Important updates and NEW Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund

20th March 2020

We will be launching the Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund very soon to support local charities and voluntary organisations that are assisting some of Surrey’s most vulnerable people.

It is thanks to the generosity of local donors that we are able to launch this new local response Fund that will support projects responding directly to the coronavirus outbreak. We are currently still seeking further support from our network of generous donors and supporters!

We aim for the Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund to be open for applications next week, but in the meantime please visit the Fund’s webpage for the latest information and we encourage you to check back regularly.

For those of you that haven’t already signed up to our grants e-bulletin, you can do so here to receive direct updates about the Fund that you might find useful!

Updates for Existing Applicants

For grant applicants who are currently awaiting a decision on a current application, please bear with us as we are working hard to expedite those decisions and will give you news as soon as we possibly can.

Please note, if you feel that you cannot deliver the project you originally applied for due to current circumstances and wish to withdraw or update your application, you can contact our grants team at and they will respond as quickly as they are able.

Thank you and we greatly appreciate your patience.


Surrey County Council and Volunteer Centre’s across the county are coordinating volunteers and ensuring that those who need help can receive it as quickly as possible. Please see this page for information about how you can volunteer to help an individual or group in need.

Message for groups in Surrey regarding Coronavirus

16th March 2020

Funding response to the Coronavirus outbreak – updated 18th March 5pm

The National Emergencies Trust has today launched an appeal to raise funds to help local charities to support those individuals suffering hardship as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. The National Emergencies Trust will distribute money raised through a number of charitable organisations including local Community Foundations, to ensure it reaches those who need it most. Community Foundations are well placed to support local charities to overcome challenges presented by this ongoing emergency and we stand ready to support our county.

Details of the NET fund and criteria for groups to apply for funding will follow in the next few days.

We are also exploring other urgent opportunities to address local funding needs arising from the current situation. Please bear with us whilst we work with our local partners and donors – you can keep up to date on our social media feeds and by checking back on our website.

A message for our grant recipients regarding Coronavirus, 17th March:

The Community Foundation for Surrey team are now remote-working in accordance with the latest advice. If you need to reach a team member directly then please email us individually, using the format. For grant application and funding enquiries please email, and for general enquiries, email, and if you do need to reach us by phone then call 01483 478092, which will connect you with one of our team working remotely.

We want to reassure organisations funded by the Community Foundation for Surrey that we are keen to support you through this uncertain time and to be flexible in the face of the challenges we will all face.

We understand that it might be difficult for you to meet the outcomes of your grant when staff and volunteers may not be available, events and activities may need to be postponed or cancelled or services provided in different ways.

Where you need to make changes to how you deliver your work, we want to be supportive and not delay your decision-making. You don’t need to take the time to tell us about changes or delays where these remain within the overall spirit/aims of our grant – unless a chat would be helpful.

The Community Foundation for Surrey team

To speak to our team:

Call 01483 478092

Or email

The Magic of Water

15th January 2020

We awarded a grant of £5,000 to the White Lodge Centre for the maintenance of their hydrotherapy pool. The Centre supports disabled children, young people and adults, their families and carers in and around Surrey. They specialise in care for those with a diverse range of disabilities, including cerebral palsy and other similar conditions.

The hydrotherapy pool is used by individuals who have a permanent physical and/or learning disability with conditions that cause continual pain and loss of movement. Individuals are unable to walk, talk, and dress, or even to carry out the simplest of tasks for day-to-day living.

C started coming to White Lodge when he was 6 months old. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, had no movement down one side of his body and no speech.

Hydrotherapy was part of his overall programme of therapy. The warm water in the hydrotherapy pool helped his muscles and limbs to relax, which allowed him to move more freely.

In the pool, C learnt how to kick his legs, relax his shoulders and use the weaker side of his body. Hydrotherapy also improved the overall muscle strength in both his arms. As a result of this, C has learned how to sign words. For the first time ever, we can have a conversation with our son. We talk to him and he replies. It has changed his and our lives.

