MORE than 20 good causes from across Sussex have been celebrating after being awarded a slice of £15,600 as part of a special community fund supported by this paper.
The recipients of the seventh West Sussex Community Chest Awards were announced on Friday (October 3) by organisers Hall & Woodhouse during a ceremony at The World’s End pub, in Patching.
Some 22 community groups and charities from across the county were boosted by the grants scheme, which is backed by Sussex Newspapers, Spirit FM, Sussex Community Foundation and The Plough, in Ifield.
The biggest windfall was presented to Home-start Chichester and District, which received £2,000 towards the training of new volunteers.
Jan Barsby, co-ordinator of the charity – which supports needy families across the Chichester area – said: “I feel very, very humbled. It’s an amazing feeling.
“There were so many incredible charities tonight, so to find out that we were getting the largest amount was just amazing. We couldn’t believe it.”
Jan said the funding would be ‘hugely important’ towards training more volunteers to swell the ranks of its 62-strong army of helpers.
“Last year we helped 123 families in need,” added Jan’s husband Dom, who is a trustee with the charity. “At the moment, we are helping about 52 families. We no longer get statutory funding. So money from community schemes like this is vital when it comes to helping those families in need.”
Announcing the recipients, chairman of Hall and Woodhouse, Mark Woodhouse, said that this year saw a bumper 166 applications from West Sussex-based causes applying for support.
Grants from £250 to £2,000 were awarded to help a range of good causes.
Some wanted to use the cash to buy new board games, while others needed help in building a new disability centre.
The Littlehampton area fared well, with four successful applications being awarded funding this year.
Those included £500 for the Keystone Centre, in Wick, £250 for the Littlehampton Baptist Church’s parenting group, £875 for the town’s fledgling Food Bank, based at the Baptist Church, and £750 for disability charity Raydar.
For a full picture special, plus a round-up of all those presented with awards, see this week’s paper (October 9).