Help support Ukraine refugees arriving into Surrey

16th May 2022

Ukraine refugees arriving into Surrey – what we currently know


We have been working closely with partner agencies across the county to keep abreast of the latest situation regarding the war in Ukraine and refugees arriving into the county.  At the present time we are anticipating an influx of applications from Refugee Support organisations.


  • 2,407 Ukrainian families are currently expected to arrive into the county with 1,345 having received visas already. The families will be dispersed across the county.
  • We know that there are many children – 892 individuals aged 2–17.

There is currently a lot of work going on to find school places for all the children. Those families placed in rural homes are really struggling to access public transport to attend interviews at job centres, doctors’ appointments, etc.

Ukrainian children are still receiving lessons from their schools back in Ukraine via Zoom – only pausing if a bomb siren goes off and the teachers have to seek shelter. They are very keen to learn and the importance of education is paramount in Ukrainian culture.

In addition to incoming Ukrainian families there are many hundreds of Afghan families still housed in hotels surrounding Heathrow and Gatwick airport – and several hundred more are arriving each month as emergency evacuations continue. This situation is now becoming quite desperate with hotel accommodation not suitable, particularly for families with young children.

Our Surrey Community Fund exists to support crisis and emerging needs across the county including support for all refugees. To help us meet the many unmet needs that exist, please donate securely online via the button below.

Help support Young People’s Mental Health in Surrey

We are facing a shortfall in funds to meet the demand to provide support for Young People’s Mental Health 

The need for greater mental health provision for young people in Surrey is urgent

The pandemic has given rise to an increase in demand for mental health provision, particularly amongst young people.

  • The latest prevalence data for England shows that approximately 1 in 7 children and young people aged 11–18 experiences at least one mental health disorder.
  • This equates to 40,000 children and young people in Surrey!

At the Community Foundation for Surrey we are facing a shortfall in funds to meet the demand to provide support for young people’s mental health.

  • Applications for funding in our recent Young People’s round total over £688,000 and currently the funds available represent a 42% shortfall compared to what is needed.
  • Although the Young People’s round supports a range of challenges faced by young people in Surrey, a staggering 33% of applications are requests from organisations providing mental health provision and prevention initiatives.

The Community Foundation for Surrey funds many organisations who work hard to support those experiencing mental health issues. One of these organisations is east to west, a Surrey based charity that supports over 1,000 local children, young people and their families. The children and young people who work with east to west often struggle with self-harming, bullying, broken family relationships, abuse and homelessness. We supported them with a grant to help deal with the surge in demand for children and young people’s mental health services following the Coronavirus pandemic. Read more about east to west

If you are in a position to help more organisations like east to west, please consider making a donation today.


Community Foundation for Surrey 2022 survey: Discover what you told us… and what we have done!

9th May 2022

Earlier this year we invited grant applicants to tell us about your overall funding environment and your experience of applying for a grant with us. Here is a quick summary of What you told us, What we have done (based on your feedback) and What we are doing for the future.

What you told us

About your operating environment

♦ 71% of respondents are experiencing increased demand for services, 56% are seeing significantly more demand.

♦ 86% of you are somewhat or very concerned about your ability to raise sufficient funds for the next 12 months.

♦ What you need are multiyear grants and core costs/unrestricted grants to provide sustainability.

About the Community Foundation Application Process

😀 Being able to talk to people is important – most people found a follow up phone call after application helpful and supportive. Those who did not receive a call were the most likely to have found the process difficult.

😐 You wanted more guidance on the application form questions – including examples of questions and answers.

😐 While some people like the change to themed rounds, there is concern over what this means for timing of grants.

☹️ You don’t want to keep having to tell us the same basic organisational information every time you apply.

What we have done (based on your feedback)

Updated our application forms

  • Created a repeat grant seekers form which doesn’t require all the basic information which has been provided before – this form will be sent to recent previous applicants.
  • Added examples of answers in each question in the online form to make it clearer what we are looking for.
  • Added a free text field to allow grant seekers to tell us what is important to them.
  • Committed to speaking to all grant seekers to clarify any questions.
  • Published updated, clearer eligibility criteria.

