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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

Charity

The Big Crawley Sleepout raises £14,000 for charities

80 people chose to sleep outside on the night of Thursday 21 March to support two local charities – Crawley Open House and YMCA Crawley.

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The mass sponsored sleepout event aims to raise vital funds for homeless and vulnerable people across Crawley, and saw local people, businesses and councillors come together to spend a night sleeping under the stars. To date, the event has raised almost £14,000. 

West Sussex County Council is cutting funding to the housing related support budget over the next few years, from £6.3m to £2.3m by 2020/21, putting increasing pressure on local charities. Crawley Open House and YMCA Crawley have a long history in the town and called on the local community to help protect services in the area. Funds raised at the event will be split jointly between the organisations, with money raised helping some of the county’s most disadvantaged people.

Charlie Arratoon, Director of Crawley Open House, says:

“We are all aware that homelessness is increasing, with more people on the streets and more ‘hidden homeless’ who are insecurely housed and not sure where they will be night after night. An event like this does not replicate homelessness but does bring sharply into focus the luxuries many of us take for granted.”  

Sharon Rawcliffe, Senior Project Worker at YMCA Crawley, adds:

“The money raised by the Big Crawley Sleepout will make a huge difference to the vulnerable and homeless people we work with. We are so thankful for those who slept out for a night – we have an amazing community here in Crawley. 

Among those sleeping out on-the-night was Simone, who commented:

“Crawley Sleepout was a big eye opener for me. I didn’t realise how painful it would be trying to sleep on a layer of cardboard, and homeless people do it night after night. I think the YMCA and Crawley Open House do amazing work.”

Donations are still welcome at bit.ly/CrawleyGive

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