Groups from across the county have received a much welcome cash boost from the Hall and Woodhouse Community Chest.
Mark Woodhouse, chairman of the family brewer, which owns a string of pubs across East and West Sussex, handed over cheques to 24 organisations and local charities at a special presentation evening at the World’s End Pub in Patching yesterday evening (Friday September 21).
Cheques totalling just under £25,000 were handed out on the night.
Mr Woodhouse made the decision on how to allocate the pot of cash along with a panel of judges including Gary Shipton, the editor in chief of this newspaper, Blaise Tapp, who is the community editor of this newspaper, Adrian Barrott, from the Sussex Community Foundation and John Scudder, the landlord of the Plough Inn at Ifield, near Crawley.
Judges worked their way through 208 applications during a number of sessions over the summer.
The presentation was attended by representatives from the successful groups and charities as well as dignitaries from across East and West Sussex.
Mr Woodhouse told the assembled audience: “It is a privilege to meet the fantastic volunteers who apply to the Community Chest and each year we discover fantastic organisations that we did not know about. Our pubs are at the heart of their communities and this is another way we can engage with our communities.”
The biggest award of the night was made to Sanctuary of Chichester, which provides relief and aid to refugees in coastal West Sussex. They received £2,500 which will go towards providing housing to those in desperate need.
Rebecca Zeman, from Sanctuary Chichester explained how the organisation was formed by local residents who wanted to support those who were seeking asylum in this country but have no means to support themselves.
The group supports asylum seekers from countries such as Syria by hosting support sessions and providing meals. Much of this is paid for by supporters of the group.
She said: “We are hugely grateful for the support, in time and money, that our volunteers give us. However, we cannot help all those we want to support through our resources alone.”
Jackie Pelling is the co-founder of Music for the Memory, which operates in Polegate and Battle where it hosts regular music sessions for dementia sufferers and their carers. They received £800, which will pay for the hire of venues and printing of music books.
Music provides recognised benefits to dementia patients and the sessions also offer carers to meet others in similar situations.
Mrs Pelling, who cares for her mother, said of the sessions: “They are fantastic as you can be sat next to somebody who is singing along to all of the songs but then you can ask them what they had for breakfast and they do not know.”
aBand of Brothers, Brighton £750
Brighton & Hove 1st Responders £1,200
Burgess Hill Marching Youth £956
Butterfly Project, Horsham £1,350
Cancerwise, Chichester £300
Carers Support, Crawley £950
Chichester Contact Centre £500
Chichester Downs Syndrome Support £2,000
Crawley Museum £350
Embrace, Eastbourne £936
Friends First £1,500
Kirdford Parish Council £1,500
Long Furlong RDA £750
Lorica Trust, Storrington, £700
Mid Downs Radio, Haywards Heath, £560
Migrant English Project, Brighton £1,500
Music for the Memory, Polegate/Battle £800
Pippa’s Group, Lewes £740
Pleasure Singers, Horsham £400
Sanctuary in Chichester £2,500
Southwater Youth £1,000
Springboard, Horsham £2,225
St Joseph’s School, Cranleigh £1,000
Sunbeam Swimming, Horsham £500