Crawley charity’s cash boost to help support families

Maria Cook, Chair of Autism Support Crawley (left) takes delivery of a 'rail ticket cheque' from Gatwick Express managers
Maria Cook, Chair of Autism Support Crawley (left) takes delivery of a 'rail ticket cheque' from Gatwick Express managers

A Crawley charity has been given a cash boost thanks to Gatwick Express staff’ fundraising initiatives in recent months.

Autism Support Crawley, which provides help for children and adults on the autistic spectrum, has been given a donation of £1,931.15 thanks to Gatwick Express staff who have taken part in a series of activities at Gatwick Airport Station, including cake sales, a Christmas jumper competition and bucket appeals.

Station staff handed over a cheque to Autism Support Crawley on Tuesday (May 21) to the chairperson of the charity, Maria Cook.

She said: “We are thrilled to receive such wonderful support from everyone at Gatwick Express.

“Their response to the voluntary work that we do for over 1,200 families across Sussex and Surrey is overwhelming.

“This will go a long way in helping us to continue to support families and work with lots of different professions to improve understanding, acceptance and inclusion in society.”

Gatwick Express staff were inspired to support the charity after hosting a group from Autism Support Crawley for a ‘Try a Train’ event, during which autistic young people and adults were shown around the station to help them become more familiar and confident when travelling by train, as well as how to buy tickets to support more independent travel.

Gatwick area station manager David Stronell said: “We’re really proud of all the work we have done to help the charity. The whole station has been involved in the fundraising.

“Since we started supporting the charity, it has sparked a lot of conversations and a lot of staff have talked about having children on the autistic spectrum. It has brought us all together and got people opening up about autism, which in turn has raised awareness for us all.”

Charity trustee, member and service user Charlotte Gover said: “The amazing donation from Gatwick Express will support so many of our families by enabling us to continue to provide information sessions, conferences, coffee mornings, evening meetings and much needed inclusive family events.”

This month also marks the 35th birthday of Gatwick Express.