St Richard’s Church supports the Chichester Diocesan Association for Family Support
Work, familiarly known as FSW. The charity, reg. no 285337, has undertaken social
work, in many guises, since 1890. FSW has a website, www.familysupportwork.org.uk
which is frequently updated with news, details of fundraising events, opportunities
for volunteers to help, and for donating online or by regular giving. It also features
pictures and anecdotes about ongoing work and development.
The charity is a very clear reflection of the Diocesan “Vision for Growth” and we
aim to be part of that in our parish. At Christmas, we collect toys and seasonal
gifts, which are blessed at our annual FSW Toy Service, to be passed on to families
not able to provide these expressions of family love. Throughout the year, here
at St Richard’s, we have a white plastic collecting box in our West Porch, part of
the FSW food bank. We also collect household items and clothes for FSW and act as
a receiving point for other churches across the Cuckfield Deanery to drop off such
The Cuckfield Deanery Worker, Caroline Steer comes to the church each Tuesday, from
11.30 am - 1.00 pm and uses an office we provide here and can distribute food directly
to families with whom she is working. Periodically, the rest of the goods are transported
to FSW headquarters at Garton House, Brighton, to support the FSW work in other Deaneries.
Any items donated for sale at the FSW Charity Shop in Cornfield Road, Eastbourne,
are taken at the same time. This new initiative further helps to raise vital funds
towards the salaries of the FSW Social Workers, Play Workers and Administrative Staff
working across the whole Diocese. From time to time we run fundraising events in
the parish too.
FSW works with families who are in or facing crisis and who need help to overcome
multiple, complex issues. FSW offers: home visits, support groups, drop-ins, play
opportunities for children, and supported family breaks with our community workers
as well as food, clothing and toys to the families we work with, where needed.
Free and confidential support is offered to parents or carers and their children,
aged 0-18. We work with all types of families and with anyone who has responsibility
for the care of children, whether they are married, single, separated, partners,
divorced, bereaved or grandparents. We support all family members.
FSW’s community based work is focussed mainly on deprived coastal areas and isolated
rural areas of Sussex though there is also much going on, right here, in our Deanery!