COLUMN: All things bright and beautiful

Thomas Fuller, the noted 17th century churchman and historian, famously proclaimed: ‘Charity begins at home but should not end there.’How right he was.

Gary Shipton
Gary Shipton

Here in Sussex we are blessed by many charities as diverse as the world around us.

They protect our pets and our people; the wonderful wildlife and the spectacular shoreline; the countryside and the cities.

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Indeed, you would be hard pressed to single out anyone or anything in need of help that was not supported by at least one charitable organisation.

But too often we take them for granted.

Since the banking crisis of 2008, charities have found the struggle to raise funds a particular challenge. Some have closed. Others have changed out of recognition.

The many that have continued to perform extraordinary works do so because of the sheer passion of the volunteers and friends.

Today, we salute all those organisations - great and small.

More than that, we unveil a campaign to offer practical support.

This newspaper, along with all our sister titles in Sussex and our websites, will be launching a weekly page of charity news. It will highlight their fundraising events, special achievements by their helpers, their plans and aspirations to do even more, and examples of their fine works.

But we need your help.

If you are involved in a great cause in Sussex - send us your news on a regular basis to [email protected]

The campaign will culminate in a Sussex awards ceremony to mark the achievements of the most effective groups operating in a host of specialist areas - from those supporting the disabled to those caring for our environment.

Please look out for more details of the awards - and if you believe your charity deserves recognition make sure you are entered.

Finally, many groups ask us for special profiles on the work that they do and the difference that they make to the lives of the people of Sussex.

So we will also be introducing features on the best organisations so they can share their story with the widest possible local audience.

There will be no advertisement charges for charities taking part in any of these special features - although special profiles will include the purchase at trade price of extra copies of the newspaper which can be circulated in a targeted way to potential new supporters.

Again, if you would like details of these profiles write to me at [email protected]

Please be careful to mark these emails ‘ Charity Profile’.

In 1848, Mrs. Cecil Alexander’s Hymns for Little Children contained one work that has endured more than any other.

All Things Bright and Beautiful is an indelible part of the Christian heritage and speaks more clearly than any other hymn of the sheer sweep and breadth of creation.

It tells of the people and the animals; the wildlife and the environment.

Today, there is not a single element listed in those lines that does not enjoy the support of a great local charity.

And we will be proud to work with you to help ensure that the huge strength of our newspapers and websites continues to draw public attention to the amazing work you do.