Every year, Eastbourne Bonfire Society carefully selects a charity to support. This could be a group that has somehow made an impact upon us personally or it may be a worthy cause that is in need of urgent help. Our collections throughout that year of support help make a difference within our community. We urge you to please give generously when you see our bucket collectors at an event or our collection tins in the local shops. But you can always make a personal donation by clicking the links below. Thank you.
In the 1930’s, founder, Miss M Raymonde-Hawkins MBE purchased a cottage with a small patch of land just outside of Lewes in East Sussex. A pioneering lady with a deep compassion for all animals, who couldn’t tolerate animal cruelty, she left the education sector in order to set up an animal rescue centre and sanctuary in Sussex. In 1952 Miss Raymonde-Hawkins established Raystede as an animal charity and made a pledge to provide facilities that were equal to or better than existing animal rescue centres. In the early days the charity was based in her cottage and back garden.
Although Miss Raymond-Hawkins was a hero in her own right, she was also able to attract a group of friends . These were people who cared about animals just as much as she did. Together they promised to stand up against the perpetrators of animal cruelty and to fight for the animals who could not fight for themselves. Miss Raymonde-Hawkins and her friends made it their mission to stand up for animals experiencing neglect, abandonment and abuse. Our friends were, and continue to be, the real heroes of Raystede. Our supporters are the reason that the charity grew from its humble beginnings to the wonderful site and visitor destination that we have today. Our supporters have enabled us to grow and to reach more animals in need of help. Today the site has expanded across 43 acres. We care for over 2000 animals a year, re-homing over 1000 animals and providing sanctuary to even more. Alleviating animal cruelty, re-homing, providing sanctuary for animals in need, and educating people about how to care for animals remains at the heart of everything we do today.
(SusSAR) is one of many Lowland Search & Rescue units which exist across the country. We are affiliated to ALSAR (Association of Lowland Search & Rescue) who co-ordinate the county-based groups and set the training standards we have to adhere to.
As a 100% volunteer organisation our members give their time free of charge and expect nothing in return but satisfaction from a job well done. We exist to serve the community of Sussex through the goodwill of our members and charitable donations.
We can be called out by Sussex Police and neighbouring units at any time day or night. Our team are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year whatever the weather. We dedicate our time to help the people of Sussex that need us the most when their loved ones go missing. We are professionally trained and qualified to high standards, and are a vital volunteer resource to Sussex Police. Since 2008, SusSAR has helped save numerous missing people, right across the county. Most call-outs are to search for vulnerable missing people such as the elderly, dementia sufferers, despondent, children and anyone else deemed to be a high risk. Our task is to locate them once given a briefing by the police, and to return them to a place of safety. Our team train at least twice a month, in order to keep up the high standards and professionalism required by Sussex Police and ALSAR. Members are qualified in search techniques, first aid, navigation, tracking, bike searching, water safety, communications, search planning and management. Being an operational member of the team requires a high level of commitment, not only in terms of time, but also money as, very unfortunately, with limited resources we are not able to pay expenses. Volunteers are also required to assist with valuable fundraising which helps to keep the unit running.