Arun Sunshine Group: National Lottery grant helps Littlehampton-based group spread a little more sunshine

Arun Sunshine Group will be able to take in more members next year, thanks to a £9,950 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.

The money, which was presented at a group meeting on November 7, puts the group on a solid footing for 2022, after a year in which fundraising has been almost impossible.

Staff and a team of volunteers provide social activities for adults with learning difficulties at Creative Heart, Beach Road, Littlehampton, and members come from across the Arun district, as well as Worthing.

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Derek Moore, project leader, said: “The lottery funding would guarantee the continuance of the group for the next year.

Arun Sunshine Group meeting at Creative Heart in Littlehampton on November 7, when the cheque was presented

“Because of the loss of the ability to raise funds via town shows, charity stalls, etc, due to the pandemic, we needed a much-needed funding boost, and the grant has done just that.

“It will fund general activities, travel costs, venue hire, a storage cabinet, tables and some up-to-date IT equipment. It will also fund our deputy project leader for the coming year, which will mean that we have some continuity of expertise and make it easier to take in a few more members, including wheelchair users.”

Mr Moore said the grant would help the group spread a little more sunshine and members were beaming after receiving the much-needed boost for their activities, with the help of the organisation Fit Well and Connected.

“We provide a range of activities for members, including trips to Drusillas Park zoo, ten pin bowling and crazy golf, as well as board games, arts and crafts and computer games at the group’s base.

“Just as importantly, the meetings give an opportunity for the members’ carers to have a little respite, and time to themselves.”

The group is open to people aged 18 and over, who are invited to contribute £3 per session and an annual membership fee of £15. Visit www.arunsunshine.org.uk for more information about activities and events.

Terry Elderfield, chairman of the board of trustees, said: “We are a very friendly group and one of the aims is to help overcome the social exclusion our members could otherwise face.”

The group could not run without volunteer helpers, with up to five helping at any one time, and there is always room for a few more.

Any groups, individuals or businesses which would like to fund or provide activities should contact Derek on 01903 714930 or email [email protected]