– C’s mother


14th January 2020

Grassroots groups working in Surrey will get much-needed grants worth over £57,000 to help support local women and girls facing a range of challenges.

8 projects will receive grants of between £5,000 – £10,000. This is the second time the Community Foundation for Surrey has awarded groups money from the Tampon Tax Community Fund to help women and girls experiencing issues such as period poverty, domestic and sexual abuse and mental health.

Collectively as a network, UK Community Foundations is one of the UK’s largest grant-makers and was asked by the government to distribute the largest share of the funding raised through the levy on sanitary products through its network of community foundations. A total of £6.9 million has been awarded nationally to grassroots groups in the two rounds of funding.

Kate Peters, Director of Grants & Impact at the Community Foundation for Surrey said:

“This funding supports the groups on the ground who are making a huge difference to the lives of women and girls. We know there is huge demand out there for these services and are proud to help small organisations working in our community to access vital public funding, which otherwise they may miss out on.”

Projects being funded in Surrey are:

  • Home-Start Waverley – supporting mothers with young children in single-parent households to gain confidence and build resilience
  • Be Me Project – delivering courses in schools, doctor’s surgeries and local children’s centres to promote well-being and positive mental health for vulnerable girls
  • GASP Motor Project – delivering female motor courses for girls with special educational needs who are pre-NEET or young offenders, enabling them to gain skills which will be useful in future employment
  • Elmbridge Rent-Start – to house 30 vulnerable women in safe and appropriate single-sex housing, as well as delivering weekly women-only skills and social workshops to build confidence and expertise
  • Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum – funding for a part-time Facilitator to support and oversee confidence building sessions to bring vulnerable Asian women together
  • Citizens Advice Elmbridge West – delivering a Skills for Change Course, helping domestic abuse survivors back to work or towards vocational retraining schemes
  • Spelthorne Breastfeeding Friends – to recruit and train staff to deliver numerous support classes for women and their new-borns, improving mother and baby health and development
  • Emmaus Transformation Trust – for the continuation of their Nurture Project, supporting women experiencing crisis, offering courses helping to increase confidence, self-esteem and resilience

Previously in 2018/19, the Tampon Tax Community Fund, via the Community Foundation for Surrey, was hugely oversubscribed meaning almost a third of the organisations that applied for funding remained unsupported. Since then, the Foundation has received some donations to help support these vital projects positively impacting on Surrey communities. However, there are many that are still in need of help. The Foundation urge anyone interested in donating to get in touch!

The Government’s Tampon Tax Fund allocates funds generated from the VAT on sanitary products to go into projects set up to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls.

In 2018/19 the Community Foundation network distributed more than £98 million worth of grants and supported more than 5,641 people and 15,526 organisations.

Feeling the Festivities…

18th December 2019

We awarded a grant of £2,000 to Voluntary Action Reigate and Banstead (VARB) for their Festive Feast.

VARB supports and promotes the voluntary, community and faith sector, voluntary organisations and volunteering in the Borough of Reigate & Banstead.

This grant will support a Christmas dinner and a celebration event for people on their own at Christmas in Reigate and Banstead. The event brings together the most vulnerable and isolated people within the Borough to celebrate and have fun. The grant will help towards the costs of hiring tables, entertainment, gifts, food and drink, publicity and travel expenses.

Sporting Memories

30th October 2019

We awarded a grant of £1,000 to the Refresh Church Trust (RCT) for a pilot project ‘Sporting Memories’ for isolated older people and those dealing with early onset dementia.

The Trust aims to be a positive resource in the community, and to provide projects which meet spiritual and physical needs. The Refresh Centre is a community and resource space providing spaces for hire to local groups and local businesses and a free venue for community groups offering free activities.

The sporting reminiscence sessions are fun, relaxed and help people rekindle memories and make new friends. The grant was used to set up, promote and deliver a session at the Refresh Centre in Moseley for 20 weeks.

