Shepperton Studios Community Fund Grants Announced

15th May 2024

Shepperton Studios have awarded the latest round of grants from their Community Fund. The £500,000 Fund was launched in 2022 to support local individuals, non-profit and voluntary organisations including charities, social enterprises, and community groups that serve the Shepperton area and wider borough of Spelthorne. The fund applications are reviewed and presented twice a year and has so far supported 17 local organisations, including five in this latest round. 

Tristam Slater, General Manager, Shepperton Studios said,

“Supporting local organisations around Shepperton Studios is of the highest importance to us as a local business and employer, and with this latest round of grants from the Shepperton Community Fund we are supporting wellbeing initiatives across the community from Childbirth to wellbeing initiatives.”

In this fourth round of grants, five organisations have been awarded grants:

  • TALK Ashford supports people with aphasia (primarily resulting from stroke) by enabling them to practise all aspects of communication and promote confidence in a supportive environment, leading to increased participation and independence in the community. Awarded £2,500.
  • Home-Start Spelthorne offers friendship and confidential support to Spelthorne families with young children to help them through difficulties and prevent these becoming crises. We recruit, train and support volunteers with parenting experience and match them to families with children up to age 11 who are experiencing loneliness, mental or physical illness or disability of child or parent, domestic abuse, poverty, inability to cope and other problems.  Awarded £10,000.
  • Dance Woking  have nurtured and sustained the overall dance ecology in Woking & wider Surrey benefitting many thousands of people as performers, participants or audiences. This year the organisation celebrates 30 years of dance centred activity. Dance Woking provides participation opportunities, to inspire creativity and to connect individuals of all ages in moving and memorable artistic experiences. Their pop-up and festival appearances; working with partners, in shopping centres or local parks, bringing public spaces to life, engaging whole communities, and showcasing skills in extraordinary ways. Working with targeted communities the funding enables Dance Woking to remove some of the financial barriers to participation. Awarded £2,285.
  • Charlton Village Residents Association represents the residents of Charlton Village within the wider community. The association promotes membership to all residents within Charlton Village and represents the interests and rights of residents whilst encouraging them to be more actively involved. Awarded £5,000.

Derek Ferguson , Chair, Charlton Residents Association

“Charlton Village Resident’s Association were delighted to be awarded £5,000 from the community fund. This money will be used to improve and enhance our village and bring colour to our verges and borders. We are very grateful to Pinewood for this award.”

  • National childbirth Trust Sunbury and Shepperton Branch the Sunbury, Shepperton and Chertsey NCT is a branch of the national charity. We aim to support each unique journey of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. The branch has been active locally for over 30 years by providing antenatal and postnatal classes, breastfeeding support and weekly parent and baby groups. Awarded £5,000.

Dianne White, NCT Sunbury and Shepperton, said,

“We are absolutely delighted to receive funding support from Shepperton Studios Community Fund.  Both our weekly drop-ins have been steadily building in momentum since returning to in-person support, so to know we are secure for another year is a huge relief.  We look forward to supporting many more expectant and new parents/carers.”

Rebecca Bowden, CEO of Community Foundation for Surrey said,

We’re delighted to be able to support Shepperton Studios with their Community Fund to make a huge positive difference to their local communities. It is pleasing that the fund has been able to support people of all ages with this set of grants, from new mums to young children to adults affected by aphasia.”

The Community Foundation for Surrey works with Shepperton Studios to identify worthwhile causes and oversees the implementation and monitoring of all projects that are supported by the Shepperton Studios Community Fund. 

How to apply for a grant

To be considered for an award in December 2024, please send an expression of interest by 9am Monday 8th July 2024. If you are invited to make full application, you will be provided with a link to the application form on 22nd July 2024. The deadline for full applications is 9am Monday 2nd September 2024.

Please access the following website for further information and register on the ‘Expression of Interest’ page

Please note, grants will be awarded subject to meeting the Fund Criteria.

New Funding Opportunity open for Applications

26th April 2024

Brightly coloured post it notes with simple figured drawn on them, one post it note reads "Support Employment" in neat handwriting.

The Surrey Supported Employment Fund is open for applications, offering grants to local organisations dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities or mental health challenges overcome employment barriers. With grants of up to £2,000 available, this fund aims to provide practical support and training to empower individuals on their journey to meaningful work.

The grants provided by the Surrey Supported Employment Fund will take the form of a fund pot, which will be used to award grants directly to individuals. Fund holders will have the opportunity to make small onward grants to their beneficiaries, assisting them in achieving their work aspirations. Additionally, these grants will cover the administrative costs of the host organisation in administering the grants to individuals.

