There aren’t many non-civic events which attract leading politicians, mayors and dignitaries from across Sussex but the launch of the annual Community Chest is certainly one of them.
Council leaders and local authority figureheads from all corners of East and West Sussex descended on Arundel’s Black Rabbit pub to kick off Hall & Woodhouse’s annual cash grant giveaway - a scheme which has seen the family brewer award £414,000 to good causes in the South since 2002.
Friday’s event was an important one because Hall & Woodhouse, which owns pubs across West Sussex, Brighton, Lewes and the Eastbourne area and brews the ever popular Badger brand, plans to donate more money in 2016 than ever before.
Chairman of the firm Mark Woodhouse told guests, including Shoreham MP Tim Loughton, chairman of West Sussex County Council Pat Arculus and East Sussex counterpart Colin Belsey, that his aim is to give at least £50,000 to charities and community groups through the chest.
He said: “It would be really nice to see an increase in applications this year and make the judge’s lives even more difficult.
“With our partners at Sussex Newspapers and the Sussex Community Partnership.we want to work together to improve the lives of local residents and if we can get more people involved then that would delight us.
“These are straitened times, there is no doubt about it and we will look at anything in terms of funding.”
Gary Shipton, editor-in-chief of Sussex Newspapers, which runs this publication, said: “Hall & Woodhouse have been doing this year in and year out and have shown great commitment.
“Mark and his team do a brilliant job and it is a privilege to stand by his side here.”
In Sussex last year a total of 149 applications were received and a total of 32 grants, with a total value of £21,450, were awarded.
The chest aims to aid as many local groups and charities as possible with schemes and, in some cases, even running costs. Judges will consider applications between the value of £300 and £3,000.
To enter fill in the form on this page or on our website. The closing date for entries is Friday, May 6 and judges will meet during the summer before a presentation ceremony at a Hall & Woodhouse venue in September.
To apply Click here