Posts Tagged ‘charity’

Record Breaking Day for Local Fundraising Group

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Fundraisers put their best foot forward on Easter Sunday when they took part in the second annual Pillars to Plough ‘eggstravaganza’, which this year incorporated a record-breaking three-legged challenge!

With walkers choosing to complete one, five, ten or twenty mile routes back from Brighton, Bolney, Handcross, or Ifield Community College, everyone had the opportunity to get involved. The event raised thousands for Ifield Chestnut House, a local fundraising group which supports Crawley-based cancer support centre The Olive Tree, and Sussex’s only children’s hospice, Chestnut Tree House, amongst other charities and projects in the area.

Pictures of the second annual Pillars to Plough event at the Plough Inn, Ifield:

For Tom Vanhinsbergh, 33, from Ifield and Ben Le Beau, 34, from Fareham walking a mere twenty miles wasn’t enough of a challenge. They decided to not only walk to Brighton and back, but to do it tied together – three-legged – in an attempt to break the Guinness world record.

Accompanied by Andre Van Niekerk, Scott Bidwell, George Spurgeon, Chris Spurgeon, Gary Bidwell, Lloyd Holman and Tom Byrne, who also completed the forty-mile-route, and were on-hand to make sure Guinness’ rules and regulations were met, the intrepid group set off from the Plough in Ifield at 3am on Sunday 8th April, arriving at ‘the Brighton Pillars’ just after 8.30am, where they met the group of walkers about to start the twenty-miles back to Ifield. They then had to walk an additional half a mile, before turning around and making their way back to The Plough – a total of forty-one miles in twelve hours.

The last few record breaking steps by Tom & Ben:

Guinness are yet to confirm the record has been broken, but having beaten the distance covered in the previous record by an additional 0.98 of a mile within the twelve-hour time slot, Tom and Ben’s mammoth effort will be hard to beat.

Speaking after completing the challenge, which they have been training for since November 2011, Tom, who has been involved with Ifield Chestnut House since 2009, said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us during the challenge – we’ve been really moved by how the community has come together to get behind the event. Thanks to everyone who took part in the event, to the support team who have been fantastic, to all the local businesses who pledged sponsorship, to everyone who has donated money, to The Plough for allowing us to base the day there, and especially to everyone who turned up to show us support along the route, which really gave us the boost we needed to get through such a tough day!”

Tom (left) and Ben after completing the walk

Organiser, Gary Morris, who founded Ifield Chestnut House in 2008, and completed the twenty mile walk, said: “It really was a ‘funtastic’ day! We have been bowled over by the support we’ve received, and the total raised on JustGiving by both the walk and the three-legged challenge has already topped £13,500, with a lot more money expected to come in over the next few weeks. I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in making this year’s event such a success, and we look forward to making next year even bigger and better!”

Plans are already being made for next year’s event, but if you would like to make a donation this year, the JustGiving page is still active. Please visit:

Write up by Victoria Lockwood

Page Photos by Alan Burgess

Santas foggy fun run

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

On Sunday 20th November the second annual ‘Santas On The Run’ event was held in the memorial gardens, Crawley.

On this foggy Sunday morning over 350 entrants, all dressed in Santa outfits, ran and walked either one or two miles depending on their chosen route. The event raised in excess of £15,000 for Chestnut Tree House, a childrens hospice based in Arundel.

Said Event Organiser, Jo Carden: ‘Thank you so much to everyone who took part in Santas on the Run and made the event such a huge success. We would like to say a special thank you to all of our volunteers and marshals for their help; Malcolm Gray from Retrospect Event Sound; Jeanie Marshal Foods for donating mince pies; Edgars Water for supplying our runners with a well-earned drink; McDonalds Restaurant for providing vouchers for hot drinks after the run; the Mayor of Crawley, Cllr Carol Eade for starting the run; InChoir for performing in Queens Square after the run and holding a collection and Crawley Town Centre and County Mall for their support.

