Neil & Jess' burnt out bus fund

£2,155 of £2,500 goal

Raised by 50 people in 8 months
Please note: This is a GoFundMe campaign as a gift to Neil, Jess and their children in light of their adventurous dreams of holidays-on-wheels-together being burnt out; it is not going towards the work of Good News Brighton or our projects.  If you would like to talk with us about the variety of projects that we offer please do make contact via goodnewsbrighton@gmail.com

Please feel free to join us in donating to this page, that seeks to give a loving community-based generous financial gift to replenish some of the loss that Neil, Jess and their children have incurred through this bus fire.

Below is an adapted version of something Neil & Jess wrote about the night of the fire:

On Friday the 13th of July, around midnight, our coach was set on fire. We lead a charity in Moulsecoomb called Good News Brighton where we try to be, share and grow in good news as we live lives that follow the teachings of Jesus. Good News Brighton is based at the Hillview Good News Centre on Hodshrove Lane in Moulsecoomb. From this building we run a number of programs:

//. Chomp Moulsecoomb - FREE fun clubs, a nutritious meal for all and a community for families who may otherwise struggle during the school holidays.

//. Good News Shed - a community DIY group for local people to learn skills and serve the local area.

//. Affordable Counselling - subsidised counselling for local people.

//. Befriending - for lonely and isolated people;.

//. A ladies group - a safe place for local ladies to connect and chat.

//. Saturday gathering - where we explore the teachings of Jesus together around a table and brunch.   

Recently we bought an old short wheel-base coach that we planned to convert into a motorhome for our family -  a dream of mine for a long time now! The plan was to work on converting it, in the evenings and weekends, over the next year, and then to travel around Europe with my family next summer.

We parked the coach in our charity, Good News Brighton, car park while we worked on it. It’s presence quickly sparked the interest of members of our community. Many people showed their excitement for the project and shared their interest in helping with the conversion in their own way - local people offering their mechanics, engineering, and driving knowledge. People involved in the different projects and facets of our lives began to plan how they, too, would enjoy the bus together in the future.

It quickly became evident that this was no longer just our family's dream. The dream had grown, into a collaboration of ideas and excitement for the project spread throughout the Good News Brighton and, indeed, the Moulsecoomb community. Even though many people thought we were crazy to take on a project of this size, it seemed to have caught their sense of adventure and sparked a dream in their hearts.

Sadly, this adventurous, dreamy, community-generating project came to an abrupt halt at 12:30am on Friday evening. We were woken up by friends of ours who live opposite the Hillview Good News Centre knocking on our door, telling us that our coach had been set on fire. Neil journeyed down to the centre and arrived to find two fire engines putting out the fire. Our family were devastated, not just for the financial loss - we sadly didn't have insurance on the vehicle while it was registered SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) and were converting it - but for the loss of a dream. The dream for our family and the dream that inspired so many members of Good News Brighton, and even the community in Moulsecoomb.

The reason we are writing to you is not to complain about this tragedy, but to tell you of the response of this wonderful community, Moulsecoomb.

There were many tears and condolences shared over this loss, but this loss has moved people into action; showing their support and love for our family. The very next day, we had offers of support - the local darts team has offered to host a 24 hour darts tournament to raise funds; the Bevy, our local pub, has offered to start up a funding page; Moulsecoomb Primary School's parent body and the Moulsecoomb Forest Garden has offered to help raise funds, also. We can’t tell you the number of messages/phone calls of offers to help, and the love we have been shown.

We have lived and worked in Moulsecoomb for three years now, and can truly say that we have never felt so loved and supported in any other place that we have lived. This neighbourhood has been very loving and is truly living out the teachings of Jesus; to love your neighbour and love God.

Thank you to everyone in this beautiful community.
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Message from Neil & Jess Hilton - with thanks for your kind donations and loving support!

“We are happy to announce that we have a new bus. Thank you to everyone who supported, helped and showed our family so much love after our last bus got set on fire.
#dreamliveson #adventurebus #harryhappybus
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Attention... And HUGE gratitude to all of our generous donors and friends. We have pretty much reached our target! Thanks to a generous donation by a church in Uckfield and some (IOU) donations we can officially say that we have reached our target!

Thanks to all of you, who have given so sacrificially to Neil, Jess and their family - they are "blown away!", in their own words!

Will post further updates, as and when the story develops.

Sean & Fay
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We are nearing, but have not quite hit, our target. Please help us promote our campaign for Neil & Jess by sharing, talking about and giving (only if you can!) to help us cover the costs incurred and facilitate the dream continuing.

Thank you for all of your suppor, it is great to see and will be highly effective in resourcing.
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£2,155 of £2,500 goal

Raised by 50 people in 8 months
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