Women and girls projects share in £3.4 million of national funding

15th January 2019

More than 400 local projects across the UK working with some of society’s most vulnerable women and girls have received a much-needed funding boost from their local Community Foundation.

In Surrey, eight local charities received over £55k to give girls and young women mental health support, provide them with work and education opportunities and support single isolated mothers.

Small charities and community groups have received between £5,000 – £10,000 from the Tampon Tax Community Fund to provide services for women of all ages and backgrounds facing issues such as period poverty, domestic and sexual abuse, mental health and long-term unemployment to build their skills, confidence and self-esteem.

As one of the UK’s largest grant-giving organisations, UK Community Foundations was asked by government to distribute the largest share of the funding raised through the levy on sanitary products in 2017/18 to small, local projects, working with its network of Community Foundations across the country.

UKCF Director of Programmes and Development Vicki Papworth said:

“Community Foundations work with grassroots groups who are running vital services on a shoestring and supporting some of the most marginalised people in our society. This funding will enable them to run some amazing projects that make difference on the ground to the women and girls who need it most.”

Examples of some of the projects the Community Foundation for Surrey have funded are:

  • Social Care Support charity the Halow Project – to support health and well-being work that specifically tackles the sexual health and relationship issues faced by learning-disabled young women
  • Home-Start Waverley – to support mothers with young children in single-parent households
  • Domestic Abuse charity yourSanctuary – to extend community outreach support which will provide emotional and practical help to those who have been affected by domestic abuse

Kate Peters – Director of Grants and Impact, the Community Foundation for Surrey said:

“We are very pleased that this funding was available in Surrey and I’m looking forward to hearing about the great projects our local groups are running to support women and girls.”

Community Foundations were oversubscribed in all areas for the Tampon Tax Community Fund. Only a quarter of the 1,500 applications for vital women and girls projects could be supported from this stream of funding.

Community Foundations are independent charities that make grants to support grassroots groups. They work with local businesses, funders and government to create tailored programmes of grant-making that respond to the needs and assets of communities. They also distribute funding secured through national programmes, including the Tampon Tax Community Fund.

Supporting peers in schools

17th December 2018

We awarded a grant of £1,034 to local theatre group Peer Productions to help support the tour of their play, titled ‘Hidden.’ This funding supported the group in touring over 30 schools throughout the year across Surrey to educate audiences on the important issues surrounding self-worth, mental health and self-harm.

Peer Productions deliver many theatrical shows which raise awareness regarding three areas; identity, crime prevention and health, with a greater focus on educating vulnerable young people on important issues such as self-harming within secondary schools.

‘Hidden’ aimed to dismantle the barrier and the taboos that often prevent these issues from being discussed openly, freely and without stigma. 90% of the students who saw the play acknowledged that they learned a variety of new things through watching this production, with 3 in every 4 students now feeling more confident in supporting a friend who is self-harming, as well as knowing where to seek help if they or someone they know are experiencing mental health problems. This equates to, with an average audience size of 200 students and 35 performances delivered, 7,000 vulnerable young people who have watched the play, over 5,250 of whom are now better equipped with the knowledge and confidence necessary to tackle mental health issues as they grow into adults.

With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health issue in the UK every year and 1 in 10 young people enacting self-harm during their teenage years, Peer Productions have toured ‘Hidden’ for the past four years. These 120 performances will have helped change the perceptions of almost 18,000 young people across the South East of England.

We very much value the contribution that Peer Productions make to the delivery of sensitive issues such as mental health, self-harm and teenage pregnancy, as their effective use of theatre maximises the importance of the messages in a clear and engaging way. It is important also as their work has had a direct effect on our learners. After the performance of ‘Hidden’, two of our Year 8 girls felt confident enough to talk about their own issues with self-harm and they are now receiving the appropriate support. The work of Peer Productions instigated this. All of the actors and directors who deliver the performances and workshops are professional, friendly and totally committed to the core values of using theatre to affect positive change.

– Senior Leadership Team, Thamesmead School, recipients of the play

Success at sea!

We are delighted to have awarded a grant of £2,500 to Limpsfield Grange School for their Gold Duke of Edinburgh at Thames Barge Voyage project, which was undertaken by 8 schoolgirls between ages 16-18, who all struggle with a learning disability, medical condition or mental health illness.

The girls who participated had never sailed before and had no idea of what to expect. This sailing trip fulfilled the girls’ expedition section within the Duke of Edinburgh Gold criteria.


