Fundraiser launched to help beloved Bognor Regis community organisation make ends meet

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A fundraiser has been launched to keep a beloved community organisation in business.

Grandads Front Room, in High Street, Bognor Regis, has launched a fundraiser to help make ends meet after the trials of the pandemic left the Community Interest Company 'scraping the bottom of the barrel'.

"It's about giving us operating capital, to make sure we can pay the bills because the lockdown just wiped us out," said owner Danny Dawes.

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"Every business got money given to them, but every penny of that money went straight to our landlord, plus more because we didn't get enough to cover the whole rent.

The team at Grandads Front RoomThe team at Grandads Front Room
The team at Grandads Front Room

"That means we also had to find our maintenance charge, so we've virtually depleted our account to keep going. We've still serviced the needs of the community- and beyond- throughout the lockdown. It just didn't work out as it should have."

Mr Dawes hopes to raise £5,000 with the fundraiser, which has been set up online. That figure will help cover the shop's near £3,000 quarterly rent, alongside running costs, bills and insurance.

"I wish we didn't have to call upon the community as we are here to serve you and you are more than generous with your donation of items, but we are in need of help at the moment." Mr Dawes said in a Facebook post.

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Alongside the online fundraiser, the Community Interest Company has also set up a pound pot, so that anyone who wishes to can donate cash alongside their regular purchase.

"If you can help us to help others even with as little as £1 please remember that lots of 'littles' make a lot, and without the 'littles' where would we be? Mr Dawes said.

Despite having been active for just over 24 hours, the community organisation has already raised over £1,200 towards its yearly operating costs, an outcome which has delighted Mr Dawes and the rest of the Grandads Front Room staff, who also hope the success of the fundraiser might lead to bigger and better things.

"That's really good," Mr Dawes said "I'm hoping there'll be someone out there who'll be abler to help us, a kind of benefactor. Even if a company comes forward that wanted to help us sponsor a van, that would be great. Because the other day, we went outside, got in the van and it wouldn't start. It turned out the diesel injector had split, getting oil all over the starter motor. So I took it home, swapped it for the little van, started that up and the starter motor burned out. It's hard, but we've just got to keep going."

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