‘Once again, the people of Crawley have helped us put on a wonderful event; the atmosphere was just fantastic and everyone involved had a fun and festive morning whilst raising vital funds for a great local cause. We hope that after all of the sponsorship money has been collected, this year’s Santas on the Run will have raised in excess of £15,000 which will help us make it a very special Christmas for the children and families that we support.’  SOURCE:

A little goes a long way for charity

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Amanda Lund-Batchelor and her husband Duncan of Ananda Healing Limited felt compelled to donate a percentage of their companies earnings to a worthy charity and St Catherine’s is close too their hearts.

Ananda Healing Limited

For the last three years, Amanda and her husband Duncan have run a Holistics Therapy Practice called Ananda Healing Limited. They feel very passionate about peoples wellbeing and care and felt the synergee between the work they do and St Catherine’s to be very apt. Amanda and Duncan donate to one charity a year so when her father became ill and was cared for by the staff at St Catherine’s the connection become even more valuable. Amanda told us St Catherine’s has always been one of her favourite charities for the work they do, which extends to the families as well as the person who is unwell.

St Catherine’s Hospice:

St Catherine’s Hospice is a charity dedicated to providing specialised end of life care and support to local people, their families, friends and carers.

For over 25 years we have been providing high quality hospice care, free of charge, to people living in Crawley, Horsham, Mid Sussex and East Surrey.  Hospice care is based on the belief that each person is more than their illness, and that each of us has unique physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.  St Catherine’s responds to the needs of each individual, helping people achieve the best possible quality of life.

This highly personal, holistic approach to care takes time, skill and experience from a multi-professional team.  We care for people in the hospice, in their homes and in nursing homes.  We also provide training, advice and support to other health professionals.

The Donation:

Amanda and Duncan dedicated the month of September as their month for St Catherine’s, encouraging their clients to book in their treatments that month knowing a percentage of their money paid would then be donated to such a great charity. Amanda and Duncan raised a massive £160! Michael of St Catherine’s told us this is a staggering amount of money and gratefully received. Michael went on to tell us “this money could cover the cost of a patient to attend our Day Hospice for a week and a half, which makes such a difference. Every little helps and we are more than grateful to Ananda Healing for their donation”.

We would like to thank Amanda and Michael for talking to us. Well done to Ananda Healing for this very generous feat.

Why not dedicated a month to a charity of your choice and give a percentage of your earnings. If you choose to do this, Crawley Happy Times would like to hear from you 🙂

Sainsbury’s lead the way for Guide Dogs

Monday, October 17th, 2011

On Friday 14th October, Sainsbury’s were awarded a certificate for their devotion, dedication and great achievement in raising money for Crawley Guide Dogs.

Attending were Jean Brookwell and Jason Howell from Sainsbury’s. Jan Dunn with guide dogs Elton and Tanner, Mick Mckeganey with guide dog Eddie and Henry Smith MP who are all fund raisers for Guide Dogs. Also present were Doug Branch with guide dog Baker who is the organiser for the charity events and Sharon Milani who is the treasurer.

We were celebrating the presentation of a certificate to Sainsbury’s Queensway for collecting £2507 since May 2011.  We have a target of £5,000 to Name A Puppy which we hope to reach within  the year of charity partnership.

This month Guide Dogs celebrated their 80th birthday!

Doug Branch told us “we have a ‘Name A Puppy’ running with The Parsons Pig pub on the Balcombe Road who are raising money with a monthly pub quiz, golf days and fun days as well as comedy nights at Crawley Rugby Club.  Their total raised so far is £2,894 over the last 13 months!”.

It was an honour to meet the guide dogs and their owners and would like to thank Sainsbury’s and all who support this worthy charity for their dedication. Would you like to help? If so please visit their website here.

