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Panel discussion on Tackling Poverty.

Earlier this month, we were delighted to host two panel discussion events, bringing together our stakeholders united by their passion for Sussex communities.

Focussing on East and West Sussex, we took a deep dive into the key challenges found in our Tackling Poverty report, highlighting the vital role of charities in providing solutions. 

In Hastings, the Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex Andrew Blackman welcomed guests and in Chichester, Deputy Lieutenant Neil Hart gave the opening words. Both panels had representatives from local charities who see directly the very real challenges faced by people in Sussex.  

East Sussex panellists 

  • Vicky Cheeseman from Rotherfield St Martin 
  • Steve Manwaring from Hastings Voluntary Action 
  • Senay Smallwood from the Down Syndrome Development Trust  

West Sussex panellists 

  • Beth Coley from Springboard Project 
  • Emma Cross from Citizens Advice in West Sussex 
  • Barbara Baldwin from Mid Sussex Older People’s Council  
Four panelists left to right: Kevin Richmond, CEO Sussex Community Foundation, Beth Coley, Emma Cross, Barbara Baldwin

Each panellist took questions and shared their insights and experiences from the front line of the voluntary sector.  

Our video of local community organisations brought home just how serious the situation in Sussex really is.  

“We, like many other funders, are overwhelmed by the current level of demand. Last year we gave out over £2.6 million to 449 groups across Sussex and we are grateful to all our donors and supporters who made this possible. However, we received over 1,000 applications totalling over £7.5 million in funding requested. It’s currently an extremely tough environment for our local voluntary sector and the gap between need and funding available is growing.” 

Hannah Clay, Head of Grant Programmes at the Foundation

There is no one simple solution to the problems our communities are facing but at Sussex Community Foundation we know that local giving has a huge role to play.  

Find out more about our funding priorities, including Tackling Poverty, here.  

Published on 30th May 2024

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