Grandmother and Lions help Open House at Christmas

jpco 17-12-14 Carol Cheney and her granddaughter Harriet (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-141215-121614001
jpco 17-12-14 Carol Cheney and her granddaughter Harriet (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-141215-121614001

Ten rucksacks packed with useful goodies will be delivered to Crawley Open House thanks to one kind-hearted grandmother.

Carol Cheney, of Ifield West, was determined to show her granddaughter, Harriet Watts, the true Christmas spirit by helping those less fortunate than herself.

With help from Harriet – who is six-and-a-half – Carol has stuffed the rucksacks with items such as gloves, hats, deodorant and shampoo.

The haul will be dropped off at Open House, in Stephenson Way, on Friday (December 19).

The Crawley Observer has teamed up with Open House again as part of Operation Santa, to help give the residents a Christmas dinner to remember.

The appeal attracted the attention of the Crawley Lions, who have pledged £200.

Lions vice-chairman Gary Davies said: “Crawley Lions are pleased to respond to the Crawley Observer appeal for donations towards Open House and the Christmas dinners and are happy to donate the sum of £200.”

As well as the money, the Lions also offered a sofa and four reclining chairs for Open House to use as needed.

In addition, a truck-load of food has been donated by Asda.

Tins of food as well as fruit juices and milk were picked up by Open House director Charlie Arratoon and trustee Chris Oxlade.

Chris said: “It’s been a fantastic response to Operation Santa this year and once again Crawley people and businesses have supported those less fortunate this Christmas.

His sentiments were echoed by Carol and Harriet.

Carol, who works as a facilities officer at Crawley Borough Council, organised a raffle among her work mates to raise the money to buy the 10 rucksacks.

And Harriet, who goes to The Oaks school, in Tilgate, made presents of some of her toys to a children’s appeal.

Carol said: “It just occurred to me how we are very fortunate and there are people who, through no fault of their own, are not as well off.

“It’s nice to show them some one cares.

“I know it’s once a year but I feel at least I’m doing something. It’s a nice time of year to be able to think of people less fortunate.

“It’s the time of year when we hope people are a little bit more generous.”

As for Harriet, Carol said: “She has given some presents to an appeal. I’ve always told her how lucky she is and she said she wanted to give nice presents to people.”

If you would like to donate food, warm clothing or bedding, you can take them to Crawley Open House, Riverside House, Stepehenson Way, Three Bridges.