Horsleys Community Fund supports Tea party for older residents

9th May 2016

The Horsleys Community Fund were delighted to support the St Mary’s Church Heart and Soul Ladies Group Mad Hatters Tea party for older residents in East Horsley Village Hall earlier this year. The event promoted companionship and encouraged new friendships reducing isolation and loneliness.

Find out more about the Horsleys Community Fund and view thier latest e-news bulletin here.

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Helping those with mental ill health have fun and access support

27th April 2016

A grant of £1,000 to 4getMe-Nots has supported isolated individuals, particularly those with mental health problems, to meet on a weekly basis, take part in activities, receive support and access services and community facilities.

Whilst the group aims to reduce isolation, it is also a place where community needs can be expressed with Community Wardens and others working within the local community. Additionally, the group helps participants to practice techniques suggested by organisations such as the NHS which are designed to help people with mental health problems. The group also enables members to learn about practical ideas to improve their caring skills by talking to other carers and benefit from respite care.

The group runs in a notable area of deprivation and many residents suffer from social isolation as a result of their mental health problems. Participants look forward to each session and to the benefits that they receive from well-being courses and the activities provided, impacting positively on their overall health.

The group offers courses throughout the year, which include craft skills and first aid training, as well as informative talks for the group on subjects of interest. This grant has also supported the group to go on some day trips which provide a safe, supported and affordable opportunity for people to visit places they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.



Football project helps isolated adults in Molesey

Grants totally £5,000 from our Surrey Sports Fund and money donated from the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation supported adults not in education, employment or training to participate in weekly football sessions.

This project is an expansion of the Trust’s existing adults’ football activities, all of which currently take place in evenings and at weekends. The aim is to provide a daytime football session, which meets the needs of those aged 16 and over, who are not in education, employment or training.

This project aims to get people active and provide an opportunity for them to meet new people, and access support. Often those who are not in education, employment or training are lonely and iscolated, making it harder for them to find help. Through this targeted project, they will be able to meet and interact with others and feel part of a team, joining in with community activities, often for the first time.

Helping carers to get the support they need

Essential support to children in need in Elmbridge

Grants from the Community Foundation for Surrey’s funds including the Elmbridge Community Fund have supported Oasis to enhance their outreach service, train a second facilitator in the Freedom Programme, a nationally acclaimed programme supporting female victims of Domestic violence and buy equipment for the Charity’s new, larger premises.

Oasis Children’s Charity provides essential support to children in need and their families across Elmbridge. Helping on average 250 vulnerable families a year, Oasis works closely with the family unit as a whole together with schools, GP’s and Social Services with the aim of keeping vulnerable children out of the social care system and with their own families.

Elmbridge has one of the highest rate of abuse in the country – statistically 1 in 3 women here in Elmbridge will be a victim of domestic violence

The following story is an example of the complexity of cases we handle and how effective we are at responding to the needs of an individual.

Kate’s story: Finding my voice.

I was brought up in a secure and reputable family, I received the very best of private education in Surrey and went on to gain 3 qualifications from English Universities. By my early 30’s, my CV and my attitude to work was outstanding, I got every job I ever went for, owned my own house and I had a huge group of friends – I was every parents success story.

In Easter 2007, I met the man of my dreams, he was driven, self-assured and financially secure. I was sure he loved me. We made plans, got engaged. I thought ‘this is it now I have it all!’

The cracks only really started to show when we began to disagree – the small things at first – about decorating or me doing something without his permission. He was now in charge of all the finances, he owned the house and I had to ask for money for anything that I needed as all my money was to go on groceries.

Whenever I thought I was getting anything right, he moved the goalposts and criticised me for not knowing. I became terrified, confused and I was very much alone in the world.

None of us know what life’s cards will deal us or what we will have to face or learn along the way. But what is absolutely crucial is that there is someone who understands and that there is help available when we need it.

After our baby was born his behaviour became even more frightening. His temper would fly if my son didn’t finish his bottle, he kicked my dog across the kitchen and he shook our son because he wouldn’t settle one morning. Not long after that, he raped me.

I was utterly terrified and thought I had no way out. I firmly believe that if my mother hadn’t come to collect my son and me before he returned from London that weekend he would have killed me.

Social Services simply didn’t have the resources to help us – Amazingly the Oasis Charity did. They arranged for me to receive specialist counselling and gave me the courage to face my son’s dad, attend mediation, set boundaries with him and even represent myself in court.

