Foundation Announces New Chief Executive

Laura Thurlow

The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to announce the appointment of Laura Thurlow to the role of Chief Executive. Laura begins her new role with immediate effect and will focus on further developing the Community Foundation and building long-term funding to provide support for local communities both now and in the future.

The Foundation’s founding Executive Director, Wendy Varcoe MBE, left in May of this year having established the charity in 2005. Since then, Laura has been acting as Interim Chief Executive of the Foundation, which works with local people and businesses that want to make an impact by connecting them with local causes.

Prior to her role as Interim Chief Executive, Laura was Deputy Director at the Foundation for five years, having been promoted in 2012. She first joined the Foundation in September 2008 as Programme Manager of a grants programme to support small, local groups in Surrey.

Speaking about her recent appointment Laura said,

“During my time at the Foundation, I have seen the real impact which philanthropy can make in supporting local communities. I am delighted to become Chief Executive of such a fantastic organisation, and look forward to building on our work to date and making even more of a difference across Surrey.”

David Frank, Chairman, said

“The Board is very pleased to appoint Laura as Chief Executive. She is a passionate and effective ambassador with innovative plans for this exciting new chapter for the Foundation. The Board of Trustees is confident that Laura’s leadership and proactive approach will result in the continued growth of the Foundation enabling it to continue to address the extensive needs of our local communities.”

In 2016, the Foundation distributed over £1.1 million in grant awards to local charities, community groups and other voluntary organisations. It recently published updated research, “Surrey Uncovered”, that shows the extent of deprivation and other social issues across Surrey. By connecting its donors with local causes, the Foundation aims to address this need.

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