Gatwick Airport charity offers grants

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Grants are being offered to projects and groups in the Horsham district by Independent charity Gatwick Airport Community Trust (GACT).

The charity has been awarding grants annually to local community projects in parts of East and West Sussex, Surrey and Kent for the past 10 years.

During that time hundreds of projects have benefitted from funds to help a wide range of projects in those areas where people are directly affected by operations at Gatwick Airport.

The Trust has encouraged and supported schemes that benefit diverse sections of the local community and are targeted towards the development of young people, the arts, sporting facilities, environmental improvement and conservation, improvements to community facilities, volunteering, the elderly and the disabled.

In 2012 GACT awarded grants to 144 different projects and two of these received grants over £5,000.

Local charity Home-Start Crawley, Horsham and Mid-Sussex (CHAMS) were awarded a grant of £10,000 per year for three years to support the work that Home- Start CHAMS carries out with vulnerable families in need.

It will enable them to recruit and train volunteers who visit the families in their own homes, as well as developing their fundraising work, following the recent recruitment of a new Fundraising Manager.

Ifield Community Youth Services was awarded a one-off grant of £13,500 to support their mobile studio project.

This will provide them with a vehicle that can be a mobile recording studio, a community festival broadcast unit, or transport to take equipment to schools and other locations to teach skills in editing, recording, designing and broadcasting musical performances.

The demand for grants always exceeds the funds available and the normal level of grants is from £500 to £3,000.

Occasional larger grants may be considered if the impact is targeted to benefit a significant number of people and is considered to make a valuable and noticeable difference longer term.

Mike Roberts, GACT chairman said: “Last year trustees allocated funding of £168,565 to 144 different projects. Applications for grants are assessed by a board of nine trustees who all bring local knowledge and expertise to the Trust ensuring that the money is used to the maximum benefit of the local community. Our independence means we have wide discretion in how we decide to spend our funds.

“Each year a number of grants are awarded subject to certain conditions being met such as planning permission or further promises of funding and each year trustees follow-up a number of projects to ensure grants have been applied correctly.

“All successful applicants are asked to complete a project report and it’s great to see what a difference a grant of between £500 and £3,000 can make.”

Anyone seeking funding for a local community project can get more information and application forms from

The deadline for receipt of grant applications in 2013 is March 11 and unconditional grants will be paid by the end of May.