A share of £15,000 on offer with the Community Chest

A SHARE of £15,000 is on offer to organisations across West Sussex following this year’s launch of the Hall and Woodhouse Community Chest, supported by this newspaper.

The independent family brewers, with around 50 pubs in the county, injected a huge £15,400 into the local community last year - benefiting 24 organisations.

Launch of West Sussex Community Chest at The Crabtree, Lower Beeding. Hall and Woodhouse chairman Mark Woodhouse far right and guests at the launch.

Launch of West Sussex Community Chest at The Crabtree, Lower Beeding. Hall and Woodhouse chairman Mark Woodhouse far right and guests at the launch.

The annual event is hailed as a great opportunity for voluntary groups and charities to gain funds for everything from new equipment to training.

Grants for between £300 and £3,000 can be requested via the application form which appears on page 44 and which is also available online at www.hall-woodhouse.co.uk

Mark Woodhouse, Hall and Woodhouse chairman and the driving force behind the Community Chest, told assembled guests at The Crabtree pub in Lower Beeding that he ‘passionately believes a company cannot succeed without the support of its community’ and that he was ‘absolutely delighted’ therefore to launch the fifth annual West Sussex Community Chest.

This newspaper, and its sister titles, has been a media partner of the scheme since it first launched, along with local radio station Spirit FM.

Mark stressed: “We could not work without the support of our local community. It’s really important that we have the support of the media, we are so grateful, without the paper the Community Chest would not be as effective as it is today.”

He added: “I’m very excited, and interested to see if there’s any new organisations that come out of the woodwork this year.”

Some of last year’s grant winners include Horsham YMCA Sports and Community Club who received £1,500, Southwater Village Hall with £500 and the Horsham Debt Advice Service who were also given £500.

After requesting £3,000 for training space, Horsham and Crawley Samaritans - an emotional support helpline charity - are now in talks with West Sussex County Council to use space at a Horsham office.

As well as offering grants, teams at individual pubs are busy fund raising all year round.

The Plough in Ifield, Crawley, has raised around £28,000 for good causes in just two years.

At the launch Claire Vickers, chairman at Horsham District Council, said: “It’s fantastic being part of this community and I’m delighted to be here for the launch of the awards.

“It gives people within the community a chance to prove what good they can do with the money - and they always achieve a lot.”

Gary Shipton, editor-in-chief of this newspaper, added: “Once again we are delighted and proud to work with Hall and Woodhouse.

“The applications are thoroughly assessed and I do commend them for all their hard work that goes into the process.”

The closing date for applications is May 5, 2012.

To download a Community Chest form click on this link