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Volunteers sleep rough in Queens Square for Crawley Open House

29 people slept outside to raise awareness of homelessness locally, and funds for Crawley Open House who try and do something about it.



The voluntary rough sleepers with Crawley Mayor, Brian Quinn.

Last night (12 April) saw staff and volunteers from Crawley Open House brave the cold as they slept rough in Queens Square.

The group of 29 local people included staff and trustees from COH, as well as supporters from local companies, organisations and places of worship.

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They all came together to raise awareness about homelessness, and to raise funds for Crawley Open House which provides support and services for those suffering the effects of homelessness, unemployment, loneliness, discrimination, or other forms of social exclusion.

Crawley Mayor, Brian Quinn attended the event to ‘check up’ on the volunteers during the evening and local businesses offered their help.

The rough sleepers with Crawley Mayor, Brian Quinn.

The brand-new Arabica Coffee House, showed their support by offering tea and coffees on arrival and McDonalds were on hand to give the rough sleepers a well-needed breakfast in the morning.

Deputy director at Crawley Open House, Glenn Stubbs said:

“We were very pleased with how the event went. It was lovely to have the support from the community and so many people keen to develop their understanding of the issues homeless people face.”

Crawley Open House’s volunteers, all fast asleep.

Some of the team at Crawley Open House will be running the Gatwick half marathon, and people from other businesses will be running to help raise money, and awareness.

PCSO’s from Crawley Police attended the sleep out:

For more information about Crawley Open House, go to

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Crawley boy receives pioneering kit to help with his disabilities



Eleven-year-old Theakston Lee-Watson is among the first recipients of innovative new equipment to provide disabled children with sensory activities in their own home.

Theakston, from Crawley in Sussex, received the equipment from Caudwell Children as part of a UK-first charity campaign to deliver sensory equipment and support to disabled children across the country.

The sensory pack will provide a range of therapeutic benefits for Theakston, who has autism and sensory processing disorder, helping him regulate his emotions and develop his motor skills. 

Theakston’s mum, Kitty Lee-Watson, has already noticed the benefits the equipment brings.

Kitty said:

“He has a lot of anxiety at the moment, I now have the sensory pack out on his bedroom floor so when he has a meltdown it’s easy to guide him to something or distract him. This has been a real help.

“Theakston’s favourite part of the Get Sensory pack is the Fibre Optic Light as it’s both visual and tactile. He likes touching the fibres.”

Caudwell Children has pledged to provide thousands of families with essential sensory equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic – with each family receiving a pack of appropriate and safe toys to support children living with a wide range of disabilities. 

Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children, said:

“Our Get Sensory Packs are designed to support children who are likely to benefit from sensory resources – it’s so encouraging to hear that Theakston is enjoying using the equipment and his family can see the benefits already.”

“We’ve committed to provide thousands of families with a pack, because we know it’s difficult to access resources at the moment.

“To deliver on that we’re now calling for anyone who can to make a difference to the life of a disabled child by donating to our Get Sensory Packs campaign – you can make a life-changing difference from just £5.”

Caudwell Children launched its Get Sensory Packs campaign following consultation with parents to find the most appropriate and safe sensory items – selected by the charity’s Occupational Therapists.

The packs include:

  • A Liquid Cell Timer,
  • Scented Bubbles,
  • A BoBo Massager,
  • Sissle Brush,
  • 4 Ball Massager,
  • Weighted Cushion,
  • Spikey Domes,
  • Space Blanket, and
  • A Fibre Optic Lamp.

Packs are available to children who have a confirmed disability or chronic illness. Families can apply directly to Caudwell Children for support, with the charity providing 80% of the cost of each pack.

Families will be asked to contribute 20% of the cost, which is £20, and to confirm their financial status and their child’s diagnosis. More information is available at

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