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Covid-19: Crawley businesses come together to support the local community

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Local businesses in Crawley have come together to provide vital support to Crawley Borough Council’s community food supply aid efforts.  

Late last week, Councillor Peter Lamb, with the help of BBC Sussex, Steve Sawyer from Manor Royal BID and Reverend Steve Burston from St John’s Church, sent out a call for help from businesses who were able to assist with the coordination of a distribution centre by providing access to forklift vehicles, pallet trucks and by donating supplies of cardboard boxes and food, as well as offering staff time.

A number of businesses responded, including:

  • Gatwick Forklifts – 12 pallet trucks, vans and an articulated lorry
  • Viridor – forklift, skips and pallet trucks
  • Transvalair – forklifts, pallet trucks and distribution vehicles
  • Tesco.com – supply of cardboard boxes
  • DHL – cardboard boxes
  • M&S Food Hall, Acorn Retail Park – cardboard boxes and surplus food
  • Higgidy Ltd – cardboard boxes
  • UK Harvest50 crates of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Gatwick Handling – forklift and pallet trucks and picked up the goods from Aldi
  • Sussex Camper Vans – van for cardboard box delivery.

The council is very grateful to the ALDI store in Acorn Retail Park, with whom it has partnered to provide basic and essential food supplies for the town’s most vulnerable residents.

Managed by council staff and contractors, the distribution hub will receive and manage food and other essential items from suppliers, action requests from the Help Hub team, pick and pack items and deliver parcels directly to people in their homes.

The Help Hub is a single point of contact for vulnerable residents, connecting them with help from council teams or the wide range of voluntary and charitable activity in the town. They will also support community pharmacies to directly deliver medical supplies where needed and call our most vulnerable residents to check on them.

Leader of the council, Councillor Peter Lamb, said:

“I am extremely grateful for the support of all the local businesses, who have donated their time and resources in assisting us in setting up the distribution hub.

“It is vital we that we support our most vulnerable residents during this difficult time and the distribution hub will ensure they can stay safe inside their homes and have access to the supplies they need.”

Executive Director of Manor Royal Business District, Steve Sawyer, said:

“It’s never been more important for us to pull together as a town. The council is doing a great job supporting our most vulnerable and it was brilliant to see how willingly Manor Royal companies stepped up when called on for help.”

Reverend Steve Burston from St John’s Church said:

“We are in strange and trying times, but the way businesses and volunteers from charities and Crawley Borough Council have joined together so quickly has been a great example of how our local community comes together to love our neighbours – we will need that love in the coming weeks.

“Thank you to Dan at Sussex Camper Vans for the use of a van, to our #LoveYourNeighbour volunteers who picked up the boxes, to James at Higgidy Ltd for thousands of boxes and for the amazing Crawley Borough Council team at K2 Crawley.”

If you are vulnerable and need assistance, please call 01293 438000 between 8.30am-5pm. Alternatively, you can email or complete an e-form

Charity

Crawley boy receives pioneering kit to help with his disabilities

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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 getsensorypacks.com.

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