SHOPPERS at a Pagham store have given efforts to protect it from flooding thousands of pounds.
A cheque from the customers of the Co-op shop in The Parade has been presented to the chairman of the Pagham Flood Defence Trust.
The £3,927.76 was part of the one per cent donation to good causes in the community around the shop which the customers chose to donate from their purchases of Co-op goods since it opened last November.
The Rev Mark Eminson, the trust’s chairman, received the cheque from the store’s team leader, Lin Jewson.
The money will add to the some £300,000 which has been accumulated by the trust from donations from residents and fund-raising events in about two years.
Mr Eminson said: “This is such a community effort. It is wonderful for the Co-op to donate part of its profits to a good cause like ours.
“The money will be a great help to the trust’s funds. The coast protection work for Pagham has not started yet but we need to have the money ready for when the the green light is given and the government asks for money from the community to help to pay for it.”
The trust is safeguarding the funds, while Pagham Parish Council and other volunteers negotiate the best scheme to protect the beach.
Much of the preparation is being carried out by a coastal issues group.
“There are new options to look at as well as the cut the spit scheme which has been given planning permission,” said Mr Emerson.
“I’m not sure there is a clear-cut solution as far as nature is concerned.
“We have to get the timing right and the policy right. When the time comes, we want a scheme which is going to last and not be washed away by the next tide.
“The beach is our line of defence against the sea. It really does affect us all in this area.”
Allen Miller, one of the trustees, said: “There is a lot of work to be done. Pagham beach has been almost devastated by the waves as a result of the spit that grew. This money will be an enormous help.”
The Co-op store, in the former King’s Beach Hotel, replaced a much smaller outlet a few doors to the north.
Mrs Jewson said: “Our first year here has gone really well and we are pleased to donate this money.
“It is an absolutely fantastic amount to have raised. I don’t think people realise how important it is to join the Co-op for £1 if they shop here. By doing that, they help a range of good causes.”
The store chose to promote the trust and Pagham Ponies and Horses – which received £3,845.08 for its work looking after unwanted horses – out of the range of organisations for which customers have raised money.
This has enabled the groups to have a presence in the store at times. The Aldingbourne Trust has also benefited from the store’s charitable efforts.