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2016 Beneficiaries – “We Burn to do Good”

Local charities are hoping that spectators at Littlehampton Bonfire Society’s Traditional Celebrations on Saturday 29th 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 £9,122 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 the Sussex Squids, Wick Dynamos Junior Football Club, Enable Me and the West Downs Neighbourhood Watch Task Force.

Explained Bob Jones of the Sussex Squids,

‘Sussex Squids is a competitive swimming club for people of all ages with disabilities, run entirely by volunteers on a non profit basis. We currently have over 40 club members and are always looking for more to join as swimmers and volunteers. We are seeking funds towards promoting the awareness of the club to reach more people who could benefit from its activities including launching a web site and printing new posters and flyers, as well as the on-going costs of running the club such as pool hire costs.’

Dee Diprose commented on behalf of Wick Dynamos Junior Football Club,

‘The club was formed in 1968 and has grown from one team to a club with 12 teams with ages ranging from 6 to 16, including one girls only team. Most of the children are from the Littlehampton area but we have players from all the surrounding area. We have been offered the opportunity to have a base of our own at the Arun Sports Arena in Ford. This will provide better facilities, in particular indoor training facilities for use in bad weather. It will also enable the club to hold its 6 a side tournament again, which it was unable to hold this season. The club will use its donation from the street collection at these celebrations towards the purchase of two sets of goals at the new base in Ford.’

Local charity Enable Me will use their donation to support their disabled volunteers. Said spokesman Sue Pegrum,

‘Enable Me provides high quality bespoke services designed and delivered by disabled people. Our activities include work in education, training, disability access audits, volunteering and community fundraising with our disabled volunteers for social inclusion. We require funding towards the expenses of our disabled volunteers, whose participation in the charity’s mission is extremely beneficial for their physical and emotional health and wellbeing, helping to improve their self-esteem and their sense of making a contribution to their own community. We currently have approximately 20 volunteers who we have to train, transport, support on site, DBS check, treat to outings and much more.’

Tim Drew of The West Downs Neighbourhood Watch Task Force is delighted the group will benefit from the street collections.

‘The West Downs Neighbourhood Watch Task Force is a self contained team comprising over 50 members throughout the West Downs area. We can assist in any operations where tasks can be delegated to free up trained professionals for more important work. Our well established call out procedure ensures an early response to local incidents and disasters, such as manning cordons or knocking on doors if an evacuation is needed. In recent months the team has carried out a range of activities from leaflet drops to marshalling local events and has been written into the Littlehampton Flood Plan following its work in the floods of 2014.’

In order to achieve a new record collection the society is urging more teams of collectors to enter their ‘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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