Small charities get big funds

HOR 050711 West Chiltington cricket club playing Pulborough for their cricket week. photo by derek martin
HOR 050711 West Chiltington cricket club playing Pulborough for their cricket week. photo by derek martin

A whopping £19,400 has been allocated to local non-profit organisations by the West Sussex Big Society Fund.

Six West Sussex charities have received a share of the fund as part of the government’s Big Society agenda, launched in April of last year by David Cameron.

The initiative was created to help County Councillors fund social enterprises and charities that have proven to achieve Big Society objectives including community empowerment, public service reform and social action.

West Chiltington Cricket Club received £7,500 after a bid was submitted by local Cllr Pat Arculus.

She said: “They’re currently raising funds to rebuild the pavilion on the recreation ground.

“There aren’t suitable changing facilities or a social meeting place for the residents.

“This will be a bonus for the whole village.”

Pulborough Community Partnership received £1,500 to help develop a new village website and online community directory.

Co-director of the organisation, Richard Keatley, shared his enthusiasm: “This is a helpful contribution from the County Council.

“We have a small team of local volunteers working to create the site.”

The Partnership is also exploring the possibility of setting up a drop in community hub for the village library.

Cllr David Simmons placed a bid for The Gypsy and Travellers Forum that was subsequently allocated £3,400.

He said: “I have a huge background in working in the voluntary sector and as many people know volunteers aren’t necessarily free, we need to source funding for them to function.”

The Gypsy and Travellers Forum hosts regular meetings in Billingshurst offering support and advice for the Romany and Travelling community.

“It’s been built up over the last seven years and gives the travelling community a much needed voice.”

Cllr Simmons continued to say that the forum fulfils a need for travellers that are too afraid to seek advice on issues like site provision because of the prejudice targeted at the community.

Capital to fund the nationwide project has been sourced from dormant bank accounts worth up to £400m and a further £200m donated by Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and RBS.

Other awarded West Sussex charities include Ifield Barn Theatre Group - £1,000; Warm and Well Adur and Worthing - £5,000; and Bosham Village Hall - £1,000.

A total of over £200,000 has already been allocated by the West Sussex Big Society Fund.