If you are involved in supporting individuals with disabilities and/or mental ill-health, we invite you to explore the opportunity of becoming a funder-holder for the Surrey Supported Employment Fund. By becoming a fund holder, you can play a vital role in making a positive impact in the lives of those facing employment challenges.

To provide further support and guidance, we will be hosting two Q&A sessions to share more information about the fund and the process of becoming a fund holder. These sessions will also provide an opportunity to address any questions or concerns you may have about the application process.

Join us for these informative sessions on:

  • Tuesday 14th May at 11am
  • Thursday 23rd May at 2pm

To secure your spot, please email and request the link to join the online sessions.

The deadline for applications is 9am on Monday 3rd June. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of a meaningful initiative that has the potential to transform lives and create a more inclusive community.

For more information and to learn how you can apply, click here. Let’s work together to break barriers and build brighter futures for all.

‘Happier Together’ with the Mental Health Scale-Up Fund

11th March 2024

a light pink background with cupped hands holding a drawn brain symbolising Mental Health Awareness

This UN International Day of happiness theme is ‘happier together’ so we are celebrating the amazing achievements of our Mental Health Scale-Up Fund which really demonstrates what a bunch of people can achieve together through the power of positive thinking.

In 2022 applications for our funding by groups supporting young people with mental health issues had increased by 260% on the previous year. There was a real crisis in the mental health of our county’s children.

We knew that over many years we had funded great organisations to do really positive work with measurable impacts on mental health and wellbeing in children and young people BUT we had only ever been able to give small grants, for short periods. This wasn’t good enough.

We set out to put a new fund in place to identify what was working and scale it up. Our aim was for every child and young person in Surrey to be able to access help and support. We committed to awarding 5-year funding, which would also support learning and sharing of best practice. We had no donors at this point – but failure wasn’t an option, because it was too important.

We were thrilled to raise £1m from a group of 4 brave donors who backed our idea, and Surrey County Council matched it – so far we have raised £2,046,962,29 and we have pledges in for another £0.5m this year.

We started our work by carrying out an extensive listening programme to identify priorities and published the report so that others can use it too. We have used it to prioritise what we fund.

We committed to running one funding round a year – to date we have awarded £763,666 in Grants. In addition to the funding, all our partner organisations can access our Funder Plus volunteers to help with business & financial planning and governance support as they grow their programmes in a sustainable way.

Finally, we all come together annually – donors, trustees of CFSurrey and our partner charities and community organisations, sitting around a table together to hear what is working – and what isn’t – so that we all learn together how best to tackle this huge and challenging problem.

Why haven’t we simply given all the funds away as fast as possible? Because it is too important to do that. We are trying to make a systemic change in our county – so that the support system for children and young people is universally available to all those who need help AND so that early intervention, preventative support is available to all – rather than waiting until our young people face mental health crisis.

We think deeply and carefully about how we award funds, using the results of our consultation to prioritise. We listen to our partner organisations about how we can support in a way that will continue to make a positive difference long after our first grant has finished funding. This fund is also designed to continue to give annually after the first 5 years so that it becomes a regular source of funding to improve the mental health of children and young people in our county in the future.

‘Since getting involved with CFSurrey, through the Mental Health Scale-Up Fund, you have taught me how to give well, so that it really makes an impact’ Founder Donor MHSU

We have funded the following:

Surrey Care Trust – in Nov 2022 we awarded a 5-year grant of £249,921 to support the Nurture through Nature programme utilising allotment and boat-based activities.

This work will particularly focus on providing support to:

  • Students (aged 14-16) struggling with poor mental health that leads to school avoidance;
  • Post-16 young people up to age 30 who are (who are at risk of becoming) NEET (not in education, employment or training);
  • Young carers;
  • Those engaged with Targeted Youth Support and in need of additional MH support;
  • Those with neurodiversity and disabilities that require further support needs.

This funding will support provision of nature-based activities, but crucially will allow SCT to properly structure their work into a programme of activities available in a wider geography to many more young people. Year 1 focuses on delivery in Reigate, subsequent years will roll-out activities to new sites in West Surrey. Target – additional 50 young people per annum supported. Total 2,500.

6 month report – Participant numbers exceeded; on average each participant made progress against 4-5 wellbeing measures. The biggest improvements from this course were made in beneficiaries’ friendships, relationship skills, and emotional wellbeing (feelings & behaviour), reflecting our focus on mental health and social skills/social confidence. Also 2 new sites identified – Woodland in Woking and animal therapy in Caterham – for development of activities in second year.

