Good causes boosted by Littlehampton’s bonfire cash

Jessica Baker, Miss Bonfire 2014, presents the cheque to Neil Francis, community fundraising manager at St Barnabas House'Picture by Derek Martin  D15091089a
Jessica Baker, Miss Bonfire 2014, presents the cheque to Neil Francis, community fundraising manager at St Barnabas House'Picture by Derek Martin D15091089a
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THE embers of charitable giving were glowing brightly this week as good causes across the area had their coffers boosted to the tune of £8,216 thanks to the Littlehampton Bonfire Society.

The cash was all raised during the stunning street collection at last year’s Littlehampton Bonfire Night.

The main beneficiary of the fundraising effort was St Barnabas House hospice, in Goring, which was presented with a cheque for £4,000 on Saturday (February 28).

The cash will help the centre purchase a new, ultra-low bed which will be in memory of the society’s former chairman, Dorothy Clevitt, who had been a steadfast supporter of the facility.

At the presentation, which was attended by Dorothy’s sister Daphne Legg and niece, Christine Robertson, a delighted Neil Francis, community fundraising officer of the hospice, said: “£4,000 is truly amazing – thank you to Littlehampton Bonfire Society from us all here at the hospice.

“Ultra-low beds are of great benefit to patients who are especially vulnerable to rolling out of bed. The beds also help the patients to be more independent, as they can be lowered so that the patients’ feet are more stable on the ground when they get up.”

“We are deeply touched that they decided we would benefit from the proceeds of the street collections.”

Denise Hunter, chairman of Littlehampton Swimming Club

Other beneficiaries to be bolstered by the bonfire society included the Littlehampton Swimming Club and the Arun Co-ordinated Community Transport (ACCT), based in Ford.

The swimming club will be using the windfall to fund additional higher level coaching courses and the purchase of training aids.

Denise Hunter, club chairman, said this financial support was helping the club’s talented pool of swimmers to improve and progress up the county, regional and national rankings.

“We are most grateful that the members of Littlehampton Bonfire Society chose us to be one of their beneficiaries – we are deeply touched that they decided we would benefit from the proceeds of the street collections,” she added.

The ACCT will be using the cash to continue funding its fleet of transport vehicles which are a lifeline for elderly and disabled people in the Arun district.

In 2013/14 alone, the charity helped transport 45,608 people.

Peter Austin, project manager, said: “Many people within the community rely on this transport and there is evidence that the service makes a valuable contribution to their wellbeing, health and place in the community.

“Without the continued support from groups such as Littlehampton Bonfire Society we could not carry on providing affordable transport for our local community.”

The bonfire society is now urging local charities, who would like to be the beneficiaries of this year’s Bonfire Night to come forward.

Bonfire society secretary, Richard Cooper, said: “We need to know from applicants how much funding they are seeking, what specific project it is for, and how it will benefit the local community. We are aware that many organisations are currently finding fund raising for their particular projects very difficult.

“We help fund local projects, so our spectators on Bonfire Night know that their donations to our collecting buckets will directly benefit the local community.”

Applications must be in writing to Richard at 46, Kent Road, Littlehampton, BN17 6LQ or by email to littlehampton bonfiresociety@hotmail.co.uk, and must be received by the closing date of Monday, June 1.