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.”

SHEPPERTON STUDIOS COMMUNITY FUND LAUNCHES TO SUPPORT YOUTH AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT WITHIN SPELTHORNE

4th January 2022

Shepperton Studios has today launched a £500,000 community fund to support local individuals, non-profit and voluntary organisations including charities, social enterprises, and community groups. Working together with independent local charity, the Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS), the Shepperton Studios Community Fund will be distributed over ten years and will benefit the Shepperton area and wider borough of Spelthorne. Areas of focus include:

 

  • Youth Development – Initiatives that create opportunities for young people to develop their skills and support their long-term success particularly those designed to support initiatives in the fields of youth and community development with a focus upon education in and growth of screen based, media industries. For example, but not limited to, investing in facilities that will be used by young people, training programmes or summer school initiatives.

 

  • Community Development – Programmes that improve and strengthen the local community, including, but not limited to, the improvement of community facilities or community events as well as green initiatives aimed at reducing emissions and achieving net zero in the local area.

 

  • Supporting under privileged and disadvantaged individuals and communities – The Commitment will seek to make a real difference to individuals and communities who would otherwise have no opportunity or other source of funding in particular to applicants/initiatives which support the under privileged and/or disadvantaged.

The Fund forms part of the Studios’ Set For More programme which is a long-term commitment that focuses on creating opportunities for young people, investing in the local community and supporting underprivileged groups. This is in addition to the community benefits already pledged by Shepperton Studios as part of its plans to expand and improve the world-renowned facility.

 

Paul Golding, Chairman and Chief Executive, Pinewood Group said:

“We are delighted to be working together with the Community Foundation for Surrey to address critical areas of need and deprivation across Spelthorne through this new fund. We know that there are countless organisations across this part of the county doing incredible work in their local communities and it is an important part of Shepperton Studios’ community engagement strategy to support them with this vital investment.”

 

Conservative Borough Councillor for Laleham and Shepperton Green Cllr Maureen Attewell added:

“Shepperton Studios has always been a cornerstone of our community and we’re thrilled that our residents will benefit from this significant investment in local initiatives. The recent announcement of the expansion of Shepperton Studios is a huge boost for the local economy in Spelthorne and this £500,000 underpins its commitment over the next 10 years to help bolster local associations and groups, keeping our local community spirit thriving.”

 

In recent years, the Studios have supported the local community, charities and organisations by sponsoring and/or providing space and amenities for both physical and virtual events including the Spelthorne Means Business Awards, Surrey Youth Awards, Shepperton Big Tree Night, Shepperton Village Fair and Spelthorne in Bloom.

Shepperton Studios approached the Community Foundation for Surrey with the ambition to set up a fund that could draw on relevant experience and knowledge of existing projects in the local area. With this knowledge the CFS will make well-informed grant award decisions and oversee the implementation and monitoring of projects.

 

Rebecca Bowden, Chief Executive at the Community Foundation for Surrey said:

“We’re excited to be delivering the Shepperton Studios Community Fund to help bridge some of the gaps presented across young people and communities within Shepperton and surrounding areas. This funding will make a real and lasting difference to those within those communities who need it most. We are most grateful to Pinewood Group Limited for helping us to achieve this.”  

 

Application details

To apply for a grant from the Community Foundation for Surrey, applicants should visit: www.cfsurrey.org.uk/applyforfunding/

The first deadline for funding applications for the Shepperton Studios Community Fund will be in April 2022, with the first grant awards being made in July 2022.

Please note, grants will be awarded subject to meeting the Fund Criteria.

For general enquiries, please contact the Community Foundation for Surrey on 01483 478092.

 

Surrey County Council donate £200,000 to the Community Foundation for Surrey to support local charities seeking support this winter

23rd November 2021

Grants available to address urgent issues around the economic impact on our community  over the coming months.   

Independent local charity, the Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) is working together with Surrey County Council (SCC) to award grants to projects across Surrey in need of emergency and crisis funding. The purpose of the funding is to support an increased number of people facing poverty by strengthening community initiatives, including a focus on activity that helps address the root causes of food poverty.

The Surrey Community Fund (SCF), managed by CFS, has been in operation since 2006 and pools donations from local people and partners to address current and emerging needs in communities across the county. The £200,000 donation from Surrey County Council will enable the Foundation to efficiently distribute urgent emergency and crisis funding for grants relating to poverty during the period of 1 December 2021- 31 March 2022.

