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Gatwick to support summer of community events

Supporting a number of events over summer, Gatwick will also become the Community Parade Sponsor for Brighton Pride again for 2018.



London Gatwick has announced it’s supporting another busy programme of local community events across the South East this summer.

Some of these events include: St Catherine’s Hospice’s Midnight Walk, Horley Carnival, Crawley High Street Live, Gatton Country Fair, Big Bang Fair South East and Brighton Pride, which attracted over 300,000 people last year.

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As part of the programme, which focuses on projects that bring communities together and have a lasting, positive impact on large numbers of local people across three counties, the airport is supporting this year’s St Catherine’s Hospice Midnight Walk, which takes place on 9 June.

Gatwick is the main sponsor for the second year in a row with the airport’s staff supporting more than 1,000 walkers as they make their way around Horsham by moonlight. This year’s walk is the biggest ever for the local charity and it is hoped the event will raise £125,000 to help care for local terminally ill people and their family and friends.

The airport will also be headline sponsor for Horley Carnival on 16 June and both Crawley High Street live and Gatton Country Fair on 1 July, three events which celebrate some of the best local talent with live music, parades and stalls for all of the family to enjoy.

In addition, Gatwick will be sponsoring the Big Bang Fair South East at the South of England Showground in Ardingly on 27 and 28 June, which is one of the flagship events in the airport’s education programme – ‘Inspire, Inform, Invest’ – highlighting the importance and relevance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in the world of work.

Rounding off a busy summer, Gatwick will once again be the Community Parade Sponsor for Brighton Pride on 4 August and will be leading the parade with a branded bus and a walking party of 150 airport staff. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community event has become the UK’s biggest Pride festival with more than 300,000 people participating last year.

The schedule of events follows the airport’s high profile sponsorship of the Brighton Marathon Weekend back in April, for the second year in a row, which saw almost 18,000 runners and more than 150,000 spectators take to the streets of Brighton and over 3,000 young people enter the mini mile for free as a result of Gatwick’s sponsorship.

Gatwick’s Head of Community Engagement, Alison Addy, said:

“We are proud to be supporting our local neighbours across such a variety of community events, not only on the south coast but for the whole of the south east.

“These events play an important role in bringing communities together and we are committed to addressing the social and environmental issues that matter to local people.”

St Catherine’s Hospice Philanthropy Manager, Sophie Peckham, said:

“This years’ Midnight Walk is our biggest to date and we’re thrilled to have Gatwick Airport being part of the event again this year. We’re looking forward to welcoming all our walkers.”

Brighton & Hove Pride Managing Director, Paul Kemp, said:

“We’re thrilled to have Gatwick Airport once again partner with us on the Community Parade. We are thankful to them and all our business partners as their financial contributions helps the sustainability of Pride’s fundraising objectives that directly benefit the people of Sussex.”

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Man jailed for making hoax bomb call in order to catch his flight at Gatwick

A man who made a hoax bomb call in an attempt to catch his flight to the USA has been jailed.



Jacob Meir Abdellak was running late for the Norwegian flight from Gatwick to Los Angeles, so he decided to contact the police to report the threat.

The anonymous call was received at 5.47am on Friday 11 May – just eight minutes before the flight was due to depart – and a full re-screening meant take-off was delayed by 90 minutes.

Further enquiries made by Gatwick Airport Ltd revealed Abdellak was significantly late for the flight and he was denied boarding by airline staff, whom he became abusive towards. He was told to return on another date to rearrange his flight.

It was later confirmed the telephone number used to make the call was the same number linked to his booking.

The 47-year-old librarian, of Amhurst Park, Hackney, London, was arrested at Gatwick Airport on Tuesday 22 May as he attempted to board another flight to the USA.

He was charged with communicating false information regarding a noxious substance likely to create serious risk to human health, however he denied the offence throughout.

Abdellak, a French national, admitted the telephone number was his, but claimed he had lost the SIM card a few days earlier and therefore the call could not have been made by him.

But at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday (14 August), when the trial was due to begin, the defendant changed his mind and pleaded guilty.

He was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment and required to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Gatwick Police Chief Inspector Marc Clothier said:

“This was a quite ridiculous decision made by Abdellak, who fabricated an extremely serious allegation purely for his own benefit. He was running late for his flight and thought it would be a good idea to call in a hoax bomb, however this turned out to be the worst decision he could have made.

“His actions caused the flight to be delayed, and also caused a level of fear and distress among a number of staff and passengers on board that flight.

“The consequences of making allegations about bombs, guns or similar at densely populated locations such as airports are well documented, and Abdellak’s sentence serves as a warning to others that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and offenders will be dealt with robustly.”

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