We would also like to thank Henry Smith for helping with the interview. He was very good, don’t you think 🙂


Crawley MP Congratulates Council On Backing Local Shops

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Borough MP Henry Smith has congratulated Crawley Council on their launch this week of a new website and leaflets highlighting neighbourhood parade shops across the town.

Henry said:

“This is an idea that has real benefits for both shoppers and shop owners in Crawley. Many people may not be aware that just round the corner are shops that could cater for their needs without having to travel greater distances. Shop owners will also benefit as this new service will help bring in new customers.

“The idea is a great way for the Council to help our much loved neighbourhood parades. So I encourage residents to show their support.”

The website will allow locals to search for shops in their area or by trade. Details of the shops opening hours, products sold and a picture of the shop itself will be easily accessible. The free leaflets will also help residents that do not know already where these shopping parades are and provide information on how to access the shop finder on the website.

Henry added:

“I strongly encourage shops that have not yet registered with this scheme to do so and to take advantage of this great initiative. I’m pleased that an overwhelming majority of parade outlets have already been included.”

Follow Henry daily via: or visit: for further details.


Re-match of the day – Crawley youths take on Sussex Bobbies

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

A ‘friendly’ re-match has been arranged between young people from the Escape Youth Project in Broadfield and Sussex Police.

The football matches – one for the under-16s and the other for the under-20s – are taking place on Friday 26th August.

The event is being organised by the West Sussex County Council run Escape Youth Project – a drop-in service which hosts youth facilities for 11 to 19 year olds on Sundays at Broadfield’s youth centre – and the police, in partnership with Freedom Leisure, Inspire Broadfield and Crawley Borough Council.

It comes after an initial match was held in April, which aimed to improve relations between the police and young people in the area.

The matches are being held at Broadfield’s 3G pitches, with kick-off at 12pm.


Henry Smith MP Welcomes Tougher Curfews To Keep Streets Safer In Crawley

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Henry has welcomed Government proposals for tougher community sentences that will see offenders forced to spend longer in their homes, keeping the streets safer.

Extending the maximum daily curfew time from 12 to 16 hours, and the period for which they can be imposed from six to 12 months, will better protect communities and ensure offenders face meaningful punishments that help stop them reoffending. Curfews not only restrict liberty but they can bring order to chaotic lives.

These new proposals are part of the Government’s plans to reform sentencing and tackle the root causes of offending.

Henry commented:

“After last week’s sickening disturbances in London, I’m pleased that the Government has reacted swiftly and effectively to curtail the freedoms of those who continually flout the law by extending curfew penalty sentences. I firmly believe that with rights come responsibilities and this is a message which needs to be rammed home with some people!”

“These tougher curfew conditions will keep offenders in Crawley off the streets for longer, stop them socialising in the evenings and keep them away from situations that could land them in trouble again.

“This is part of the Government’s proposals to reform the Criminal Justice System and will help to keep communities safe whilst important work is done with offenders to turn them away from a life of crime.”

Follow Henry daily via: or visit: for further details.

‘Help Our Wounded Royal Marines’ are in training

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Five men have come together to raise money for their chosen charity ‘Help Our Wounded Royal Marines’, formed by Chris Stubbings BEM in March 2010.

Quote from the facebook page:

HELP OUR WOUNDED is a fundraising arm for The Royal Marines Association, Charity Number 206003. HOW was formed on the 4th March 2010 because of the number of seriously injured Royal Marines returning from operational tours in Afghanistan Iraq and other areas of armed conflict. HELP OUR WOUNDED is a community based effort seeking to help the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund (Registered Charity No 1134205), meet it’s target of raising £6M by the 350th anniversary of the Corps in October 2014. A Campaign Board has been established to coordinate the Corps Family effort working towards this testing target and HELP OUR WOUNDED is represented on that board.

What, when and where

On December the 3rd and 4th Dave Lilburn MBE, Stuart Baldwin, Cai Ives, Stuart Bourne and Stuart Power will be pulling a sledge from London to Brighton to help raise awareness and funds for this great charity.