During December to March, the Foundation will not have a particular deadline for applications but will operate a rolling programme responding to Crisis.

Applications will be prioritised for projects dealing with urgent issues arising from what is anticipated to be a tough Winter, in particular:

  • Support for organisations tackling the impact of rising costs and falling benefits including crisis provision e.g. measures which improve the sustainability of food banks, or increase the ability of debt advisors to provide support.
  • Support for organisations that tackle the root causes of poverty.

Priority will also be given to initiatives that support those parts of the community that may have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19.

During this period, the Foundation will also accept emergency requests from previous grantees facing a financial crisis where a short-term award could help to bridge a gap with a view to implementing a sustainable solution.

The two Surrey organisations have an ongoing partnership, with SCC and CFS aligning on many initiatives in recent years to support Surrey residents.

Surrey County Councillor Mark Nuti Cabinet Member for Communities said:

“We made a pledge to “leave no one behind” and this latest funding is about enabling those organisations out in our communities to address critical areas of need and deprivation across Surrey. Our continued partnership with the Community Foundation Surrey is vital to ensure that we can get funds to those families and individuals that need it most.”

Since its establishment in 2005, CFS has been bringing together local donors with the local charities and voluntary groups delivering positive solutions to the many challenges within our communities. The Foundation, who works together with philanthropic individuals, families, businesses and charitable trusts, awards hundreds of grants each year to Surrey community groups tackling identified local needs.

Rebecca Bowden, Chief Executive at the Community Foundation for Surrey said:

Winter is a challenging time for families and individuals walking a financial tightrope and, with many funding schemes closed, and rising costs for fuel and food, the outlook for this winter is looking bleak. This funding will provide invaluable support to those within these communities who need it most. We are delighted to have such a strong partnership with SCC and we are most grateful to them for their generous and timely donation which we will use our knowledge and expertise to distribute quickly and effectively.”  

The Foundation knows through the applications it has received, that the impact of these issues is being felt greatly by local people, and the sector. 23,000 children already live in poverty in Surrey and spiralling food and fuel costs could mean a very uncomfortable winter for many. This support will enable organisations such as food banks, baby banks, debt advice services, homeless shelters and other services to help mitigate the impact on their beneficiaries.

Community groups and charities can apply for a grant using the details below. Some examples of what could be funded are:

  • To support organisations to access, store and distribute additional supplies of good quality food, including good food surplus, in particular, e.g. Purchasing fridges, freezers and cooking equipment.
  • Purchasing IT equipment to help facilitate a system of electronic referrals and contact with customers.
  • Development of projects such as social supermarkets, community cafes, lunch clubs and community cooking classes.
  • Development and strengthening food partnerships with a view to creating healthy, sustainable local food systems to help tackle food insecurity.
  • Providing specialist support for initiatives such as outreach work, training for volunteers and development of community hubs which co-locate a range of support services.
  • Skills workshops to enhance employment opportunities.
  • Provision of 1 to 1 debt advice and support to vulnerable clients.

Application details

Please note, grants will be awarded subject to applicants meeting the Community Foundation for Surrey’s eligibility criteria and the Fund Criteria.

For further information and to apply for a grant, applicants should visit: www.cfsurrey.org.uk/applyforfunding/

Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund Report

4th August 2021

Our new report has launched to share the outcomes of the financial aid delivered to the voluntary and community sector in Surrey through our Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund (SCRF). 

The SCRF launched to get emergency funding to where it was most needed, supporting charities to meet the increasing demand they were experiencing as the pandemic brought new challenges and to help them adapt and deliver their services remotely.

We were met with enormous generosity from local residents, companies and partners, and following an urgent appeal for donations, we were able to effectively distribute over £2.7 million in grants across Surrey – to support 225 organisations working on the frontline.

The report includes further statistics and outcomes from the Fund, including our grant-making by geographical area and to support critical themes of need. Information gathered through research and partnering with a range of local stakeholders, reveals the extreme challenges our county faced and where support was imperative.

We know that our SCRF was just the start of the journey and that there will be a long road to rebuild and recover our county. It is our hope that the community will come together once again in support to address the new and ongoing challenges arising across many areas of Surrey – the rise in children and young people’s mental ill-health, loneliness and isolation, and homelessness to name a few.

