Community groups hit council jackpot

COMMUNITY groups and organisations have landed more than £70,000 in funding under a council scheme.

The Adur Pot of Gold has dished out grants to 13 community groups in the district, the majority of which are based in Shoreham and Southwick.

Among the groups to hit the big-money jackpot was Shoreham Methodist Church, which was awarded £10,000 to upgrade its ageing kitchen.

The Rev Andrew Reed said the work had needed doing for years.

He said the church and the many groups that use its facilities were very excited by the prospect of an upgrade in the facilities.

“I’m very pleased,” said Rev Reed.

“It was excellent.

“We were very gratified that there was so much public support for it in the voting process.”

This was the first time the church has applied for money from the Pot of Gold.

Work is due to begin towards the end of July and should be competed by the end of August.

Another big winner at this year’s awards was Shoreham Rugby Club, which received £10,000 towards building a new clubhouse.

Fundraising manager Sophia Wilks said the fact the club won a public vote showed it had the backing of the community.

“Not only is £10,000 a huge boost in its own right, but so is the fact that the community has voted for us yet again,” she said.

This latest success follows victory in the London and south east section of the NatWest RugbyForce programme, which helped the club to renovate its current facilities.

The clubhouse is little more than two changing rooms and a corridor at present, and the club hopes to raise in the region of £200,000 towards a purpose-built facility with a bar it can hire out to help it become financially self-sufficient.

The £10,000 will enable the club to hire architects and get plans drawn up.

“That’s exactly what we need at this stage, allowing us to take the first step towards breaking ground,” said Sophia.

Although the club fields a senior team and an adult team, its main focus is on youth rugby.

Other winners at this year’s Adur Pot of Gold were as follows:

In the under-£1,000 category, Southlanders Community Group took home £350 to buy a soup maker and saucepans, while the Adur Sea of Lights won £1,000 to put on workshops where people can make lanterns for the event.

In the £1,001 to £10,000 category, Friends of Shoreham Fort won the full £10,000 grant towards building a replica First World War bunker in time for this year’s centenary commemorations.

Shoreham Football Club was awarded £8,000 towards a new portable changing-room facility, and Seaside Hospital Radio, based at Southlands Hospital, won £1,500 to replace its studio computers.

4SIGHT, a charity for people with sight loss based in West Sussex, was awarded just over £5,000 to buy new equipment.

The organisation runs sessions for blind and partially-sighted people at the Shoreham Centre in Pond Road.

4SIGHT operates with a small staff team and several hundred volunteers.