The project has attracted widowers, dementia sufferers, divorcing and isolated people.

One of the elderly dementia sufferers had refused to come out of his house for months. It was the sport element and encouragement from a friend that finally persuaded him to attend. He loved it so much he keeps talking about it at home and looks forward to it every week. With transport he even came without his friend and allowed another to drive him home, which is great progress. The friend who brought him along is so delighted and learns more about him as he reminisces about his childhood sporting career and life.

– Sporting Memories facilitator, the Refresh Church Trust

Mighty Adventurers

We awarded a grant of £2,200 to the Mighty Adventurers Association (MAA) for outdoor and Forest School sessions supporting over 1,000 vulnerable children primarily between the age of 5-12.

Mighty Adventurers creates opportunities to fuse the arts with forest school principals, with a largely environmental agenda through their workshops. Each session has a strong symbolic message teaching participants to look after themselves, each other, and the environment around them. Creating junk percussion instruments helps to increase awareness of recycling, the impact of non-sustainable lifestyles and highlights the difference between natural materials and those that should be recycled.

Children that had taken part in the workshops experienced some, if not all of the below;

an increased sense of community through all-inclusive activities such as drumming, feeling more inspired to take risks safely, developed music skills, an increase in teamwork and leadership skills, and increased observation skills in relation to their senses and the natural environment.

Having time outside and working with stories, was so successful that we began a weekly session with our young carers, and decided for these sessions to happen in nearby woods. From this, three of our year 6 young carers have taken up free places at the regular after school forest club, and this has given them an invaluable opportunity to shed their responsibilities and re-ignite their child-like play. One child was particularly struggling with the situation at home, resulting in regular outbursts in school with increasing violence. Having witnessed how well he responded to the session, we ensured he attended the young carers group and facilitated him joining the after school group. This child is developing a sense of belonging, increased his awareness of the local wild areas, and ignited a sense of responsibility to the world in which he lives in. This is a child who never played outside and admitted he preferred to live in the on-line world of computer games.

Since being involved in forest school his violent outbursts have significantly reduced. Through the club he has made a strong friendship with another young carer, and it is noticeable how carefully they look after each other during the sessions. Initially anxious and reluctant to engage in activities due to the fear of getting muddy, his confidence is growing each week and a sense of freedom is returning to his play. Thank you!

– Chris Holland, session facilitator, musician and workshop leader 

Foundations make a stand for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

14th October 2019

The Community Foundation for Surrey is one of the 13 foundations based in the UK, that has made an unprecedented commitment to tackle issues of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within the Foundation sector. By forming a coalition and working together, they are determined to face and address many of the systemic inequalities which currently exist in the way Foundations operate.

The newly named ‘DEI coalition’ will provide a forum for the implementation of frameworks, processes and procedures within foundations and is focussed on building a body of practice for themselves and others in the UK sector to learn from. Each foundation has made an explicit dedication to prioritising this work, moving from merely talking about the issues to wanting to take practical action and set change in motion.

Fozia Irfan, CEO of Beds and Luton Community Foundation, who is leading the initiative described the impact, they are hoping to achieve.

“We have seen DEI frameworks being implemented in foundations across the globe but it is an area which is new to the UK – what we hope to do is to critically analyse the way we work and how we distribute funding, to make sure that we are reaching the communities most in need. Given the current political context, it is imperative that as foundations we are equitable, transparent and representative, otherwise we are simply not effective”.

The DEI coalition will start meeting in January 2020 and each foundation has committed to working on this initiative for at least three years, to ensure that there is systematic progress and it remains a key priority.

The 13 foundations include the National Lottery Community Fund, Children in Need, Barrow Cadbury, Lloyds Bank Foundation,  Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Friends Provident and the following community foundations – Essex, Milton Keynes, Quartet, Wiltshire, Two Ridings, Leeds and Surrey.

Laura Thurlow, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Surrey shared: 

“We are incredibly excited to be part of this new initiative and very much look forward to being involved. Together, we can learn and share best practice for such a critical issue.”