As humans we need to relate to each other to survive, to learn and to face things together, and we should never need to be alone in finding our voices. Without Oasis I would not have found mine and for that I will be forever grateful.

Helping young people access training and skills

31st March 2016

Surrey Young People’s Fund

A grant from our Surrey Young People’s Fund of £267 to Fiona*, 22 supported her travel costs to attend training in the textile industry. Fiona has struggled to find employment since leaving education in July 2014. This grant supported her travel costs to attend an unpaid internship at a knitwear factory.

Whilst working at the factory her employer saw Fiona’s potential and has suggested training her as a production manager. Fiona has now started on the path to full employment and although she is still on a zero-hours contract she is happy in her current position, feels secure in her job and hopes to continue working for the company to gain further experience in the industry.

Fiona explains:

“It really helped to have that financial support to travel in every day and as a result I have made a lot of progress within the company and gained invaluable experience… I am very grateful… Thank you for your help.”

The Surrey Young People’s Fund aims to support disadvantaged young people in Surrey to gain access to training and employment. Grants are awarded by a panel of experienced volunteers who have a passion for assisting young people in Surrey improve their employment prospects.

Grants support individuals aged 16-25 at the time of application who are resident in Surrey and show the motivation to achieve their goals. Feedback is required after any grant is awarded.

Applicants should to be in one of the following four target groups:

  • Unemployed (working less than 16 hours per week)
  • Those who are struggling at school and/or have achieved less than 5 GCSEs at grades A-C
  • Offenders and ex-offenders
  • Young people in or leaving care

Grants from the Surrey Young People’s Fund will typically be between £50 and £200 and can fund items directly related to enhance the young person’s employability skills.

*Not real name.

Supporting communities to capture local history

Memory Tree

A grant of £500 from the Tandridge Community Fund supported the installation of a Memory Tree at the Caterham Festival 2015.The Caterham Memory Tree, a sound art sculpture and oral history archive project, was the brainchild of local award winning classical musician and sound artist Julie Groves.

Exhibited at St Lawrence’s Ancient Church throughout the first ten days of June the project collected, preserved and shared over 300 memory sound clips with visitors in a soundscape which lasted over two hours and emanated from ‘fruits’ in the Tree.

“What a joy – really touching and beautiful how the voices fade in and out as you pass along and around the tree finding another voice to listen to.”

The project encouraged shared community conversation and dialogue of shared local memories between people of all ages. The Memory Tree provided an interactive and dynamic way for these oral histories, which would otherwise fade over time, to be preserved and shared in an accessible way. See more photos of the project here.

Julie explains, “When a group meets for recordings, three times as many people engage in chat about the local area and history as actually record their memories. A number of elderly and more isolated residents have been visibly moved and affected by the opportunity of spending 30 minutes recollecting their personal memories with another person who considers them valuable and worth recording.”

The project played a central role in the Caterham Festival 2015 engaging people of all ages in local history and memory. There were over 600 visitors to the installation – some of whom left touching comments in a visitor’s book, of which a selection are shared below;

“So good to learn so much about Caterham – a great project – my dad was a contributor which means his and other people’s memories will carry on through the years!”

“What a wonderfully atmospheric way to hold people’s memories and share them.”

“This is fab – nothing like I imagined but totally better and amazing. What a wonderful way to preserve local history and make it accessible to so many people. Incredibly thoughtful – love it!”

“I found out things today mum has never told me before! Brilliant.”

“Well done Julie – brought back many memories and wonderful to hear other people’s memories. Learnt a lot about Caterham – wonderful personal stories.”

Horsleys Community Fund supports the village’s war veterans

On 11th November the Horsleys Community Fund supported the 7th Annual Remembrance Day Veterans Lunch held in the barn of the Barley Mow. The local fund panel were delighted to continue this tradition established by the Lady Noel Byron Trust.

30 people attended including 15 veterans who, with their family and other supporters filled the barn which had been suitably decked out with flags and bunting.

There was a special presentation to Ron Hancock and Ian Stemson from the British Legion and the proceeds of a well supported raffle will be given to the British Legion. A meal and a glass of wine was enjoyed by all and we hope to continue for some years yet.

Find out more about the Horsleys Community Fund and view their latest e-news bulletin here.

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