Thursday, 11 June 2015

Supporting our small charities

Monday 15 June is the start of Small Charity Week – a national week which aims to celebrate and raise the profile of the small charity sector in the UK.

Here in West Sussex, as indeed across the country, small charities play a vital role and can really bring communities together.

What they achieve, often on a small and extremely tight budget, really is amazing. Their work is essential to so many people and they perform a vital role which isn’t always recognised. It is the dedication and commitment of the volunteers and supporters which is truly inspiring – and why I think they are true unsung heroes.

Many of our small charities started out by a few people wanting to help or make a difference. But to do that they rely heavily on voluntary help and donations for them to continue with the work they are doing.

If you’ve ever considered volunteering, then why not see if there is a role at a small charity close to your heart or in your community. Perhaps Small Charity Week could be the trigger for you to start helping out or fundraising?

At the County Council, our network of 14 County Local Committees play a role in supporting local organisations and projects with our Community Initiative Fund (CIF). This is a pot of money allocated each year to the Committees which local groups can apply for. It’s been running for a number of years now and has really helped and assisted so many community groups and projects across the county.

For example, North Mid Sussex CLC granted £958 to Kangaroos PALS. Based in Haywards Heath, Kangaroos PALS runs Saturday and holiday clubs for children with learning and physical disabilities. The grant was able to help them  purchase a ‘bubble tube’ that creates a stimulating yet calming atmosphere for the children.

And North Horsham CLC granted £250 this March to Phoenix Stroke Club in Horsham. The club has 27 volunteers and two part-time staff. What it provides is invaluable – it’s a safe environment offering support for people who have had a stroke, which helps them get their confidence back through activities. The grant will help purchase a replacement printer, for producing newsletters and other club literature.

So just a couple of examples of where a grant of a relatively small amount of money can make a real difference to so many people.

If you’re a local organisation or charity that would be interested in applying for CIF funding, then you can visit the website to find out more.

Best wishes,


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