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Sussex Community Foundation hosted the event 'Sussex in the City' in London at the end of September

We were delighted to host ‘Sussex in the City’ on Tuesday 26 September in the amazing setting of Drapers’ Hall, in the heart of the City of London. The event was attended by over 140 guests, from current donors and fundholders to professional advisors and members of London liveries, as well as other members of the public with an interest in philanthropy.

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

Kevin Richmond
-
CEO Sussex Community Foundation

Philanthropy during a Cost of Living Crisis

Focusing on the theme ‘Philanthropy during a cost of living crisis’, at the event we welcomed keynote speaker, Torsten Bell, CEO of the Resolution Foundation, an independent think-tank focused on improving living standards for those on low to middle incomes.

Keynote Speaker Torsten Bell

During his speech, Torsten gave a picture of the impact that the current economy is having on people in the UK, and explained how high inflation and rising energy, food and housing costs are now affecting a wider percentage of the UK population. And impacting lower and middle-income families particularly hard. 

Referring specifically to the increase in food costs, Torsten said: “If you are already on a very stretched budget, you can’t trade down for cheaper products. Instead, you are getting poorer and eating less.”

Torsten also added that “food insecurity (ie when people can’t afford to eat what they would normally eat, and are likely to skip meals) has increased from 7% to 17% across the UK over the course of the last 18 months. This is a huge increase, and not something we would ever expect to see in the UK.”

Torsten continued to show that we haven’t seen such a steep rise in inflation in the UK since the 1970s. And that the worst is yet to come as costs will continue to rise well into next year.

The Importance of Local Philanthropy

Alongside Torsten we also heard from Mark Spofforth and Kevin Richmond, the Chair and CEO of Sussex Community Foundation respectively. In their speeches, Mark and Kevin emphasised the challenges brought to our society by the current cost of living crisis, spoke about the importance and power of local philanthropy, and addressed the audience to think about ways to support the Foundation in our cause to create a fairer, more equal Sussex.

Mark also announced the Lawson Trust Endowment Match Challenge, a new opportunity developed by the Foundation with long-term partners The Lawson Trust to support local philanthropy in Sussex. If you wish to find more details about the Lawson Trust Endowment Match Challenge visit here.

Published on 29th Sep 2023

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