Crisis appeal to help Horsham people ‘new to poverty’ because of the pandemic

A crisis appeal has been launched to help people in Horsham who have become ‘new to poverty’ because of the pandemic.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 5:00 pm

Last year a crucial crisis fund gave £2.7 million in grants to local charities working on the Covid-19 frontline - and it has now been relaunched.

Sussex Community Foundation is re-booting the Sussex Crisis Fund and hopes that local people will once again step forward with donations to support those who are struggling to make ends meet.

Among Horsham district charities which benefited last year were Horsham Matters, Auntie Val’s Ability Centre, Beeding and Bramber Pre-School Playgroup, the Springboard Project, Billingshurst Community Partnership, Phoenix Stroke Club - and more.

Horsham Matters helping with the foodbank - socially distanced

Community Foundation chief executive Kevin Richmond said: “This third lockdown is now beginning to ease and we are all delighted to see some light at the end of the tunnel. However, for many people, the fallout from this pandemic is hitting harder than ever and there is much more work for our amazing local charities to do to support those people.”

Local advice agencies say they are seeing new people through their doors - those who are ‘new to poverty’. They have used up their savings and credit limits have been reached.

Many are at a tipping point with their finances and are forced to seek help, having never needed to before, with some using foodbanks for the first time.

Many people have seen job losses and reduced employment opportunities - especially young people and older workers.

Working at Auntie Val's Ability Centre

Many have experienced mental health challenges, and women’s refuges are in high demand with domestic abuse exacerbated by three lockdowns.

“Sussex charities continue to face immense pressure in 2021, with some even facing closure,” said Kevin.

“The vital services they deliver to local people are being stretched almost to breaking point, which is why we are re-launching the Sussex Crisis Fund – with what we are calling the Support and Recovery phase.”

The relaunched Fund will make grants towards mental health support; advice and support services; costs associated with providing food and other vital support and digital services.

“We want to thank everyone who so generously donated last year- please do consider giving again, to make sure that our vital local charities can continue to help those who need it the most.”