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Local community projects invited to apply for Gatwick Funding

London Gatwick is inviting community projects that support widening young people’s horizons, families and older people in Sussex, Surrey and Kent to apply for funding from the Gatwick Foundation Fund.

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The fund distributes a total of £300,000 in grants each year, with projects in each county receiving £100,000 a year. 175 organisations and more than 73,000 people have benefited since the fund launched in late 2016, including: 

  • 55 projects in Sussex helping to support 27,610 people
  • 63 projects in Surrey helping to support 30,845 people
  • 57 projects in Kent helping to support 15,000 people

Gatwick has produced five short films showcasing some of the important work that these projects do to support local people. 

The Posh Club is one project that has benefited from a grant.

Three rounds of grants are announced each year and a full list of the latest projects to receive funding in each county can be found below.

Alison Addy, Head of Community Engagement, Gatwick Airport said: “We are delighted to be awarding another round of grants from our Foundation Fund to community projects across the region. 

“The Gatwick Foundation Fund is designed to share the benefits the airport generates among local people and communities, in addition to the many other economic contributions Gatwick brings to the region. We welcome applications from all projects that support families, older people, communities, and education.”

Rosie Elkins, Signposts (Mid Sussex) – a Burgess Hill-based project that helps people with disabilities – said: “Thanks to the Gatwick Foundation Fund, Signposts will be able to continue providing one to one counselling sessions, which are delivered free to our clients. It will also fund our Saturday Club, which is very popular and is a vital social activity for our clients”.

Rev Paddy MacBain, All Saints Church Danehill, which supports the local community, said: “We are hugely grateful to the Gatwick Foundation Fund for supporting our kitchen extension and disabled toilet project for the church at Chelwood Gate. This will make a real difference to people of all ages in this community, from the young people to those who are vulnerable and elderly.”

Maggie May, Merstham Community Café, which provides affordable and nutritious food for the local residents, said: “The Merstham Community Cafe would like to extend grateful thanks to Gatwick for their kind donation towards our funds, to open later and feed children after school with nutritious, healthy food. This provides a great alternative to fast-food and offers them a safe and welcoming atmosphere to do their homework and be properly nourished before going home.”

Graeme Connell MBE, West Kent Debt Advice – providing debt and money advice with branches in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells – said: “Personal debt is a massive and growing problem in this country and gnaws away at the very fabric of society as statistics showing the link to suicides illustrates.  Along with other charities operating in our field we can and do make a difference, but without the backing of organisations like The Gatwick Foundation Fund and Kent Community Foundation it would be very difficult.

Viv Hughes, Tunbridge Wells Welcomes Refugees, which helps refugee families said: “The grant is invaluable because it removes the need for us to be constantly thinking about raising funds and enables us to do the work for which we were set up. We help refugee families in myriads of ways which are already changing from very basic provision to helping younger people into higher education, finding meaningful work, constantly improving English and ensuring, especially for new families, that social isolation does not happen.”

How to apply

Sussex, Surrey and Kent Community Foundations manage the programme and assess all applications for their county. These local trusts and foundations raise funds for and make grants to local charities and community groups, and also manage grant funds on behalf of a wide range of donors, including companies, charities and private individuals. To find out how to apply to the Gatwick Foundation Fund, please contact your local Community Foundation.

Charity

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.

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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:http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/govia-thameslink-railway/pressreleases/gatwick-express-staff-celebrate-35-years-of-operations-2872525

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