YOU ARE HERE NOW / As Good As New

New Year is the time for making a fresh start and making new resolutions. The goals we give ourselves are often about improving our lives, whether through meeting new friends, building skills or changing our career prospects.

Take a look at some of the suggestions below for ways to improve your life or those of others in 2020.

Aspire Sussex provides community-based Adult Education that is vibrant, accessible and sustainable to enable people to achieve their personal aspirations whatever their starting point. Aspire’s classes are small and friendly and give you the best chance to keep your resolution, so why not take a look at what they have on offer in the Worthing area. Brochures are available at all West Sussex libraries or can be viewed online at aspiresussex.org.uk.

Independent local charity Worthing Community Chest will run three rounds of funding in 2020 for community projects to apply for larger grants of up to £1500. The first round ends on 31 January, with the next rounds in May and September, so don’t miss out on funding for a summer event. Smaller grants of up to £750 are open all year round with an easy application process. Call Naomi on 01903 221080 and get started on an application straight away.

Throughout December, collection points around Worthing are accepting donations of toiletry items such as shampoo, deodorant and toilet rolls for Worthing Foodbank. Figures recently released show the Foodbank gave 1308 emergency food parcels to people in the Worthing area between April and September 2019. Of this number, 378 went to children.

Julie Denyer, manager of Worthing Foodbank, said, “It’s a real concern that in just six months we’ve provided 1308 emergency supplies to local people. These figures don’t take into account our busiest time of year; as the colder weather draws in, we often find even more people needing our help.

“Right now, we’re dedicated to ensuring that people in our community without enough money for food are able to access emergency support. Our vital work has only been possible because of the incredible generosity shown by local people who have donated food, time and funds.” Collection points include Shelter charity shop, Halifax Bank, Aspire estate agents in Goring, Brooksteed Alehouse and St Matthew’s Church. Please do not donate food. Other collection dates can be found at bit.ly/worthingfoodbank.

Get on your bike and help David Porter, who is setting up a new community bike project in Shoreham. David is currently restoring donated cycles from a residential workshop, but he’s looking for a base where people can bring their bikes to work on themselves or be given access to tools and spare parts with help from an experienced bike mechanic. If you could offer a donated bike or a small community space to work from in Shoreham, please contact him on wobblywheels66@gmail.com.

Show your local hospital some love and pop along to the Penguin Foyer of Worthing Hospital on Wednesday 22 January (9am-4pm) to support Pat Davies’ Singathon. Back for a second year, the Singathon raised £1693 for Castle Ward last year and this year the proceeds will go to the A&E department. It’s a cause close to Pat’s heart after she was rushed to hospital with sepsis and received lifesaving treatment on Castle Ward a few years ago. Local singing groups will join ‘Pat’s People’ and hopefully school choirs, with information provided to raise awareness of sepsis.

Sustainable Sussex has welcomed its newest members to the team, with a flock of sheep grazing on land at The Fen on Test Road in Sompting. The Romney and Portland sheep are intended for conservation grazing and as a fibre flock. If you’d like to help care for the sheep, or are interested in getting involved in other projects such as the Sussex Chilli Farm or planning the Sompting Community Farm, contact Keith on 07598 411428 or keith@sustainablesussex.org.

A new pocket park has sprung up on a small piece of cleared land in Anson Road, Worthing, thanks to a real community effort. Local residents teamed up with volunteers from the Adur & Worthing Council-backed Growing Communities scheme, local group Green Tides, Maybridge St Richard Parish Church and Worthing Homes (who own the land) to transform the under-utilised green space.

Local children were drafted in to build bug hotels and plant wildflower seeds and bulbs.

The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), who run the Growing Communities project, started a Fun Club on the site and organised activities, including outdoor cookery, junior archery and football. The team would love to hear from anyone with suggestions for future activities on the land.

The Growing Communities scheme has been made possible following a successful joint bid to the National Lottery’s Community Fund by TCV and Adur & Worthing Councils. Current projects include the Southwick Impulse Community Garden, which is looking for volunteers to help create a community garden on the former cricket training ground behind the centre.

If you’re interested in growing your own food, Worthing Care For The Earth is running the Worthing Goes Tomatoes project for 2020. Our town used to be famous for its tomato growing industry, and the project aims to reclaim this title and encourage residents to grow their own, whether it’s one plant on a balcony or as part of an allotment workshop or in greenhouses. They’ve just been awarded funding from Sussex Community Foundation and would like to hear from anyone who wants to get involved.

 

By Zoe Rhodes