with females sometimes

outnumbered ten to one by males the pond party

can get loud, chaotic and confusing. Amorous

male frogs will grasp anything, a log, a fish, even

another male (males have a special croaking

signal which politely informs other males there

has been a misunderstanding). Female Common

Frogs can lay up to 4,000 eggs, although 1,000 to

2,000 is more normal. These are fertilised by the

male as they emerge and form into those familiar

clouds of jelly spawn.

So, in tribute to Alf I decided to restore his

croaking clock to full working order. I re-installed

the batteries and nailed it proudly on my

office wall. After two hours I turned it off. That

croaking was unbearable! I’m still sure Alf is

laughing somewhere.

Michael Blencowe, Senior Learning & Engagement

Officer, Sussex Wildlife Trust




It’s September 1st 1914, and a crowd has formed to

welcome the first intake of patients at the Second

Eastern General Hospital on the corner of Dyke

and Old Shoreham Road.

Many of you will recognise the splendid edifice

in the background, now the main building of

BHASVIC. It had been purpose built as the new

home for Brighton and Hove Grammar School in

1912-13, and had been used in that capacity for the

1913/14 school year.

Soon after the outbreak of war, in August 1914,

however, the governors of the school were given

one hour’s notice that the building was to be

requisitioned to be used as a military hospital. The

disappointed pupils were told that when the next

term started they were to reconvene in their old

premises, in Buckingham Road.

These soldiers were injured in the first battle of

the campaign, at Mons, in Belgium. Conscription

had not yet been implemented; they were

professional regulars and volunteers, part of the

80,000-strong British Expeditionary Force. The

British army, charged with protecting the left flank

of the French army from the advancing Germans

had fought bravely in the battle, though outnumbered

three to one. They were eventually forced to

retreat into France, but the battle was regarded at

home as a victory, as the soldiers had achieved their

primary objective and inflicted heavy casualties on

the Germans.

British casualties, including killed, wounded and

missing, amounted to 1,600; 500 wounded men

were transported over the Channel to Dover, with

300 allocated to Brighton and the rest to hospitals

in Portsmouth and Birmingham. The Brighton

contingent were transported from Brighton

Station to the hospital in a fleet of makeshift ambulances,

including 50 private motor cars, cheered

by an enthusiastic crowd who lined the route,

and congregated at the hospital in welcome. For

many days there was a fairground-like atmosphere

outside the gates of the building, with well-wishers

bringing gifts and passing them over the railings to

the soldiers. There were some who objected to the

conflict, but largely public opinion was hugely in

favour, and the national mood was one of euphoria.

That mood was very different in May 1919, when

the military finally vacated the building, and the

school governors were informed that their pupils

could return to the site. Brighton and Hove

Grammar School was based in the building until it

was abolished in 1975, and replaced by the current

sixth form college.

Alex Leith

Thanks to the Regency Society for allowing us to

use this image from the James Gray Collection.




15,000 copies printed

every month

11,500 copies printed

every month

Delivered to homes in Hove,

North Laine, Fiveways and Hanover

and available to pick up in the

city and beyond

Delivered to homes in Lewes &

Kingston and available to pick up

in surrounding villages

C E L E B R AT I N G L O C A L L I F E S I N C E 2 0 0 5 .


V I VA B R I G H TO N I S S U E # 7 7 . C O V E R A RT B Y N ATA S H A C O V E R DA L E


01273 471269

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