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Charities working together to feed Crawley



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   If you would like to make a donation, please contact their website at


Crawley boy receives pioneering kit to help with his disabilities



Eleven-year-old Theakston Lee-Watson is among the first recipients of innovative new equipment to provide disabled children with sensory activities in their own home.

Theakston, from Crawley in Sussex, received the equipment from Caudwell Children as part of a UK-first charity campaign to deliver sensory equipment and support to disabled children across the country.

The sensory pack will provide a range of therapeutic benefits for Theakston, who has autism and sensory processing disorder, helping him regulate his emotions and develop his motor skills. 

Theakston’s mum, Kitty Lee-Watson, has already noticed the benefits the equipment brings.

Kitty said:

“He has a lot of anxiety at the moment, I now have the sensory pack out on his bedroom floor so when he has a meltdown it’s easy to guide him to something or distract him. This has been a real help.

“Theakston’s favourite part of the Get Sensory pack is the Fibre Optic Light as it’s both visual and tactile. He likes touching the fibres.”

Caudwell Children has pledged to provide thousands of families with essential sensory equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic – with each family receiving a pack of appropriate and safe toys to support children living with a wide range of disabilities. 

Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children, said:

“Our Get Sensory Packs are designed to support children who are likely to benefit from sensory resources – it’s so encouraging to hear that Theakston is enjoying using the equipment and his family can see the benefits already.”

“We’ve committed to provide thousands of families with a pack, because we know it’s difficult to access resources at the moment.

“To deliver on that we’re now calling for anyone who can to make a difference to the life of a disabled child by donating to our Get Sensory Packs campaign – you can make a life-changing difference from just £5.”

Caudwell Children launched its Get Sensory Packs campaign following consultation with parents to find the most appropriate and safe sensory items – selected by the charity’s Occupational Therapists.

The packs include:

  • A Liquid Cell Timer,
  • Scented Bubbles,
  • A BoBo Massager,
  • Sissle Brush,
  • 4 Ball Massager,
  • Weighted Cushion,
  • Spikey Domes,
  • Space Blanket, and
  • A Fibre Optic Lamp.

Packs are available to children who have a confirmed disability or chronic illness. Families can apply directly to Caudwell Children for support, with the charity providing 80% of the cost of each pack.

Families will be asked to contribute 20% of the cost, which is £20, and to confirm their financial status and their child’s diagnosis. More information is available at

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