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Over 900 people attend St Catherine’s Hospice Tree Of Light to remember loved ones

Around 900 people came together to remember someone they love at St Catherine’s Hospice Tree of Light on Sunday (9 December).

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Photos by Toby Phillips – TobyPhillipsphotography.co.uk

The service, which gave local people a chance to hang personalised dedication stars on Christmas trees and listen to reflective readings, took place at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley.

Photos by Toby Phillips – TobyPhillipsphotography.co.uk

Alongside the readings, people listened to Wendy Buckingham speak about the care her husband Ken received from St Catherine’s in 2016.

Photos by Toby Phillips – TobyPhillipsphotography.co.uk

They also enjoyed music from the OneVoice Community Choir and a solo performance of Ed Sheeran’s song, Photograph, by Rasela Sosoli.

Photos by Toby Phillips – TobyPhillipsphotography.co.uk

During the service Tina Meadows, a Nursing Assistant on St Catherine’s Inpatient Unit and Matt Buckland, Senior Physiotherapist, carried the Book of Remembrance forward. People were also able to view the book as they enjoyed mince pies and hot drinks after the service.

Photos by Toby Phillips – TobyPhillipsphotography.co.uk

Traditionally, Christmas is a time when people come together with family and friends. But for many people who are bereaved it can also be a time of sadness. St Catherine’s recognises this and is here to help. In addition to supporting patients and their families, the hospice also helps people in the wider community through bereavement groups in Crawley and Oxted. These groups are open to everyone, regardless of whether they have a connection to St Catherine’s.

Photos by Toby Phillips – TobyPhillipsphotography.co.uk

Reverend Lisa Rainier, Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Lead at St Catherine’s, said:

“It was a privilege to lead our Tree of Light service and have so many people join us to remember someone special to them. We hope it provided comfort to those who attended. We’d also like to thank everyone who made a donation to our hospice. Your generosity and kindness will help us provide care for even more people in the future.”

For more information about St Catherine’s, or to make a donation to support local people this Christmas please visit: www.stch.org.uk

Business

‘It’s not nearly enough funding’ warns Crawley Council as business grant applications open

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Eligible businesses can now apply for the latest round of business grants but Crawley Borough Council says the funding is not nearly enough.

Despite Crawley being responsible for 25 per cent of the economic output in West Sussex, it has been given some of the lowest grant funding in the county.

The government has given the council £3,733,396 made up of:

  • £1,485,216 in Local Restrictions Support Grant to distribute to businesses that pay business rates and have had to close during the second lockdown
  • £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that don’t pay business rates and have been affected by the lockdown but not legally required to close.

Out of seven local authorities in West Sussex, only one received less than Crawley’s combined grants figure. Five councils received more.

The Additional Restrictions Grant is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town. This means that Arun District Council, for example, has received £3,215,160 due to a larger population but smaller economy.

And only one council in West Sussex received less than Crawley across both rounds of grant funding in April and November. Crawley received a total of £17,167,646. The highest – Chichester District Council – received £43,739,396.

In the first round of grants earlier this year only 23 per cent of Crawley businesses received financial help from the government.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“The pot of grant funding provided by the government is very limited and does not recognise the number of businesses we have in Crawley.

“The way the grant settlement is calculated – on population and not on the size of the economy – means we have to turn most businesses away, while other councils have millions to spare. This is causing major hardship at a time when Crawley is already the hardest-hit economy in the UK.”

Businesses that have had to close during the second lockdown can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant by visiting https://grantapproval.co.uk

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