December 17th was a day circled in the diary, it was to be the day of the annual team Christmas party – undoubtedly one of our favourite times of the year.

Menus had been selected and some outfits may have been decided, but in light of the rising covid cases and recent government guidelines, the Sussex Innovation team were predominantly working from home in the run-up to Christmas, as a precautionary step to help curb the spread of the virus. Our management team took the difficult decision to cancel the Christmas party and be careful to minimise the risk of covid transmission in our centres.

Though the team was unable to attend the Christmas party, we decided that something good could come out of it. The tickets were gifted to a local charity who have continued to work quietly behind the scenes amidst the pandemic, Knight Support.

Knight Support are a Brighton and Hove based charity devoted to helping rough sleepers and the homeless through the provision of support, advocacy, clothing, self-care items and furniture. Over the past few years Knight Support has helped hundreds of homeless people in Brighton and Hove through their Outreach service, run in partnership with other charitable organisations. The charity is run entirely by a committed team of volunteers who coordinate, process and deliver donations on behalf of other day centres and charities within the city.

The team at Sussex Innovation was pleased at the opportunity to offer some Christmas cheer to this group of volunteers who continue to do some really valuable work in our local community. It was evidently a night of laughter and fun as described by some of those who attended the party, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We’d like say a huge Thank you to Sussex Innovation , who kindly gifted this amazing event night to the Knight Support team.

Citrus Ornge attended, at the wonderful Komedia in Central Brighton. We feel privileged to have been invited and working closely with the Brighton-based homeless charity, so it was a great evening to share some laughs with the volunteer team and thanks again to the Sussex Innovation team for such a wonderful gift of laughter and fun, it is a happy memory we will all keep and especially during these odd and socially challenging times.“