 

Kate Peters, Director of Grant-making at the Community Foundation for Surrey said:

“We are incredibly proud to share this report – to say a huge thank you for the resilience of the sector, and share stories from just some of the inspirational charities working tirelessly to support local people. While we celebrate what we have achieved together, we must not forget that the future of Surrey relies on what we do next. Our Surrey Community Fund is now our vehicle to ensure that longer-term sustainable recovery of the county is possible.”

 

The Surrey Community Fund will now assist charities and voluntary groups supporting local residents and communities to cope and find a long-term and sustainable pathway to recovery. The priority areas for funding will assist projects around health & wellbeing, education & training, promoting inclusion & overcoming disadvantage, and empowering communities.

 

Beccy Bowden, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Surrey said:

“The SCRF provided support to communities impacted by the virus at the most critical time, and we are most grateful to all of our local Donors and partners that have enabled this level of grant-making. But we know that the hard work is far from over. Many of the inequalities that already existed are now more prevalent, and new challenges have arisen that we could have never predicted. Now is the time to help us support Surrey to build back stronger.”

Find out more about how our Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund provided meaningful support to local people here!

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The Surrey Young People’s Fund secures further donations to support more of Surrey’s most disadvantaged young people!

3rd June 2021

Coming together in support of local young people

Established back in 2014, the Surrey Young People’s Fund (SYPF) launched to provide greater support for disadvantaged young people across the county, enabling them to gain access to training and employment opportunities. Since then, until the end of 2020, £110,000 has supported 464 determined young people, to assist them to move towards identified goals in education, training, apprenticeships, or employment.

A dedicated volunteer Panel, together with Community Foundation for Surrey staff, work to ensure the Fund supports those most in need. Small, but often lifechanging grants are awarded to young people aged 16-25, resident in Surrey, to support provision including laptops, work related clothing or training, course fees, travel costs and childcare.

Fast forward to 2020 and there is a multitude of further challenges for our young people as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. Financial hardship, school and college closures, a significant increase in mental health issues, and a lack of social opportunities have resulted in a tsunami of pressures for this demographic.

However, it is with grateful thanks to our generous local Community Foundation Donors, that the Surrey Young People’s Fund has received a further £45,000 in donations in 2020 – confirmation that the Fund can continue to support more young people through our grant-making programme! We are working to spread awareness of the Fund to enable more young people to be supported to reach their potential through education, training and employment.

If you would like to learn more about the Surrey Young People’s Fund, and how it is providing meaningful support to Surrey’s local young residents, please read the recently published SYPF Annual Review 2020 here!

Nick Brooks, Chair, SYPF said:

“I am delighted to share our report on the progress of Surrey Young People’s Fund in 2020, in what was a uniquely challenging year for the disadvantaged young people we support across the County, as well as for our Fund volunteers, referrers and funders. We are delighted to have been able to help as many young people as we have in our 6th year of operation, and I would like to thank all of our volunteers and donors who do so much to support young people move towards training and work.”

If you are a young person looking for support, please visit the SYPF webpage to find out more.

 

On behalf of us all at the Community Foundation for Surrey, thank you to everyone that is working to support young people at this critical time.

 

Sanctuary for Survivors

22nd April 2021

These services are a lifeline to those in our community for whom ‘home’ is the most dangerous place they can be.”

 

Domestic abuse charity, Your Sanctuary, has been providing lifesaving support to survivors of domestic abuse since 1977. Their dedicated team of staff and volunteers, based in Woking, offer protection, support and empowerment services to survivors and their children, and work towards breaking the cycle of domestic violence.

In Surrey, we know that there are an estimated 35,400 victims of abuse, with 3,300 children visible to services as living in homes where there is domestic abuse.

We also know, that on average 28 domestic abuse crimes are reported to Surrey Police everyday – yet many cases remain unrecorded due to a large number of victims not reporting these crimes.

Your Sanctuary provide a free and confidential support helpline service, and on-line chat service for survivors who find speaking on the phone challenging. This helpline is the only helpline that is available right across Surrey, and is the crucial first step for many, to explore what is happening to them.

On average, the helpline receives 400 calls per month for this vital service – which has dramatically increased since the pandemic began.

Your Sanctuary have found that over 80% of their callers say:

  • They understand more about their rights and options
  • They feel more confident to access other types of support
  • They understand more about domestic abuse and abusive behaviours

Coronavirus has raised public consciousness of the extreme fear and harm that survivors, both adults and children, are suffering all across the country.

