Businesses have been doing their bit to support people in need in West Sussex this Christmas.
Turning Tides, a charity supporting homeless people in Worthing, Littlehampton, Shoreham, Horsham, East Grinstead and Mid Sussex, was one of those to benefit.
Worthing Winter Night Shelter, Shoreham Foodbank, Lancing and Sompting Foodbank, and Worthing Hospital have also benefited during the festive season.
Estate agent Jacobs Steel put out a Christmas list for Turning Tides and collected donations at all six of its offices, in Worthing, Lancing and Shoreham.
Pat Barton, managing director, said: “My fellow managing director, Matt Jacobs, recently took part in Turning Tide’s SleepOut fundraiser, where he spent 12 hours armed with just a sleeping bag and some cardboard. It was a true eye-opener for him, so we decided that this year we would host an appeal to support the charity.
“They do outstanding work, particularly with the young homeless across the county, so we knew we had to act.”
A team of 12 from Jacobs Steel also cooked a traditional turkey dinner for the homeless in Worthing.
Mr Barton said: “We have supported many charity events organised by other people, so we decided to do something a bit different for Christmas. While the high street is bustling with people buying gifts, there are people sleeping rough who won’t be having a hot meal this Christmas.
“Being able to give them an occasion to forget about everyday life was the best gift my team could give this year.”
At SJM Electrical Services in Tarring, people have been donating £5 vouchers to support Worthing Winter Night Shelter and the company matched the total, meaning £1,155 was raised.
Wates Residential, which is carrying out flood defence work at Free Wharf on behalf of Southern Housing Group, gave Shoreham Foodbank a festive boost with a donation of more than £200-worth of goodies.
Paul Comber, leader of Shoreham Foodbank, said: “This part of Adur, Shoreham and Southwick, has some of the most deprived and least deprived wards in the country. It is our privilege to serve whoever is in a food crisis, whatever their circumstances or postcode.”
Staff from the Shoreham and Chichester offices gathered more than 100 items and groundworks subcontractor Erith donated a further £100 in cash.
Paul Nicholls, managing director, said: “We believe that everyone deserves a great place to live so we are delighted to have been able to make this donation to support some of those most in need of a helping hand over the festive period in Shoreham.
“As part of our presence in the local area, we are keen to give back to the local community and leave a positive lasting impact. We look forward to building a great partnership with Shoreham Foodbank as we continue to expand our site team based at Free Wharf.”
Turner’s Pies have had a Christmas toys appeal for Love Your Hospital, the dedicated charity for Worthing Hospital, Southlands Hospital in Shoreham and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester. Donations from the stores in Broadwater, Rustington, Chichester and Bognor Regis were delivered by senior manager Joe Turner.
He said: “The response has been overwhelming, I can’t quite believe the reaction we have had. When you go on the wards and see the circumstances and situations that these children are putting up with over Christmas, it is the least we can do to try to help bring a smile to their faces.”
Hayley Edwards, play assistant at Worthing Hospital, said the toys made a huge difference as without them, Christmas was just another day on the ward.
She added: “No-one wants to be in hospital on Christmas Day. Christmas in hospital without these kind donations is ‘rubbish’. These presents will make a big difference and really lift the spirits of the children.”
Phil Turner, managing director, has also made sure there is something for the staff, with deliveries of mince pies.
Nordell, a plastic injection moulding company in Worthing, held a staff Christmas jumper day for Lancing and Sompting Foodbank.
Organiser Emma Penn said: “We have 87 staff, all employed from the local community. Every year, we hold an event nearing the end of the year to try to raise money for a good cause.
“I was absolutely knocked for six when I started to see the donations flood in and we ended up with an awful lot of food, to be delivered in time for them to distribute emergency essentials to those in need for Christmas.
“This seems like such an amazing charity and a way to give back to the community. It is important that as a business working in the local community, we acknowledge those who offer generosity and kindness which are still surrounding us.”
Haskins Roundstone Garden Centre in Angmering ran a Postcards of Kindness campaign with Orchards Junior School in Worthing to encourage children to design their own Christmas message for older people in the community.
More than 500 postcards were created for patients at Worthing Hospital to bring some festive cheer.
As a thank you, the school received a donation of more than 100 cuddly Christmas toys from Haskins.
Lisa Looker, brand director, said: “We wanted to make it our mission this Christmas to ensure that everyone in the community feels included in the festive celebrations, as it can be a difficult time of year for many people.
“We hope we have facilitated a Christmas experience for both our local pupils and patients of Worthing Hospital that they will cherish for years to come.”