The shortlist for the People’s Charity at the 30th Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow is confirmed and voting is open now, but only until 14 April!

Forward Facing, Inspire Sussex (formerly Eastbourne Mencap) and You Raise Me Up are the three local charities looking for public votes – the one with the most will benefit from a share of the donations at Airbourne, which returns from 15 – 18 August.

With more than £100,000 donated to good causes since 2012, the chosen charity will benefit from not only a share of the donations, but also increased public profile amongst the vast Airbourne audience.

Last year, Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey and Sussex (KSS) was the people’s choice after thousands voted for the charity.  They joined the Rotary Club’s chosen charities Eastbourne Dementia Action Alliance and The Salvation Army, providing volunteer collectors, with each charity receiving a share of the donations made both online and at the show.

An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said, “The People’s Charity was introduced in 2018 to enable Airbourne fans to have a say in the beneficiaries of our visitors’ generous donations.”

“This is a great chance to vote for your favourite local good cause and we look forward to showcasing the charities important work at this year’s show, as well as encouraging visitors to donate and keep Airbourne flying high.”

Hailsham Rotary Club will lead the organisation of this year’s bucket collections and all donations made between now and August will fund the flying displays at the show, with a portion split between the nominated charities.

Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow returns from 15 – 18 August for its 30th year with the RAF Red Arrows on the opening day, the Typhoon, Tutor and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight already confirmed.

Voting is now open online at, voting closes 14 April.

To donate online visit

The Shortlisted Charities

Forward Facing

Forward Facing supports families in Sussex whose children are living with long term or life-limiting conditions, or those who have suffered bereavement or hardship. The charity are inclusive and welcome children from a wide range of circumstances.

The emotional, physical, and financial toll on having a child with a serious illness can be incredibly overwhelming and leave families feeling isolated. Forward Facing recognises the emotional, physical, and financial toll that families caring for children with serious and life-limiting conditions are dealing with.

The charity provide inclusive events where supported families can forget their daily struggles and have fun for a few hours and make lasting memories, as unfortunately some don’t know what the future holds. They also provide therapy for families dealing with trauma or bereavement.

Candice Konig, Chief Executive Officer at Forward Facing said, ”Forward Facing Charity helps families living with Cancer, life-limiting conditions and bereaved families make lasting memories, build confidence and feel supported whilst they are facing difficult times.” 

Inspire Sussex

Inspire Sussex are all about human shaped care – making a difference to the lives of those with a learning disability for over 70 years.

Formally Eastbourne & District Mencap, their mission is to protect and promote individuals’ rights to live safe, quality-filled lives.

The Inspire Sussex team listen to what people tell them about their lives. Listening not only to the words spoken but also to various other communication methods, which enables them to achieve a more precise understanding and enhances their residents’ abilities to take control of their lives. They believe every person is unique, and they celebrate that uniqueness.

The charity’s homes are personalised to their residents and their amazing staff encourage independence and personal growth. They support the charity’s vision of enabling residents to live fulfilling lives.

The charity are now developing a Social Hub for the community to engage in activities, make friends, and become active members of the local area.

Chief Executive Officer for Inspire Sussex, Natalie Harding said “We are proud to be shortlisted for the final for Eastbourne Airbourne’s chosen charity this year. I have worked for this fantastic and inspiring local charity for seven years, and I feel extremely grateful for this opportunity.

“We are really looking forward to the next part of our journey with the opening of the new Inspire Social Hub. This will allow us to develop a welcoming environment for our service users where they can flourish whilst enabling them to gain great opportunities. I’m really hoping that the wonderful people of Eastbourne will get behind us and join us in our efforts to help the community. It’s not just about us – we want to make a positive impact on everyone around us!”

You Raise Me Up

You Raise Me Up was established in 2011 to provide crucial support to families in East and West Sussex and Kent, coping with the loss of a young person aged 16 – 25.

With trained counsellors and monthly support groups, the charity offers compassion and understanding, aiming to alleviate the loneliness of grief. Recognizing the profound mental health impact of such losses, the charity strives to stabilize families’ wellbeing and facilitate their return to everyday life.

Despite receiving no government funding, ‘You Raise Me Up’ has aided over 400 families, relying solely on the generosity of others to continue its mission of holding families together during their darkest times.

Through its support centre and community coffee shop in Polegate, the charity offers practical, emotional, and financial support to families, providing a 24-hour mental health crisis helpline, one-to-one specialist counselling and peer support groups – all provided by people with the shared lived experience of the loss of a young adult.

Marketing & Events Fundraiser at You Raise Me Up, Jade O’Connor said, “Celebrating our shortlisting for The People’s Charity at Airbourne 2024 is a testament to the dedication of our team and the impact of our mission. We are profoundly grateful for this recognition, but our work is far from done. With the support of our local community, we can continue to provide essential assistance to bereaved families navigating the unimaginable loss of a child aged between 16-25. Together, we can offer hope, healing, and strength during their darkest hours. Thank you for standing with us in this vital cause.”

How to Vote

Voting is now open online at, voting closes 14 April.