THE role newspapers and charities have on improving the communities they serve has this week been in the spotlight as part of a national campaign.
The Newspaper Society launched Local Newspaper Week on Monday (May 12) and as part of the celebration, the Gazette is highlighting just some of the good causes across the area helping to make a difference in our community.
For hundreds of people, charities prove an essential lifeline. And across the Littlehampton area there are a whole range of them, helping all kinds of people, from the disabled, to the young, the old, the poor and the needy.
One of the newest charities to be launched is the Littlehampton Food Bank, based at the town’s Baptist Church, in Fitzalan Road.
Since opening in November, it has handed out hundreds of food parcels to scores of needy families and individuals in the town.
And demand is not slowing, admits Hazel Cooper, food bank co-ordinator.
“We give food to those who are in financial crisis,” she said. “So that can be people who are working and people who are on benefits.
“We’re here to help families and those who are single, elderly couples – anybody who is in crisis.
“With things being so tough in Littlehampton with benefits changing, benefits being delayed, people being made redundant, life is really tough in Littlehampton at the moment and people need our help.”
Hazel said that the satisfaction that she and her team of volunteers get from helping people is immeasurable.
They work at the food bank every Tuesday and Friday from 1-3pm. She added: “People are just so grateful that there is help available.”
Hazel said that the bank, although coping well with the high demand, is in desperate need of a few key items.
She is urging for residents to donate tinned fruit, vegetables and sugar.
“We also need feminine products which people forget that people need but which are very expensive to get,” she added.
But it is not just the food bank which helps to improve the lives of those living in the Littlehampton area.
The town has a wealth of charities and trusts helping the disabled.
Helping the disabled
From Raydar, a disabilities charity based in Evans Garden, which helps children and young people, to Enable Me, in Bayford Road, which runs a range of inspiring youth clubs for disabled and able-bodied children to interactive together.
Another charity which creates life-changing memories for young people across the area is Jamie’s Wish.
The organisation works with children living with terminal disease, and was set up in memory of Jamie Buckfield, of Littlehampton, who died in 2007, aged 20, from a brain tumour.
It helps to grant the wishes of terminally-ill children, from holidays away, to day-trips to theme parks.
But theses charities truly are the tip of the iceberg for the Littlehampton area.
There are many others helping people from all walks of life, from the elderly to the homeless, with others offering fun and games for residents across the area.
n For a video feature on those making the difference in our community, click here.