Top 10 tips to remember when applying for a grant

2nd May 2023

We’ve asked our Director of Grant Making, Kate Peters, to share her Top 10 tips that applicants can put into practice when applying for a grant.  

The first thing of course is to get in touch by completing an Expression of Interest – this is a short form  where you can tell us about your funding needs.

From this information, our grants team can advise you if there is a match with one or more of our family of donor funds. If there is a good match, we will invite you submit a full application. This helps us to save your time and means that currently up to 75% of full applications are successful.

If you want to be in the 75%, putting together a good application is vital for your success.

Here are Top 10 tips to remember when applying for a grant.

  1. Get your governance sorted – do you have a financial policy and safeguarding policy? Is your Trustee board supportive and knowledgeable? No one chooses to work in a charity because they like admin, but ensuring you have your ‘ducks in a row’ is vital for your success and securing support from Trusts and Foundations.
  2. Plan your project – if you have taken time to plan and review your work applying for funding will be easy. You will have all the answers!
  3. Understand and explain the need– one of the challenges facing groups seeking funding in Surrey is the lack of awareness of the needs hidden in our community. Make sure you tell us how you know there is a real need for your work.
  4. Explain the difference you will make – what difference will what you do make to the lives of the people you support? Being able to describe things will be better because of your work is the magic which will make our donors want to support you.
  5. Consider the impact! – how will you know if it is working? Show how you will measure the difference you are making. Start small – don’t collect arbitrary data and keep learning at the heart of the process.
  6. Answer the questions – application forms are not fun but the questions on the form will give you a clue as to how the Funder will make decisions about who to fund.  Make sure you answer the questions, just like in an exam!
  7. Keep it simple – remember your reader does not know your project. What is obvious to you may be a surprise to a donor, so keep it simple and clear, no jargon or acronyms.
  8. Tell your story – no numbers without stories, no stories without numbers – a case study can be the most compelling element of your application, back it up with evidence, and you are on to a winner.
  9. Proof-read you application – get someone else to read your application before you hit submit, preferably someone who doesn’t know your project as well as you. They will spot any errors.
  10. Speak from the heart – you can connect with donors by putting your unique, human voice into your application.

Discover more about our Applying for funding.

Spotlight on domestic abuse

20th October 2022

What Is domestic abuse?

“Domestic abuse can be defined as a pattern of behaviour in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviours that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. It can occur within a range of relationships including couples who are married, living together or dating. Domestic abuse affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Survivors of domestic abuse may also include a child or other relative, or any other household member.” (1)

Domestic abuse in Surrey  

  • An estimated 35,400 people experience domestic abuse in Surrey. (2)
  • 15% of all crime in Surrey is domestic abuse. (3)
  • Almost 1 in 3 women aged 16 to 59 will experience domestic abuse during their lifetime. (3)
  • Two women per week were killed by a partner or previous partner during the year ending March 2019, and 1 in 6 women experienced domestic abuse during the same period. (3)
  •  The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the risk for survivors of domestic abuse, with many vulnerable people still living with their abusers. Domestic abuse charities have seen a 60% rise in the average number of monthly contacts since the start of 2020 (4) (BBC 23 March 2021).
  • The cost to the public purse of domestic abuse in England and Wales was estimated to be approximately £66bn in the year ending March 2017, including services, lost workdays, police, ambulances, hospital care etc. (3)
  • By March 2021, Your Sanctuary had recorded a 31% increase in calls to their support helpline, compared to the previous financial year. Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre (RASAC) and Your Sanctuary recorded a 200% increase in calls to their helplines in last 12 months, and RASAC has a 2-year waiting list for counsellors. (5)
  • August 2020 – On average, Surrey Police recorded 28 domestic abuse crimes   every day (3)

Supporting charities to combat domestic abuse

We are proud to fund hundreds of community groups across Surrey every year. In 2020-201, this totalled more than £4.3 million. We work in partnership with our donors to fund a range of needs and themes, including domestic abuse. We are incredibly proud to support so many vital groups across Surrey, who work hard to make our community a better place.

Here are some of the organisations that are benefiting from generous contributions from our donors Click on each organisation to visit their website.

Your Sanctuary

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.

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

*Read the full story


I Choose Freedom (formerly Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid)

I Choose Freedom accommodate and support survivors in four refuges across Surrey.