Quote from the facebook page:

Myself (Stuart Bourne, Regional Fund Raiser for the South Eat) along with David Lilburn,Cai Ives,Stuart Baldwin and Stuart Power will be pulling a sledge to rasie funds for HELP OUR WOUNDED ROYAL MARINES over the weekend stopping at Crawley where there will be a fundraisng event on the Saturday evening. We have also enlisted some Santa Helpers as traffic guides (Reserves) and these are : Gay Wise, Andy Hains, Dale Lilburn and Ashton Lilburn.

As well as raising funds we will be asking for donations of xmas presents so that we may pass these onto the children of those brave Royals who have given their lives and will not be around this xmas so please lets do all we can to try and raise a smile and show we do care and will never forget them.

We hope as many people will join in around the country and mirror what we are doing. We would like this to become an annual event, so take up the challenge and get pulling for HELP OUR WOUNDED ROYAL MARINES.

We wish them all the best

Shelley was invited down to the martial arts school Lumpini in Priestley Way, Crawley to speak to the men involved. We also spoke to John Jarvis who is a trainer at Lumpini who have offered to train the men to full fitness for the event. John told us they were more than honoured to help the men get fit for this feat and to support them in many more ways, including giving them a stall at their forthcoming Muaythai Boxing event happening this Saturday at Effingham Park Hotel. More details can be found here.

We would like to wish them all the best. We will be covering their arrival into Crawley on December 3rd. Please show your support in any way you can.

Crawley Borough Council wants to improve its online services – and needs your help.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

The council has set up a survey, which can be accessed from the homepage of the website at, to get people’s opinions on its online offering.

Respondents can tell us how they use the internet – or if you don’t, why not – and what services they would like to see provided online in the future.

The council wants to make sure it provides the online services that people want and will use, so please take a few minutes to give your ideas.

Everyone who takes part in the survey will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win £50 of High Street Vouchers.

The survey has also involved face-to-face and telephone questions too.


Go online or text for your right to vote

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Technology-savvy residents are using the web and text messages to tell the council who is eligible to vote in their households – and saving the council money too.

Crawley Borough Council is asking residents to fill in their electoral registration form so they are eligible to vote.

Every household will have received a form on Friday or Saturday which needs to be completed and either sent back to the council or confirmed by phone, text or the internet. Only then will the eligible people living at that address be added to the 2012 Register of Electors.

The best way for residents with no changes to their forms is to return them electronically via, via text to 020 317 9094 or by automated phone by calling 0808 141 0740.

You have to be registered in order to vote and often to open a bank account or obtain a mortgage or other financial services.

Crawley Borough Council has elections in May 2012.

Residents are reminded that even if there are no changes to the eligible voters at the property the form must either be returned, confirmed over the phone or via the internet address on the form.

For more information call Crawley Borough Council’s Electoral Registration Team on 01293 438346 or 01293 438705.

How to register by freephone or the internet

If all of the printed details on your voter registration form are correct, you can register by telephone or the internet.


1. Dial 0808 141 0740

2. When asked, key in the 10-digit unique reference number on your registration form

3. When asked key in 0

4. You will now be told that you have registered no changes. You will be asked to confirm this by pressing 0

5. Your registration is complete and you should not return the registration form.


1. Visit

2. Key in the 10-digit unique reference number and password, which are printed on your registration form

3. You will now be asked to confirm that there are no changes by pressing the confirm button

4. You can print a confirmation of your registration.


1. Text your 10-digit unique reference number to 020 3137 9094

2. You will be sent a return text confirming your registration

3. Your network will make its normal charge for sending texts.


A colourful event for Kaana

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

On Saturday 16th July at The Corner Cafe (in St Andrews Church, Furnace Green) the Mayor Carol Eade was the guest of honour. The event was in aid of Kaana a UK registered charity working in Uganda to stop babies begging on the streets of Kampala. A similar event last year with an attendance of over 60 women all from Crawley. Headed up by Maureen Mwagale the event was attended by many.