 

Together with the Community Foundation

The Community Foundation for Surrey is a long-term supporter of Your Sanctuary, having awarded 19 grants to the local charity over the past 11 years.

Most recently, we have been delighted to support them at a time where it has never been more critical. Grants from our Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund have enabled the continuation of their online chat and helpline provision, as the surge in demand for these services amidst the pandemic, has stretched their team, and resources to the limit.

“These grants have enabled us to continue running our vital domestic abuse Surrey-wide helpline and online chat service. These services are often the only way survivors who are in lockdown with their abuser can reach out for support and information – they are a lifeline to those in our community for whom ‘home’ is the most dangerous place they can be.”

Fiamma Pather – Chief Executive, Your Sanctuary

Find out more about the Community Foundation’s work to address domestic abuse in Surrey here.

 

A life without fear

Across all of Your Sanctuary’s services, the charity works from a needs-led and strengths-based perspective to ensure that each client is treated as an individual and is provided with the most appropriate trauma-led emotional and practical support. Through building the self-esteem and confidence of each of their service users, they empower survivors to continue to live their lives free from fear and abuse.

To find out more about services provided by Your Sanctuary, please visit their website.

 

Announcing Dr. Beccy Bowden as Chief Executive!

9th April 2021

The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Beccy Bowden as Chief Executive, following the departure of Laura Thurlow after her long and successful career with the organisation.

Beccy is currently Chief Executive of Heathrow Community Trust and has extensive experience within the third sector, having previously been Chief Executive of SATRO for nine years.

A resident of Surrey, Beccy’s leadership record and understanding are further augmented by her non-executive experience. In addition to her current role as Board Chair at Headway Surrey, she is also a Trustee of Advanced Humanitarian Operational Solutions CIO, a Non-Executive Director at Providence Row Housing, and an Independent Custody Visitor at the Surrey Police & Crime Commissioner’s Office.

Beccy said: The Community Foundation for Surrey has a key role to play not just in re-building our community, but in helping to build better, stronger and above all more equitably. I look forward to using my skills and experience to help everyone associated with the Foundation to achieve this aim.”

Jim Glover, Chair of CFS, added: “The Board was very impressed with Beccy’s professional experience, her deep understanding of the importance of our role, and total commitment to our mission.

The Boards of Trustees of the Community Foundation and Heathrow Community Trust will work closely together in order to ensure a successful period of transition for both organisations.

Jim Glover OBE DL

Chair

 

Homelessness Webinar

15th March 2021

Our ‘Homelessness’ webinar

was part of our Hidden in Plain Sight series, bringing together local people and sector experts to find meaningful solutions to Surrey’s prevalent, hidden issues.

What we heard

Homelessness can affect anyone. We can at any time fall into homelessness due to a series of unfortunate events.

It is a complex and rising issue here in Surrey.

The Goal – to empower people to support those who are homeless, by educating them on the practical steps they can take, to together, find a solution to this issue locally.


‘Surrey Stats’ – Source, Surrey County Council

There is disparity in the current level of homelessness among Surrey’s district and boroughs, with Spelthorne and Epsom and Ewell presenting significantly higher rates (taken from Q3 2020).

The trend levels differ greatly across the county also, increasing the most between Q2 2019 and Q3 2020 in Woking, which is up 70.9%.

From July–September 2020 there were 324 households assessed to be homeless in Surrey. 779 households were considered to be either homeless or threatened with homelessness in the next 56 days.

Although these Government statistics are accurate according to estimation, we know from those working on the frontline that there is likely to be gaps in this data. Depending on how the data is captured – often it is just a snapshot in time, taken from one night of each year. This could be misleading as it could exclude those sofa surfing, homeless homeowners, or those with no recourse to public funds etc.


Housing inequality

Surrey is responsible for having huge housing inequality gaps across its wards. For many, this leads to crisis situations such as homelessness. We know that the median cost of renting a 2-bed flat in Elmbridge is £1,200 a month – almost double that for England as a whole which equates to £700 a month. (Source: ONS, Dec 2020)

Organisations such as Elmbridge Rentstart bridge this gap, providing and assisting in the provision of housing, advice, support and practical assistance, to support single homeless people who are not entitled to statutory support and are termed ‘non-priority.’ These individuals face multiple barriers such as lack of savings for deposits or rent in advance, physical and mental health issues, addiction problems, and unemployment.


