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Success for

trust fund

STEYNING: After a difficult year fundraising for most charitable organisations, Steyning Millennium Trust are delighted that they have added an additional £10,000 to the charity and now have the grand sum of £60,000 in the fund.

This has been achieved after paying out nearly £3,000 during the year as awards and nominal running expenses.

To add to their success Charles Ashby, one of the trustees, was taken by complete surprise when he was presented with a special Gold Award Certificate for Outstanding Devoted Service and Tireless Fund Raising for the Steyning Millennium Trust at the town’s annual reception hosted by Steyning Parish Council.

John Stevenson, chairman of the trust, said: “It has been an excellent year for us after receiving two significant donations and Charles’s efforts on fundraising. It was the icing on the cake when after reviewing the nominations for their award scheme, recognising the effort that volunteers put into the community, the town made this special award to Charles.”

The Millennium Trust is a community-funded charity attached to Steyning Grammar School. It recognises students of all ages and abilities, including the disabled, and especially the less academically gifted, who have achieved above expectation or done something exceptional to turn their lives around.

Awards of up to £250 are made to 10 youngsters each year to be spent on further education or training for their future career.

Charles Ashby has been a Trustee since the charity was formed in 2000. He said: “We already have a fundraising plan for 2013 which will be launched soon. I suppose if I had two wishes for the coming year it would be that people remember local charities when making donations and not gift everything to the national causes and that we also see more involvement from the surrounding communities. Steyning Grammar School has over 2000 students with approximately 25 % coming from Steyning and it would be really good to get some support from Storrington, Partridge Green, Henfield and their surrounding villages that provide the other 75% of the students.”

The Trust will be looking for energetic and enthusiastic Trustees from these areas during the course of this year.

Talk on fruit

and berries

FERRING: The first meeting of 2013 for Ferring Conservation Group sees them welcome guest speaker David Lang from Sussex Wildlife Trust giving a talk on Fruits and Berries.

This takes place this coming Friday (January 25th) at 2.30pm at Ferring Village Hall, with admission for members at £2 and visitors at £3, which includes refreshments.

Tricia Hall will also be giving her usual local Nature Notes, and Group Secretary Ed Miller will be updating the meeting on planning news, including details of the recent application by Chandlers BMW to build a large facility off the A259 at Roundstone Farm in the important Kingston Gap.

This will be resisted strongly by the group, and members will be given full information at the meeting to enable them to object to Arun District Council.

Secrets of

Pavilion

WORTHING: The Friends of Worthing Museum’s January meeting was a treat as Jackie Marsh Hobbs shared ‘The Secrets of the Royal Pavilion Brighton’.

She demonstrated extensive knowledge of the history and development of the building. George, Prince Regent brought about its transformation from a simple farmhouse to its exotic appearance.

Brighton, a fashionable seaside resort, quickly grew when George arrived. Later monarchs neglected the building and Queen Victoria sold it to Brighton town and had the contents stripped out and used in the new wing of Buckingham Palace.

The group’s next meeting is on Tuesday 26 February for Don Dray on the History of British Broadcasting. Usual time of 2.30pm at Worthing Museum, all welcome.

Plugging a

gap in history

CHICHESTER: A Chichester maritime charity is appealing to the public for information about an incident during the Battle of the Atlantic to plug a gap in its historical archives during the year that marks the Battle’s 70th anniversary.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society which provided help to the victims of enemy attacks during the Battle of the Atlantic and supported almost 80,000 shipwrecked sailors, fishermen and their dependents throughout WW2, is seeking information about the rescue of 24 survivors from a torpedoed American steamer in February 1943 for which Captain Arthur Wellington Greenham RM and Chief Officer Robert Edward Dalgliesh were subsequently awarded the Society’s Emile Robin Award for their acts of heroism.

The Society’s historical archives record that the rescue was carried out in darkness with heavy seas and in gale force winds. It was necessary for the rescue ship to manoeuvre close to the rafts to which the survivors were clinging and 24 personnel were saved in these very difficult conditions. Despite the dangerous circumstances the rescue lifeboat also recovered a survivor who remained aboard the burning and sinking vessel.

