Rye Fund presents awards

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Rye Fund award winners at the 2020 presentation

Successful applicants for the latest round of Rye Fund awards gathered at the town hall last Wednesday, January 15. They were welcomed by Charles Bronsdon, chair of the grant-making panel, and received individual certificates from the mayor, Councillor Michael Boyd. Each recipient made a brief presentation explaining to the assembled company the purpose for which the grant was needed by their local voluntary organisation.

Chris Emson, with Janet Sherwood representing the Rye branch of the Bexhill food bank, spoke of the continuing need for food parcels to support Rye families; the Patients Participation Group at the Ferry Road Health Centre is planning to hold events at the new Rye Hub, for which funding would be needed, said Veryan Pollard.

The purchase of a new safety/rescue boat for the Rye Harbour Sailing Club Sailability project will be part-funded by the Rye Fund award said Caroline Wylson. Pat Hughes welcomed the Fund’s continuing support for Rye and District Community Transport. “This is more than a bus service, it is a club”, said Pat. Phillip Whiteman accepted the award on behalf of Rye and District Sea Cadets for upgrading the “heads”, the naval term for changing room and toilet facilities.

Brenda Snashell of Street Pastors

Brenda Snashell outlined the work of the Rye and District Street Pastors, and Jane Fitch was warm in her acknowledgement for the Rye Fund’s financial backing for the Rye Christmas Festival. Martin Blincow spoke movingly about the work of Rye Cricket Club in encouraging younger players. Kirsty Doherty reported enthusiastically on the Rye Festival of the Sea, now in its third year. Jo Kirkham for Rye Museum thanked the Fund for help with the creation of the new study area at the East Street site.

Richard Moore, chair and founder of the Rye Wurlitzer Academy (RWA), had been prevented from attending by the seasonal bug going around. He sent a message though noting that “RWA is now in its 10th year and 120 students at Rye College have gone through our very special project in that time. We currently have not only a national champion but also a runner up from the competition that took place in London last March. This year the Young Theatre Organist competition is in Solihull in July where we will once again represented.”

Sandy Spencer on behalf of Strandliners reported on the effort to keep our coastal environment litter-free. This new group seeks to identify and record the sources of waste whether emanating upstream from the Rother river or seaward from shipping. Finally, a grant was made towards replacement windows at Winchelsea New Hall, represented by Robert Mortimer.

The awards mark the 11th year of grant funding made by the Rye Fund. Over that time, nearly £60,000 has been distributed to local voluntary organisations. The fund is administered by the Sussex Community Foundation, a registered charity, serving the whole of Sussex. Charles Bronsdon thanked members of the local panel for their work in judging the applications and congratulated the award winners for their commitment to creating a caring community throughout Rye and district. The next award round will be in October 2020 and applications will be welcomed from all quarters from both new and current applicants.

Image Credits: Sussex Community Foundation , Kenneth Bird .

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