London Gatwick lends helping hand to good causes in Sussex

Sussex community groups were celebrating this week as London Gatwick announced the recipients of £30,000 from the first round of the London Gatwick Foundation Fund of 2024, across Mid Sussex, Crawley and Wealden.

Among the five good causes which benefited from a financial boost were Wealden Volunteering which received £8,000, Autism Support Crawley with £7,000, Bentswood Hub in Haywards Heath with £5,000, The Good Company People in Wealden received £5,000 and £5,000 went to the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group in Crawley.

Wealden Volunteering will use the money to support expanding its outreach into the Wealden area as it helps local groups and charities to find volunteers.

Autism Support Crawley will use its funding to increase support for hard-to-reach groups. As a voluntary carer-led peer support charity, it helps carers who are looking after one or more people who are living either with or without an autism diagnosis across Sussex.

The group hosts online and face-to-face peer support meetings, family events and training opportunities, whilst working to improve autism acceptance, participation and neurodiversity inclusion.

Bentswood Hub will put the money towards its work experience programme for young people with special needs. Its aim is to reduce social inequality caused by economic disadvantage by providing services, activities and signposting, including a daily community larder offering fair access to food for all, a junior and senior youth group, emotional support through its community hub and activities aimed at reducing social isolation.

Anna Sharkey, Bentswood Hub director and CEO, said: “This money will allow us to deliver another year of work experience and support to young people from special needs and alternative provision schools, and young people at risk of becoming not in education, employment, or training, in our safe and friendly community café with community larder.

“The young people receive inhouse barista training from our very own coffee specialist followed by four consecutive weeks of work experience to embed the barista skills they have learnt along with customer service skills and learning how the community larder works.”

The Good Company People will use its funding for running costs, as it continues its mission to bridge the gap between the needs of people at risk of social isolation, experiencing cognitive changes and dementia and their unpaid carers, and the resources available from statutory health and social care.

Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group will use the money for supermarket vouchers to support people during and after immigration detention at the moment when they are facing homelessness and destitution.

Anna Pincus, director of Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group, said: “Our sincere thanks to London Gatwick Foundation Fund for the grant which will support people and their families experiencing food poverty at a moment of crisis in their lives, through the allocation of emergency supermarket vouchers whilst we connect people with local agencies for ongoing support.”

Melanie Wrightson, stakeholder engagement manager at London Gatwick, said: “We love supporting community groups through the London Gatwick Foundation Fund. Hearing how the money we donate makes a difference to people’s lives is a constant source of joy.

“Sadly, we’re still reading headlines about how the acute cost-of-living crisis is impacting the UK and we know grassroots organisations and voluntary projects will be feeling the financial pressure.

“The London Gatwick Foundation Fund has supported hundreds of good causes over the years. We would like to urge local charities and community groups to apply for the next round of funding and allow us to help them too.”

Each year there are three rounds of grants, totalling £100,000, which are made available to beneficiaries in Sussex, across the area of benefit which covers Crawley, Horsham, Mid Sussex and Wealden.

The London Gatwick Foundation Fund was set up in 2016 to award funding to local groups that work to fight social isolation and tackle disadvantage, raise aspirations and develop skills, improve health and wellbeing, and support children and young people.

The London Gatwick Foundation Fund is managed on behalf of London Gatwick in Sussex by the Sussex Community Foundation.

The deadline to apply for the next round of funding in Sussex is 6 September.

To apply for funding from the Gatwick Foundation Fund in Sussex, please go to: https://sussexgiving.org.uk/


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