Community Foundation for Surrey awards £318,389 in grants to improve people’s lives in Surrey

14th February 2023

We have just completed our most recent round of funding addressing a wide range of issues across our county.

We are delighted to announce that our Donor Funds have awarded £318,389 to 48 organisations. The average grant size was £7,600 and we were pleased that many donors were able to collaborate, meaning that more projects were fully funded.

The round was focused on Equity and Inclusion and there was a wide range of applications reflecting the aspects of this theme.

Funded through the generous contribution of our donor funds, the Foundation is supporting charities, community interest groups and other organisations to help combat:

  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Mental ill health
  • Poverty and disadvantage
  • Homelessness
  • Domestic abuse
  • Food poverty
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Debt
  • Crime
  • Violence, exploitation and gangs
  • Housing challenges

As part of the same funding round, we are providing grants to support many early intervention projects, including: learning and skills development, physical health improvement, wellbeing, recreation (leisure activities), early years learning, accessibility, improving mental health, life skills and aspirations, as well as core funding.


Feedback from successful applicants

Here’s some of the feedback we have received from some of our successful applicants:


“Welcare is a charity working with parents and children up to the age of 13 in South London and East Surrey.” Welcare website

“Thanks to a generous contribution from the Community Foundation for Surrey we are thrilled to continue our Playworker support for babies, children and families from minority communities. In the Redhill area over 41 different languages are spoken and Welcare is here to help them and their children to thrive.”

Anna Khan, CEO, Welcare


Streetlight UK

“Streetlight UK is a frontline specialist support service, specifically focused on providing women with tangible and material pathways out of a lifestyle of prostitution and violence and have developed its specialism and understanding of women involved in prostitution across London, Surrey and Sussex since 2012.” Streetlight UK website

“The Surrey Community Foundation grant of £5,000 is a tremendous boost to our team in supporting women across Surrey. Such partnerships are vital in enabling our staff and volunteers to deliver our specialist service at Breakfast Clubs, Police operations, 1-2-1 direct support and online to 100’s of women each year. Thank you so much.”

Helena Croft, CEO, Streetlight UK



“As we get older, our social circles diminish, and we find ourselves with fewer and fewer people to turn to. Imagine realising one day that all your friends and family have gone from your life. Loneliness can be cruel, and it affects millions of people over 75 who live in social isolation. Re-engage is making life less lonely for thousands of older people every year. Older people tell us that our volunteer-led activities make them happier and more able to trust others.” Re-engage website

“This donation from the Community Foundation for Surrey will allow us to continue to provide local solutions to help those aged 75 and over who may be lonely or isolated.  Around seven in ten older people say they feel less lonely as a result of being part of Re-engage and this funding will help ensure we maintain this vital support.”

Kitty Blackwell, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Re-engage



How to apply to the Community Foundation for Surrey for a grant


Funder Plus Volunteer

2nd February 2023

Role description

Purpose of role
  • To help selected charitable organisations in Surrey to achieve their full potential by providing short-term coaching and practical support.
  • Funder Plus Volunteers will bring their experience and a desire to help, through listening to the key issues that need to be addressed, questioning to aid understanding, and introducing relevant information, signposting models or ways of thinking and practical steps to achieve the desired outcome.
Key elements of the role
  • To use skills and experience for the benefit of one or more local charitable organisation(s).

Examples may include the following:

  • Support with specific governance or financial accounting issues;
  • Assist the organisation to develop systems and processes;
  • Help solve a specific problem;
  • Temporarily fill a skills gap;
  • Develop a strategic, organisational, fundraising, communications plan(s);
  • Mentor a chief executive or a team leader;
  • To share experiences and learning with the team of Volunteers by attending Steering Group meetings or contributing to communities of practise where appropriate.

Person specification


Equally important will be how you engage with your charitable organisation and we are looking for candidates who can demonstrate:

  • Relevant expertise and experience;
  • Demonstrate good interpersonal and listening skills;
  • A coaching approach with clear and unambiguous communications
  • The ability to develop trust and empower others
  • An understanding of and empathy with the ethos of the charitable/ not for profit sector;
  • A common sense and flexible approach;
  • Willingness to undertake required training;
  • Computer literate, access to and use of email;
  • Ability to travel;
  • Able to prove a minimum of 2×10 hour assignments, delivered flexibly, over a 6-12 month period;
  • Having met with the prospective charity and agreed to proceed, commitment and energy will also be requisite.
The icing on the cake
  • Experience of working in the charitable/not for profit sector.
  • Experience of providing coaching support in the charitable/ not for profit sector.

