Clare de Bathe

I have been fortunate enough to work with an incredible team and stakeholders taking on increased assets in land and buildings, engaging with the community and helping to bring their hopes to life. 

Building CCDT from an income of £16,000 in year one, the charity has grown into a national exemplar, employing 11 staff; taking on six community buildings, two parks, three play areas and public open space. It is also in the process of taking on three further community buildings and four sports pitches in the next two years.

In 2021 we established a trading company within CCDT to run and deliver new projects Including community-based cafés and events and activities. In 2022, the Trust had an annual turnover of £2.3m.

There have been so many highlights over the last 10 years at CCDT. However, the most rewarding so far was securing £1.9m funding for and managing the redevelopment of a disused century-old chapel into a thriving community building supporting all demographics, with a particular focus on those living on no or low incomes.

Other highlights include:

• Finding the funding and managing a £500,000 project to renovate a former housing sales office into a mind body wellness space.
• The development of a three-year programme supporting women furthest from the job market into self-employment.
• The creation, design and build of a thriving community garden.
• The creation, design and build of a co working space within a disused and derelict water tower.
• Facilitating the provision, design and build of accessible space to provide a full-time affordable nursery school.
• Developing a business plan to create and launch a Chichester Bike Project.
• Developing a business plan and the asset transfer of 10,000 sq.ft of disused stables to create affordable makers spaces.

There are numerous challenges ahead as we navigate cuts in funding, and the need to trade more but there are also so many opportunities, new projects, and new communities in which to develop our services that we are inspired, excited and ready for the future.

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