Increased opportunities to talk to us (see below)

  • Online Q&A sessions for quick answers.
  • One to one Funding Surgeries to discuss more complex concerns.

Maintain a minimum of four grant awarding periods per year

Increased opportunities to talk to us (see below)

✅ Publish clear dates when you will receive a decision on your application

What we are doing for the future

🟧 Reviewing and updating our website – to make it easier to understand our process and find supportive information.

🟧 Keeping a keen eye on the impact of changes to rounds and on our eligibility criteria – to ensure no unanticipated impacts.

🟧 Investing in our Grants IT – to allow more improvements to application forms and processes in the longer term.

🟧 Proactively talking about multiyear grants and core costs with our donors – to build the culture of support which meets your needs. Responses are positive so far.

Opportunities to speak with our Grants team!

We are here to support your group get through these challenging times and strengthen for the future. We offer regular Funding Surgeries via Microsoft Teams.

Funding Surgeries are 30-minute meetings in which you get to speak with one of our Grants Managers on a 1-to-1 basis, enabling you to ask specific questions relating to your organisation and funding needs. We can advise and guide you on the processes of the Community Foundation for Surrey. Booking is simple, and can be done through our website. Please click here for more details.

As well as the Funding Surgeries, we are offering Question and Answer sessions for our Wellbeing Round before the Expression of Interest deadlines. These will be group sessions, aimed at answering any questions you may have about the up and coming round. To book onto a session click a time slot to email us, please include your full name and organisation. We will send you the Zoom link two days before the event. Our upcoming dates are:

Discover more about Opportunities to talk to our Grants Team

Community Foundation for Surrey awards £81,309 to 13 community and voluntary organisations from Arts Council’s Let’s Create Jubilee Fund

12th April 2022

The Community Foundation for Surrey has announced 13 grants totalling £81,309 to voluntary and community organisations in Surrey from Arts Council England’s Let’s Create Jubilee Fund.

The Let’s Create Jubilee Fund will ensure that thousands of people from communities across England will have the opportunity to take part in exciting creative events – all in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee. From puppetry and story creation, through to making crowns, carnival and art trails, there will be a huge range of exciting activities for people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in.

Made possible thanks to National Lottery players, the Let’s Create Jubilee Fund has been administered by UK Community Foundations on behalf of Arts Council England. The programme is designed to help voluntary and community organisations develop creative and cultural events to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June.

The Community Foundation for Surrey is one of 44 community foundations awarding grants across the country on behalf of the Arts Council.

The grants will fund the following projects across Surrey to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June:

  • 6th Staines Scouts – Jubilee Wall Mural
  • Age Concern Merstham, Redhill & Reigate – Street Party
  • Amber Foundation – Glass Wall Tile Project
  • Brockham Emergency Response Team (BERT) – Brockham Troops the Colour
  • Dance Woking – Multicultural Jubilee Dance
  • South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Outreach Service – Creative Writing Sessions for children
  • Stanwell Events – Jubilee Community Celebration
  • Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum – Jubilee Fashion Show
  • Synergy Dance Outreach – Intergenerational Music and Dance
  • The Grange Centre for People with Disabilities – A Stitch in Time Celebration
  • Voices of Hope – Meaningful Memories
  • Westway Community and Well Being Centre – Jubilee Carnival Floats
  • Worplesdon Memorial Hall – Jubilee Street Party

Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum told us:

“As the nation rejoices and celebrates the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee it is important that ethnic minority communities have a place in this celebration through the lens of their own specific cultures. The Queen is respected and revered by people of all backgrounds and our project will have a lasting impact as it involves the creative labours of women and girls with the added perspective of being environmentally aware.”

