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A newly founded volunteer profiling group in Pevensey has been nominated as a finalist in the prestigious Sussex Life hospitality awards. The news announced by the highly regarded magazine was made on August 31.—Bay Life 3 September 2016

The 2016 Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are almost here, with the ceremony taking place at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on 6 October. Amongst the finalists is a new volunteer profiling organsiation based in Pevensey

In the services to the community category Pevensey Volunteers is up against some fierce competition including Emmaus Brighton and Hove and Fairshare Sussex.

Emmaus Brighton and Hove has a fabulous history in the city of Brighton. It is the largest Emmaus Community in the UK with 48 resident companions who staff our shops and café. The organisation is based in Portslade Old Village 4 miles west of the centre of Brighton, described by the Civic Brighton and Hove web platform, which promotes amenity society work across the city, as being ‘an inspiration for everyone who visits”.

Emmaus Communities enable people to move on from homelessness, providing work and a home in a supportive, family environment. Companions, as residents are known, work full time collecting and reselling donated furniture. This work supports the Community financially and enables residents to develop skills, rebuild their self-respect and help others in greater need.

Companions receive accommodation, food, clothing and a small weekly allowance, but for many, the greatest benefit is a fresh start. To join a Community, they sign off unemployment benefits and agree to participate in the life and work of Emmaus.

Emmaus is a secular movement with 350 communities and groups spanning 37 countries, with 25 Communities in the UK. Each Community aims to become self-supporting, with any surplus donated to others in need.

Fairshare Sussex, also based in Brighton fights food poverty in our communities. They reclaim good food from manufacturers, suppliers and retailers, which would have otherwise been thrown away, and distribute it to over 80 local charities and community projects across East and West Sussex. It’ is then turned into thousands of nutritious meals every week for people who need it most.

Providing the food enables their charity members to reinvest in essential services to help their clients, such as advice and guidance, mentoring and social activities.

Pevensey Volunteers is a new volunteer networking organisation founded in Pevensey in 2016. The aims of the organisation are to recognise the work of volunteers in the parish, to support volunteers and ensure they feel valued, and to encourage more people to volunteer and take an active role in village life,

Set up by Helen Burton, a local community activist and parish councillor, the nomination as finalist for the organisation represents an extraordinary achievement by the young and visionary organisation, based in a corner of Sussex that does not share the resources or the profile of a city like Brighton.

Bay Life commented, ‘this is something quite special, Emmaus has a national reputation, Fairshare is radical and with bold national ambitions.

“The fact that we have in our midst a community activist such as Helen Burton and an organisation of the calibre of some of these national names, is a credit to all the people behind the organisation.

“This is a genuinely visionary way of networking volunteers and it would come as no surprise to see the work of Pevensey volunteers extending to other rural communities”.

Helen Burton, founder of Pevensey Volunteers commented, “amazing news! Pevensey Volunteers is in the final of the Sussex Life ‘services to the community’ award! The awards ceremony is 6th October, so keep your fingers crossed for us!”

Pevensey Volunteers