Gillian's Column of the Week
Chichester, Sussex - For the Chichester Observer, Monday 15 January, 2024
Two local charities awarded tens of thousands in Government Funding


Great news for local charities

Community is everything in Chichester. From our churches and sports teams to charities and social clubs, we are blessed to have some amazing community organisers and volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to some brilliant projects and causes.

Last week brought the fantastic news that two local charities have been awarded tens of thousands of pounds in funding to support their work as part of the Government’s £76 million Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund (CCLF). Selsey Community Forum and UKHarvest received £21,157 and £66,497 respectively in recognition of their crucial role in delivering critical frontline services.

Selsey Community Forum is a partnership of local voluntary organisations which provides services from money advice to wellbeing services. The charity also aims to ensure the financial health of local voluntary organisations by securing new funding. I visited their Care Shop last year to meet Mike and his team of volunteers to hear how they provide a one-stop-shop for local residents to talk things through.

Meanwhile, UKHarvest uses their network of vans, sorting centres, and food hubs, as well as a dedicated community of volunteers, to rescue tonnes of surplus food from local restaurants, shops and supermarkets. This is then distributed to nearby charities and direct to customers through their community food hubs. It’s an ingenious solution to a real-world problem, and I’m so pleased the charity continues to grow across the South East and beyond.

Both organisations demonstrate the power of community to change things for the better and bring people together for a good cause.

Gillian is fighting for the Manhood Peninsular Car Club.
Another example of this is the Manhood Peninsular Classic Car Club. This group has met informally every month in Selsey since 2010 to socialise and share their stories and experiences.

They bring an exciting spectacle to Selsey with people coming from miles around to see the cars, enjoy the beach, and spend money with local small businesses.
I was therefore saddened to learn from constituents in Selsey that the club has recently been forced to cease its meetings at the East Beach carpark. I know the club has a special place in the hearts of many in the community, so I am working with organisers and have written to Chichester District Council to see what can be done to restore this Selsey institution for all in the community to enjoy.