Amber Foundation reveals how their artist will be working with young homeless people:

“Using our artist Lisa Pettibone’s favoured materials of glass and metal, Lisa will work with our young homeless people at Farm Place in Ockley in Surrey to produce a glass wall tile which will be displayed prominently in our communal dining room. Each resident will take part in a glass workshop with Lisa. The glass will reflect their troubled past, with aspects of platinum with foiling and mirrors to signify bringing hope for their future.”

Age Concern Merstham, Redhill & Reigate is planning a Jubilee party:

“The Queen and her family are very important to the majority of our members – the average age of our membership is 80+ so they have watched the Queen grow up. The street party will be a wonderful tribute to them and her as we organise a memorable celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.”

Worplesdon Memorial Hall is looking forward to their event:

“Worplesdon’s Jubilee Street Party will be a fun afternoon of celebration for a Monarch who has reigned longer than any other English Monarch and for an occasion that anyone is unlikely to see repeated in their lifetime. It is therefore intended to engage and educate the community in the history of the last 70 years through music, art, games, competitions and picnics in a rural setting within the Perry Hill Ward of Worplesdon.”

Nicola Bartlett, Grants Manager at the Community Foundation for Surrey told us:

“We are delighted to work with Arts Council England to help distribute the Let’s Create Jubilee Fund to voluntary and community organisations in Surrey. We received a large number of very high quality, exciting projects that both celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and at the same time help to address some of the issues facing people in Surrey.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive at Arts Council England said “The Let’s Create Jubilee Fund is a wonderful example of our ambition to give everyone the opportunity to participate in and experience the arts, culture and creativity – made possible thanks to National Lottery players. This June, we’ll see communities across England coming together to celebrate a historic milestone for this country. I’m excited to see these projects brought to life in villages, towns and cities across the country as our wonderfully creative communities celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.”

Rosemary Macdonald, CEO, UK Community Foundations, said: “For community foundations, people and places are the priority and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a unique opportunity for people to get together and celebrate in their communities. We are proud to have connected Arts Council England with local organisations whose imaginative and exciting projects and collaborations with professional artists will bring communities together to enjoy marking this milestone moment in our history.”

HM Queen Elizabeth II is the first monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, having overtaken Queen Victoria as the longest reigning monarch in 2015. Her reign has been marked by a commitment to public service, reflected by her extensive programme of engagements at home and abroad, and support for over 600 cultural organisations, charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations.

For more information please contact:

Nicola Bartlett, Grants Manager, Community Foundation for Surrey, Tel 01483 478091,              ,uk

Nathan Dean, Communications Officer, Arts Council England Tel: 0207 268 9648,                      

Surrey Young People’s Fund – 2021 annual report available now

4th April 2022

The Surrey Young People’s Fund supports 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 to improve their employment prospects.

Hot off the press! – the Fund’s 2021 annual report is available now. Discover more about how the Fund is helping young people in Surrey.


How the Fund supported young people in 2021

Analysis of grant recipients during 2021 shows how the Fund helped young people:

  • 50% of applications were in the category Educational under-achievers
  • 3% were Unemployed (or working less than 16 hours per week)
  • 69% were Aged 16 -18 and not in full-time or part time school or college education or work-based learning, such as an apprenticeship
  • 6% of grantees were Offenders/ex-offenders
  • 22% of grantees were In or leaving care 
  • 13% of grantees identified as having a disability
  • 41% of grantees identified as having a mental-health condition.
Nature of grants awarded

The average size of grant provided was £299 and support covered many areas, including:

• Course fees
• Equipment, materials, and tools
• Online learning
• Travel costs  – for education, training, or employment
• Work or training related clothing

Download the report to discover more about how the fund is helping young people in Surrey to improve their employment prospects.

Read more about the Surrey Young People’s Fund.

For more information, please contact Nicola Bartlett at

New Chair appointed at the Community Foundation for Surrey

18th March 2022

We are delighted to inform you of the appointment of Sir Denis O’Connor CBE as our new Chair, following Jim Glover OBE DL stepping down after a very successful term of office having joined us as Chair in September 2019.


