Charities and community groups invited to bid for cash with Community Chest awards

The annual Community Chest – promoted by this newspaper – which has given away hundreds of thousands of pounds to good causes across East and West Sussex in the past decade is now inviting applications for cash help in 2020.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 7:00 am
Hall and Woodhouse Community Chest awards 2019 in Arundel, West Sussex. St Joseph's Specialist Trust. Photo by Derek Martin Photography.

Hall & Woodhouse, an independent family-owned brewer with pubs across Sussex, runs the awards which support local voluntary organisations across the south. This newspaper and its website are the media partner and participate in the assessment process.

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Last year, Sussex groups which benefitted from the scheme included the Apuldram Centre, Cycling Without Age Hurst and Hassocks, Jamie’s Farm, Lowland Rescue Search Dogs Sussex and the Oasis Project in Brighton, to name a few.

Hall and Woodhouse Community Chest awards 2019 in Arundel, West Sussex. Photo by Derek Martin Photography.

What’s new this year?

For the first time since the Community Chest initiative was launched by Hall & Woodhouse in 2008, local charities can now apply online for grants up to £5,000 – instead of the previous maximum of £3,000 – to support their causes.

Applicants now have the opportunity to also apply to be a charity partner of a pub within Hall & Woodhouse’s managed estate across the south. Through this partnership, each pub will fundraise for its dedicated charity in a variety of ways including organising pub quizzes, sponsored activities and family fun days.

Lucinda Gray, Hall & Woodhouse company relationship manager, said: “Through our Community Chest initiative, charities and community interest companies can apply for a grant towards improving their local area — to help the youth, elderly, disabled, arts, environment and more.

Hall and Woodhouse Community Chest awards 2019 in Arundel, West Sussex. Just Different. Photo by Derek Martin Photography.

“Historically, in addition to the Community Chest, our team has voted to support one company charity partner every two years, which all 53 of our managed house pubs have fundraised for, resulting in us raising over £100,000 every year for the past eight years for some incredible charities which has included Macmillan, Together for Short Lives and most recently, the Local Air Ambulances. However, what is so special about the Community Chest is that it raises the profile of really worthy local causes, which would have otherwise gone under the radar. We felt it was only right that we give these causes the chance to also apply to be a charity partner of their local Hall & Woodhouse managed pub, by working together to improve both the facilities and the lives of residents in our communities.”

Call to enter

Gary Shipton, Editorial Director of this newspaper and its sister titles congratulated Hall & Woodhouse on its huge support of community groups through the funding process.

“Once again we are delighted to be playing an active role in both publicising applications and supporting the judging process,” Mr Shipton said. “I hope as many organisations as possible will participate – especially given the welcome improvements that are being introduced this year.”

Since 2008, the Hall & Woodhouse Community Chest has donated over £600,000 to more than 750 community organisations across the south of England and is supported by the Sussex Community Foundation.

Applicants have until Tuesday, March 31 to submit their grant and charity partner request.

Application forms can be downloaded via and then emailed to [email protected] for consideration.

Organisations which apply to be a pub charity partner will be notified in June 2020 if they have been successful. Grant specific applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by the end of September 2020 and cheques will be presented to the successful organisations at an awards evening in October 2020.