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Calling all Crawley schools, hospice needs young artists

St Catherine’s Hospice is calling on local schools, early years learning groups and community groups to get involved in an exciting, large scale art project while supporting their local hospice.



Pupils from Whyteleafe school with their wire heart

Eight schools have already signed up for St Catherine’s Young Heart Project. This is part of the hospice’s HeART to Heart trail, sponsored by Thakeham, which will give visitors a chance to follow a trail of giant hearts across Sussex and Surrey this summer. These hearts will be displayed in the areas St Catherine’s provides people with expert end of life care.  

And there’s still chance for other local schools, early year learning groups and community groups to become a crucial part of the hospice’s trail by joining the Young Hearts project.

The project involves school or groups customising a wire heart for display in local spaces such as libraries and shopping centres. Their wire hearts will be displayed alongside larger heart sculptures. These sculptures have been uniquely designed by local artists and individually sponsored by local businesses and organisations.

Each wire heart has also been handmade by a local artist and designed to create a beautiful structure that encourages children’s creative freedom. There is also the opportunity for young people to take part in workshops with local artists.

Pupils from Whyteleafe school with their wire heart

Whyteleafe School in Tandridge, Surrey has already signed up to the project. Jenny Taylor, a Year 3 teacher at the school said,

“We’re excited to take part in St Catherine’s Young Heart Project and to design a heart for the trail. We’re having a competition for the best designed heart and are looking forward to using our new art studio to give us inspiration. Our school council voted for St Catherine’s as our charity for the year. And we’re looking forward to holding lots of fun events to help raise money for our local hospice.”

Abi Harley, Community Fundraiser at St Catherine’s said,

“I hope lots of schools and groups will get involved in our exciting art trail. And I’m looking forward to seeing the creations from talented young people across our community. To take part in Young Hearts, we ask your school or group to raise £500 or more to for your mini heart. The money you raise will help us care for more terminally ill people and their family and friends in the future. And will help us make sure that in years to come, nobody in our community has to face death and loss alone.“

Ready to open your heart? To sign up or for more information please contact Abi Harley, Community Fundraiser at St Catherine’s on 01293 447319 or email  – Please note designs need to be completed by the end of May 2019. 


Crawley library in danger of losing opening hours as County Council choose money saving over services

Another public consultation and this time it is about reducing opening hours for the library.



Crawley library users are being asked to share their thoughts on proposed budget savings which would see a reduction in opening hours at Crawley Library.

The consultation running from 9 October to 13 November 2019 is, according to the council, aimed to help inform the decision due to be taken by West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member, Jacquie Russell, in November. 

The suggested savings include for Crawley to:

Reduce the evening opening hours in the library by one hour (from 7pm to 6pm) from April 2020.

This change, along with the same reduction in hours at three other Sussex libraries along with the ceasing of the mobile library service would apparently result in a total year on year saving of £175,000.

Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said:

“Since becoming cabinet member, I have often been asked about what will happen to libraries across the county. As I have said before, we need to look at doing things in a more affordable way, but ultimately my aim is to preserve the core of the library service.

“With the suggested savings being proposed, we hope that the other services we have on offer at libraries across West Sussex will diminish any negative impact to users. 

“However, I still want to hear the thoughts of our library users by way of this consultation, especially those who are specifically affected by the proposed budget savings, as this will help to shape and inform my decision in November.”

But Crawley residents will be all too wary of consultations and how they can be just lip service and completely ignored as recently happened with the consulation over the Post Office move into County Mall.

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“When West Sussex County Council Leader over a decade ago, I was pleased to procure and open the new Crawley Library, which ever since has been an important community resource. I would encourage all who care about our library to engage with the Council’s consultation and call for evening opening hours not to be reduced.”

You have until 13 November 2019 to have your say.

To find out more and fill in the consultation, visit

CN24 approached Jacquie Russell for a guarantee that if the results of the consultation came back that there was a majority against the reduction in hours that she would keep the library open till 7. A response has not yet been received.

But West Sussex County Council did respond saying:

“This is a live consultation and we encourage residents to have their say before the deadline of 13 November. After the consultation has closed, the responses will be taken into consideration before any decision is made.”

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