Sussex Community Foundation: Former High Sheriff of West Sussex donates book proceeds to support crisis projects

Money raised by the former High Sheriff of West Sussex with his unique book about how the county responded to Covid-19 will help crisis projects started during the pandemic.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 3:09 pm
Updated Friday, 26th November 2021, 9:19 am

Dr Tim Fooks, who served as High Sheriff for 2020-21, has donated the proceeds of his book, WEST SUSSEX IN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC – A year like no other, to Sussex Community Foundation, which set up the Sussex Crisis Fund just nine days after the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic and three days before the first lockdown started.

He presented a cheque for £2,000 to Kevin Richmond, chief executive, at the foundation’s offices in Lewes this morning.

Dr Fooks said: “The Covid pandemic was a cause of great anxiety and uncertainty for all those who were vulnerable and for the many voluntary organisations who supported them.

Dr Tim Fooks, former High Sheriff of West Sussex, presents the proceeds of his book A Year Like No Other, a cheque for £2,000, to Kevin Richmond, chief executive of Sussex Community Foundation

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“During that extraordinary year, I was privileged to observe countless examples of altruism and kindness.

“Behind much of this great collective effort was the Sussex Community Foundation, which enabled hundreds of charities and voluntary groups to continue their essential work throughout these most challenging times.

“The impact of what the fund has achieved is something that is really important. In a sense we have exposed the vulnerabilities.

“There is a need now to support charities, to set them up so they have resources, not just funding but guidance to help them be as effective as possible.”

Mr Richmond said it was fabulous the foundation was able to respond so quickly, with the first grants being awarded on March 30, 2020.

He added: “Within two days, it was obvious it was the right thing to do. The amazing thing was charities adapting and working together as networks to make sure everyone had food.

“The key thing about the community foundation is that we reach groups that are run on a shoestring, groups that are run by people with a passion for helping the community.

“I would like to thank Tim for this generous donation to the Sussex Crisis Fund and all his great work. We were lucky to have a GP as High Sheriff during a pandemic. With his deep understanding of the issues we were all experiencing, he was a great source of support for many charities and volunteers who were working flat out to help others.

“We love Tim’s book. It is a great record of a really unusual year and a real in-depth story of how charities responded. No one else has collated it in this way. It is unique.”

Hannah Clay, head of grant programmes, said the last of the Sussex Crisis Fund money had been given out in September but with the new contribution from Dr Fooks, it would allow the foundation to help further crisis projects.

She added: “The need for food has not gone away. A lot of foodbanks that were getting surplus food donations from supermarkets have found these have reduced so there is a need for funding to buy more.”

There are just a few copies of the book still available, via the independent bookshops in Petworth, Arundel, Steyning and East Grinstead and Post Office Stores in West Chiltington. Alternatively, email [email protected] The cost is £18.99 plus £3.50 if postage is required.