Surrey County Council and the Community Foundation for Surrey have committed to working together to bring maximum benefit and support for the communities of Surrey. We have developed a strong alliance and partnership, based on trust, mutual respect and an open dialogue and we wish to continue to join up our expertise and skills for the benefit of Surrey residents for the longer term. We are delighted to present a one-year update on our partnership to establish the Surrey Community Fund.
Background – Surrey Community Fund
Surrey County Council and the Community Foundation for Surrey signed an agreement on 1st April 2021 establishing the Surrey Community Fund thanks to an historic investment of £500,000 from Surrey County Council. This funding has been used to kick start a fund set up to support communities to ‘build-back’ following the pandemic.
Applications for funding are received from voluntary organisations via the Community Foundation’s Expression of Interest form, and grants are awarded following rigorous assessment, in accordance with our Grant-Making Priorities. We have used the Surrey Community Fund as a ‘fund of last resort’ – for strong applications that do not fit with any of our other 89 funds and would otherwise ‘fall between the funding gaps’.
Surrey Community Fund highlights
- Funding of £500,000 from Surrey County Council has generated matched funding of £747,387.00 from donors to the Community Foundation for Surrey, giving a total amount of £1,247,387 to support Surrey communities’ recovery from the pandemic.
- £754,223 was awarded in 2021-22 in grants from the Surrey Community Fund– grants are awarded quarterly based on applications that are strong, but have not been funded by other donors, and with a priority on response to the Covid Pandemic and other emergencies.
- During the last year there have been other emergencies to deal with, for which there were no existing fund under the Foundation’s management. We therefore set up two ring-fenced funds including £185,000 which has been awarded from the Winter Poverty Fund and £21,950 from the Refugee Support Fund.
- To date approximately 35,000 people in Surrey have benefited from funds provided.
A ray of hope to the voluntary sector in challenging times
Here are just three of the organisations that have benefited from the funding:
- The Merstham Mix
The Merstham Mix is a Community Interest Company founded in 2017 to support the local community of Merstham. Merstham has some of the highest level of deprivation in the country and by working with food surplus partners and using high quality donated goods, Merstham Mix offers affordable, nutritious meals available to everyone.
The Fund provided emergency funding towards the increased salary costs to recruit a General Manager to enable the continuation of a community cafe in a recognised area of deprivation. Merstham Mix Community Cafe was awarded £10,000.
“Cafe takings are up consistently from when we last spoke – from around £100-£150 per day to now generally over £200. We took £380 last Saturday which is our most successful day ever. It really feels like we are moving in the right direction, and I wanted to thank you and your team SO much for being there for us when we needed it.” Café Volunteer
- Age Concern Mole Valley
Age Concern Mole Valley has been caring and supporting vulnerable and isolated older people throughout the district for over 75 years. They are an independent local charity, responsible for their own funding and services.
The £20,00 funding helped to tackle the isolation, health and wellbeing challenges in older people following the coronavirus pandemic. In the last financial year (2019/20) Age Concern Mole Valley supported older people with over 4,500 activities and continued to develop the Local Community Support Project with core activities, including the Befriending and Visiting Service, information & signposting/advice, events, etc. The difference the organisation makes is to reduce social isolation and loneliness and improve the health and wellbeing of older people.
“I am delighted with how the visits are going with my befriender. It is so nice to have someone to natter with and have something in the diary each week to look forward to. You have found me such a nice person. Thank you. My befriender has made such a difference to me and is a really important part of my life now. I always look forward to our meetings and feel better after I’ve seen her.” Client of Age Concern Mole Valley
- South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Outreach Service
South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Outreach Service provides free, confidential, independent and impartial advice to anyone aged 16 or above affected by domestic abuse living in the boroughs of Waverley and Guildford.
As the pandemic receded, it has become evident that many victims of domestic abuse display symptoms such as PTSD, depression and anxiety, and are in extreme need of expert counselling. The Fund provided £10,000 to support specialist counselling for adult and child victims of domestic abuse.
Visit our website at cfsurrey.org.uk