All the women were dressed in African dress including Mayor Carol Eade.

We sent Shelley down to experience the event. The food was amazing, the company was great and the event was well worth a visit.

We took some pictures of the event for you to enjoy.



Crawley MP Welcomes Defenece Secretary’s Visit

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Henry Smith MP was delighted to announce earlier that the Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, will be visiting Crawley on Thursday July 28.

Henry said:

“It’s great to welcome the Defence Secretary to Crawley. Our town has quite a connection with the Armed Forces. Many local households have family members serving, Crawley is home to an active Territorial Army centre as well as major defence companies, such as Manor Royal based Thales UK and Boeing.“

“I welcome the opportunity to discuss with the Defence Secretary and local residents the phased withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan and the significant equipment developed right here in Crawley such as the high-tech Watchkeeper unmaned drone aircraft.”

Follow Henry daily via: or visit: for further details.


Aspire are inspirational

Monday, July 25th, 2011

On Thursday 21st July we sent Shelley along to see the first specially adapted apartment designed to assist spinal injury patients on leaving hospital.

The newly furbished apartment is based in Barley House, Barley Close, Southgate. It is situated in the new flats by The Guinness Trust Partnership. Aspire are a charity who help spinal injury patients adapt into the world of being a wheelchair user.

We spoke to Krupesh Hirani, Policy & Research Officer for Aspire National Training Centre who told us “Aspire are a charity who help people who have been paralysed by spinal cord injury. Every eight hours a person in the UK is paralysed by a spinal cord injury. The housing programme is one of our main programmes. What we look at is housing people after their injury. The most common cause of a spinal injury is a road traffic accident so they will not have been a wheelchair user previously. They could live in a first floor flat. what that means is someone could be discharged into a setting which we think is not positive for their rehabilitation. Or they might have to be discharged to a care home or could be kept in hospital for a longer period of time, which is also not the best situation. So what we do through our housing programme is find temporary accomodation for wheelchair users to be discharged to while their long term housing solution is being looked at. Our tenants have a six month contract. In which time they are assisted in their rehabilitation and their requirements in their own home to help meet their needs. This apartment is the first in Crawley. We have 21 apartments such as this across the country. We lease the apartment from housing associations such as The Guinness Trust so if there are any housing associations which identify a need, we are very happy to discuss options. The apartments already in place were identified as being needed in that area by the NHS and we will carry on trying to identify the needs of such apartments in all areas. We already have apartments in Brighton all the way up to Glasgow. The apartment is part of the Guinness Trust’s 500th project and has been operational for just over a month”.

We then spoke to our local MP Henry Smith who told us “This is a really good and it’s great that Aspire have opened their twenty first unit here in Crawley. It is specifically designed to help people who have suffered a spinal cord injury. To be able to spend six months here, to be able to learn how to live a normal life again is great. the unit is specially adapted to help them so they know what they may need when returning back to their own home. With an injury of this kind happening every eight hours this type of work is essential to the community. Alot of people do not know about Aspire but that is not unusual as it is relatively rare to know someone with a spinal injury. It is really important that for the people who have to transform their lives they have the support from charities such as Aspire. It’s also wonderful that Aspire have chosen Crawley for their this new unit. Being able to be discharged from hospital is a benefit to everyone, including the cost on the NHS, so this serves as a great function to everyone involved. It also helps the wheelchair user learn what they may need adapting in their own home and what doesn’t. This type of injury is a devastating and very serious situation for those effected. It’s great to be aware of the help that is offered by such charities as Aspire”.

We met Mark at Barley House. Mark had recently been involved in an accident which left him paralysed. Mark has been in the apartment for a month now and looked like he was adapting very well to his new situation. We would like to wish Mark all the best for his future.

