The High Sheriff of West Sussex, Caroline Nicholls visited three different community projects in Petworth and Tillington this week to see how grants from the charity Sussex Community Foundation are helping to make a big difference to people’s lives.
First stop was Tillington Village Hall for a coffee morning with Tillington Local Care (TLC).
Led by Bob Rance, village volunteers help their neighbours reach a range of health appointments or access other services that can support them, from Alzheimers support groups to arranging a Blue Badge parking permit or finding a wide range of counselling services.
During the Tillington tour, arranged by Gerald Gresham-Cooke, there was the opportunity of a bird’s eye view of the village, from the spire of All Hallows Church, with the new priest in charge The Revd Debbie Smith and husband Andrew.
Petworth Community Gardens and Men in Sheds, run by Kate and Richard Green, works with people of all abilities helping to turn lives around through the power of growing flowers and vegetables.
Participants can take home their produce and learn about organic gardening and wildlife care.
The Men in Sheds group, which meets on Wednesdays also makes and sells rural crafts at local festivals to help to fund the organisation.
Final stop on the tour was the Sylvia Beaufoy Centre and Petworth Youth Association, which runs a busy club for 12- to 18-year-olds with a range of activities including pool, table tennis and basket ball, combined with workshops around healthy eating, music, volunteering, and crafts.
The High Sheriff was joined on the visit by Cllr Norma Graves, vice chairman of Chichester District Council, who lives in Tillington and Lauren Lloyd, fund development manager for Sussex Community Foundation.
Caroline said: “I have supported Sussex Community Foundation since it was first established some 12 years ago both as a trustee and a donor.
“I was very keen to see how the grants it makes to community projects are working to support local people and encourage more groups to look to the foundation for funding.
“The three Petworth projects were each very different but each is run by people with a passion for what they do and the schemes are clearly providing a very valuable service in the area.”
For more information on Sussex Community Foundation visit www.sussexgiving.org.uk.