Councillors rally round to support the Eastbourne Tree of Light

Conservative councillors in the Ratton, Sovereign and Meads wards of Eastbourne have donated more than £3,000 to charities and good causes through the devolved budget scheme.

The Eastbourne Tree of Light, an annual Rotary event allowing people to remember loved ones at Christmas, has been given a £1,200 boost.

The Christmas tree outside the Congress Theatre always looks a little different to others around the town, because it is a special tree, a “Tree of Light” covered in a host of white lights and dressed with white ribbons in memory of loved ones.

  However, due to Covid 19 it is unable to hold the Tree of Light Dedication ceremony in the usual way .   It will, therefore, be a recorded service, including the tying of the ribbons  to share with all supporters via a web link.

The grants will be particularly welcome this year, as coronavirus has put significant amounts of fundraising and general awareness on hold. Eastbourne borough councillors from Ratton, Sovereign and Meads wards stepped in to help.

Also winning support are Defiant Sports in the Sovereign ward and an archaeological dig in Ratton. Both receive £1,000 each. Defiant Sports provides a fully inclusive sporting experience to people with a disability or a long-term condition.

And an exciting dig in Ratton hopes to uncover artefacts to educate us about how we used to live. Watch this space!

The grants were proposed and researched by Ratton ward councillors Tony Freebody, Colin Murdoch and Colin Belsey. And in Sovereign, they were driven forward by Councillors Paul Metcalfe, Penny di Cara and Caroline Ansell.

Cllr Belsey said: “Charities are in desperate need of our support during these very challenging times. We were delighted to give The Tree of Light a helping hand, and also to support the great work of our Heritage Engagement team.”

Cllr Penny di Cara praised the work of Defiant Sports and added: “Our £1,000 grant will help buy new equipment and a costume for a mascot. It is a great community group and we are delighted to be able to give it our support.”

If you would like funding for a community project, please contact your local ward councillor.