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Local charities ‘Bowled Over’ by Crawley clubs donation

In 2018, the Downsman Bowls Club tradition of raising money for local and worthwhile charities continued



Club Chairman, Derek Godden, presenting the cheque to Rachel Chitty, the regional fundraiser at the Blind Veterans UK Centre in Ovingdean.

Over 30 years they have raised over £20,000 for charities such as St. Catherine’s Hospice, Sussex Air Ambulance, The Rainbow Trust and more recently, Autism Support Crawley and the Springboard Project.

Whilst bowling is the predominant focus of the club, supporting the community and helping charities is all part of their ethos.

In 2018 and indeed this year, the charity supported is Blind Veterans UK based in Ovingdean near Brighton.  Not only is this a great charity, but the club have a number of blind and visually impaired bowlers who make use of their facilities.

The Downsman Bowls Club raised £200 through raffles, clothes and card sales but the main fundraising event, a day of fun bowling, had to be cancelled twice due to the weather. This is the reason why they are supporting the charity again this year.

Last week, the club Chairman, Derek Godden, presented the cheque to Rachel Chitty, their regional fundraiser, at the Blind Veterans UK Centre in Ovingdean.

If you want to know more about the Downsman Bowls club, whether you fancy a go at bowls whatever your age or ability, take a look at their website or contact their captain, Tony Ludbrook at or on 07702 463198 orful Ac


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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