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Sunlight Development Trust

Sunlight Development Trust is a registered charity that uses community development to tackle long-standing health and social inequalities in partnership with local agencies, local businesses and, most importantly, people and communities.

It works with individuals and community groups to support:

  • positive local change
  • tackle social injustice
  • facilitate independence.

In addition, Sunlight Social Enterprises Community Interest Company (CIC) runs alongside the trust and offers training and employment opportunities for people who traditionally find it hard to get jobs, such as:

  • ex-offenders
  • people with a learning disability
  • people with mental health issues.

Profits go back into the trust and therefore back into the community.

Based at the Sunlight Centre in North Gillingham, the trust is host to a range of community services and activities, including:

  • breastfeeding support groups
  • youth-led football training
  • Chinese elderly groups
  • African/Caribbean meetings
  • High Hopes gardening group
  • self advocacy for adults with learning disabilities.

More than 100 groups use the trust's community spaces on a regular basis. Staffed by local people and volunteers, 80 per cent of the trust's current staff started as volunteers.

As a member of the Development Trusts Association, Sunlight Development Trust keeps community-led enterprise and health at its core.

Sunlight Centre is home to:

  • a thriving GP practice
  • Sunlight Studios
  • an industry standard recording studio
  • Radio Sunlight, a community radio station
  • the Living Room community café
  • office space for third sector groups; graphic design
  • a consultancy service for fledgling community groups and the public sector.

The trusts has received awards from:

  • the British Urban Regeneration Association, 2004
  • the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2005
  • Centre for Social Justice, 2007
  • Kent Police, 2006 and 2008
  • Enterprising Solutions, 2008.