GACT announces latest round of grants

The Gatwick Airport Community Trust (GACT) is a well known charity donor in the Horsham district, and new grants are being awarded now to projects and groups around the area. This is not the first time that this organisation has been at the centre of new grants, as it continuously supports local development.

The GACT has awarded numerous grants over the past decade to support community projects in East and West Sussex, along with Surrey and Kent. Hundreds of projects benefited so far and many more are hoping to get selected for more cash donations.

The goal of the Trust is to support projects which provide diverse sectors of the local community with work and fun in all sorts of niches, including arts, sports, environmental improvements and also conservation. Charity organisations who support volunteering, the elderly and the disabled are also prioritised. In 2012, GACT awarded over 144 projects with grants of over £5,000 each.

One such charity was Home-Start Crawley, Horsham and Mid-Sussex (CHAMS) which is a facility that brings help to families in need. They received £10,000 from the Trust last year in order to support their work. This particular project will now be able to train more volunteers who will visit families, along with creating fund raising campaigns, after recruiting a new fund raising manager. Another charity is one run by a Youth Services that received £13,500 to support a mobile studio project.

The demand for grants always exceeds the funds that the Trust can give out, since it tries to help so many projects. The average amount of cash given out is between £500 to £3,000, with over £168,000 having been awarded in total over the year.

Sometimes larger grants are given out, if the project will affect a larger number of people, but the result must be noticeable over a longer term. The chairman of GACT said that the board of nine trustees decide who will receive grants, and a vote is held to decide how the funds are allocated, based on criteria that each project has to meet.