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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


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.

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