Sir Denis currently supports the Community Foundation for Surrey as a Trustee, and officially starts his post as Chair today, 18th of March 2022 – at which point Jim will become a Vice President of the Foundation, continuing to support our strategic growth and development.

Denis has years of experience as a trustee for a number of charitable organisations, including the Migraine Trust and the Inclusive Educational Trust. He has also supported the Surrey Care Trust from 2015-17, and was appointed as Chair from December 2017 – July 2021.

Denis is a lecturer and advisor and member of the Committee at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. He was Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary between 2009-12. Prior to joining the Inspectorate in 2004, he was Chief Constable of Surrey between 2000 and 2004.

He received the Queens Police Medal for distinguished service in 1996, CBE in 2002, and was knighted in 2010.

“As Chairman I want to build on the Community Foundation for Surrey’s great record over the last 2 years in acting as a catalyst in attracting donations, to enable Surrey charities to help more local people.”

– Sir Denis O’Connor

The Board of Trustees and I have been hugely impressed with Denis and his deep understanding of, and empathy for, local issues and his commitment to our role at the Community Foundation for Surrey. I know you will join us in welcoming Denis into his new role.

Rebecca Bowden


The Surrey Young People’s Fund provides funding for young people to pursue their goals in education, training or employment.

8th March 2022

“My laptop has been a tremendous help, especially since having to do college work online in 2020. In my progress meeting with my teachers, they tell me I’m a top student and all my coursework is up to the standard. I couldn’t have done this well if I hadn’t received a laptop because it would have been impossible to do my coursework on my phone.”

– Surrey Young People’s Fund grantee

Read more at our blog by Nick Brooks, Chairman of the Surrey Young People’s Fund.

Jo, Sangeeta and Phil join our team

This month we are delighted to welcome three new members to our team.


Jo Cummins joins us as Funder Plus Manager and is responsible for running our volunteer programmes. Jo leads our Funder Plus initiative, which provides highly skilled and experienced volunteers to support organisations with advice and guidance in a range of critical business areas. 

Sangeeta Patel is our new Bookkeeper. Sangeeta provides support to our Director of Finance and works closely with our grants team to pay out each of our grants as they are awarded.

Phil Graham joins as Communications Officer with the brief to significantly raise our profile amongst key stakeholders and help us to position ourselves as the central platform for philanthropy and grant-making in Surrey. Phil will be delivering a planned programme of communications.


Our staff have specific areas of expertise and skills allowing us to be a versatile and dedicated organisation that works with both donors as well as community and voluntary groups in the county.

Discover more about our team.

Laura Thurlow is recognised in Her Majesty The Queen’s New Years Honours List 2022

5th January 2022

We’re delighted that Laura Thurlow, former Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) Chief Executive, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to the voluntary sector in Surrey, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

During her twelve and a half years at the Foundation, Laura’s last year was certainly the most challenging. As quickly as the virus spread, so did great devastation and urgency for emergency funding to support Surrey’s voluntary sector.

Under Laura’s leadership and sheer determination, the Foundation doubled its income, and was able to effectively distribute over £2.7 million of critical funding from the Foundations Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund to the inspirational charitable organisations providing direct support to those most impacted by the virus.

Congratulations Laura, so very well deserved!


Jim Glover, Chair, Community Foundation for Surrey:

“Everyone associated with CFS joins me in expressing our delight in the news that Laura’s considerable contribution to the organisation over many years has been recognised in such an appropriate manner. Having championed the development of our ambitious growth strategy, Laura then rapidly adjusted the initial implementation plans to ensure that we were able to successfully fulfil our role within Surrey’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The work of the Community Foundation has never been more important, with Surrey charities still struggling to navigate through the crisis. Many of the inequalities that already existed within the county have been exacerbated, and it is our job to work together to support the sector and continue with the excellent foundations Laura has put in place.

This wonderful award is also recognition of the superb collective efforts of the entire CFS family, and on behalf of the Board of Trustees, we would like to offer heartfelt thanks for their enduring support.”