Two of the girls who took part in the voyage were a pair of twins who had never been on a boat before and were extremely nervous and anxious. Their conditions make them hypersensitive to virtually everything and to undertake something like this was going to be a huge challenge for them. Bearing in mind they are both 17 years old, they are very young for their age and were very apprehensive. Over the course of the week they grew in confidence and by the end of the week they were doing everything the other girls were doing and more. When we handed them back to their parents they both said it was the best thing they had ever done and asked when they could go again. Hopefully this experience has instilled them with the ‘can do’ attitude that will stand them in good stead throughout their lives.

– Limpsfield Grange School

The Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award is regarded as equivalent to an A-level by employers and will help participants in their journey towards finding a job. The award indicates many achievements, such as; reliability, commitment, responsibility, confidence and team work – some skills which can be challenging for people with autism and other learning disabilities. Over the course of the year that is will take for the girls to complete their awards, they will understand how to work together, support one another and commit to the project.

It is expected that the girls have now successfully completed the other sections within their Duke of Edinburgh Award and have collected their awards by the Duke himself at St James’ Palace earlier this year.

The Community Foundation for Surrey award over £300k in grants for the benefit of the local community during October 2018

3rd December 2018

The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to have awarded over £300k in their recent round of grant awards to local voluntary groups and disadvantaged individuals within Surrey.

The philanthropic charity awards grants to community groups across the county that are striving to tackle community needs in areas of health and wellbeing, education and skills, disadvantage and exclusion, community cohesion, the environment, sports and the arts.

Each year, the Foundation works with over 400 groups working hard to make a difference in Surrey, and last year distributed over £1.2 million in grants to support people in need. The Foundation is, this year, set to award even more.

A wide selection of local groups and charities have received funding in this quarter, including The Amber Foundation who received £26,500 for their Team Leader Salary.

Based in Ockley, The Amber Foundation provide help to homeless unemployed young people, supporting them to gain the motivation, confidence and skills they need to gain and sustain work and accommodation. Often, these young people have misused drugs or alcohol and/or been involved in crime; they may have no qualifications and are subsequently lacking in self-esteem.

Alongside the provision of accommodation for over 100 homeless young people each year, this charity will also provide a structured programme that builds young people’s motivation, self-discipline and skill set, aiming to move individuals on to employment or training, and their own accommodation.

Phillipa Wilford, Fundraising Manager, the Amber Foundation said:

“This grant will provide vital funding for our Team leaders, who are the lifeblood of the Amber programme, delivering one to one support to the vulnerable young people that we aim to help. We are so grateful for the support from the Foundation and look forward to working with them over the coming year to make an even greater impact in transforming young lives in Surrey.”

Emerge Advocacy received a grant of £6,690 for salary costs to establish a mental health support project in another local Hospital. The charity promotes and protect good health, in particular for those aged between 14 and 21 suffering from mental illness or emotional distress. Supportive adults operate as mentors and role models for the young people they work with. Emerge was created as a response to these young people’s needs and vulnerability, and in response to a desire to make a difference to them during and after their time of crisis. Support, both in Accident & Emergency and later in the community, will help reduce levels of anxiety, increase cooperation with health care professionals, and help the young people to engage with statutory services. By doing this, they help reduce the likelihood of further crisis in future.

Joy Wright, Founder, Emerge Advocacy said:

“Following the success of our work at the Royal Surrey County Hospital supporting young people attending A&E with mental health issues, Emerge has experienced significant demand for our service across a number of Surrey hospitals. This grant from the Community Foundation for Surrey has made it possible for me to have dedicated time to work on expanding to a second site, in partnership with ‘East to West’, an Egham based youth work charity.”

Kate Peters, Director of Grants and Impact, Community Foundation for Surrey said:

“We received an outstanding set of applications this round. I only wish we could fund them all but am very pleased that 80% of applications have received support.  I am also thrilled to have been able to make awards to some groups which have not applied to us previously – like the Prison Fellowship and also the Weyside Keychange Charity which provides safe and secure accommodation with support for insecurely housed or homeless, excluded, marginalised and deprived women.”

Just some of the other beneficiaries from this round of the Community Foundation for Surrey’s grants include, women’s domestic abuse charity Your Sanctuary and Momentum Children’s Charity supporting children with cancer and life-challenging conditions, and their families.