We took some pictures while visiting.

Buchan Country Park flagged up for national award

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Buchan Country Park flagged up for national award

Buchan Country Park in Crawley is celebrating success after winning the national Green Flag Award for the second year in a row, it was announced today (Monday July 25).

The prestigious award is in recognition of the country park’s good maintenance and management, its high quality facilities and green space.

The park was judged on the following eight criteria:

• a welcoming place

• healthy, safe and secure

• clean and well maintained

• sustainability

• conservation and heritage

• community involvement

• marketing

• management

Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council Deputy Leader with responsibility for Communities, Environment and Enterprise, said: “This is a great achievement, especially to have been awarded it two years in a row.

“This prestigious award recognises the hard work and pride of the country park’s staff and volunteers, so well done to them.”

The country park now has the chance to receive a further award from the Green Flag Plus Partnership, called the People’s Choice Award. This award is voted for by the public. To register your vote, visit

For more information about what Buchan Country Park has to offer visit


Relay for Life 2011

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

On Saturday 9th July the fourth annual Relay for Life set yet another great pace.

With thirty two teams ready to walk the course for the next twenty four hours, Laura Senekal and Darren Bow took to the stage to kick off this amazing ceremony. The teams have worked tirelessly to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

A special mention to our good friend Jules Neale who attended in support and as Captain of Team Yummy even though she has recently been very unwell with a back injury. Although the pampering administered was well worth the effort, wasn’t it Jules 🙂 And of course, a big thank you to all those, who are still under treatment but came to support and walk the course. Amazing!

Laura wrote this for us:

Well, what can I say? What a weekend!

This is the 4th year Crawley has hosted a Relay For Life and this has been the most amazing event yet. This year we had 32 teams sign up for Relay and together they have so far managed to raise a staggering £68,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Relay For Life is a 24 hour event where teams of friends, family or colleagues take it in turns to walk for a full 24 hours as a sign that cancer doesn’t sleep. All around the track the team have stalls and fundraise furiously during the day. This year we had everything from cakes to a hog roast and tombola’s to tattoos. Even the rain could not stop the cash coming in! During this 24 hours the teams managed to bring in over £12K!!!!! Thank you Crawley!

This year we were supported by some really amazing people who came along to entertain our teams and the public. These included Flying High, Crawley Black Belt Academy, The Nickie Poslad School of Dance, Fi Steps & ACE Irish Dance Academy. We were also lucky enough to enjoy some fantastic local music talent from Solice, The Matt McConnon Band, Chinchilla Zilla, the Songbirds Choir and our very own firstaider Phil singing with Six Till Midnight.

Now, although the day sees us all enjoying a bit of a mini carnival /festival the evening really reminds us of why we are there. When the sun sets we all take part in a candle of hope ceremony, our walking track is lined with candle bags, all dedicated to people to have fought cancer. It is a time to remember, reflect and celebrate the lives of our loved ones. This year we had a special memorial for our good friend Morag Clapp who left us just after last year’s event. This year we also heard a beautiful poem written and read by one of our survivors, Cheryl Ross along with the Songbirds singing ‘I’ll Stand By You’, Shannon Stocker singing a beautiful version of ‘Dance with my Father’, and Aimee Bow finishing the ceremony off with a very emotional rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

NB: We sped up some of the walking so you could see more 🙂

I am so very lucky to have such fantastic support from the Relay committee who all come and gave their time for free as did our first aiders (SceneSafe) and the local scouts who kept everyone fed and watered for the full 24 hours….you are all absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!! And a massive thank you to Matt Pay and HSS Hire who donated all the electrical equipment we needed for the day.

I am so very grateful to everyone that took part, raised funds or just came down to see what Relay was all about, already we are seeing interest from new teams for 2012! Next year we may even theme Relay in line with the Olympics…..who knows J.

Why not go and have a look at our website ( or add us on facebook to be updated with local relay news?

