The County Times is proud to be launching its Christmas campaign this year supporting Horsham charities and church groups which help vulnerable people.
This year we are supporting the work of Horsham Matters, the ARK Horsham and Horsham Age UK.
Each of them works to support people in the town and district who may otherwise be alone over Christmas.
Editor In Chief Gary Shipton said: “The economy is improving but for some Horsham families in the Horsham district times remain terribly tough.
“That’s why we are delighted to be supporting three amazing local organisations as part of our Christmas appeal this year. Horsham is a wonderful community. I know local people will join us in supporting these great causes - and helping those of our neighbours who are most in need.”
Horsham Matters was established about a decade ago as a charity shop and warehouse in Guildford Road. That part of its work still exists, but the charity has now grown into a group of projects including a district-wide youthwork programme, foodbanks, a town centre charity shop and the winter night shelter supported by the town’s churches.
Even though the country seems to be coming out of recession, Horsham Matters found the need to open a fifth foodbank earlier this year.
In association with the national charity Trussell Trust, it runs two foodbanks in Horsham, one in Henfield, one in Storrington and another in Billingshurst. They operate under a voucher system where agencies refer people to them who are in need of help.
The ARK Horsham is a charity that runs a drop-in service at Horsham United Reformed Church. An army of volunteers help homeless, unemployed and other vulnerable individuals through crises. They provide a hot meal twice a week, advice and advocacy with medical appointments, job applications and benefits. The volunteers also lend a listening ear to people struggling with life circumstances, including those with mental health problems.
The Horsham branch of Age UK, based at Lavinia House in Denne Road, runs a Christmas Day meal each year for those elderly people. The rest of the year they provide much needed support for our increasing elderly population and their families, running activities, offering advice and support.
In the coming weeks we will look in more detail at each of these charities’ works at Christmas and throughout the rest of the year.