Sussex Community Foundation has welcomed a new chairman in the same week that the charity announced it has raised £10 million in support of charities and community groups across Sussex.
“People look at Sussex as quite well off and comfortable but there are pockets of deprivation. It is in my view a scandal that there are areas in Sussex which are in the bottom 20 per cent of national measures of social deprivation.
At the same time when local people or companies think of giving to charity they tend to think of large national bodies, because little is known about the small community groups on their doorstep.
Sussex Community Foundation has been set up to bridge this gap and to make it easy for local people and companies to give to local communities. The Foundation provides expert advice and services to make sure that local charitable funds get where they are really needed.
The Foundation can make a significant difference to local quality of life. This is about local communities working together for the welfare of all for many years to come.”
The Duke of Richmond, Founder and Chairman of Sussex Community Foundation
In 2004 The Duke of Richmond brought together a small steering group of people from across the county, with the support of the Lord Lieutenants for East and West Sussex, to consider how a Community Foundation might be established.
The group commissioned an extensive feasibility study in 2005, which explored local needs and examined how a Community Foundation might complement existing Sussex organisations.
The feasibility study clearly demonstrated the need for a community foundation in Sussex. A number of individuals, companies and Trusts were approached to become Founder Donors and their generous support has funded the initial costs of setting up the organisation.
Thanks to the vision of this working group and the support gained from Founder Donors, The Foundation was able to start work in January 2006, having already secured enough funds to cover three years running costs. The steering group recruited a wider group of trustees to represent the breadth of Sussex and a wide range of skills and experience, and a small professional staff team to deliver the mission.