A slice of £50,000 is on offer for community organisation across West Sussex after an independent family brewers launched its annual Community Chest event.
Hall and Woodhouse has set aside the total ready to be dished out to charities and organisation across the south as it aims to help local causes continue the important work they do for the community.
The West Sussex County Times along with Spirit FM, the Sussex Community Foundation are partnering Hall and Woodhouse with the event helping to decide which charities the money will be shared between.
Mark Woodhouse, Hall and Woodhouse’s chairman, launched this year’s event on Friday (February 27) at the Hornbrook Inn in Horsham.
He said: “2015 is an exciting year that sees us expand the Community Chest increasing to the whole of the Hall and Woodhouse trading area with an increase in funding and hopefully much more to come.
“The money is not for national charities. It is the few local ones that we are concerned about.
“ One of the things we want to do is make a difference so if we give £3,000 to Macmillan for it example it would be a drop in the ocean compared to the £3,000 to a local charity.”
The Community Chest has been running since 2002 and has seen many charities apply for funding over the years.
Last year 166 applications were received from organisations in West Sussex.
Of these charities 22 were successful and more than £15,000 was awarded to the causes.
This year the pot has increased to around £50,000 with a possibility of more to come from the pubs themselves.
Mr Woodhouse said: “What we have done is increase the total up to £50,000, last year we had £15,000.
“Some of our public houses are being encouraged to support it to ensure they continue to be the cornerstone of their community.
“Pubs are part of the community and they always have been and have relied on the community.
“I don’t think it is possible to succeed without the support of the local community.”
Mr Woodhouse said the whole £50,000 total would not be available to everyone in West Sussex as a sum would go to support charitable organisations in Dorset, where the company owns many pubs.
Charities and organisations are now being encouraged to apply for funding with grants available to those applying between £300 and £3,000.
Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for West Worthing, said he welcomed the launch of this year’s Community Chest and hoped many charities would apply for funding.
“I welcome the launch of the 2015 Community Chest. I have said in the House of Commons Hall and Woodhouse do a lot of good things.
“I hope that all over the Sussex area as well as in Dorest organisations will be putting in an application for £300 to £3,000.
“I think I speak for all the other constituencies for thanking Sussex Newspapers for letting people know about how to apply and helping to raise awareness.”
Horsham District Council member Councillor Tricia Youtan (Con, Itchingfield, Slinfold and Warnham) said: “I think the whole idea of what they are doing by having a Community Chest and donating some money to these charities is absolutely tremendous.
The closing date for applications is Friday May 8 and entries will be judged throughout the summer.
To apply fill in the form by visiting http://www.hall-woodhouse.co.uk/giving-back-to-the-community/community-chest/application or fill in the formon the page opposite.