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St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley announces job losses due to COVID-19



St Catherine’s Hospice made the announcement through a statement following income loss during Covid-19.

No details have yet been released as to how many job losses there will be and the hospice is clear that services will not be affected for those in their care.

In a statement Chief Executive Giles Tomsett said:

“When 2020 began, none of us could have imagined the direction this year would take. This awful pandemic is a chapter in our personal and working lives that will live with us for a very long time. It has changed the way we all live, love, work and learn.

The same is true for your charitable hospice, St Catherine’s. Throughout the pandemic, we have been as focused as ever on helping local people who are facing the very worst of times while supporting the wider NHS, and I want to thank every one of you who has supported us through this time.

But despite all your amazing support, COVID-19 has placed a huge strain on our income and we’ve had to make the tough decision to change our plans for the next few years to adapt to this changed world.

Although we’re having to scale down our work to reflect our new situation, our ambition has not changed, including our intention to build a new hospice for our community when the time is right. We want to make sure that we can reach even more people who are facing death and bereavement in the future, so that nobody in our community has to face death and loss alone.”

He adds:

“We will be reducing our expenditure right across the charity so that we are as efficient as we can be during these tough times. And we will have less of our amazing team here at the hospice. The people who work at St Catherine’s are professional, dedicated and invariably brilliant. We are the place we are because of them, and because of their passion, humanity, bravery and love. Working at the hospice is so much more than a job to them. So to have to reduce our numbers is tough.

We’re right at the start of this process and we’ll know more about specific changes in the coming months. What I do know is that while we are scaling back, we will work hard to make sure this is only temporary. Our ambition to reach everyone affected by death and dying remains alive and we are determined to succeed.”


Crawley’s first ever ‘Free Supermarket’ opens in Three Bridges to support community



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  or contact the team direct on

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