Acting on the urgent calls from community groups, like I Choose Freedom and Your Sanctuary, Surrey County Council, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), the Community Foundation for Surrey partnered to create a new building for survivors of domestic abuse.

Extraordinarily, in the span of four weeks, a building provided by the Council has been fitted with all the benefits of home:

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves really to get it open [for when lockdown ended] because I wanted to be open for when women may have their first opportunity to escape”… “I stayed in a refuge years ago. My son was seven when we went, and I remember him being terrified of this big old building that we stayed in. He wouldn’t even go to the bedroom on his own. So I know that women need to arrive somewhere that feels homely and that makes them feel safe.”

Charlotte Kneer, Chief Executive, I Choose Freedom

Read the full story


South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Outreach Service

South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Outreach Service provides free, confidential, independent and impartial advice to anyone aged 16 or above affected by domestic abuse living in the boroughs of Waverley and Guildford.

The services provided by the team include specialist support for survivors, children and young people. The support is designed to help survivors and their children remain safe and build a positive future, regardless of their circumstances.

Experiencing domestic abuse (including witnessing or being exposed to it) can have a huge impact on the mental health of a survivor. The service saw a 52% increase in the number of referrals since the start of the Covid pandemic and the degree of trauma in adults and young people impacted by domestic abuse has been exacerbated. Thanks to grants awarded by the Community Foundation for Surrey, South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Service has been able to expand their provision of counselling services for adult survivors and mental health support for children.

“The counselling and mental health support we are able to offer is hugely beneficial to survivors and their children and this would not have been possible without the generous funding we received.” 

Cath, Chief Executive, South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Service

Read case study (external site)


The Community Foundation for Surrey also supports East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services (ESDAS)  and North Surrey Domestic Abuse Services (NSDAS).


Interested in becoming a donor to combat domestic abuse?

The Community Foundation for Surrey is an independent charitable foundation, that brings together local donors with voluntary organisations providing positive solutions to the many challenges within our communities including domestic abuse.

To enquire about ‘Becoming a donor’, please email us at

If you wish to speak to one of our team:

Contact Zoe Coltart, Fund Development Manager, 01483 958307,

Contact Amy Lee, Fund Development Manager, 01483 906383, 

Read more about the Community Foundation for Surrey



1. United Nations:

2. Surrey Police via Crime Stoppers:

3. Michael More-Molyneux and the Lieutenancy Focus Group on Domestic Abuse half day conference, Tuesday 28th September 2021:

4. BBC 23 March 2021.

5. Community Foundation for Surrey End of Grant reports via RASC and Your Sanctuary

GUEST BLOG: Estate planning and charitable giving

4th October 2022

Estate planning and charitable giving: The two can go hand in hand and be mutually beneficial for all concerned.


The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus how precious the freedoms we have are and, for many of us, our own health and mortality, leading to a review of many individuals’ estate planning.

A good deal of charities saw their income drastically reduce during the pandemic as fundraising activities were limited and individuals were understandably concerned about their own financial position at an uncertain time.

Post-pandemic, the ‘cost of living crisis’ is now really beginning to impact and it will almost certainly have a bearing on charities’ incomes going forward as many people tighten their purse strings once more.

This makes the importance of charitable giving within the context of estate planning even more important at this time, to enable charities to continue their vital work.

Estate planning: An overview of charitable gifting

Through various means over the years, the Government has sought to encourage charitable gifts in lifetime and charitable bequests under Wills by providing a range of tax reliefs to an individual or their estate.

Lifetime relief on charitable donations

In terms of lifetime planning, there is Gift Aid on donations, which enables charities to claim an additional 25 pence for each pound donated for a basic rate income tax payer.  For higher or additional rate income taxpayers, the additional difference can be claimed via that individual’s Self-Assessment Tax Return or by asking HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to amend their tax code.

Gifts to a qualifying charity are free of inheritance tax and, in most cases with the right care depending on the non-cash asset being given, free of capital gains tax too (for example, if shares are gifted to a charity and these are then sold by the charity rather than create a capital gains tax issue for the individual when the shares are sold in their hands and then the cash proceeds are donated).

Gifting on death

For many individuals it is impossible to know exactly what you will need during lifetime in terms of assets and income, and this means that making provision on death for a charity via a Will is the best way to pass on larger cash sums or assets.