Conflict of Interest

If your business or day job is to offer a paid service to small charities that Is in line with the skills we are looking for pro bono [volunteer] support with then we will need to ask you to commit to offering services on a volunteer only basis, and not to use the opportunity as an opportunity to ‘sell’ future services. We hope you understand that we do not want small charities in vulnerable positions to feel obligated to purchase any future services from you.


Download MORE about the role


To apply for the the role, please contact Application is by CV and covering email 

Fundraising evening raises over £33,000 for the Woking Community Fund

24th January 2023

On Thursday 19th January the Woking Community Fund held an evening reception, hosted by local businessman and Vice President at the Community Foundation for Surrey, Shahid Azeem, for Woking businesses and representatives from Woking Borough Council. The aim of the evening was to launch a fundraising appeal that is supported by Woking Borough Council with match-funding.


The evening was held at Export House and £22,500 was pledged by the following local businesses:

  • Seymour’s Woking
  • Sharaz Homes
  • Arcom IT
  • Woking Asian Business Forum
  • Natta Buildings
  • JRL Group
  • Boz Fruit & Veg
  • Deli Class

Woking Borough Council has kindly donated £11,250 to 50% match-fund donations.

Woking Borough Council Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for the Voluntary Sector, Cllr Will Forster, said:

“I am delighted the Council is joining forces with the Community Foundation for Surrey to help the voluntary sector across Woking. I know first-hand that the Woking based Foundation do amazing work. The Council is looking forward to working with them to support charities, community groups and volunteers in the coming weeks, months and years.

“I want to thank the businesses who have already generously supported the Woking Community Fund. The new partnership between the Council and the Foundation is already proving its worth, bringing in vital funding from private donations.”

Community Foundation for Surrey Chief Executive Beccy Bowden was thrilled with the success of the evening:

“I’m really pleased to see the local business community in Woking stepping up to support the Woking Community Fund at a time when we are seeing a 400% increase in number of requests for funding to support those impacted by economic disadvantage in our county. It’s a real testament to the wonderful community spirit in Woking and I know that the money will be used to support those most in need.”

Woking Community Fund Chair Emma Patel underlined the importance of the fundraising event:

“It was a fantastic evening. With the donors’ enormous generosity and support, we are making a massive difference by providing positive solutions in our communities for local people and disadvantaged individuals.  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Thank you to everyone who attended.”

More about the Woking Community Fund

The Woking Community Fund was established in 2012 by Jim McAllister, CEO of The Rutland Group, who was present on Thursday evening. To date, the Fund has awarded £126,490.28 in grants to support charities and organisations working in Woking for the benefit of the local community. Read more. 

Grants are 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;
  • Supporting those experiencing difficult circumstances due to an illness, injury, disability, bereavement or financial difficulty.

If you would like to help, you can donate to the Woking Community Fund here.

Mental Health Scale Up Fund makes five year grant award to Be Me Project

9th January 2023

The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to make our second grant award from our Mental Health Scale Up Fund to Be Me Project. The five-year award with enable Be Me Project to extend their reach and support hundreds of additional young people.


About the Be Me Project:

“Our mission is to support girls and women to celebrate that they are uniquely and wonderfully made for a purpose and to be equipped to build positive mental wellbeing and confidence in life.”

“The Be Me Project is a charity established in 2014 to enhance girl’s and women’s emotional health, well-being, self-esteem, and self-efficacy by inspiring them to explore their true identity, to cope with the world’s pressures, to understand that they are uniquely and wonderfully made and equip them for purpose and hope in life.
Be Me, and its courses, has been established and run by local women for girls and women who are either referred by a third party (i.e. their school) or self-referred. Many of the girls and women that Be Me work with battle with self-worth and make poor life choices, often following the pattern of behaviour of their parents, siblings or the community in which they live. The majority have low expectations of themselves and have little hope for the future. Be Me believes that by investing in these girls and women, they have a far better chance of breaking negative thought patterns and are able to build healthy self-esteem and a sense of purpose which lead to a more positive life.”

