One of my photos

2 grand better off

December 11th, 2005 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

Last night Jayne went to a dinner at the Gatwick Manor for a charity awards event. It was the culmination of a campaign run by one of the local papers (The Crawley Observer) and a local employer (Barclaycard).

Over the weeks they have been publishing stories about local charities and then inviting readers to vote for which one they would like to win a cash award/grant. The total pot of money was something like £30,000 with the top ‘prize’ being (I think) £10,000.

The dinner had a number of people from each of 10 charity finalists and a load of Barclaycard and newspaper staff who hosted tables. Apart from the obvious benefit of picking up some much-needed funds for the local community centre it was a good chance to meet not only other charity workers and trustees but also to build some bridges with the local rag and Barclaycard.

This turned out to be extremely beneficial as Barclaycard encourage their employees to support local community events and facilities and often organises them to go out (in company time) in teams to help out. Jayne had a chat with one of their managers about the work our community centre does and the state it is in and they offered to bring down a gang of workers to do some serious redecorating and refurbishment. They even said they would buy the paint. That will be a good one to follow up.

Jayne only went because at the time the invitation came she was vice-chair at the centre, athough she has since resigned from that for reasons too complicated to go into.

Its good to see that even companies with a bit of a tarnished reputation amongst left-wingers can still have some socially conscious policies.

In the end our community centre got £2000, which will go a long way towards providing new furniture and facilities. The last time we had such an award we managed to replace a lot of the cooking appliances in the kitchens and make them generally better and safer. We could have used more, but what charity can’t say that?

Jayne enjoyed herself and managed to negotiate some extra help for the centre, so she was happy, but it ended up causing me to have a really late night. I went to put the good news on the community centre website and while I was editing it I thought I might as well make a few other changes that needed doing. And then I thought I might as well add a new page for photos of the recent church anniversary service and dinner. And then I thought I might as well add another page for photos of this year’s summer fete.

And thats why I spent all day today doing an impersonation of a zombie.

The top award went to an organisation which does audio news services for the deaf. On the face of it, their overheads are extremely low and the amount they won will probably keep them going for ever and might seem unfair when other organisations need to make hefty capital purchases, but apparently the atmosphere there was friendly all round with no nasty rivalry between charities. The Happy Hut pre-school group of Broadfield (and Bewbush) got £1,000 I think.

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