Safe in Sussex: Domestic abuse charity reveals how much was raised at 2021 gingerbread house competition – its biggest yet

Domestic abuse charity Safe in Sussex has announced it raised £3,280 from its annual gingerbread house competition at Christmas.

The Worthing-based charity, which provides a range of services across West Sussex to help those experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse, added three new categories for 2021 and a community event for the first time, making it its biggest competition yet.

Louise Gisbey, deputy chief executive, said: “It has been wonderful to see the creative designs and learn about the inspiration behind each entrant’s gingerbread house.

“Judging was a tough job as all the entries were fabulous and you could see the effort and time people had put into decorating their gingerbread house.

The winning business house entry from Worthing-based Rayner IOLs. Picture: Kate Henwood

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“We are so grateful to everyone who got involved and have helped to raise much needed funds for the charity.”

The competition, which launched in 2018, saw 19 businesses taking part for 2021 using packs made by Fay Miller from Gingerbread World. For the first time, there were also prizes for adults, children and freestyle creations.

Fay said: “It is such a fun and exciting event to be part of and to see what everyone creates. Our first public competition was a great success and I was blown away by the level of decoration and talent on display. I am very much looking forward to next year and making the competition bigger and better than ever.

Eight-year-old Noah with his winning entry for the children's competition. Picture: Kate Henwood

“The work Safe in Sussex does is so important for so many families and the gingerbread houses symbolise creating solid and loving homes and family units. I am very proud to be able to work with them and bake the gingerbread they need for this wonderful event.”

St Oscar Romero Catholic School in Goring hosted the community event and its year-10 students designed the large house packs this year.

Winner of the children’s competition, eight-year-old Noah, said: “I really enjoyed decorating the gingerbread house and I think it’s really lovely that we all helped to raise money for people who need a home and some help at Christmas.”

Alice, who won the adult competition, said “I have never decorated a gingerbread house before. It was something good to focus on, it was my birthday when I decorated it with friends and It made us enter the Christmas spirit.”

Kasia with her winning entry in the freestyle competition. Picture: Kate Henwood

Kasia, winner of the freestyle competition, said: “I was impressed how many lovely houses there were to see. Safe in Sussex is a wonderful organisation, it means a lot to me what they do and I hope to raise more money and be part of gingerbread house event next year.”

Graham Holden, senior software analyst from Worthing-based Rayner IOLs, which won the business competition, said: “It was a real pleasure to enter again this year and great to see so many entries of such high quality.

“I really do hope and believe this competition will continue to grow year on year in support of this fantastic charity.”

For details of how to get involved in the 2022 gingerbread house fun, email Debbie at [email protected]