The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on homelessness

Living without a home, rough sleeping or staying in temporary accommodation is very damaging for health. Homeless people often have many complex health issues, including tri-morbidity (the co-existence of physical and mental health and addiction problems).

Many of the measures aimed at the general population, such as self-isolation, increased hygiene, staying at home, strict social distancing, are not a realistic prospect for people experiencing homelessness.

https://epha.org/the-impact-of-the-covid-19-crisis-on-homelessness/ – March 2020


Where do we go from here?

When Covid-19 first hit, the ‘Everyone In’ Government Scheme helped get people off the streets and into temporary accommodation. This was a fantastic initiative to end rough sleeping. However, with the ongoing pandemic and funding running out, it is no surprise homelessness numbers are beginning to rise. It is critical we continue to support those affected by the issue, and the organisations assisting them, to ensure we do not lose the progress that has already been made.

There is real concern that local people could ‘fall through the net,’ and become destitute while they are awaiting support. Local organisations that the Community Foundation supports are experiencing stark demand for their already stretched services.

People are more at risk of homelessness now than ever, due to the economic fallout of Covid – thousands of people are experiencing loss of income due to losing their job, being Furloughed, or the difficulty they are having now accessing support from wider schemes, such as Universal Credit. This inability to retain affordable housing is leading to a rise in the number of rent arrears across the county. There is concern for when the eviction laws change in May 2021.

The Community Foundation for Surrey is committed to supporting homelessness across the county, working together with charities such as Transform Housing & Support, The Hope Hub and Elmbridge Rentstart to ensure the positive local solutions they are delivering, remain available for those most vulnerable within our communities.


Supporting someone who is homeless

 

Our speakers shared valuable insights into the practical steps you can take to support someone who is homeless.

  • Refer wisely Often people get bumped around different organisations, so finding a direct route for someone prior to referring them can make a huge difference to how they then interact with potential help. For example, if you think someone may be sleeping rough on a national level you can report it to Streetlink. Here in Surrey, there are a number of fantastic local organisations such as Transform Support & Housing providing county wide support.

 

  • Donate: time, money, expertise – Many organisations rely on the help of volunteers and there are far more ways to get involved than might come to mind. Perhaps helping in the CRISIS delivery side, to working in the kitchen, or if you prefer behind the scenes supporting administrative aspects. Equally, you are likely to have essential skills that could help transform lives. You could donate new and unused items such as toiletries, socks or underwear, as well as homeware items, food, bottled water, sleeping bags or flasks.

 

  • Be Kind Remember to show warmth and compassion to people experiencing homelessness. How we look (or do not look) at people, and our attitude towards people, can have a profound effect on their perception of their place in the world. While it is inadvisable to give money to people on the streets, it is certainly important to treat people with a genuine empathy and dignity – someone who has a place in society and is deserving of help.

More information on how you can support someone who is homeless can be found in our recent blog:

Seeing the person behind the statistics

You can help give Surrey hope by making a donation.

If you were inspired by what you heard and would like to help the Community Foundation support voluntary organisations which are assisting local communities to cope and find a long term and sustainable pathway to recovery following the pandemic, you can do so by making a donation into our Surrey Community Fund by contacting our Director of Philanthropy Claire Heath on claire@cfsurrey.org.uk or calling 01483 906383.

 

You can also add Gift Aid to your donation using our online Gift Aid Declaration form here!

A recording of our webinar is now available. 

Thank you to our inspiring speakers

Rentstart began nearly 20 years ago and over that time the charity has continuously reacted to tackle the ongoing issues that homeless people in Elmbridge face in gaining housing and rebuilding their lives.

Helen’s role as CEO is to make sure the charity is the best that it can be. For Helen, this means housing and supporting those who go to them for help with empathy and intelligence, and ensuring that staff feel supported to deliver their best work. She loves to see the real impact they deliver and enjoys talking with current and ex clients about how they are moving on with their lives.

Helen’s work is also about making sure that as a local charity, they can contribute to a larger arena, sharing their results and ideas with other organisations such as Crisis and Homeless Link.

 

Mags brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the housing, homeless and voluntary sectors. Having been a CEO of another homeless and vulnerable adults’ charity, The Hope Hub welcomes her expertise as they establish themselves as a professional service provider.

