What is Making it Happen?

Making it Happen (MIH) is a neighbourhood community development programme operating in East Sussex. The programme began in October 2019, and is due to run for 5.5 years, to March 2025. MIH is funded through the East Sussex County Council Public Health Department, with delivery managed by a partnership of 5 local voluntary sector organisations. This partnership is led by Sussex Community Development Association, alongside Action in Rural Sussex, Hastings Voluntary Action, Rother Voluntary Action, and 3VA.

Through these partner organisations, Making it Happen works across all 5 districts of East Sussex РLewes District, Wealden, Hastings, Rother, and Eastbourne Рto support community groups and residents to develop projects and ideas for their communities. We work in 17 focus areas in total across the 5 districts, with our work in each district managed by each of the partner organisations, and with dedicated Community Development Workers based in each area.

As of November 2023, Making it Happen has supported the development of more than 200 projects across the county through grant funding and the work of our Community Development Workers. These projects are incredibly diverse, ranging from model railway clubs, to community gardens, to soup kitchens, to mental health support groups, but are all the result volunteers in local areas bringing their communities together.

This focus on supporting residents, and local communities to realise their own ideas is key to what is known as ‘asset-based community development’, the approach that Making it Happen is based on.