Sussex Community Foundation is celebrating a decade of supporting hundreds of good causes giving out more than £20million in grants since it started.
More than 1,500 groups have benefited from the foundation’s various funds with over 300 grants being given to charities and community groups across East and West Sussex.
The foundation’s presence has been felt throughout the region from Crawley in the north to Brighton & Hove in the south.
Founded by the Duke of Richmond, it aims to address the deprivation in parts of the Sussex community. He said: “People look at Sussex as quite well off and comfortable but there are pockets of deprivation.
“It is in my view a scandal that there are areas in Sussex which are in the bottom 20 per cent of national measures of social deprivation.”
The Home-Start CHAMS (Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex) and the Horsham Samaritans are just two examples of community solutions that have received up to £5,000 worth of grants.
This money ensures that these institutions remain a vital support to local people in the community.
The Sussex Community Foundation itself has been endorsed by both national and international partners like Comic Relief, American Express & Southern Water.
The Posh Club, based in Crawley, is a social club for people in their sixties and over.
The club aims to give older people the opportunity to perform and has won many accolades thanks in part to its supporters like the Sussex Community Foundation.
Funding is for support towards the general running costs with a grant of £4,500 last year and helped lead to its relaunch later this month.
Crawley Open House, which provides a gateway to support services for those suffering the effects of homelessness, unemployment, and other forms of social exclusion has recently been awarded £17,850.
It will be used to help get people back to independent living and providing them with support and the skills to make this more likely. It will pay 50 per cent of costs for resettlement outreach worker for three years, including salary, management costs and travel expenses.
The foundation is also available to take over management of family and friends’ funds.
One example is the Innes Memorial Fund, set up by JA Innes to benefit the people of the Horsham district. In 2014 the family of Mr Innes approached the foundation to propose that their family money be managed by them.
His grandson James Innes expressed his delight at the Sussex Community Foundation’s work.
He said: “We are pleased that my grandfather’s legacy will continue to benefit needy people in Horsham.”
The now defunct Government Community First programme was also a boast to the fund as it increased its value by 25 per cent. The takeover has allowed those area to benefit more from the such schemes.
Bridging Ages CIC develops projects that will build relationships between youth and the elderly.
The Balcombe based organisation was given £2,000 to start a project where young and old come together in the community.
Year 12 students will interview older members of the community and document the elderly people’s tales into life stories that are of benefit to those living in the area. The scheme encourages cooperation and avoids older people getting lonely and marginalised from the modern world.
“In our fractured society, the elderly and young people are generally isolated from each other.
“Most families no longer live near grandparents or extended family members and there are few opportunities for an elderly person to tell a young person about their lives and for a young person to hear this ‘living history’,” says co-director Julie Rezac.
Group members where most grateful to the Sussex Community Foundation.
They said: “This is the first funding we have received and concerns about how to pay for upcoming expenses are now removed. We will now be able to pay for printing the biographies of our elderly participants and our celebration in June.”
Miranda Kemp, who spoke on behalf of the Sussex Community Foundation stressed that the organisation “is building an endowment fund for Sussex, currently standing at over £11million.”
This will ensure that future charities have access to grants and that the work of supporting organisations in Sussex can continue long into the future.
For more information on how Sussex Community Foundation is helping people in Crawley visit www.sussexgiving.org.uk or contact the Foundation for service details on 01273 409440.