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“Wonderful people doing a wonderful job”, response as Crawley Councils help hub supports hundreds of residents and businesses

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More businesses and residents are getting the support they need with the help of business grants and food parcels.

Crawley Borough Council’s Help Hub has supported 984 of the town’s most vulnerable residents and the council has awarded more than £5.8million in grants to 395 businesses across the borough. The council was the first in West Sussex to pay grants to businesses.

The grant schemes form part of the Government’s plan to support local businesses severely affected by the pandemic. Businesses can benefit from the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

Hundreds of businesses haven’t yet applied for this financial help. If you believe your business is eligible email economic.development@crawley.gov.uk and you will be sent a link to apply.

The Help Hub was created to assist residents who are vulnerable or high risk who may need food and medical supplies or a friendly voice to chat to. Since it began in March the hub has received a range of positive feedback from users:

  • “What an amazing job your team are doing, delivering food parcels and collecting medication #amazing”
  • “Well done for helping the vulnerable”
  • “I received a large box with all essentials from you. Can’t tell you how very much it is appreciated. So thank you so very much”
  • “As I have health conditions that put me in a vulnerable group, I am unable to go out. I was extremely grateful that I was able to ask for my prescription to be collected and delivered. The lady dealing with my request was cheerful and pleasant and my prescription was delivered by a very pleasant man who also enquired if I was ok. Thank you so much – you were great!”
  • “Thank you! Very efficient service”
  • “Wonderful people doing a wonderful job helping those much in need”

The council said they would like to thank all residents for getting in touch and offering their thanks and other positive comments, your words are much appreciated by staff during this difficult time. They also said that on Facebook it has been fantastic to see so many residents sending pictures of their rainbow displays, supporting NHS staff.

Leader of Crawley Borough Council, Councillor Peter Lamb, said:

“On behalf of the council, I would like to thank all key workers who have been working hard to provide healthcare, childcare, supplies and other essentials that help the rest of us stay home and keep safe.”

While most people will have friends and family to support them, any resident who may not have a support network and is isolated or vulnerable, can request an emergency parcel.

Call the Help Hub on 01293 438000 between 8.30am and 5pm if you need help. Alternatively, you can email covid-19.support@crawley.gov.uk or complete an eform available at crawley.gov.uk/coronavirus

For the latest coronavirus information and advice visit gov.uk/coronavirus and crawley.gov.uk/coronavirus

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BREAKING NEWS: Sainsbury’s to close Crawley town centre store

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It has been an historic part of the town centre for decades, but now the supermarket on Queensway is to close its doors with the potential loss of jobs.

Image: Google Street View

Sainsbury’s says it has made the difficult decision after announcing it would close up to 15 supermarkets a year ago, pre-covid.

Sources close to the Crawley supermarket say that staff began finding out the news yesterday.

The supermarket said they would work with their staff at the site to try to find alternative roles within the firm.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson speaking to Crawley News 24 said,

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Crawley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online and at our nearby stores. For example, our West Green store is a short drive away.”

Whilst a date for the closure has not been announced, some sources say it could be as soon as January ’21.

Cllr Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic said:

“I am sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs at this difficult time when most supermarkets are reporting improving profits.

We have had enquiries from other supermarkets looking for suitable sites who may recognise that there will shortly be an additional 2500 residential homes just a short walk away from this prestigious location. We will be doing all we can to help find a quality occupier as soon as we can.”

Crawley Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“It is tremendously saddening to read that one of the original major shops in the town centre is closing. A lot of housing provision is currently being created in the town centre area and there is an increasing, not decreasing need for food retailers in the town centre.

We haven’t even begun to knock down the administrative offices of the town hall which will be replaced by a huge apartment block, and they are still building the first apartment block on the former council car park as I type this! I genuinely hope that another food retailer grabs the huge opportunity to take on that store.”

The news comes just one after one of the most iconic town centre independent store, P&J Sweets also announced they were to close.

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