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How more than 600 runners have helped a Crawley school raise almost £7k for NHS

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They have come together as a community to support the NHS but in a very unique way.

Starting out as a Sussex football community initiative it was picked up by Head of PE from Oriel High School, Ryan Ashley putting forward the challenge after himself running the 5K and donating some money.

Since then another 619 runners have taken part who are a mix of teachers, students, parents, carers and even friends of the school with some running from as far afield as New Zealand, Abu Dhabi and South Africa.

So far they have raised an amazing £6744.

Ryan Ashley said:

“We’re so proud of the support that all sections of the Oriel community have given towards such a great cause and initiative.

The school’s fundraising efforts have gained recognition from sports stars Dina Asher-Smith, Jofra Archer, Delray Rawlins and Karen Pickering MBE, as well as from Kevin Keehan & Scott Kirkwood who set up the Run5k4NHS initiative and the BSUH charity themselves.”

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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