“We were all focussed on the same small part of the allotment doing the same job…

 [These] 3 lads struggle spending time closely with others (in different ways)

 so it was wonderful to see them all working

together as a team. When leaving Gateway

Mike & Joe left chatting.”

John Downing, Chief Executive, Surrey Care Trust said: “Everyone at Surrey Care Trust is delighted to receive the first award of the Community Foundation for Surrey’s Mental Health Scale Up Fund. This award will enable us to develop and expand our pioneering Nurture through Nature activities across Surrey and, most importantly, reach even more young people affected by poor mental health.  

BeMe – in Dec 2022 we awarded a 5-year grant of £263,746 to support work in schools with young people aged 11-15. The work involves activity and discussion-based courses designed to raise self-esteem & confidence, build resilience and lower anxiety. This funding supports the step-change required to scale up delivery into Leatherhead, Reigate, Epsom, Ashtead and Guildford. Will also support the charity to scale-up provision for boys from 1 in 5 courses  to 1 in 3 courses. Target 640 young people over 5 years, with split 66%/33% Girl/Boy by Year 5.

1-year Report – expanded course offering in Surrey from 39 courses in 2022 to 74 in 2023-  the target with scale-up funding was 61. The over-achievement was directly related to our confidence in the funding; without it we would not have been able to book courses with schools, who will always have more need for us to fill, if we have the funding and team in place. We worked with approx 350-370 beneficiaries. We invested in infrastructure costs of an office laptop and phone/contract, as well as training staff and setting up a better system of collecting impact data.

The Community Foundation is a delight to work with. Your guidance and advice in our original application led us to be much more focused in our plans for this year. This revised plan has meant we have delivered more than in full, and have a very clear execution plan for the future. Support from Funder Plus volunteers enabled us to develop a sound business plan, review our financial management and review our governance arrangements.

The visit from CF and funders to our office in June was greatly appreciated; again, your advice was helpful, and ensuring that we did a mid-year project check in against our objectives was invaluable.
The meeting in October at CF offices was also helpful, and has led us to a new project where we have been in dialogue with Surrey Care Trust and are about to pilot a visit for our beneficiaries from Reigate School to their Gateway project, as part of the final week of our courses. Needless to say, the Head at Reigate School is also delighted at this initiative.

Eikon in April 2023 we awarded a 5-year grant of £249,999 for development and roll-out of a preventative, early intervention support programme delivered in primary schools for children aged under 10 in order to help them build resilience and learn strategies to manage key relationships and issues in their lives.

Out of the 2,351 young people waiting for support in Surrey from the Surrey Wellbeing Partnership (13 partners) almost 50% are 10 and under.

Surrey schools are telling us that ever more young people of primary school age are struggling with poor mental health, reflecting the national increase. Our Secondary schools’ partners report that many of their young people who struggle had similar challenges during primary school.

This funding will support development of training programmes and materials for teachers and parents, which will be rolled out across Runnymede and Elmbridge in Year 1, extending to whole county by year 5. ‘Heads-Up’ Workshops will be delivered to support year 4, 5 & 6 pupils as a pilot programme to capture impact data. Head-Smart Ambassadors will be used to promote whole-school wellbeing and mental health across primary schools in the boroughs. Target 5,640 children benefit by end year 5.

1 Year report – March 2024 – good mapping of needs for primary-aged children, developing resources for teachers and parents programmes, pilot delivery of self-esteem and confidence workshops to year 4 and 5 children. Recruitment challenges delayed start – key issue across the sector.

We are extremely grateful for your support to this programme. Pam Holmes found the partner meeting very valuable to attend. Huge value always in facilitating the connections and discussions between organisations in the same space. We note appetite to do more partner wide events/ sharing and are keen to progress this a little bit later on this year when we have further progress on our delivery.

Woking Community Fund – a fund by and for the people of Woking since 2012

5th March 2024

A man in a white apron paints a bird box brown that has been made in a workshop

In a world where communities face diverse challenges, the importance of local support cannot be overstated. For residents of Woking, the Woking Community Fund offers vital assistance to grassroots organisations making a difference in our borough. But what sets this fund apart, and how does it empower locals to create positive change?