Consultation begins on Fire and Rescue Services merger in Sussex

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Consultation begins on Fire and Rescue Services merger

THE Fire and Rescue Service in West Sussex starts a 12-week public consultation tomorrow (July 14) to seek the views of the public, businesses and staff on its potential merger with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

The consultation is being launched with public meetings in Crawley, which is also tomorrow (Thursday 14th July), and Worthing, which is on Tuesday 19th July.

The Crawley meeting is in the The Fire Service Training Centre (the ex-library building), Northgate Avenue. The Worthing one is in Worthing Library, Richmond Road. Both start at 7pm.

Throughout the consultation Fire Officers will be attending County Local Committee meetings, open days and public events. They will also hold specially arranged forums for partners, businesses, the voluntary sector and members of public. Feedback can also be given online, by post or phone.

West Sussex County Council and the East Sussex Fire Authority (ESFA) have been examining options for closer collaboration between the two Fire Services to see if it would improve performance and protect frontline services from the financial pressures on public sector spending.

The latest business case suggests a full merger under a new combined fire authority for the whole of Sussex provides the best opportunity to make savings of £3.8 million while safeguarding services to the community.

There are no plans to close any fire stations in the merger.

The consultation will run from July 14th – October 6th. ESFA is also consulting on the proposed merger and both ESFA and the County Council will consider the feedback and a final business case before making a final decision at separate meetings in December.

County Fire Officer Max Hood hopes as many people as possible will take part in the consultation.

He said: “The pressures on public spending mean all local authorities are working to find ways of providing essential services with reduced budgets.

“A merger would see a significant change in the management and support costs of the Fire & Rescue Service in West Sussex. It could also mean we can protect fire stations and the other frontline services that people need.

“We’re still waiting for details on the future funding from the government before the business case on a possible merger can be completed, but it’s also important to listen to the views of local people before a final decision is taken.

“I hope as many as possible will attend the meetings and public events to speak to Fire Officers, read the consultation document or seek information via the websites before giving us their feedback on the way forward.”

Pete Bradbury, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “Our priority remains to provide excellent fire and rescue services to our residents.

“In the current difficult financial climate, we believe this innovative approach of merging the fire services of East and West Sussex and Brighton and Hove could enable us to continue to deliver excellent services and improve our operational capability, while reducing back office, management and administration costs.

“The views of the public are important to us and I hope residents, businesses, organisations and stakeholders will participate in the consultation. No decision will be made until the results of the consultation have been considered.”

The business case and consultation document is available online at . Copies of the consultation document are available in libraries, help points, and in reception areas of local authorities, and printed copies can be sent on request.

You can contact the consultation team via email at  or write to Fire Redesign Team, WSFRS HQ, Northgate, Chichester PO19 1BD, or phone 01243 753706.

If approved by central government a merger would take effect on 1st April 2013.


Volunteers needed to help deliver meals

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Volunteers needed to help deliver meals

Do you have a few hours spare to help out in your community? If so, West Sussex County Council’s Meals on Wheels service needs you.

The service, which is run by the WRVS, is looking for volunteer drivers to deliver meals between 11.30am and 1.30pm in their own areas. It could be once a month, once a week, or every day, depending on how much time you have.

Meals on Wheels supplies a great selection of hot, chilled or frozen two-course meals to adults in West Sussex, who may be leaving hospital or recovering from an illness, or need the meals as they can no longer cook for themselves.

As a delivery driver, you would need to have your own car, and undertake a CRB check.

The service is also looking for people to accompany the drivers on their deliveries.

Peter Catchpole, County Council Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services, said: “The service Meals on Wheels provides is vital to the people of West Sussex.

“If you have a spare lunchtime while the children are at school, or a day off college, or perhaps you’re now retired, why not do something rewarding and help out in your community?”

