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Charities working together to feed Crawley

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The COVID-19 pandemic is set to significantly affect Crawley owing to the high number of jobs connected with Gatwick Airport.  It is predicted that there will be many job losses and high unemployment which will lead to food poverty and homelessness.  To address this, charities are working more closely together to deliver food and support those in most need in Crawley.

The Easter Team and Crawley Open House have a long established relationship and are in the process of setting up the Crawley Food Bank Partnership. More Crawley churches are now joining them , and they are working together to maximise resources to deliver support where and when it is needed.

They are also working with other local charities such as Give Back Crawley.  They are preparing and delivering hot meals to over 100 street homeless who have been placed into temporary accommodation during the pandemic. 

Over recent weeks, many more volunteers have signed up to help, meaning they are geared up to cope with the increase in demand, which they expect over the coming months.

In recent weeks they say they have received many donations, which enable them to continue their work and have also received food from local people, like the Constable Collectors in Tilgate.

The Co-op has given surplus groceries such as bread and milk, and Higiddy Pies have donated Helping Hand Hampers. Crawley Borough Council have also helped by enabling them to purchase stock from Aldi via the Help Hub. They have also received many one-off financial gifts which enable us to buy and replenish stock.

Dr Tim Fooks, High Sheriff of West Sussex, writes:

“During this crisis there has been a remarkable energy at work in Crawley which is seeing the vulnerable receive care, the homeless a bed and the distressed comfort.  Now the Easter Team as part of the Crawley Food Bank Partnership will ensure that no-one should become hungry, whatever the consequences of COVID-19.   

Therefore, if you are able to do so, please visit the website and give as generously as possible to this wonderful and important project.”

If you, or someone you know needs their help, please contact the helpline on 07940 900948 or email them at easterteamoffice@gmail.com   If you would like to make a donation, please contact their website at www.theeasterteam.org

Charity

Three Bridges, Crawley Tesco store gives a helping hand to veterans in need

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Lee Matthews, former Queens Royal Irish Hussar.

British armed forces veterans who face hardship and distress have benefited from a military annual fundraiser, with a little help from a Tesco Crawley store.

Former members of the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars met up at the 4th Worth Scouts Hut in Crawley to reminisce about past events and enjoy their yearly BBQ.

They also had a range of fundraising events on the day, raising £537, with all proceeds going to The Veterans’ Charity.

Throughout the pandemic, the charity has continued to deliver vital support to veterans and their families, including food shopping, essential household products and toiletries, utilities credit, clothing, and smartphones to enable continued communication and to prevent isolation.

Many of the items donated to the veterans’ fundraiser came from the Three Bridges Tesco Extra store, whose staff are keen supporters of the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars’ annual event.

Martin Weathers, a Tesco staff member and fundraiser for The Veterans’ Charity.

Martin Weathers, a Tesco staff member and fundraiser for The Veterans’ Charity, was among those at the event, having served with The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars.

He said:

“I’m very grateful to Tesco for their generosity. Our annual BBQ was extremely enjoyable and entertaining, and it continues the brotherhood that most people miss after leaving the Forces.

“Leaving service life can be a dreadful time, especially for those who have been in for a long time, and some may have associated physical or psychological problems such as combat post-traumatic stress disorder.

“This is why get-togethers like this are so important, and Tesco’s contribution to helping us raise funds for service-people in need is incredibly important.

“It helps to provide much-needed funds for The Veterans’ Charity, enabling it to supply things such as basic food shopping for our most vulnerable veterans who have fallen on hard times.

“This year has been the busiest ever for The Veterans’ Charity, with more than 540 welfare requests. These are often referrals from other charities, but some have been directly from struggling veterans themselves, and all of them were satisfactorily resolved within 24 hours of the charity being contacted.”

Tesco has a long association with the Armed Forces, dating back to Tesco founder Jack Cohen and is a signatory to the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Covenant. About 300 Tesco employees are members of the supermarket chain’s Armed Forces Network, and the supermarket is one of the largest employers of reservists and former service personnel.

Matt Ayling, manager at the Three Bridges Tesco Extra store, said:

“We’re really pleased to be able to help the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars. Its members are amazing people and we all have a lot to thank them for, so our store is always keen to assist them if we can.”

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