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand the independent nature of the Woking Community Fund. This fund is administered by Community Foundation for Surrey (CFSurrey), an independent registered charity with no direct affiliation to Woking Borough Council, or any other public sector body. The fund was set up in 2012 by local business people and has been run by a team of volunteers ever since, all overseen by the trustees of the Community Foundation for Surrey who have been overall responsibility for the governance and strategy of the foundation.

Led by a dedicated panel of volunteers, including Taravat Taher-Zadeh (Chair), Shahid Azeem DL, Elizabeth Duggan, and Mark Stevens, the Woking Community Fund embodies the spirit of local empowerment. These passionate individuals oversee the fund’s fundraising and awarding of grants, supported by the Community Foundation for Surrey who ensure that donations are channelled directly into projects that benefit our community. From combating social isolation to providing essential support services, every grant awarded reflects the collective effort to uplift Woking and its residents.

But how much impact can local giving truly have? The answer lies in the generosity of donors like you. The Woking Community Fund operates on a simple yet powerful principle: the more we receive in donations, the more we can award to local organisations. The Community Foundation for Surrey has awarded over £22m in grants since it was set up in 2005, and the Woking Fund alone has awarded over £138k since 2012; supporting small local organisations, empowering them to address pressing community needs with flexibility and efficiency.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge the Woking Community Fund is now operating in a landscape where previous sources of funding are limited. Despite our best efforts, our resources may not match those previously provided. Nevertheless, this reality underscores the importance of grassroots philanthropy and the resilience of our community in the face of challenges.

As we navigate the complexities of local giving, transparency and accountability remain paramount. The Woking Community Fund prides itself on its open and transparent allocations process. While all donations are pooled to support various Woking community causes, the panel ensure that grants are made aligning with the fund values and priorities.

In conclusion, the Woking Community Fund represents a shining example of the power of local giving to create positive change. Through independence from the council and a steadfast commitment to community empowerment, this fund empowers locals to make a tangible difference in the lives of their neighbours.

If you are able and would like to help us, you can donate to the Woking Community Fund here:

Grants will be awarded to support the following:

  • Supporting projects or improving facilities which combat social isolation and disadvantage;
  • Helping people to gain confidence and raise aspirations through training and development of new skills;
  • Providing counselling, advice, respite and support; and
  • Supporting people who are experiencing difficult circumstances due to an illness, injury, disability, bereavement or financial difficulty.
  • Grants may fund existing services or facilities and new initiatives and can contribute to either capital costs such as funding new equipment or support on-going running costs.

Community Foundation for Surrey & Surrey Cultural Partnership take partnership to a new level

25th January 2024

An older woman holds up a painting she has done with teal, turquoise, orange and mustard yellow paints. It is an abstract pattern a little like a tortoise shell. The woman has attended a workshop at Park Barn, Guildford run by Watts Gallery.

In 2023 our two organisations came together to scope what more could be done to support the arts and culture sector in our county – in particular to tap into the huge potential of the sector to make transformational impacts to the lives of those who are most disadvantaged in Surrey.
Working together we engaged a consultant to review the history and geography of arts and culture funding in Surrey, and help us to identify whether there was potential to reach out to new philanthropists and donors in this space.

The consultant’s report can be accessed here and makes sobering reading. It is clear that for too long our county has been overlooked by a number of national funders. What is also clear though is the huge variety and vibrancy of the arts and culture sector in Surrey and we believe that there is therefore huge potential to come together to develop a new fund – by and for the sector.

Surrey Cultural Partnership will be launching their exciting new strategy on 25th January at and we have committed to continue to work together to develop our plans to bring in new funding and support for the sector.

Our vision is to develop a new fund which could:

  • Support Improved quality of life and wellbeing of the most disadvantaged in Surrey through reducing barriers to creative experiences and exploring how they might benefit from the transformative power of arts and culture through participation and engagement.
  • Support arts and culture organisations to develop their capacity to deliver programmes which will bring particular benefits to specific needs in the county such as mental health and wellbeing, place-making and social cohesion.
  • Support arts and culture organisations to be able to form partnerships with Voluntary and Community Groups and other stakeholders in order to co-deliver programmes to address specific needs and issues in our communities.
  • Support arts and culture organisations to improve their representation of all members of our community, as employees, participants and audience members.
Children paint on a long table with older women in the background also painting. The children and elderly women attended a workshop at Park Barn, Guildford run by Watts Gallery.

We hope that this fund will also go alongside pro bono volunteer support for some of the smaller arts and culture organisations to develop their business and financial skills. If you are interested in hearing more, or have views about what we should be doing with the new fund, we would love to hear from you.