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Gatwick Express team gives cash boost to Crawley charity

The Gatwick Express team has given a local charity a cash boost following a number of staff fundraising initiatives in recent months.



Maria Cook, Chair of Autism Support Crawley (left) takes delivery of a 'rail ticket cheque' from Gatwick Express managers

Autism Support Crawley, which supports children and adults on the autistic spectrum, has been given a generous donation of £1,931.15 thanks to kind-hearted Gatwick Express staff who have taken part in a series of activities at Gatwick Airport Station, including cake sales, a Christmas jumper competition and bucket appeals.

Station staff were delighted to be able to hand over a cheque to Autism Support Crawley on Tuesday, May 21 to the chairperson of the charity, Maria Cook.

She said:

“We are thrilled to receive such wonderful support from everyone at Gatwick Express.

“Their response to the voluntary work that we do for over 1,200 families across Sussex and Surrey is overwhelming. This will go a long way in helping us to continue to support families and work with lots of different professions to improve understanding, acceptance and inclusion in society,”she added.

Gatwick Express staff were inspired to support the charity after hosting a group from Autism Support Crawley for a ‘Try a Train’ event, during which autistic young people and adults were shown around the station to help them become more familiar and confident when travelling by train, as well as how to buy tickets to support more independent travel.

Gatwick area station manager David Stronell said:

“We’re really proud of all the work we have done to help the charity. The whole station has been involved in the fundraising.

“Since we started supporting the charity, it has sparked a lot of conversations and a lot of staff have talked about having children on the autistic spectrum. It has brought us all together and got people opening up about autism, which in turn has raised awareness for us all,” said David.

Charity trustee, member and service user Charlotte Gover said:

“The amazing donation from Gatwick Express will support so many of our families by enabling us to continue to provide information sessions, conferences, coffee mornings, evening meetings and much needed inclusive family events.”

Staff at Gatwick are now gearing up for their next fundraising events so watch this space!

This month also marks the 35th birthday of Gatwick Express and there have been plenty of activities going on to celebrate the occasion.

For more information, visit:


Crawley Bowls Club brave 120-foot-high Zip Wire for charity



A group of members of the Crawley Downsman Bowls Club have raised over £900 – and counting – for military charity Blind Veterans UK as they took park in a nail-biting 120-foot-high Zip Wire Challenge from the top of its rehabilitation and training centre in Ovingdean.

Under the supervision of the Royal Marines, the members took part in the challenge on Sunday 12 May

Tony Ludbrook, 63 from Crawley and current Club Captain said of the experience that:

“We put all our faith in the Royal Marines and launched ourselves off the building and onto the zip wire – a fantastic feeling and over all too quickly!

“We have blind and visually impaired bowlers at our club, most of whom use the facilities at the Brighton centre so it seemed a natural thing to make Blind veterans UK charity of the year. When we got the opportunity to do this, we had quite a few people jump at the chance. It was a great day, great fun, great charity – the Downsman Bowlers had a super time”

Val Micklewright, 75 and from Crawley, is a member of the club with a personal association to the charity who took part in the challenge.

She said:

“It’s an amazing charity. The way they handle things for the visually impaired, it makes their lives worth living again and I can say that from personal experience with the help that they gave myself and my husband. I can never thank them enough so I’m very happy to be supporting them. We’re delighted by how much we’ve raised but hope to raise even more.”

To donate to Downsmans Bowls Club’s fundraiser visit their page at:

The Zip Wire Challenge is just one of the ways to support Blind Veterans UK. You can find out more at

Find out more about Downsman Bowls Club by visiting:<>

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