Supporting mental health of children and young people with our new Surrey Mental Health Fund

1st November 2018

Announcing the launch of the Surrey Mental Health Fund in response to growing mental health issues among children and young people

The Community Foundation for Surrey is proud to be launching the Surrey Mental Health Fund, which will award grants to charitable projects across the county which support the improvement in mental health and well-being of children and young people.

The Community Foundation, a philanthropic charity which awarded £1.2 million in grant funding last year to over 300 community groups, has launched the fund in response to a growing need relating to mental health.

Joe Crome, Director of Philanthropy at the Community Foundation for Surrey:

Each year we receive hundreds of grant applications from charities and groups across Surrey, but it was becoming noticeable that the number of mental health projects requiring support has been increasing. We made the decision to set up this Mental Health Fund, and have been working with statutory and voluntary sector partners to develop the priorities based on needs across the county.

Initially, grants will be made to early intervention projects helping children and young people aged 8-13 develop emotional resilience and self-esteem. Consideration will be given to innovative new ideas and pilot projects as well as existing work.


The research we conducted with local partners, both in the statutory and voluntary sector, showed that there are emerging needs and gaps in provision relating to children and young people, particularly at primary school age and during the transition to secondary. The Mental Health Foundation reported that 1 in 10 young people has poor mental health, which equates to 14,500 individuals in Surrey. Furthermore, they state that ‘70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age’. As a result of this, we believe it is vital that this fund initially focuses on supporting these children in our county.


Surrey County Council and Guildford and Waverley CCG, who helped advise on the criteria for this new fund:

We are really pleased to see the launch of the Surrey Mental Health Fund. Poor mental health is affecting more and more children and young people, and we believe this fund can make a real difference to this younger age group and complement public services in the county offering mental health support.


The Fund is still building and will aim to reach at least £100,000 in year one. We are currently seeking local donors who can take advantage of a generous match funding opportunity which is available until the end of November 2018 which will double donations made into the fund. Any individual or business who might like to contribute to this new fund can do so by contacting Joe Crome at the Community Foundation for Surrey, joe@cfsurrey.org.uk, 01483 906383. Click here to donate online.

Our first round of applications was invited in September, and we have received a strong number of applications which we are currently assessing, with grant award decisions being made in January 2019. We are now closed for applications but we hope to open a new round later in 2019.

Projects of particular interest include (though are not limited to);

  • Encouraging healthier use of social media amongst children and young people
  • Self harm prevention and support
  • Projects led by young people, including activities which raise awareness of youth mental health issues

Please see the Mental Health Fund page for more information and how to donate to the fund.


26th October 2018

  • Local charitable organisations in Surrey have new opportunity to benefit from grants of up to £50,000
  • Nationwide Building Society is working with local Community Foundation
  • Grants available to tackle housing issues in local communities
  • Application process now open

Local community housing projects and charities are being urged to put their case forward as Nationwide, the world’s largest building society, makes £500,000 available to help make a difference to communities across the region.

The Society is inviting applications for grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 for housing projects that will support the most vulnerable in local communities.

So far Nationwide has awarded £7 million in grants to more than 180 projects and will be investing over £20 million in housing projects across the UK over 5 years. The programme is being delivered with support from UK Community Foundations, the national network for all accredited Community Foundations across the country.

Charities, community land trusts and housing co-operatives in and across Surrey can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 for one or two years to make a change in their local area. The application process closes on 22nd November 2019 and successful applicants will be notified by the end of February 2020.

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

“Finding safe, affordable and sustainable housing is a growing challenge for communities across our region. That’s why we’re proud to work with Nationwide Building Society to fund the organisations tackling this issue on the ground and supporting those who need it most.”

Andrew Westhead, Nationwide’s Regional Director for the South East Region said:

“In 2007, our members voted for us to donate at least one percent of our pre-tax profits to good causes and asked that we focus on tackling housing issues. We recognise there is a housing crisis, resulting in many people living in unsuitable, insecure or unaffordable accommodation. So, to help make a real and lasting difference, we are aiming to make over £20 million available in grant funding for housing-related charities and organisations across the UK over 5 years. We are delighted to open the local application process and encourage housing related charities and organisations to apply so that they can collectively benefit from the £500,000 award that is available to communities across the South East.”

A Community Board, which is comprised of Nationwide members and employees, will review all the grant applications and award grants of up to a £50,000. The Board and Nationwide branches within the region will also be providing time and expertise to these charities.

Full details can be found at www.nationwide.co.uk/communityfunding, in local Nationwide branches in this region or by contacting the local Community Foundation.

