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Crawley school students show their support for local charity through fund raising

A group of students at Thomas Bennett Community College have recently been working hard to raise money for Crawley Open House as part of a community project.



Thomas Bennett student Elizabeth Francis with teacher Jess Halsey

The small group of students decided to raise money by holding one of the schools very popular cake sales. 

A total of £70 was raised and all of the money was used to purchase much needed treats, food and toiletries for donation to Crawley Open House.

Thomas Bennett students delivery food to Open House

Personally delivering the donations allowed the students to truly understand what a difference their efforts made. 

The students really enjoyed the whole experience and have now enthusiastically put forward some more fantastic ideas for fundraising in the future.

Having recently heard that West Sussex County Council have made drastic cuts to grants for the centre from September, the School are delighted to be able to help. 

Head Teacher, Stuart Smith says,

“It’s very important to Thomas Bennett Community College that we support charities like the Crawley Open House who play such a vital role in supporting vulnerable and homeless people in the local community”.


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



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  or contact the team direct on

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