The new year has definitely started! Two major projects are underway and the team are working flat out to get everything ready. Thanks to funding from the People’s Health Lottery we have launched the Bognor Institute of Laughter and are now developing a programme of workshops and events helping our steering group establish a new comedy club for Bognor. Launched by Arthur Smith (our splendid Emeritus Professor) the team has already come up with some fantastic ideas for workshops.

Next up: the multi-talented Harry Venning who produces the cartoon strip Clare in the Community for the Guardian and co-scripts the radio comedy version. Harry will be leading a cartoon drawing workshop on Wednesday 28th February, (3.30pm for 14-18 year olds and 5.30pm for adults). Booking advisable, free of charge!

Our second project is a Pop-up Community Café which kicks off on 14th February and will run every Wednesday morning. We hope that this will be a welcome addition to the local scene and look forward to hosting events and workshops alongside serving delicious home-baked treats. We’re currently recruiting volunteers to help run the café and get vital training which will enable them to improve their employment prospects. The Community Centre is very well-equipped already but my mind is full of trays, crockery, napkins, coffee, etc! This project couldn’t have happened without the fantastic support of our funders: Awards for All, Bognor Town Council, Bognor Rotary Club, Bognor Lions Club and Bersted Parish Council. Thank you to all of them!

Finally, we’ve been completing an exciting project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund which involved recreating traditional sound effects and running a programme of community workshops. Young people from St. Anthony’s School in Chichester and Regis School in Bognor plus adults from local amateur groups all had fun making wind machines, rain tubes, slapsticks and many more before trying them out with a proper script! You can download an information sheet here and check out the video. Heritage sound effects info

Hilary, Director