Following on from the exciting announcement that Airbourne is set to make a much anticipated return in 2022, organisers have now revealed Eastbourne and District Samaritans as the airshow’s People’s Charity choice for 2022, topping the public vote which took place pre-pandemic.

The Eastbourne based charity will be one of three chosen charities assisting in the daily bucket collections at this year’s airshow, alongside the Rotary charities of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Eastbourne Station and the Children with Cancer Fund, chosen by members of the Sovereign Harbour Rotary Club and Hailsham Rotary Club. Both rotary clubs manage the collection with over 200 buckets out and about across the town during the four days of the airshow, with the three charities between them receiving a share of 30% of all donations received.

Councillor Margaret Bannister, Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Culture said “I am pleased that, once again, a popular local charity has been voted for by the people of Eastbourne.  The Council looks forward to working with Eastbourne & District Samaritans, as well as Rotary’s chosen charities, later in the year, during Airbourne.

The support of these charities means that they will receive essential donations and also help ensure Airbourne returns for another year.”

The bucket collection has become integral in securing a vibrant flying programme at the airshow, with 70% of donations helping to fund the flying displays and the remaining 30% of donations being split between three local charities, all of whom support the show with volunteer collectors.

Sonia Caprari Dabbs, Deputy Director of Branch Marketing at Eastbourne and District Samaritans said “Eastbourne and District Samaritans would like to say a huge thank you to all the Herald readers who voted for us to be the Airbourne People’s Charity 2020. It’s hard to believe that two years have passed since then.”

“Being the Airbourne People’s Charity will be an invaluable contribution in helping us to support people who find themselves in deep distress and are struggling to cope. Everyone in our branch is a volunteer so fundraising is an important part of our work so that we can keep our branch open, to provide training for new volunteers and to support our community.”

A spokesperson for Sovereign Harbour Rotary Club said, “Sovereign Harbour Rotary Club has been in operation for more than 10 years now and one of it’s functions is to raise money for the benefit of local charities.

“For several years now we have worked in conjunction with Eastbourne Borough Council on Airbourne in support of their charity support. Airbourne is a fantastic event for the community of Eastbourne and we are hoping that it will continue after this year.

The charity we are supporting is the Royal National Lifeboat Association – Eastbourne who do a brilliant job around our coast. In recent years the local community of Eastbourne have been amazing in their support of Airbourne and I sincerely hope that this will be the case again this year.”

A spokesperson for Hailsham Rotary Club said, “Hailsham Rotary Club has been involved with Airbourne since its inception and this year we are very happy to have Children with Cancer Fund as our chosen charity.

Each year when we are involved with Airbourne we select a local charity that we feel is deserving and they don’t come more deserving than CWFC.”

The 2022 Charities

Eastbourne and District Samaritans were voted for by the public after being shortlisted for the People’s vote, alongside Chalk Farm Learning Disabilities Centre and Ronald McDonald House Charities UK (Brighton). Eastbourne and District Samaritans are affiliated to the Samaritans national charity and are dedicated to reducing the feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide. A 24-hour service is provided through The Haven in Eastbourne’s Bolton Road, ensuring there is always someone there to listen to people in need of emotional support. Despite working with a 30% reduction of volunteers during the pandemic, the Eastbourne and District Samaritans answered 16,456 inbound calls, totalling 5,110 hours call time in 2020.

Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) is the charity that saves lives at sea. Established in 1822, Eastbourne’s lifeboat station is a crucial service, with their voluntary lifeboat crews responding in all weathers to over 8,000 incidents each year. The lifesaving work performed by the RNLI is entirely funded by donations, ensuring that the modern fleet of lifeboats are maintained and ever-ready to go to the rescue.

Children with Cancer Fund , is a small charity that aims to alleviate the suffering of children who have or have had cancer, and their families, across East Sussex, Brighton, and Hove. Established in 1998, CWCF hosts exciting local events giving beneficiaries the opportunity to meet others in a similar situation, and reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation that often come with a child’s cancer diagnosis. Alongside events CWCF grants wishes to each of their beneficiaries, whether that be practical, medical, or fun, aiming to make life a little easier for them whilst they are experiencing such difficult times.

Support Airbourne

The future of Airbourne depends on support from businesses and airshow fans to ensure the airshow can return in 2023. Donations towards Airbourne 2022 are open now, with online donations accepted at www.EastbourneAirshow.com/donate or ‘in-person’ donations at the Visitor Services Centre, based in the Welcome Building.

Airbourne returns from 18 – 21 August 2022, for more information, to volunteer as a bucket collector, to book private dining, exclusive seating or to donate online at any time, visit www.EastbourneAirshow.com.