Community Foundation for Surrey celebrates £500k awarded in grants to local groups since April 2018!

16th August 2018

The Community Foundation for Surrey, this week, has reached over £500k awarded in grants for the benefit of local communities in Surrey since April this year.

The philanthropic charity awards grants to local community groups across Surrey that are striving to tackle community needs in areas of health and wellbeing, education and skills, disadvantage and exclusion, community cohesion, the environment, sports and the arts.

This milestone has eclipsed their giving on this time last year with 104 groups and 47 individuals directly benefiting from this round of funding. It is the Foundation’s target to award a total £1.4 million in grants by March 31st, 2019 to organisations and individuals across Surrey.

A wide selection of local groups and charities have received funding in this quarter, including Cobham charity Walton Firs Foundation, who are receiving the Community Foundation for Surrey’s largest ever grant, at a staggering £60,000. This grant was awarded for the creation of a high ropes course, that will test and challenge young people to overcome their fears and help them to develop teamwork, self-confidence and communication skills. Over 30,000 visitors attend the 36-acre activity site each year.

Major (Ret’d) Andy Harvey, Chief Executive, Walton Firs Foundation said:

“We are incredibly grateful to the Community Foundation for this generous grant that will provide yet another fantastic opportunity to get young people outside, into the fresh air and having fun, safely. Currently most of our activities are best suited to ages 7-12, but the high ropes are designed for wider age appeal – for ages 7-18+. This broader appeal is a tremendous thing and will offer something really demanding for all our young visitors. They want to be challenged and to learn new skills in the outdoors, and this project will be a fantastic way to help them to do just this.” 

Another recipient of the Foundation’s recent funding awards is Surrey Heath Veterans and Families Listening Project (SHV&FLP) which will provide former service personnel of HM Forces and their families with support, information and a safe space to meet. This group provides the opportunity for those affected by post military service issues to share the impact it is having on their day to day lives.

The £3,024.00 will also cover costings for an Armed Forces Mental Health First Aid Course as part of the personal development of attendees and volunteers assisting with the project. This course will address issues such as anxiety, depression and PDSD, often experienced after leaving the service.

Deborah Sellstrom, Founder and Fundraiser, Surrey Heath Veterans and Families Listening Project said:

“We would like to say a BIG thank you to the Community Foundation for Surrey, one for their support, advice and guidance during the initial application; and secondly, for awarding SHV&FLP the grant. This funding will support us to continue to provide a safe haven for veterans and families of the British Armed Forces, to meet and get the help and assistance that they might need. Making today, a brighter tomorrow.”

£15,000 has also been awarded to mental health charity, Oakleaf Enterprise for their Everyman Choir, a project designed for vulnerable local men. A weekly meet up, facilitated by an experienced choir leader will provide attendees a free and socially inclusive outlet for their troubles, along with a healthy meal. The music will cover a wide range of genres to those in attendance with the aim to reduce social isolation and improve on both mental and physical wellbeing.

Based in Guildford, Oakleaf Enterprise supports local people suffering from mental-ill health return to employment or education. The charity recently celebrated their 21st birthday with a visit from His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex.

Clive Stone, Chief Executive, Oakleaf Enterprise said:

“Oakleaf is tremendously grateful for the generous support and recognition of our work from the Community Foundation of Surrey. Our Everyman choir gives its members a chance to develop their social connections, improve their wellbeing, while also giving them a creative outlet in the form of singing, an activity that is proven to improve a person’s mental health. It has been amazing watching individual’s confidence develop through this medium which would not have been possible without the Community Foundation for Surrey.”

To date, the Community Foundation for Surrey which is part of a national network of 46 Community Foundations across the UK, has awarded a total of 2,963 grants since their inception in 2005.

This level of grant giving would not be possible without the many generous donors working with the Foundation to address the needs and themes within Surrey that they are most passionate about. The Foundation are hugely grateful to all the businesses, charitable trusts, families and individuals that work with them to inspire philanthropy.

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

“We are absolutely delighted to have reached this milestone so early in the financial year and are excited about being able to support many more good causes. It is easy not to see the hidden need in our community; young people challenged with mental health issues, isolated older people or families and carers struggling with devastating health issues, but our wonderful voluntary sector do see the problems and we at the Foundation are proud to be able to support the difference local groups in Surrey make to the health and wellbeing of our community.”

The Foundation are committed to transparency and work with 360 Giving to publish information about each one of their grants. Further information can be found at 360 Giving.

