We gave over £1.6 million in grants to 332 Sussex charities and community groups who spend their time working to help others in a million different ways.
It’s our 10th anniversary this year too and we are very proud of what we have achieved in our first decade. Our objective has always been to be a vehicle for local donors to support their communities in an effective way and we have achieved that, raising £21.4 million for Sussex. £11.6 million of this is in ‘endowment’ which means it will still be here, giving back to the community, for many years to come. We now have 76 funds from which we have given £9.8 million in grants to support local communities.
Ten years is a long time though and the landscape out there is changing. Our report Sussex Uncovered will be published in November. Key findings are that:
Hastings and Brighton & Hove have levels of overall deprivation above the national average
The average salary of those employed in Sussex remains below both the South East and England averages at £28,752
The worst child poverty in Sussex is in Baird ward in Hastings where 75.5% of children live in poverty
Over 25% of Sussex people (excluding Brighton and Hove) live in rural areas where people on low incomes face significant disadvantage.
Austerity has begun to make a real impact on the lives of Sussex people and on the community groups that support them. The funding landscape itself has changed too: local authorities are commissioning community groups to do much more of the work that the state used to provide.
We’ve achieved a great deal. However, there is lot we haven’t been able to do
Each year, there is a shortfall in the amount of money we are able to give. In 2015-16, that shortfall was around £400,000 and we were only able to meet about half of all the applications we would have liked to have funded. We just didn’t have the money we needed to do so.
Among the many projects we weren’t able to fund were self-help sessions for people with depression, drop-in and advice services for people with learning disabilities, food for a housing charity, a wheelchair-accessible bus for people with dementia, rural transport running costs and nursing patients at a hospice, along with much else.
We want to thank all the people that have supported us since 2006 – we wouldn’t be where we are now without your donations – whether that has been your money, time, expertise or encouragement. We hope you will continue to support us to face the challenges of the next decade in our beautiful county together.
For more information about Sussex Community Foundation, visit www.sussexgiving.org.uk