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Volunteers sleep rough in Queens Square for Crawley Open House

29 people slept outside to raise awareness of homelessness locally, and funds for Crawley Open House who try and do something about it.

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The voluntary rough sleepers with Crawley Mayor, Brian Quinn.

Last night (12 April) saw staff and volunteers from Crawley Open House brave the cold as they slept rough in Queens Square.

The group of 29 local people included staff and trustees from COH, as well as supporters from local companies, organisations and places of worship.

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They all came together to raise awareness about homelessness, and to raise funds for Crawley Open House which provides support and services for those suffering the effects of homelessness, unemployment, loneliness, discrimination, or other forms of social exclusion.

Crawley Mayor, Brian Quinn attended the event to ‘check up’ on the volunteers during the evening and local businesses offered their help.

The rough sleepers with Crawley Mayor, Brian Quinn.

The brand-new Arabica Coffee House, showed their support by offering tea and coffees on arrival and McDonalds were on hand to give the rough sleepers a well-needed breakfast in the morning.

Deputy director at Crawley Open House, Glenn Stubbs said:

“We were very pleased with how the event went. It was lovely to have the support from the community and so many people keen to develop their understanding of the issues homeless people face.”

Crawley Open House’s volunteers, all fast asleep.

Some of the team at Crawley Open House will be running the Gatwick half marathon, and people from other businesses will be running to help raise money, and awareness.

PCSO’s from Crawley Police attended the sleep out:

For more information about Crawley Open House, go to www.crawleyopenhouse.co.uk/

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Charity

Largest charity Dragon Boat race at Tilgate Park ever!

This year’s festival was the hospice’s biggest ever to date, with more teams than ever before taking to the lake.

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St Catherine’s Hospice annual Dragon Boat Festival returned to Tilgate Park with a splash yesterday (Sunday 9 September), in a fantastic day of free family fun!

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Teams were made up of local businesses, including Crawley teams: Irwin Mitchell, Elekta, Grant Thornton, UK Power Networks, B&CE, CAE Training & Services, Vines BMW & Mini, Childcare & Learning Cranbrook, Inspiration Healthcare, KPMG, Search, Siemens, Smith & Western, St Catherine’s Hospice, Thales, Virgin Media, Novo Nordisk, and Oriel High School
who battled it out to be crowned Dragon Boat Champions 2018.

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Speaking on the day, George De Silvo, Corporate Associate from Irwin Mitchell said:

“The Irwin Mitchell team has really enjoyed getting involved with the Dragon Boat Festival. St Catherine’s is our Charity of the Year and so we’ve been raising funds for them since January. Hearing about the Dragon Boat Festival got the whole office excited and motivated to do as much as we can to help such a great cause. I’m so pleased our Noah’s Ark survived!”

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Ian Watson, Head of Software Engineering at Elekta said,

“We’ve been taking part in Dragon Boats for many years. It’s a big event and brings so many people from local businesses and the local community together for a great cause. What St Catherine’s does resonates a lot with what we do at Elekta, helping people at a moment of need in their lives. The hospice is a great cause to support.”

St Catherine’s team, Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Grant Thornton were another Crawley team competing. Between races, John O’Mahony, Partner at Grant Thornton, said:

“We’re very proud to be associated with St Catherine’s Hospice. They do wonderful work and we’ve had great fun fundraising. Our team ‘Sea’s the Day’ are making great progress during our heats and we’re feeling very optimistic!”

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Those on the shorelines tried their luck at traditional fête games such as hook a duck and a penalty shootout, whilst younger visitors sprung into action on giant inflatables. Visitors also tucked into tasty food from onsite vendors and enjoyed refreshing drinks from the onsite bar, provided by Sussex Event Bars, who donated a percentage of profits to St Catherine’s.

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

On the lake, teams showed true team spirit as they raced across the water in Chinese Dragon Boats.

DHL team, Credit: Sara Fermore and Toby Phillips Photography.

After a full day of races, DHL Express powered through to be crowned champions, with a winning time of 57 seconds, which was two seconds faster than last year’s winners.

The Elekta Crew, Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Amanda Phelan, Operations Manager at DHL Express, said:

“This is our third year competing and it’s always such a lovely, fantastic day. The second year we took part we came in at second place so we were here to win today. And we’re thrilled we managed it!”

Grant Thornton, Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Close behind, in second place, were Vines Ltd with Vines Beemer taking the third place trophy.

Vines Beemer, Credit: Sara Fermore and Toby Phillips Photography.

Winning teams were presented with medals and trophies by Giles Tomsett, Chief Executive at St Catherine’s, and The Worshipful Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Carlos Portal Castro.

Vines MINIons, Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Vines of Gatwick proudly sponsored the festival, alongside entering two teams. Darren Buche, MINI

Sales Executive at Vines of Gatwick said:

“Every year, we have a fantastic day at St Catherine’s Dragon Boat Festival. It’s been great seeing even more teams competing this year to show their support for the amazing work St Catherine’s does caring for people in the community around us. It’s a fun day out for us as colleagues and it’s brilliant to raise money for such a worthwhile cause. We’re pleased that our efforts will help more people in our community in the future. We’re already looking forward to signing up for next year’s race!”

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

St Catherine’s Dragon Boat Festival is one of the local hospice’s biggest annual fundraisers. The event will help them provide expert end of life care to local terminally ill people and their friends and family, when life comes full circle. Currently, the hospice can only care for one in three people. But with the support of the community at events like Dragon Boats, the hospice wants to make sure that nobody faces death and loss alone.

Credit: SARA FERMORE AND TOBY PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.

Suzanne Davis, Corporate Fundraiser at St Catherine’s, said:

“We’d like to thank everyone who supported or took part in this year’s Dragon Boat Festival. Your efforts take us a step nearer to reaching everyone who needs us. We hope you all enjoyed the day as much as we did!

UK Power Networks, Credit: Sara Fermore and Toby Phillips Photography.

To find out about future St Catherine’s events, or how you can support the hospice, visit: www.stch.org.uk.

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