There is good news for local community groups and organisations looking for funding as the Gatwick Airport Community Trust (GACT), now in its 18th year, has launched its funding programme for 2019.
This is earlier than usual and coincides with the launch of its new website, www.gact.org.uk.
GACT also has a new chairman. Mike Roberts retired earlier this year after devoting 17 years to the trust as a volunteer trustee and more recently as chairman. His successor is Joanna Rettie.
Jo runs the Gatwick Airport Airline Consultative Committee and the Airline Operators Committee. Prior to this she worked for British Airways in a number of operational and managerial roles.
On her new role Jo said: “I have always enjoyed working with and supporting the local community, one of my roles at British Airways was working with the Gatwick community in community relations.
“I am looking forward to bringing some of that expertise to the Gatwick Airport Community Trust and making sure that the annual grant funding programme continues to flourish and provide much needed funds for those communities most affected by operations at Gatwick Airport.”
Local community groups and organisations looking for funding for special projects or community facilities should make an application before next year’s deadline of Thursday February 28, 2019.
The independent charity has been awarding grants annually to local community projects in parts of East and West Sussex, Surrey and Kent for the past 17 years.
During that time hundreds of projects have benefitted from funds.
The trust has encouraged and supported schemes that benefit diverse sections of the local community and are targeted towards the development of young people, the arts, sporting facilities, environmental improvement and conservation, improvements to community facilities, volunteering, the elderly and the disabled.
This year GACT awarded grants to 102 different projects totaling over £207,000.
The majority of grants ranged from £1,000 to £5,000 and beneficiaries ranged from Scouts and village halls to sports clubs, choirs, theatre groups, pre-schools, the elderly and people with disabilities.
A full list of grant awards can be viewed on www.gact.org.uk
GACT has also pledged a larger grant award of £20,000 spread over two years to Crawley Open House towards the transformation of a disused building into a life-skills and employability workshop for the homeless, ex-homeless and disadvantaged.
Grant applications are assessed by a board of nine trustees who all bring local knowledge and expertise to the Trust ensuring that the money is used to the maximum benefit of the local community.
A map of the area of benefit can be viewed at www.gact.org.uk together with a full list of towns and villages in the area.
Anyone seeking funding for a local community project can find more information and application forms from www.gact.org.uk