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Napoleonic barracks re-opened in Charlwood

On Saturday 6th April Providence Chapel in Charlwood, Surrey, was officially re-opened by Councillor Helyn Clack, Vice-Chair of Surrey County.

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Councillor Helyn Clack, Vice-Chair of Surrey County re-opening the barracks.

The event commenced at 12 noon with a display of Napoleonic soldiering by the 2nd/95th Regiment re-enactors. 

They stood guard at the Chapel and then commenced an impressive rifle display in the field opposite the Chapel discharging as many as half a dozen period rifles at any one time (firing blanks) and demonstrating some of the more common manoeuvres that their counterparts would have undertaken 200 years ago. 

Quote from the sergeant of the 2nd/95th Regiment –  ‘Why are we here? – Because this is our spiritual home. This building is where it all began. This building is the start of our famous story’

The Chapel holds a special place in the hearts of 2/95th as the regiment was originally billeted in Horsham barracks where the Chapel was constructed as part of the barracks in 1797.  In 1815 it was dismantled and moved to Charlwood and re-erected there as a nonconformist Chapel.

The re-enactors continued to display throughout the afternoon with fascinating explanations concerning their formation and unique features and how they revolutionised warfare. 

A local group of singers and musicians sang Napoleonic period songs in the Chapel and in between the entertainment attendees enjoyed inspecting the building and learning about its history and renovation from the exhibition and trustees/partners/volunteers.   

A selection of photographs and a short video from the event appear on https://www.providencechapelcharlwood.org/gallery.php

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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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