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2014 Littlehampton Bonfire Night Beneficiaries (Press Release)

Local charities are hoping that spectators at Littlehampton Bonfire Society’s Traditional Celebrations on Saturday 25th October will show their appreciation by donating as generously as possible to the collection buckets and help to achieve another record collection. The society’s current record of £9,110 is also the all-time highest street collection at any Sussex bonfire and carnival celebrations. Despite ever increasing costs of staging the event, every penny of the street collection goes to the charities and good causes the society supports.

The beneficiaries this year will include St Barnabas HouseLittlehampton Swimming Club, Arun Co-ordinated Community Transport and East Preston Area Community Responders.

Each of these organisations was to benefit from the street collections at the society’s 2013 celebrations, but following the cancellation of the event due to severe weather conditions it was agreed they would be carried forward to become beneficiaries this year.

Explained Neil Francis, Community Fundraising Officer of St Barnabas House,

‘It costs over £5 million each year to provide the hospice’s services and patients are never charged for their care. Only a small part of these costs is funded by the government. For the remainder, we rely on the generosity, help and support of the local community.’

Suzanne Nicholls on behalf of Littlehampton Swimming Club commented,

‘Littlehampton Swimming Club’s swimmers continue to improve and are moving upwards through county, regional and even national rankings. This is thanks in part to the generosity of grants and financial assistance obtained by the club, thus enabling them to improve training methods and coaching expertise. We are currently seeking funding for additional higher level coaching courses and a number of resistance training aids.’

Arun Co-ordinated Community Transport will use their donation to help to continue to run a much needed local transport service for the disabled and elderly. Said the charity’s manager, Peter Austin,

‘In 2013/14 Arun Co-ordinated Community Transport transported 45,608 disabled and elderly service users. Many people within the community rely on this transport and there is evidence that the service makes a valuable contribution to their wellbeing, health and place in the community. This year has seen the charity’s costs increase, the provision of local transport services reduced and the public funding pot shrink.’

Life saving equipment for use in the Littlehampton area is on the shopping list for the East Preston Area Community Responders. Jordan Burne-Cronshaw of the group explained,

‘Currently there are three East Preston Area Community Responders who respond to 999 Category A emergency calls on behalf of an ambulance. Responders are trained to deal with varying emergencies from cardiac arrest to severe bleeding and breathing difficulties. We are trying to raise £1,500 for a defibrillator, a specialist machine that jump starts the heart when in cardiac arrest, for a new responder for the Littlehampton area.’

In order to achieve a record collection the society is urging more teams of collectors to enter the ‘Collection Challenge‘. Explained Richard Cooper, secretary of the society,

‘We need more teams of collectors to come forward. We are asking for teams of people to give up a few hours to collect during the evening of our celebrations, along the procession route, and at the bonfire and firework sites. There is no limit to the number of members in each team. By law all collectors must be over the age of 16, although children can accompany an adult collector. The team that collects the most money will be presented with The Frances Harrison Trophy and receive a £100 donation to a charitable cause of their choice. The runners up will receive the Laura May’s Collection Challenge Cup, together with a donation of £50 to their chosen charitable cause. The third placed group will receive The Henry Shine Memorial Cup and similarly a donation of £25.’

Entry forms for the Collection Challenge are now available from David O. Jones, High Street, Littlehampton or call Tyndall Jones on 01903 713146.

Times for the bonfire, firework display and processions are to be found in the Bonfire Night programmes, now on sale in shops in Littlehampton, Wick, Rustington and East Preston and at the Look and Sea Centre, River Road, Littlehampton. See the society’s website for programme stockists.

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