Mags is a qualified member of the Institute of Fundraising and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) encompassing Management and Leadership, Financial Control and Strategic Marketing.

Prior to leading the set up of The Hope Hub in December 2017, Mags carried out a 9 month independent Consultation for Surrey Heath Borough Council around Homeless Services. She was subsequently asked to proceed with the recommendation she set out and went on to set up the charity. Now in it’s 3rd year, The Hope Hub is providing a range of Crisis drop in and Empowerment Services.

The Hope Hub has remained open throughout the Lockdowns and in the period April – December 2020, supported 190 Clients who accessed services 6,979 times.

 

Find out more about our series of Hidden in Plain Sight webinars!

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THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR SURREY AWARDS OVER £87,000 TO DOMESTIC ABUSE CHARITIES

22nd February 2021

Local grant assists the surge in demand for support services for survivors of domestic abuse in Surrey

The Coronavirus Response Fund (CRF), established by the Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) to get urgent funding to local charities quickly, has awarded a significant grant to Surrey Domestic Abuse Partnership (SDAP), a formal partnership of four independent charities, that have come together to support survivors of domestic abuse across our county.

A total of £87,178 has been awarded – with funding from the CRF, together with the generosity of the Foundation’s local donors, and match funding from Surrey County Council. This funding will help these local charities meet the surge in demand for local domestic abuse support services as lockdown restrictions ease.

In Surrey, there are an estimated 35,400 victims of abuse. Since lockdown has lifted, the number of people calling Surrey Police for help has increased, with an 8% rise in the number of incidents being reported. On average, Surrey Police will record 28 domestic abuse crimes every day.

Michelle Blunsom MBE, Chief Executive of East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services says:

“Not only are domestic abuse services facing increased demand for services, but we are acutely aware of the way in which lockdown is impacting upon survivors and their children. The is a significant need not only to sustain services during the pandemic, but also resource them so they can deal with the physical, psychological and emotional trauma that being lockdown with an abuser will create. We are so grateful to the Community Foundation for Surrey and their partners for listening to our need and taking action at a time when this support has never been more of a lifeline.”

The Community Foundation for Surrey, which brings together local donors with those providing positive solutions to the issues facing Surrey, is working closely together with organisations across the county to identify crucial areas where the support within our community is most needed.

The Coronavirus Response Fund gives priority to voluntary organisations providing support to the most vulnerable and isolated. The Fund has two ‘phases’ of funding – with larger Phase 2 grants supporting groups now seeing a tsunami of need for their services. Since its establishment on the 26th March, the local Fund has grown to just under £2 million thanks to the generosity of local individuals, families and Surrey partners. This funding has enabled the Foundation to effectively distribute over £1.4 million to 190 local groups in need of vital support.

A domestic abuse survivor and campaigner says:

“Leaving an abusive relationship is the hardest and bravest decision a survivor can make. Rapid access to services such as the Surrey Domestic Abuse partnership is essential to ensure our physical and emotional well-being. Survivors need support whilst living in these conditions in addition to preparing for, and leaving, if and when that is possible. The incredible generosity of the Community Foundation for Surrey through their Coronavirus Response Fund will enable the Surrey Domestic Abuse Partnership to not only meet the increased demand they now face, but ensure sustained support and provision for survivors and their children.”

Other partnerships that have benefitted from the CRF Phase 2 funding are:

  • A group of 8 Surrey charities led by young people’s charity, Eikon have been awarded £50,000 to help deal with the expected 30% rise in referrals for children and young people’s mental health support services.
  • Over £58,000 was awarded to Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid to furnish and equip a new local Refuge which will provide a place of safety for up to 20 families fleeing domestic abuse.

The Community Foundation for Surrey knows that early positive action makes all the difference for many vulnerable people, and is urging Surrey residents to continue to donate to the Coronavirus Response Fund so those who feel the effects of the pandemic more severely and for longer can continue to access much needed support.

Laura Thurlow, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Surrey says:

“With the generosity of our community, our Coronavirus Response Fund has helped hundreds of voluntary groups quickly navigate the sudden challenges of lockdown. We have listened to the needs of our charities every step of the way, and the issues we have identified call for us to come together to meet the imminent surge in demand. This is a crisis that continues to require solutions and we’re urging Surrey residents to get involved and donate.”

To donate, please contact Laura Thurlow at the Foundation on 01483 478092, or visit: virginmoneygiving.com/fund/surreycoronavirusfund