“The Be Me Project team is thrilled to have received the Community Foundation Mental Health Scale Up fund. This funding will enable us to consolidate our expansion plans, and confirm the projects that we are able to offer local schools in Dorking, Leatherhead, Reigate, Redhill and Epsom. As well as reaching at least 640 new beneficiaries over the five year period, it gives the team security in knowing that their invaluable work will continue, and continue to grow. In particular, it is a huge boost to all of the team, including new joiners, and we have lots of ideas on how to grow them through training in the new year.”

Lu Mason, CEO and founder, Be Me Project

Discover more at the Be Me Project web page.


Read more about our Mental Health Scale Up Fund

Surrey Strategic Transformation Programme awards grants to support resiliency in the local voluntary and community sector

20th December 2022

We are delighted to announce the award of a number of grants to support local voluntary and community organisations to become more resilient.

The funding from our Surrey Strategic Transformation Programme will help organisations to plan and adapt to change and be better equipped to survive and thrive through challenges and opportunities that may arise.


Grants have been awarded to the following organisations (click one each organisation to visit their website):

  • Merstham Community Facility Trust – Funding for a professional Fundraiser to broaden the income streams and volumes of funding for a community hub, working in partnership with multiple organisations.

“This grant has enabled us to access fundraising expertise and capacity which we don’t currently possess. We’ve already identified opportunities for improving and expanding our income streams and our own capabilities in terms of seeking funds. We are currently developing a fundraising strategy and the necessary tools and resources for us to progress this. Recovering from the impact of Covid on our financial viability and resilience has proved very challenging. This funding is a key part of our return to ‘business as usual’ and having confidence in our long-term viability.”

Chris Spragg, Trustee, Merstham Community Facility Trust


  • Intergenerational Music Making – Funding for a feasibility study, community research and project delivery piece to understand current need for the charity and to plan for the future and increase opportunities available.

“This is truly wonderful news and a massive thank you to the donors whom were able to make this happen and support our vital community intergenerational work – research and training.  We are all over the moon and THANK YOU.”


  • The Orpheus Centre Trust – Funding for a feasibility study to asses the capacity to undertake a large scale capital funding project to meet the growing demand of service.

“We are very grateful for this grant which will enable us to move forward with a feasibility study for our capital build project. We have grown enormously in recent years and have strong ambitions to develop our site. Our plans include a large scale project to provide better learning experiences for the young disabled students who come here.

Demand for places at our college has significantly increased and we have insufficient space to expand in the current building. We want to be able to welcome more students and help them to learn essential independence and life skills for their future. This funding takes us another step towards achieving those aims and realising our ambitions .”

Lisa Whitbread, Communications and Engagement Manager, Orpheus Centre Trust


’We are so grateful for this grant for a CRM for The Lighthouse. It means we’ll be able to communicate more effectively, keep track of everyone from funders and donors, to referrers, volunteers and guests, and it will ensure that our database is kept confidential. We have grown to such a point that this is an essential part of the next stage in our development. Many thanks for your support!”

Lucy Greenland, The Lighthouse Trust Limited


  • Farncombe Day Centre – Grant for new domestic laundry equipment to replace equipment that is no longer fit for purpose at a centre providing support for older people.
  • Farncombe Community Garden – Funding for a fully accessible disabled composting toilet in a community garden project in an area of disadvantage.
  • Stripey Stork – Grant towards the expansion of services to make them accessible to every family across Surrey that needs them.


Read more about the Surrey Strategic Transformation Programme including how to apply for a grant.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas (and office closing details)

15th December 2022

Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season from the Community Foundation for Surrey.

Please note our office will be closed between Christmas and New Year. The last day the Grants Team will be available is Thursday 22nd December, returning Tuesday 3rd January.

Providing breakfast on a Sunday morning to those most in need

1st December 2022

A couple of weeks ago, our Chair of Trustees Sir Denis O’Connor visited St Martins church in Camberley to meet the team who provide breakfast every Sunday morning to those most in need. 

Volunteers from the Old Dean Community Group – short name ODCoG – helped to serve breakfast. Bacon roles were supplied by Cllr Mark Gordon (Bagshot ward) who is landlord of the Kings Arms Bagshot. Mark also assisted in setting up the stall you can see in the photos below. The Old Dean Community Group is also supported by funding from the Community Foundation for Surrey.

In the Family and youth centre grounds opposite the church, a metal container holds all the set-up equipment and some of the goods contributed by local supermarkets, allotments and food purchased.

Discover more about how the Old Dean Community Group is working with St Martins Church.

These are two of the lovely volunteers who helped on the day.