The current economic crisis has hit us all, but more so disadvantaged people in our county. We have been working hard to get vital funding out as quickly as possible over the winter period to those groups who are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.
Our fundraising campaign has been a big success and thanks to your generous contributions and match-funding from Surrey County Council, we have raised £200,000 which has been disseminated in grants.
The projects that your donations are supporting
A total of £206,996 has been awarded to 34 projects. The average grant size was £6,088 and we were pleased that many donors were able to collaborate, meaning that more projects were fully funded. In total there are more than 14,000 direct beneficiaries of the services that we have supported.
There was a wide range of projects reflecting the often-complex aspects of winter poverty, with many overlapping areas:
Some of the organisations where your donations are helping
Your donations support food banks, warm hubs, baby banks, elderly people, housing challenges, employment support, charities providing debt and energy advice, and other essential service providers. Here are some of the organisations that we are supporting.
Stripey Stork, a Surrey baby bank, collects donations of clothes, toys and essential items for babies and children and rehomes them with local families experiencing hardship.
“Stripey Stork appreciates the opportunity to put a Winter Poverty grant to good use for the benefit of Surrey families this winter. We provide practical support to families with children aged 0-16 years across Surrey and it is clear from the requests for help that the cost-of-living crisis is hitting hard. We have seen an increase in requests for warm clothes and blankets, and from families who have never had to access a service like ours before. The grant will allow us to resource more volunteer sessions in our warehouse and ensure we can fulfil requests promptly and with the care and quality that our partners have come to depend on.”
Nicola Dawes, Chief Executive
A team of experienced volunteers who help people with draughty homes struggling with their energy bills – covering Egham, Englefield Green, and Pooley Green.
“This grant will allow our volunteers to visit homes of people struggling to stay warm, and take simple steps to keep out draughts – saving them money, reduce their energy consumption and improve their quality of life”.
Chris Gray, Director, Runnymede DraughtBusters
And many more projects:
“The grant will help us to reach the increasing number of families at risk of food insecurity and help resource them to eat more healthily together on a budget and establish positive healthy cooking habits. Through BRITE Box, a larger number of families will have access to healthy and nutritious food, thus reducing food insecurity locally. The family will be able to cook new healthy recipes which are all replicable on a low budget. Having families in the programme for a year helps develop long term healthy cooking and eating habits, impacting the whole family unit.”
Nick Dawson, BRITE Box Project Lead
“We are so grateful for the grant from the Community Foundation for Surrey, as every penny will go towards providing food for the poorest in our community. This year more than ever we are seeing the impact of the increase of home energy costs, plus the rise in general cost of living. We are seeing families who have never before needed to use a food bank seeking our help. Although we receive a large number of ambient food donations from Churches, Schools & Shoppers (at four supermarkets), we still need to purchase fresh fruit, vegetables, fresh and cooked meat, eggs, bread & spread, in order to provide a full balanced diet for our recipients. Thank You!”
Karen Kendall, Project Lead, Besom in Camberley
“A huge thank you from everyone at Leatherhead Community Hub for the funding towards our events programme and community café. We are delighted that we can run ‘family feasts’ (a free 2 course meal once a month) and ‘community movies’ (free film night once a month with free drinks, snacks and buffet food) until at least Spring 2024. It is also fantastic to know that we are now able to keep our café prices affordable during the day… We fully understand that poverty can be extremely isolating so this project will help reduce feelings of loneliness and allow local people, particularly families who really struggle to find inexpensive activities to do together, to feel part of the community and draw strength from it.”
Jenny Moore, Trustee and Co-Founder, Leatherhead Community Hub
“This grant is vital in helping us provide immediate support to vulnerable families. The cost-of-living crisis has had a substantial impact on many of the families that Home-Start in Waverley supports. The cost of basic food and baby items has risen sharply and increased energy prices have made many afraid to turn on their heating. For the families we support who are already facing challenging circumstances, these additional adversities are having a devastating impact on health and wellbeing.”
Dawn Murphy – Scheme Manger, Home Start Waverley
“This grant enables us to help people in the Farnham area who are struggling with money worries, particularly during this cost of living crisis. We are able to help them address benefits, budgeting and debt issues, and let them see that there is life after debt.”
David McNeight, Frontline Farnham Money Advice Manager & Client Adviser (Farnham Christian Community Trust)
“Rentstart are delighted to be able to increase the impact of our daily academy: offering individual and group sessions assisting with employment, finances, social isolation, and more; targeting specific client needs to take people from homelessness to thriving independence.”
Helen Watson, Chief Executive
“At Citizens Advice we are seeing unprecedented demand for help with the rising cost of living and managing debt, up around 44% on the previous year. Funding from the Winter Poverty Fund means we can increase our Supervisory capacity to enable our Advisers and Caseworkers to support more clients in getting the help they need – giving the right advice at the right time to address their issues and prevent these spiralling out of control.”
Kate Sawdy, CEO, Citizens Advice Surrey Heath
You can still donate
We are keeping the Winter Poverty Campaign donation page open until 31st March and any donation of any size is really welcome. With Surrey County Council supporting the campaign, your donation doubles. And if you add Gift Aid, your donation grows even more.
More about the Community Foundation for Surrey
We are proud to fund hundreds of vital community groups across Surrey every year. And in 2021-2022, our grants totalled more than £2.7 million. We work in partnership with our donors to fund a range of needs and themes, including helping to alleviate winter poverty. Discover more