Dawn Austwick, the CEO of the National Lottery Community Fund explained why the coalition is important;

“We are delighted to be a part of this vital coalition of funders. We all have so much to learn as we journey towards greater inclusion – from each other and from others across the communities we support. We look forward to sharing ideas, developing practice, and urgently accelerating the pace at which we all work so that our funding helps build a society for everyone.”

Paul Streets from the Lloyds Bank Foundation also stated:

“As funders we often support work that seeks to change the world but it is imperative for us to address inequalities and commit to greater diversity, equality and inclusion within our own organisations. This ensures we are more representative of the diverse communities we seek to serve, we better understand the structural inequalities that too often hold them back and we are more open to new and different experiences and views in our decision making. We know we have a long way to go so we are proud to join with all the foundations of the DEI coalition to learn, collaborate and advance the cause within the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales and our sector as a whole.”

The aim is for the DEI coalition to provide a vehicle to share best practice and learn together in a supportive environment but also to set a precedent for the sector to follow.

Carol Mack the CEO of the Association of Charitable Foundations stated;

“Addressing issues of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a pressing issue for the foundation sector and the positive response to our report DEI: The pillars of stronger foundation practice, shows there is enthusiasm and energy for action. I was delighted to learn about this inspiring collaboration involving so many ACF members and wholeheartedly welcome the initiative. This is a significant step for the foundation community and we look forward to seeing how it develops and to share learning with our wider membership.”

The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to be part of this exciting initiative. For further information please visit our web page here, or contact or 01582 522422.

£25 million generated for local good causes

26th September 2019

We are delighted to announce that we have generated a total of £25 million to support local communities, since we opened our doors 14 years ago. This figure includes donations into endowment funds, as well as the income generated by these longer-term funds and made available for grant-making, plus donations provided for immediate grant-making.

To date, this milestone has enabled us to award over 3,400 grants to support groups tackling identified needs in areas of health, education, exclusion, the environment, sport and the arts, and also to disadvantaged individuals needing support with training, education and employment.


David Frank, Vice President and outgoing Chairman at the Community Foundation for Surrey said: 

“To raise £25 million from Surrey people for local philanthropy is a huge achievement, and I am extremely grateful to those who have supported us. As a consequence, the Foundation has been able to fund life changing projects which simply would not have got off the ground without the help of our supporters.”

David stepped down as Chair of the Foundation just this week, having served his maximum 3 terms as a Trustee. David has been instrumental in inspiring philanthropy across the county and has played a vital and very active role in the Foundations development.

Some donors choose to set up an endowment fund with the Foundation, where a capital sum is invested, and the income generated provides grant making funds throughout the year. Funds can be established as a one-off donation or built over a number of years. Endowments provide a fantastic long-term investment, allowing donors to continue giving for years to come. The Foundation currently holds an endowment of over £12 million.

Family Fund Donors, Community Foundation for Surrey said:

“Establishing an endowment is unique in that the gift is committed in advance and we can then enjoy the pleasure of being able to allocate the income derived from that gift, achieving some very worthwhile things on a regular basis and over a prolonged period (rather than being required to donate each time there is a request) – Our original gift has a sustained impact.”

As we continue to see growing needs affecting communities across Surrey, at a time when it is increasingly difficult for charities to secure the funding they need, local philanthropy is relied upon to bridge the gaps in our society and ensure the voluntary sector can provide vital support to local people and places.

Laura Thurlow, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Surrey said:

“We are incredibly proud to have reached this milestone and to have been able to support so many local people. We are confident that, by inspiring more philanthropic individuals to become involved, it will not be long before we generate even more for our communities.”

It is with thanks to the philanthropic individuals, families, businesses and charitable trusts partnering with us, that has enabled this £25 million to change the lives of so many people across the county.

If you would like to find out more about how you can give with the Community Foundation for Surrey, see our Giving page here. To see the ranges of local projects which we support, please visit our Who we Support page.