Today was a big one. We celebrated our impact across West Sussex since the pandemic!

Our team along with our friends, partners and funders gathered at Lodge Hill, Pulborough to showcase our achievements and celebrate our work and partnerships over the last year. We were also pleased to welcome guest speaker, Clare Moriarty, CEO at Citizens Advice, who shared her thoughts in her new role.

During the pandemic, Citizens Advice in West Sussex (North, South, East) helped over 28,000 people with more than 80,000 problems, not missing a single hour of service delivery as our residents turned to us for help.

During that time we had several successful partnerships, including collaborating with Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice (ACCA), to provide much needed extra support with utilities and warmth throughout the coldest period. Together we successfully delivering £250,000 in winter grants across West Sussex. We were delighted to have Luca Badioli, Chief Executive of ACCA, sit on our panel and discuss identifying this need for energy support and targeting those in need.

Our Community Engagement Team shared how since the pandemic, we were able to develop our community engagement to help ensure the voices of Black, Asian and residents from other ethnic backgrounds were heard and services were put in place. This included partnering with Mid Sussex District Council to support our diverse communities and developing Community Champions in the Mid Sussex area.

And by working closely with our communities, we were able to gather insight on how Covid-19 was affecting them. This insight could then be shared with the NHS and local authorities to help reduce these inequalities as well as sharing with our new Champion connections who could pass it onto their community network.

We wanted to take the opportunity to share our achievements but also our learning and think to the future as we consider how we help residents recover from the impact of Covid-19.

Thank you to everyone who came along to our Impact Celebration event today. We were delighted to see you all and to share our achievements with those who have been with us each step of the way.