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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

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As a hot weekend approaches Southern Water asks Crawley residents to use water wisely as demand soars

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Before anyone thinks it’s about a water shortage, it isn’t. It’s about water demand and there is a difference.

The UK is ten weeks into lockdown, with many hundreds of thousands of people at home all day who wouldn’t normally be.

This means a lot of additional hand washing and increased usage in the home (more showers, more washing and more cleaning and cooking etc.)

With all the glorious sunny weather then of course paddling pools, hose pipes and sprinklers are all on the cards.

After all, people are all stuck at home unable to go to the beach or away on holiday as many would normally at this time of year – so those with gardens want to make the most of them, stay cool and water plants.

And with one of the wettest Januarys and Februarys on record there is no problem right?

Well, it’s not that clear cut and here’s why…

Yes there is enough water sat in reservoirs right now thanks to the rain we have experienced, however, water of course has to go through a process to make it safe before it arrives at your tap.

On an average day, Southern Water treat and supply 538 million litres of water – enough to make half the world’s population a cup of tea.

In lockdown, people are using between 10 and 20 per cent more than usual. But even with the extra demand of lockdown, we can treat more than enough water.

However, in hot weather demand really soars and then it becomes difficult to keep up. Imagine being in a shower when someone turns on a tap downstairs – the water slows to a trickle.

And the hot weather coupled with the extra people at home has meant we are seeing some really high peaks throughout the day; in fact some days during lockdown we have seen an extra 60 million litres demand!

Sprinklers, hoses and paddling pools require extreme large quantities of water, something we should be mindful of during a normal summer anyway, but if that demand hits the network at the same time (which lockdown is causing it to do) it causes demand to out weigh supply.

Quite simply, if lots of people fill pools and use hoses and sprinklers – the water supply has to be split between all demands.

So you see, this is why water companies like Southern are asking everyone across the country to use water wisely during lockdown – the demand on the hot days is too high. The water treatment works which are more than capable of producing more than enough water for all essential use are very suddenly stretched.

Especially as these days fewer people have the single occupancy child paddling pools which only take a few litres and are opting for the larger versions – most pools are now between 500 and 1000 litres, with some whoppers as big as 3500 litres – that’s a lot of water! It’s worth noting that as we move further into summer; these sums of water can also go on to cause a water shortage too.

Based on just one average 500-1000 litre pool it takes equivalent amount of water for around:

We hope that this helps to make it clear that thanks to the wet weather over winter we are currently in the lucky position that there is no water shortage, but that Southern Water are joining forces with all water companies across the UK to ask people to use water wisely during lockdown, so that demand can be met at all times.

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