If you are interested to learn more about the Community Foundation for Surrey and how you can support your community, please visit cfsurrey.org.uk

Revitalising trusts to support local communities

10th August 2018

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a new Civil Society Strategy which aims to build stronger communities by bringing together businesses, charities and the public sector.

The Strategy includes the Revitalising Trusts initiative, which will see UK Community Foundations working with the Charity Commission and the Office for Civil Society to transfer up to £20million of inactive trusts to Community Foundations to invest into local communities. It is expected that this will provide an extra £1million in grant funding to local community and voluntary groups every year.

There are many charitable trust funds in England and Wales that are inactive. The original founders and trustees may have passed away and many of the funds are now relatively small pots of money which makes it difficult to ensure they have a meaningful and local impact. Collectively these trusts amount to a significant amount which could make a huge difference to local communities.

The Community Foundation for Surrey has been able to help a number of inactive or dormant local Trusts by transferring their funds across to us, where we are able to put the money to use by supporting local projects across the county.  One such example is The Thomas Trust, whose Trustees transferred the Trust’s capital to create a bespoke Community Foundation Fund in 2014 and continue to award grants to care for elderly, disabled and blind people in the Godalming area. To date, over £30,000 in grants have been awarded to benefit local projects. Dr Chris Jagger MBE, panel member of the Thomas Trust Fund commented, “The previous Trustees of the Thomas Trust are most encouraged at the enhanced awareness and profile brought to the charitable aspirations of Betty Thomas through having the privilege of being part of a larger and prestigious organisation in the Community Foundation for Surrey”.

The Office for Civil Society and the Charity Commission are working with UK Community Foundations to transfer up to £20million of inactive trusts to Community Foundations to invest into local communities. It is expected that this will provide an extra £1million in grant funding to local community and voluntary groups every year.

Community Foundations are established, trusted charities that support local communities across the UK. Community Foundations reach every postcode in the UK and focus on the most pressing needs in an area. Community Foundations are leading grant makers and have a strong track record of supporting communities. They are reliable with a trusted model of delivery and are all quality accredited.

The Charity Commission and the Office for Civil Society have chosen to work with Community Foundations based on their expertise and experience in supporting communities and ensuring that funds are distributed well to tackle local need.

Minister for Civil Society, Tracey Crouch said, ‘this initiative will make a real difference to people and communities across the country. By working with UK Community Foundations and the Charity Commission, we will honour the original aims of these now-inactive charitable trusts by redistributing funds to help those that need it most.”

Laura Thurlow, CEO of the Community Foundation for Surrey said, ‘We’re really pleased that Community Foundations have been recognised as having the local knowledge and experience to support this project. We have previously been able to help inactive local trusts to ensure the funds can continue to be used to support local Surrey communities, and we are very happy to offer this solution for local trusts.’

Fabian French, CEO of UK Community Foundations said, ‘we are delighted to be working with the Office for Civil Society and the Charity Commission to unlock these inactive trusts to benefit local communities for years to come. We have developed a simple solution that helps inactive trusts transfer their assets which meets all the required Charity Commission approvals’.

Grants Support Volunteer

8th August 2018

The Community Foundation for Surrey is a philanthropic charity established in 2005 to inspire local giving for local needs. We work with donors who want to give something back to their local communities and voluntary groups providing vital services for local people and disadvantaged individuals. We are looking for a Grants Support Volunteer to help with tasks such as;


  • Supporting potential applicants
  • Phoning groups to encourage applications – deadline reminders
  • Importing applications to the database and setting up files
  • Contacting applicants for missing documents and information
  • Taking enquiries over the phone
  • Maintenance of our electronic database, with the aim of ensuring all grant records and contacts are up to date and accurate at all time
  • Proof Reading
  • Assisting with End of Grant reporting/monitoring

The Grants Support Volunteer post is an excellent opportunity to develop skills and experience of grant making with the aim of making life better for people in Surrey.


  • Ideally, we would like someone who can commit to 4-8 hours per week, however are happy to fit around busy schedules
  • Personable, enthusiastic and keen to learn new skills as well as being methodical and well-organised.
  • Enjoy building relationships and supporting the community
  • Meticulous attention to detail, you will also possess the ability to maintain confidential and sensitive information
  • Confident working with computers

As a volunteer you will receive full induction to the organisation and the role, and ongoing staff support.

If you want to find out more, please contact Kate Peters kate@cfsurrey.org.uk 01483 478092