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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.”


Crawley’s first ever ‘Free Supermarket’ opens in Three Bridges to support community



On Sunday (8th November} Crawley’s first ever ‘free supermarket’ opened its doors to the local community.

The Free Shop Crawley is a store run by volunteers with the sole purpose of providing locals with food, toiletries and baby essentials without any associated cost.

Inspired by Marcus Rashford and his campaign to have school meals funded year-round, the stores inception came about when four local women shared a common desire to create a safe place for people in need to come and receive help without fear or shame.

Laura-Jane Wainwright, one of the founders of Free Shop Crawley said:

“Having used food banks in the past, I know first-hand how degrading it can feel.  We wanted to create a dignified space where anyone in need could come and access essentials in a friendly and inclusive environment. The thought of children going to bed hungry and adults losing sleep over financial anxiety broke our hearts and we knew we had to use our skills and resources to help”

Shoppers are encouraged to take up to 10 items from the shop each visit giving them a full basket of daily necessities. Anyone is eligible to visit the store and although there is a ticketing system in place the team are ready to welcome anyone who is in need.

The shop offers a fresh produce section, toiletries and sanitary care, tinned and dried goods, nappies and formula and even children’s clothing and toys.

In week one alone, over 100 people have been fed by the shops offering, showing just how big a need there is for support in not just this area but country wide.

Local businesses have been quick to support the store donating essentials by the van load, even down to kitting out the shop with shelving, tables and hanging racks. Companies including Asda, Co-op and Tilgate Bakery have committed to donate to the store each week.

Free Shop Crawley can be found at CJ’s café, Kingsland Court, Three Bridges, Crawley, RH10 1HL, on Sundays from 2pm-4pm.

Anyone wishing to donate or find out more can visit the Free Shop Crawley Facebook page  or contact the team direct on

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