There are seven Meals on Wheels kitchens located throughout West Sussex:

• Bognor Regis (also covering Chichester and the Witterings)

• Crawley (also covering East Grinstead)

• Mid Sussex (also covering Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Steyning and Henfield)

• Horsham

• Worthing (including Lancing, Shoreham, Southwick and Fishersgate)

• Rustington (also covering Arundel, Ferring and Littlehampton)

• Petworth (including Midhurst and Pulborough)

• Selsey

For more information, call 01903 231341.

To see a little bit of what the Meals on Wheels Service does, view this video


Two public meetings on proposed Fire and Rescue Service merger

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Two public meetings on proposed Fire and Rescue Service merger

TWO public meetings are being planned by West Sussex County Council to launch the public consultation on the proposal to merge East and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services.

The meetings – both beginning at 7pm – are planned for:

Crawley: The Fire Service Training Centre (the ex-library building), Northgate Avenue, on Thursday 14th July.

Worthing: Worthing Library, Richmond Road, on Tuesday 19th July.

The meetings will be chaired by Pete Bradbury, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, and will include a presentation from Max Hood, County Fire Officer.

There will also be an open session for people to ask questions and air their views about the proposal.

Pete Bradbury said: “This is an opportunity for us to hear first hand peoples’ views on the proposal to merge the two fire services.

“In the current difficult financial climate, we believe this innovative approach of merging the fire services could enable us to continue to deliver excellent services and improve our operational capability, while reducing back office, management and administration costs.

“While much depends on the approach of the Government, the views of the public are equally important to us and no decision will be made until the results of the consultation have been considered.

“I hope residents, businesses, organisations and stakeholders will participate in the consultation. If you cannot attend the public meetings, you can still give us your views online or by post.”

The consultation is scheduled to begin on July 14th and last until October 6th.


The Main Stage event

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

On Saturday 2nd July the town came alive!

The Crawley Festival came to an end for another year with the Mainstage event held in the memorial gardens in the town centre. The community had seen many great events during the last two weeks with the finale full to the brim with young talent.

We would like to thank everyone involved with the Crawley festival and all those who performed, educated and informed the community. A special mention goes to Councillor Bob Burgess, Councillor Chris Oxlade, Geoff Allen, Tony Whitton and all his team. If we have forgotten to mention you we apologies, but thank you 🙂

Please visit for more information.

We look forward to next years festivities.

New highways team gets to work

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

New highways team gets to work

A new West Sussex highways maintenance and improvement contract which could save between £10 and £18 million over the next five years has been launched (Friday July 1).

Lionel Barnard, WSCC Deputy Leader, (left) shakes hands with David Pearce, Highways Operations Director for Balfour Beatty. Balfour Beatty staff in the background

Balfour Beatty is now working with the County Council under the name ‘West Sussex Highways’ to look after roads and footways and carry out improvement schemes.

The contract will be masterminded from Horsham with the creation of a new ‘highways hub’ based at County Hall North, where staff from the County Council and Balfour Beatty will work side-by-side to minimise potential duplication of activity and effort. The existing Highway Area Offices at Broadbridge Heath, Clapham and Oving will also continue to operate.

Lionel Barnard and David Pearce

Pieter Montyn, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “The new five-year contract will not only deliver efficiencies and savings, it will also provide an improved service which we hope will boost levels of customer satisfaction with our residents.”

Terry Woodhouse, Managing Director, Local Authority Business, Balfour Beatty, said: “We are extremely excited to be working in partnership with West Sussex County Council for the Highways Maintenance Contract. Balfour Beatty is dedicated to achieving the aims that the council have defined, in an effective, efficient, sustainable and customer focused highways service for the county.”

West Sussex Highways/Balfour Beatty staff

The contract will cover the majority of the County Council’s work in maintaining and improving the highway, with the exception of street lighting, traffic signal installation and maintenance and variable message signs.

Balfour Beatty staff and vehicles came to County Hall, Chichester, for the launch last week, and were welcomed by Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council Deputy