Rother Voluntary Action can help with free travel to vaccine appointments

For information, RVA can support free travel to COVID-19 vaccine appointments to those who do not have access to other transport.

The booking service is available between 10:00 – 13:00 and 14:00- 17:00 Monday to Friday on 07871 603 235

This service is for residents who do not have access to transport and do not have a family member, friend or carer who can help with transport. They do not have to be in the residents’ support bubble as per the government guidelines.

All transport providers have signed up to a COVID-19 safety policy to ensure that all precautions are in place for a safe journey.

Burwash Internet Hub update


The Burwash Internet Hub has replaced the Internet Cafe but is still run by the Parish Council & Volunteers. 

Due to the on-going restrictions regarding Covid-19 the internet hub is temporarily closed until further notice. However, current Government indications are that we may be able to open on face to face basis from 21st June.

We will keep you up to date on any changes.

However if you do have a technical IT query our volunteers would be happy to discuss either remotely or by telephone.

We can help you with advice and guidance on what type of equipment, how to make the most of your PC, Tablet, Smartphone or other digital devices. We offer assistance with choosing a wide range of applications, managing your photographs, helping you to find the best offers on a range of services and goods and helping you trace your family tree.

 Volunteers: – Keith Lloyd / Ann Ashton / Peter Skipwith / Jason Caulkin

 For further information please contact the Parish Clerk – Emma on 07375 809 660 or e mail with the nature of the help you need.

 We are here to help when needed.


Burwash Village Hall Newsletter April 2021



 We had hoped that, by now, we may have had a clear path to reopening our village hall. Sadly, in spite of the fact that great headway has been made with the latest Lockdown and with the vaccination programme, our hopes have been dashed as limited conditions will still apply with the ‘rule of six’ for use of the hall.

It is not until 12th April that the children’s dance classes can re-convene, again with distancing and access/exit protocols being exercised.

It is proposed that the local elections on the 6th May will go ahead, but with stringent Covid rules in place.

From 17th May, the hall can be used up to 50% capacity, but must have distancing and access/exit protocols in place, probably limited to exercise sessions.

It is then hoped that, from 17th June, all restrictions will be lifted. I am sure that our user groups will contact their own members once the Government confirms the position.

On a more positive note, we plan that the new front doors will be installed in the week after the Easter school holidays, possibly using the existing lock so that keys will still fit. If not, we shall ensure that we provide new keys to existing keyholders on our list. Please contact me so that we can check the list is updated.

We shall be holding our Easter Hamper Raffle on Easter Saturday 3rd April on the High Street outside Mount House, by kind permission of Richard and Lynda Maude-Roxby. Tickets will be on sale from 9am until midday (when the draw will take place) and will cost £1 each. As usual, the hamper will be packed with goodies. This is not only a fund-raising exercise, but also an endeavour to give us all something to look forward to – and possibly satisfy our chocolate cravings after Lent!

Hopefully, we shall be able to hold our AGM this year, possibly in late May or early June. Please consider whether you may be able to join our Management Committee. I am very happy to provide more information if you would like to ‘phone or e-mail me. One of our volunteer members has moved away from the village, and another has tendered his resignation due to pressure of other commitments. The only qualification needed is a cheerful disposition and an eagerness to promote our beautiful village and Burwash Village Hall.

Our very best wishes to all of you for 2021. Please continue taking care and keeping safe!

Shirley Viney, Chairman

01435 882497

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Census 2021 is coming up on Sunday 21st March

Census Day is on Sunday 21st March. 
You must complete the census by law or you could be fined up to £1,000.
Visit the official website for more information or to complete the census online.

17-02-21 Virtual Planning Exhibition – Former Oakley’s Site

The planner and developer of the former Oakley’s site is holding a virtual exhibition on Wednesday 17th February. This will be held online using Microsoft teams and gives residents of Burwash the chance to ask questions about the proposed plans for the site.

If you would like to attend, please contact Mr Pickup directly by the close of play on 16-02-21 by email on

For visuals and further information on the proposed plans please click here.

Rother Planning Committee Vote to Refuse Strand Meadow Application

Rother District Council planning committee this morning  voted to refuse the reserved matters planning application for the site at Strand Meadow.

After hearing from speakers including Martyn Wright, a resident of Strand Meadow, Robert Banks for Save Our Fields, both Cllr. John Barnes & Cllr. Eleanor Kirby-Green as well as our own Cllr. Anne Newson, the committee refused the application citing a number of points including “concerns that the scheme will not enhance or conserve the AONB landscape and would result in changes to the land forms of the site generated by the layout of the parking and housing development.”

To view the full committee & decision please click here.

Heathfield Vaccination Centre Update

We have received the following update from the office of Huw Merriman MP. Apparently some local residents are registered at the Heathfield Practice so this might be of interest. (For everyone registered at Fairfield Surgery the local Vaccination Centre remains Etchingham Village Hall. Please see here for more information.)

