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£900 raised after “Love Your Charity” night for Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre

Mayor of Crawley Carlos Castro and his wife Katia Castro joined supporters of the Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre for a fundraising evening at Hispalis Spanish restaurant in Crawley.



Crawley Mayor Carlos Castro attended with his wife at the charity event hosted by Yashar Koksal.

Guests enjoyed the chance to catch up with friends old and new over a delicious meal.

After dinner Alyson Smith, the Olive Tree Fundraising Manager, wielded her trusty gavel during an auction, encouraging everyone to bid high for some great prizes which included tours of the Bolney Wine Estate, passes to No.1 Airport Lounges, AC/DC memorabilia signed by drummer Chris Slade and a magnum of Prosecco kindly donated by Yashar Koksal, the owner of Hispalis restaurant.

Once the auction was completed, more excitement and anticipation were generated by the raffle which was ably run by Alyson and her daughter Ellen. 

The evening was greatly enjoyed by all present and approximately £900 was raised, all of which will go towards helping the Olive Tree team to continue supporting local people affected by cancer.

A spokesperson from Olive Tree Cancer Support said:

“Congratulations to Alyson and fundraising team, particularly Rebecca Dorkins and a huge thank you to Yashar for providing such an excellent venue, to Carlos and Katia for fitting the event into their busy schedule and to all of our guests.”


Gatwick Express team gives cash boost to Crawley charity

The Gatwick Express team has given a local charity a cash boost following a number of staff fundraising initiatives in recent months.



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

Autism Support Crawley, which supports children and adults on the autistic spectrum, has been given a generous donation of £1,931.15 thanks to kind-hearted 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 were delighted to be able to hand 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,”she added.

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,” said David.

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.”

Staff at Gatwick are now gearing up for their next fundraising events so watch this space!

This month also marks the 35th birthday of Gatwick Express and there have been plenty of activities going on to celebrate the occasion.

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