A charity day in Langley Green raised £415.35 for Giving Back Crawley, which provides essential goods to homeless people.
At a time when homeless services are under threat from planned funding cuts, staff at the Cake Box in Langley Green staged a fundraising day to support one of the town’s newest charities.
Pranil Parekh, of the Egg Free Cake Box, explained why Giving Back Crawley means so much to him: “A successful community is built when positive connections are formed between its members.
“Working together, helping each other and supporting the people around you are the most simple ways to create these links.
“This can be on a small scale like helping your neighbour with their shopping bags, or on a larger scale by noticing a section of your community that is struggling and making it your goal to help make their lives better.
“Giving Back Crawley is a small, local charity that was started for exactly that reason. On April 27, 2017, Sajid Khan took the initiative to build community spirit and took to the streets serving hot drinks and biscuits.
“He soon realised that there were some extremely less fortunate people who needed more than biscuits and quickly evolved into feeding the homeless with proper hot meals.
“Sixteen months on, Giving Back Crawley has grown into a registered charity with a diverse board of trustees and over 20 regular volunteers.
“Together they serve hot food and provide other essential items and services to over 40 rough sleepers in Crawley and many more statutory, non-statutory and hidden homeless.
“They operate four nights per week and will serve well over 10,000 hot meals this year. A perfect illustration of what one person can achieve just by taking the first steps.
“By bringing these members of our community together, taking the time to talk with them and reducing the social isolation they endure, it helps to build the confidence and connections that will hopefully enable them to move their lives forward in a positive way.
“Above all, their guests are shown respect and compassion, friendship and hope, no matter what their circumstances are or what problems they have, they are always welcome at Giving Back Crawley.
“The charity has gone from strength to strength over the last 16 months, achieving registered charity status and being recognised at the Crawley Community Awards 2018 as the winner in the volunteer group category.
“Cakebox, Langley Green, a family run business, opened its doors in Crawley 18 months ago specialising in eggfree cakes and has since been the talk of the town.
“Cakebox, Langley Green were one of the first businesses to support Giving Back Crawley, donating cakes and giving encouraging words within the first few weeks of setting up.
“Cake is often shared at celebrations, birthdays, graduations and weddings, so being able to offer Cake Box’s beautiful cakes to the homeless always makes for a very special evening.”
Pranil said his team had put an incredible amount of work into planning and running the fundraising event.
“A raffle with fantastic prizes, donated by local and national businesses and retailers, a magician, face painter and DJ all made for a great atmosphere,” he said.
“A visit from Carlos Castro, the Mayor of Crawley, and so many generous people coming down to join in the fun, buy raffle tickets and make donations of food and other items made it a hugely successful day.”
As well as raising £415.35, they also received many donations of food, including hundreds of tins, and raised awareness of the charity, and the issue of homelessness in Crawley.”
For more information on Giving Back Crawley and ways to support them, visit www.givingbackcrawley.org