One of the founding goals of William Alexander was to provide direct support to our local community in Brighton & Hove, one of the most deprived areas in the South East of England - East Brighton being one of the 10% most deprived areas in the UK as defined by the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2015 report.
To that end, William Alexander, in partnership with Sussex Community Foundation, established The William Alexander Fund which has now awarded over £74,080 in grants to a variety of grassroots charities and local community groups who are making a real and positive impact on people’s day to day lives.
Through these grants, we have been able to support disadvantaged or vulnerable children, refugees, the homeless, the elderly, and local people suffering from poor mental health, dementia, and cerebral palsy.
We also offer all our employees two paid volunteer days to work for local community groups that can benefit from their time.
Specific groups we have supported include:
SPEAR BRIGHTON TRUST (£4,500)
The award-winning Spear Programme helps 16-24s facing barriers to work overcome the challenges they are facing to find and succeed in sustainable employment. The initial programme runs for six weeks, with a year of support for each candidate to ensure long-term success.
CONVERSATION OVER BORDERS (£4,500)
This charity connects communities, where refugees and asylum seekers have equitable opportunities to thrive in their new lives in the UK. They do this through providing one-to-one online befriending, English classes, peer support groups and digital inclusion support, to tackle loneliness and upskill our community.
BRAMBER BAKEHOUSE (£9,000)
Bramber Bakehouse support women survivors of human trafficking who have suffered sexual exploitation and servitude. Our funding will go towards the costs of 'little taste of freedom' baking courses where participants are provided with therapeutical baking, wellbeing and employability skills, which help to further advance their future goals in employment and/ or further education.
SAFETY NET (£1,090)
Safety Net supports vulnerable children, disadvantaged by Adverse Childhood Experiences including: domestic violence, separated parents and mental illness. Children are referred by schools and social workers because they display high anxiety, self-harming or disruptive behaviours. Uniquely, they work with children who don’t reach the threshold for statutory support, but experience significant mental health and wellbeing difficulties. Our funding enables them to continue delivering their free SNAP Programme – offering individual/small group support to around 30 vulnerable children aged 8 - 13 with issues around low resilience, relationships, anxiety, self-esteem, bullying and challenging life circumstances.
MEN TALKHEALTH (£5,000)
Men TealkHealth promotes and protects the mental health and wellbeing of men suffering from mental disorders and conditions of emotional or mental distress by creating a safe environment in which they can talk openly about their mental health. They provide support, education and practical advice working in Brighton & Hove and London. Our funding will go towards the cost of a sessional Project Manager who will manage projects, support training and further develop community links.ALLSORTS YOUTH PROJECT (£4,050)
Allsorts Youth Project aim is to raise awareness, promote inclusion and facilitate safer and more supportive environments for LGBT+ children & young people. Our funding is to enable the continuation of their podcast project which has been a great way to amplify, share, celebrate, and record the experiences and voices of the LGBT+ youth community during an unprecedented time. Listen here: https://anchor.fm/allsortsyouthproject
RALLI HALL LUNCH AND SOCIAL CLUB (£4,050)
Ralli Hall Lunch and Social Club are a not for profit lunch and social club serving the elderly in Brighton and Hove. Twice a week they provide exercise classes, a hot three course lunch and afternoon entertainment looking after the senior members of their community, many of whom are isolated, often lonely and some disabled. Our funding is to help meet the core running costs of the lunch club.
SALAAM FC (£2,115)
This is a Brighton based community run football club for boys and girls aged 8-16 whose members are mostly from refugee or asylum-seeking families. This is the third time we have supported this fantastic group and our donation of £2,115 will help with the continued running of their community football team.
KNOW DEMENTIA (£2,385)
This is a local charity run by volunteers comprising of family carers and qualified professionals who live and work with people with dementia. Our funding will help them open a ‘Memory Moments’ café in the local Brighton area which will be a huge support to people who have dementia as well as their carers and families.
SALAAM FC (£1,500)
Salaam FC is a Brighton based community run football club for boys and girls aged 10-16, with players from 10 different countries, many of whom are refugees. This was the 2nd time we have supported Salaam FC and our funding is to help meet the core running costs of the club.
SING FOR BETTER HEALTH (£1,800)
This group run singing sessions weekly which are for elderly people with long term health problems such as Alzheimer's, MS, Parkinson's, cancer, heart conditions and breathing difficulties. Their aim is to help improve health and well-being using relaxation, posture and breathing exercises. These groups help elderly people cope better with daily life and help to prevent deterioration and eventual possible social isolation.
SUSSEX SYRIAN COMMUNITY GROUP (£1,500)
This is a community run group who aim to bring Syrian people living in Sussex together, to provide advice and practical support for refugees and asylum seekers to help people settle into life in Sussex. The group runs weekly drop-in sessions to help assist with housing, health care and employment as well as weekly language classes.