Heathfield and its surrounds 

Updated 14 January, after speaking to the Sussex Community NHS Foundation this evening:

  • the website news from the Meads surgery, which appeared to cast doubt on vaccinating Heathfield (and nearby) residents, is superseded by more positive news
  • the Meads will be contacting patients from Heathfield and the Firs imminently to book our priority residents in for a vaccination at Uckfield
  • the ‘formalities’ referenced in that website article are now completed
  • I am led to believe that the patients will be contacted from this week with a view to vaccinations occurring from Thursday 21 to Sunday 25th January 2021
  • In the meantime, the vaccination team from the Meads are already covering the Heathfield area; they will be undertaking vaccinations in our care homes this weekend (a job we need to complete across Sussex in ten days time).

I am aware that Heathfield residents, and those from its surrounds, would like to be vaccinated nearer to home. I fully understand this sentiment and I share the aim for a further solution to be found as well. I hope to have further conversations with the NHS Foundation and the surgery to enable this to occur. 

I’d like to thank everyone in the NHS for helping to find an interim solution. I’d also like to thank our Parish Council and residents for communicating and showing patience. I am sorry that residents have not received the vaccination as quickly as other parts of Sussex. I am assured that Sussex supplies will be aimed at finishing each priority cohort before moving to another so I fully expect our area to catch up. 

Patients from Heathfield will receive their vaccinations at the Meads Medical Centre in Uckfield (8 miles away from Heathfield). This is part of the Greater Wealden Primary Care Network and this is where the group have determined the Pfizer vaccine can be best distributed. 

I have had a number of constituents contact me from Heathfield and its surrounding area asking why they need to travel to Uckfield. The reason is because the Primary Care Network covering this part of Wealden has identified Uckfield as the local centre to deliver the Pfizer vaccine. 

The Sussex Health and Care Partnership have also now set up a dedicated email address for all enquiries relating to the Covid-19 vaccination. The address is:

Update on Etchingham Vaccination Site

Update from Fairfield Surgery Patient Participation Group (PPG) 14/1/21

Rural Rother vaccination site – Etchingham

Update on COVID-19 vaccination service – GP led service set to go live in Etchingham next week

Thanks to an extraordinary effort by the NHS across Sussex, a new GP led vaccination service is due to go live next week to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to people in Rural Rother.

The GP led vaccination service at Etchingham Village Hall will be a partnership between Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and the following GP practices:

Fairfield Surgery, Ferry Road Health Centre, Martins Oak Surgery, Northiam and Broad Oak Surgery, Oldwood Surgery, Rye Medical Centre, and Sedlescombe and Westfield Surgeries

The service will offer vaccine appointments to registered patients at the GP practices in line with the national priority groups, starting with those who are over the age of 80.

Preparations at Etchingham Village Hall are being finalised this week with the aim that the first vaccines will begin to be administered at the start of next week, subject to a confirmed vaccine delivery date.

The GP practice teams have been identifying their patients who are eligible at this stage and appointments will be booked in over the coming days.

In terms of the way the vaccination programme is being rolled out, the model for GP vaccination services has been agreed nationally and each area is typically allocated one GP-led vaccination site where all patients from a group of GP practices receive their vaccinations.

Each of the GP practices in Rural Rother have small sites and small staff numbers compared to large urban GP practices, and so did not feel they could continue to provide high levels of care for their patients and support the programme initially in the way it had to be implemented according to the national model.

However, this new GP led service will mean the GP practices and SCFT work together to bring all of their local knowledge to support the roll out of the vaccination programme to patients.

We recognise that at the current time, with one site at Etchingham, some people will have to travel further than others to get their vaccination depending on where they live in the local area.

We would like reassure everyone that there are discussions about further locations in the area and how the vaccination can be transported and offered from GP practices. This is a fast moving programme and over the coming weeks, there may be the option to provide the vaccine from more sites across our communities very soon.


The location of the GP-led vaccination service does not affect the speed by which people living in the Rural Rother area will receive their vaccination. The timing for when people will be able to get their vaccination depends largely on the availability of the vaccine and the priority group they are in.


If anyone is concerned about how they will travel to get a vaccine during lockdown, it should be noted that, under the national guidance, it is permissible to receive a lift from someone, pay for transport if you are able or there are some community transport providers offering this support in terms of transport for medical appointments.


You can find information about community and non-emergency transport on the East Sussex County Council website, or call the community hub on 01273 099956.

People are asked not to contact your GP practice but to wait until you are contacted. You will be contacted as soon as an appointment is available for you.

We are also asking people not to turn up early for their appointments. Arriving on time will help us manage the number of people at the venue and help keep our patients and staff safe.

The Covid-19 vaccination programme is the biggest immunisation programme ever undertaken by the NHS.  As we roll out vaccines, we’d like to remind people of 3 things:

  1. The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn, so please do not contact us beforehand.
  2. Please act on your invite when it comes.
  3. Remember Hands, Face, Space. It will save lives and help the NHS


Why is the vaccine not available at other locations?

As soon as the NHS started to make plans for the COVID-19 vaccination programme we began exploring where we could offer the COVID-19 vaccine to our patients in Rural Rother.

The sites need to be able to accommodate large numbers of people on a daily basis (at least 300 a day.) We also need space for people to wait for their appointment and be monitored for a short while after their vaccination.

The site also needs to have internet access, IT and facilities to be able to carry out the vaccination safely and in line with government guidance.

We have received incredible support from our communities and our partners with helpful suggestions of locations. However, the tight criteria meant that other sites, some of which were more centrally located, were not suitable.


More information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme is available here:


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