Helping Lewes community groups
While many parts of Lewes and the neighbouring villages are prospering, there are areas of significant deprivation and individuals in need. Requests for help via the Citizens Advice Bureau from those in need are at record levels.
We are fortunate that there are over 100 local community groups and charities whom, along with their volunteers, help meet these local needs. However, they can only operate and survive with continuing financial support, which increasingly has to come from the local community, especially as public funding contracts.
The Lewes Fund was established in 2012 to help facilitate charitable giving and to act as a fund raiser for these local groups. The Fund draws on the knowledge and support of the local community, working together to help reduce disadvantage and build a stronger, sustainable community for the future.
The generosity of over 50 local contributors has already enabled us to give out over £50,000 in grants to over 30 local community groups. We also now have £200,000 invested in our endowment fund which is managed by Sussex Community Foundation. The income from this fund enables grants to be made in future years.
Beneficiaries, meeting the needs of the young, the old, and the disadvantaged in Lewes, Chailey, Newick and Ringmer have received grants worth £350 to £5,000, the majority being for sums under £1,000. They include:
- Chailey Youth Group
- Dancing for Fun and Fitness
- DELTA Disability
- Diversity Lewes
- Fitzjohns Foodbank
- Join Us network of older residents
- Landport Food Bank
- Landport Youth Centre
- Lewes Bridge Junior Football Club
- Lewes Citizens Advice
- Lewes Dance Academy
- Lewes Low Cost Counselling Services
- Nutty Wizard Café
- Ouse Valley Cycle Network
- Oyster Project
- Patina Moving on Parade
- Pippa’s Group
- Railway Land learning difficulties initiative
- Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support
- Ringmer Disability Social Club
- Smarter Living
- St Mary’s Church Hall
- St Mary’s Supporters Club
- St Peter and St James Hospice
- Talking News
- Westgate Chapel.
To help us meet future needs and expand the number of grants we are able to make, we welcome new donations to the Fund, especially those made via standing orders. Donations normally attract Gift Aid increasing their value by 25%. In the case of businesses, donations can normally be offset against tax. Cheques should be made payable to SCF/Lewes Fund. For a donation form, please click here.
In 2019, the fund will be considering grants for small sums, normally under £2,000. There are three deadlines for applications throughout the year:
- Friday 3rd May 2019
- Friday 12th September 2019. The September 2019 round will also consider applications for larger sums, up to £5,000.
Applications should be made via Sussex Community Foundation here, which helps minimise our costs.
The Fund is overseen by a steering group, comprising: Richard Pearson (Chair), Michael Bell, Keith Hollis, Peter Mettyear, Ruth O’Keeffe, Caroline Tower, and the Lewes Mayor (ex officio).
For more information about the Lewes Fund, please email Richard Pearson.