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Crawley College student uses hand carving talent to raise money for local charity

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A Crawley College carpentry student has been raising money for charity – and showcasing his talent for hand carving.

Ben David, who is studying level 2 bench joinery, put his talent to the test to raise money for Crawley Open House, a local homeless charity. He raised £50 thanks to the generosity of local resident Izzy to carve his second oak sign – and donated the proceeds to charity.

Trevor Francis, lecturer in carpentry & joinery, said:

“Izzy supported Ben in his wonderful efforts and was really very pleased with the quality of Ben’s workmanship.

“Once again, Ben produced a fantastic piece of work and raised some much need funds for a local charity in a short amount of time.”

Ben put his skills to the test quickly and, before the college campus closed in March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ben manufactured the timber using machinery in the workshops.

Ben and Izzy

He then set out the lettering and hand carved the sign before fitting fixing brackets to the back. He treated the wood with a preservative, picked out the lettering in a black paint and then varnished the sign to protect it from the rain.

Ian Wilkins, from Crawley Open House, said:

“Thank you so much to Ben and Izzy for this generous hard work and donations. It is especially appreciated in the current circumstances.”

Last year, Ben hand carved a special sign for Ifield Water Mill.

Charity

Crawley’s first ever ‘Free Supermarket’ opens in Three Bridges to support community

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On Sunday (8th November} Crawley’s first ever ‘free supermarket’ opened its doors to the local community.

The Free Shop Crawley is a store run by volunteers with the sole purpose of providing locals with food, toiletries and baby essentials without any associated cost.

Inspired by Marcus Rashford and his campaign to have school meals funded year-round, the stores inception came about when four local women shared a common desire to create a safe place for people in need to come and receive help without fear or shame.

Laura-Jane Wainwright, one of the founders of Free Shop Crawley said:

“Having used food banks in the past, I know first-hand how degrading it can feel.  We wanted to create a dignified space where anyone in need could come and access essentials in a friendly and inclusive environment. The thought of children going to bed hungry and adults losing sleep over financial anxiety broke our hearts and we knew we had to use our skills and resources to help”

Shoppers are encouraged to take up to 10 items from the shop each visit giving them a full basket of daily necessities. Anyone is eligible to visit the store and although there is a ticketing system in place the team are ready to welcome anyone who is in need.

The shop offers a fresh produce section, toiletries and sanitary care, tinned and dried goods, nappies and formula and even children’s clothing and toys.

In week one alone, over 100 people have been fed by the shops offering, showing just how big a need there is for support in not just this area but country wide.

Local businesses have been quick to support the store donating essentials by the van load, even down to kitting out the shop with shelving, tables and hanging racks. Companies including Asda, Co-op and Tilgate Bakery have committed to donate to the store each week.

Free Shop Crawley can be found at CJ’s café, Kingsland Court, Three Bridges, Crawley, RH10 1HL, on Sundays from 2pm-4pm.

Anyone wishing to donate or find out more can visit the Free Shop Crawley Facebook page www.facebook.com/freeshopcrawley  or contact the team direct on freeshopcrawley@gmail.com

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