ST CUTHMAN’S WHITEHAWK (£5,000)
Funding has helped with the continued running of the Community Café run by Whitehawk Foodbank.
The Foodbank helps to prevent the escalation of short term crisis for individuals into crime, debt, housing loss, family breakdown, mental and physical health problems. Clients receive a food parcel (designed to provide nutritionally balanced food), free refreshments, plus direction from trained volunteers towards other organisations for help with long-term, underlying issues.
FARESHARE SUSSEX (£4,468)
FareShare Sussex redistributes surplus food to organisations within the city of Brighton and Hove and the Worthing area, which feed vulnerable groups. Many of the volunteers at FareShare Sussex are recruited from the projects FareShare delivers to. Volunteers are provided with accredited training, support and structure to help improve their employment chances.
This William Alexander grant alone enabled Fareshare Sussex to deliver 80 tons of food, which provided 19,051 meals to people in need in the Brighton and Hove area.
MAD HATTERS (£1,500)
Mad Hatters provides lonely, isolated and vulnerable elderly people with a regular space to socialise. Providing a weekly nutritious and affordable lunch club at the local community hall in Moulsecoomb, Brighton. The group gives attendees links to other community groups and facilities while helping form new relationships, friendships and supportive networks. Regular visitors and talks from frontline services and practitioners keep the group informed. There is the opportunity for involvement with local projects and a support network for those without families.
AQUA SENIORS (£1,500)
Aqua Seniors are a group of older people, aged 55 years and over, based in the Whitehawk and Manor Estate area of Brighton. They organise weekly swimming sessions for 42 weeks of the year, with a bus to collect everyone from their homes. The main purpose of the groups is to give the elderly people an opportunity to have regular exercise so that they can keep fit and healthy. The group also enables it’s members a chance to get out and meet other people to avoid them becoming isolated and lonely.
Whoopsadaisy works to develop the independence, confidence and self-esteem of children with cerebral palsy and similar motor disorders, helping them to take a more active part in the daily life of their families, at school and in the wider community. They pursue this aim through Conductive Education which motivates children to achieve important goals such as learning to crawl, sit up or walk. Whoopsadaisy also provides support to parents and carers, showing them how to help their children become more independent at home.
SILVER SOUNDS (£1,380.14!)
Silver Sounds is a community samba band for people 55 years and over in Brighton and Hove. The group develops, promotes and performs carnival music as a tool for engaging with and empowering older people. Through their music making activities Silver Sounds promote the physical, mental and emotional well-being of older people as well as challenging prevailing stereotypes of what older people can/cannot and should/should not do.
ST LUKE’S ADVICE SERVICE (£1,500)
St Luke’s Advice Service support those who are particularly at risk from social exclusion due to issues such as low income, debt, mental health problems and disabilities. They provide practical help, advice and guidance to people in need in B & H and the surrounding areas.
SALAAM FC (£2,887)
Salaam FC is a Brighton based community run football club for boys and girls aged 10-16, with players from 10 different countries, many of whom are refugees. Our funding is to help meet the core running costs of the club.
FUN IN ACTION FOR CHILDREN (£4,000)
This group supports children from disadvantaged, predominantly lone parent families in the Brighton and Hove area. The children tend to have some form of special needs, or experience problems in schools, or suffer from lack of self-esteem.
Fun in Action provide volunteer 'befrienders’ who are volunteers who take the children out once a week on trips. The ‘befrienders’ are carefully matched with each child and often offer a lifelong friendship. This can be the one time each week that the child gets to be away from a difficult home life, or to spend time with someone removed from their personal situation.
MILLWOOD KICKS CLUB (£1,500)
Millwood Kicks is a Self Defence/Karate class which provides a great way for children to keep fit, build stamina, strength and discipline. The classes are run at a very low cost allowing children from less privileged backgrounds to attend classes which they would otherwise not be able to afford. The class is for children aged 7-12. They are a parent-led club.
BRIGHTON CITY TABLE TENNIS CLUB (£1,000
Brighton Table Tennis club aims to provide role models to support the personal development of young people, instil a life-long love for table tennis and build a strong community. They were seeking funding to purchase additional table tennis tables, in order to expand membership.
CRAVEN VALE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION (£1,500)
Craven Vale CA is a voluntary group who meet regularly to provide a safe and open forum for residents. They were seeking funding to organise and run weekly dance sessions for young people who live in the Craven Vale and Queen’s Park estates in Brighton.
PLOT 22 (£1,740)
Plot 22 is a community allotment garden, providing a safe and inclusive space. Many of the volunteers attending sessions on the allotment are experiencing mental health issues, social isolation and long term unemployment. They were seeking funding for a nature learning project and one to provide support for people with high needs.
Further information about the fund and our partnership with The Sussex Community Foundation can be found at - http://www.sussexgiving.org.uk/named_funds_posts/william-alexander/