Horsham Matters have completed the next stage of their development with the opening of a new warehouse in Blatchford Road, Horsham. Following a meeting of the Development Management Committee at Horsham District Council on Tuesday 1st November, the former Tanfield Garage site, location of the Community Charity Centre, is set to be divided in two. Horsham Matters will retain one half but the other half will become a local supermarket.

“This is a great opportunity for us” says Chief Executive David Sheldon. “Having a supermarket on our doorstep will bring a lot more customers on to the site and we hope that many of them will also want to come and have a look at what we have to offer.”

In order to replace the area that was formerly used as storage the charity has taken a lease on a warehouse in Blatchford Road and is now taking donations there rather than at the Charity Centre.

“Local residents have been incredibly generous and we simply can’t fit everything into the space we will have at the Tanfield Garage site,” explains David.  “We are now asking customers to bring donations to the warehouse, where we have the facilities to sort and store them properly.”

The Horsham Matters warehouse is at Micah House, Blatchford Road, and is open from 10am to 3pm Tuesday to Saturday. Full details of the location and the types of goods they can accept can be found on their website www.horsham-matters.org.uk.

“We chose the name Micah House, based on the Old Testament book of Micah. Micah has a lot to say about justice and we believe much of it is very relevant to us today and what we are trying to achieve through Horsham Matters. In the words of Micah we strive ‘to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God’.”

As well as growing the business side of the organisation, the charitable side has also been extremely active. “We are receiving an increasing number of requests for assistance with furniture and household goods” says Vida Lyne, Community Relations Manager. “We are able to help with most requests but are always on the lookout for good quality white goods such as cookers, fridges and washing machines. We have a number of requests from people being housed by the Council for the first time and it’s always a scramble to get everything ready for them when they move in”.

Over the past few months, the charity has also been able to make grants from their Community Fund to a number of other local charities, including Phoenix Stroke Club, for the refurbishment of their kitchen; the WI for a their ‘Let’s Cook’ project, which teaches basic cookery to young mums; and Billingshurst Children and Family Centre for their monthly Family Breakfast sessions. “We believe that God has really blessed us through donations by local residents and in turn we want to share that with other local groups. Making grants is one practical way in which we can do that” says David.

Horsham Matters is also expanding the work it does with young people across the district and is currently working with the Y centre to develop a programme to make young people aware of the dangers of alcohol misuse. The Horsham Young Persons’ Advocacy Service has been up and running for six months and is now increasing the number of organisations and agencies from which it takes referrals. Liz Burt, Horsham Matters’ Youth Projects Manager explains “Our advocacy service is designed to help young people, aged 11 – 25, who need short-term help with a particular issue.  It may be that they need someone to accompany them to an appointment, or to help them with some form filling, source advice with a debt/minor legal problem or just help them get their voice heard so they can get the support they need.”