Captain Greenham, by his courage, leadership and skill was responsible for saving many lives and in recognition of this he was officially commended. Chief Officer Dalgliesh was responsible for the hazardous operation of launching the lifeboat from his ship and he frequently took great risks himself during the rescue operations. He was also officially commended.

Due to wartime security restrictions further details of the incident were not recorded by the Society – in particular the names of the American steamer and the ship involved in the rescue operation.

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams, said in the year of the battle’s 70th anniversary the Society would like to learn the names of the vessels involved.

He said: “The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign of the second world war which resulted in one of the highest levels of human sacrifice during the entire conflict. From 1939 to 1945 between 30,000 and 40,000 Merchant Navy personnel were lost and over 5,000 ships and their cargoes sunk.

“The outstanding efforts of Captain Greenham and Chief Officer Dalgliesh were recognised by the Society at the time through the Emile Robin Award. It would however be fantastic to be able to fill in the gaps, in particular to learn the names of the two ships involved. I would appeal to anyone with any connection to the Battle of the Atlantic to look back over old photographs or diaries and talk to relatives, to help us piece the details together.”

These days the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s primary role is providing financial support to retired or incapacitated mariners, fishermen and their dependents. Although one of the UK’s smaller charities its annual grant expenditure in the past year of £1.47 million allowed it to provide financial assistance in 2,542 cases of need ensuring that many former seafarers have an improved quality of life and peace of mind. These cases ranged from replacing broken household items, settling utility bill arrears to providing mobility aids such as stairlifts, clothing, beds and bedding and rent deposits for homeless seafarers.

The Society has been recognising heroism at sea through its annual Skill and Gallantry Awards since 1851. If you can help with any further information about this incident or would like further details about the Charity’s work, contact the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society on 01243 789329 or visit www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk

Special

service

ARUNDEL: There will be a special Service of Vespers at The Poor Clares Convent in Crossbush near Arundel at 5pm Sunday, January 27th to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2013. The nuns and memebers of the three Arundel Churches are commemorating those who perished in the Holcaust, the many who died in other genocides with an emphasis on people threatened, persecuted and martyred now throughout the world. All are welcome.

Labour group’s AGM

CHICHESTER: Last Wednesday evening, about fifteen members of The City Branch of Chichester Constituency Labour Party met for their annual meeting.

The retiring chair of the branch opened the meeting by thanking the officers and members for their support during the last year.

The principal new officers are: Chair, Michael Waite; Vice-Chairs, Peter Nutt and Kate Beach; Secretary, Theo Child; Treasurer, John Bennett; and Media Relations Officer, Ben Earnshaw-Mansell.

The newly re-elected Chair, Michael Waite, thanked the officers and members for their unfailing help and courtesy at City Branch meetings. The quality of well informed debates has been high, and several concepts originating in Chichester have helped shape Labour Party policies at national level.

Members of The City Branch had made contact with many voters during the campaign for The Police and Crime Commissioner Election; and have made several new members.

He looked forward to start talking to voters about The County Council Election on 2 May 2013.

Charity

bag-athon

Covers Timber & Builders Merchants has extended its Great British Bag-athon appeal until the end of January 2013, so there is time to donate any unwanted Christmas presents to the campaign.

The Great British Bag-athon asks the local community to donate items which can go on to be sold in British Heart Foundation shops in the area helping to raise vital funds for the charity.

The Covers appeal was launched on 12th November at their Chichester, Horsham and Bognor Regis branches and has already received numerous bags of donations, but it is never too late to have a clear out and donate. Any unwanted clothing, toys, accessories, shoes, CDs, DVDs, books and bric-a-brac can be taken to a drop off point in any of the three branches.

Henry Green, Commercial Director at Covers commented:“The amount of bags we have received so far has been very encouraging, but I know that the generous people of Sussex can give more!

“It’s the perfect chance to give us unwanted Christmas presents without feeling guilty, as they will be raising money to help a fantastic cause!”