Sussex Community Foundation is celebrating a decade of supporting hundreds of good causes giving out more than £20million in grants since it started.
More than 1,500 groups – including many in the Horsham area – have benefited from the foundation’s various funds with over 300 grants being given to charities and community groups across Sussex.
The foundation’s presence has been felt throughout the region from Crawley in the north to Brighton & Hove in the south.
Founded by the Duke of Richmond, it aims to address the deprivation in parts of the Sussex community. He said: “People look at Sussex as quite well off and comfortable but there are pockets of deprivation. It is in my view a scandal that there are areas in Sussex which are in the bottom 20 per cent of national measures of social deprivation.”
The Horsham & Crawley HomeStart and Horsham Samaritans are just two examples of community solutions that have received up to £5,000 worth of grants.
This money ensures that these institutions remain a vital support to local people in the community.
Streetlight, a Horsham based charity that supports women trapped in trafficking, escorting and prostitution and at risk of sexual exploitation, has received £3,000 from the Nick & Gill Wills Fund and £2,000 from the William Reed Fund.
Since it was established it has expanded to the Crawley and Gatwick area thanks to support from organisations such as the foundation.
The Dame Vera Lynn Trust is another charity which has benefitted from money from the William Reed Fund. A grant of
£2,277 will help pay for the costs of four weekly, three-hour small group sessions to the 50 children with cerebral palsy and other motor disabilities, and their families.
The Foundation is also available to take control of family and friends’ funds.
One example is the Innes Memorial Fund, set up by JA Innes to benefit the people of the Horsham district. In 2014 the family of Mr Innes approached the foundation to propose that their family money be managed by them.
His grandson James Innes expressed his delight at the Sussex Community Foundation’s work.
In a statement of the foundation’s website, Mr Innes says of the fund: “We are very pleased that the Foundation is able to perpetuate the work of the Innes Memorial Fund and that my grandfather’s legacy will continue to benefit needy people in the Horsham area.”
The now defunct Government Community First programme was also a boast to the fund as it increased its value by 25 per cent. The takeover has allowed those in the Horsham area to benefit more from the such schemes.
Nigel Scott-Dickeson, head of the Horsham Springboard Project, is delighted with the foundation’s continued support for unique disability projects like theirs. The charity has received £2,000 from the William Reed Fund for The Crawley Buddies Group.
He said: “Our charity has received funding support from Sussex Community Foundation for over ten years. They are very unique in the way that they source a variety of funding from their donors and benefactors.”
Nigel also praised the foundation’s partners. He said: “They have also run a number of partnership events in which we are often involved and they have also introduced us to some very influential funders and supporters with visits to our Centre and to the other partnership events that they arrange for small local charities.”
The variety of grants available through the fund is shown by clubs like the Horsham based West Sussex Mediation Service, which received a Comic Relief grant towards their running costs. It also received £2,575 from the Innes Memorial Fund.
The service organiser remains grateful for their support saying: “The grant gave us some flexibility and allowed us to be a bit more creative in our service provision. It is satisfying to know that we have reached more people in need and help relieve the impact of conflicts in the community.”
The comments of appreciation from a service user sums up the feeling of goodwill towards the foundation and its work: “Thank you, your help was much appreciated. It’s a very useful service. It has helped our situation, hopefully on a permanent basis. It would not have happened without your help.”
The certainty that foundations offer is no doubt of help to charities in our area and the service that Sussex Community Foundation is no different.
Miranda Kemp, who spoke on behalf of the Sussex Community Foundation said: “It is building an endowment fund for Sussex, currently standing at over £11 million.”
This will ensure that future charities have access to grants and that the work of supporting organisations in Sussex can continue long into the future.
For more information on how the foundation is helping people in your area visit www.sussexgiving.org.uk or contact the Foundation for details on 01273 409440.