There are also inheritance tax reasons why leaving part of your estate to charity on death can be advantageous.

Firstly, the value passing to charitable from an individual’s estate is exempt from inheritance tax in the same way as a lifetime gift.

Secondly, if more than 10% of an individual’s net estate is left to charity on death, then the rate of inheritance tax applied to the remainder of the estate is 36% rather than the usual 40%.   Great care is needed to ensure an estate qualifies for this reduced rate of tax and the charity meets the criteria (most registered charities in the UK and EU will).

Mutually beneficial

Whether a gift is made during lifetime or on death, as part of careful estate planning it is possible to ensure that larger sums donated to charity pass tax free towards supporting valuable charitable work and it can also be tax efficient for the individual concerned for the reasons outlined above.

The exact nature and benefit of tax relief(s) will depend on an individual’s personal circumstances.  For the sake of the individual involved and the charity or charities benefitting, expert advice should be taken to ensure that the tax relief(s) for both parties will apply and are maximised when larger sums are involved.

As we come out of the pandemic and the cost of living soars, estate planning will be an important element in enabling individuals to continue to help charities weather the storm in difficult economic times by maximising what a charity receives in a tax efficient manner.

If you would like to discuss further, then please do contact us.

Dan Milano

Senior Associate, Private Wealth Team, Moore Barlow  Tel 01483 543210


About Moore Barlow

Moore Barlow is one of the UK’s leading law firms, focused primarily on meeting the needs of private individuals & families, owners and leaders of fast-moving organisations and businesses, and people whose lives have been affected by serious accidents. major trauma or clinical negligence.

With 70 partners, 272 lawyers and legal professionals, and a total staff of nearly 500, Moore Barlow has offices in Southampton, Guildford, Woking and Lymington, as well as two locations in London (Richmond and the City).

At Moore Barlow, we focus on helping entrepreneurs and leaders of businesses and organisations, and private individuals and families through the opportunities, the challenges, and the sometimes life-altering circumstances that may come your way.

For us, it is all about starting a conversation and building a relationship between people who care about the outcome, rather than just between a ‘firm’ and a ‘client’. By understanding what’s at stake for you, be that as a business, organisation or as an individual, we can apply a personalised approach and the highest standards of care, so you get the best outcome for your specific needs.

In the commercial world, we help entrepreneurial businesses thrive in the long-term, and we also support individuals and families protect and transfer their wealth. Your immediate need is part of a complex whole. So we always assess the full context, making sure that we understand everything that’s going on in your life. Only by doing this can we make sure the solution fits the big picture and helps you achieve your long-term goals.

Putting our clients first

We don’t simply do the job in a vacuum, in the same way each time. Instead, we think about the best way for each individual person we’re advising. Often, you will need advice from different people in our firm who bring their expertise and experience to bear. Our firm is the right size to make this happen: we all know each other and work with each other all the time, so everything is coordinated and efficiently run. You’ll get a seamless team working on your behalf.

We know that your plans and aspirations are long-term. So our advice always takes this into account. We also build teams who work together so you will get to know us over time. You can only get the best advice within a long-term relationship and this is very much our bread and butter.

At Moore Barlow we are like you. We have our own dynamic growth business to run, and we too have families to support. This, combined with years of experience, means we completely ‘get’ what you need from advisors like us.

We are also proud of our open and communicative culture, which means you always know what’s going on and where you are in the process.

Read more about Moore Barlow

Disclaimer: This information is for guidance and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking full legal advice.


Interested in partnering with the Community Foundation for Surrey?

We work with clients to help them to plan their legacy giving in a way that will continue to support local communities long after the original gift is given. Read more. For an informal chat about legacy giving, please contact:

Amy Lee, Fund Development Manager

01483 906383, 


We also work with Professional Advisors such as Solicitors, Accountants, Financial Advisors and Wealth Managers to provide advice and support relating to the philanthropic needs of your clients. Read more.

To discuss partnering with us, please contact us at


Too many people, especially children, will be living in poverty in Surrey this winter.

20th September 2022

Winter poverty is the catastrophe about to happen for many people struggling to meet the cost of high energy bills this winter. 

Surrey is often thought of as one of the best places to live in the UK. However, there is a hidden side to Surrey, unknown to many, with pockets of deprivation and places of hidden need. Too many people, especially children, are living in poverty in the county.

From Aug 2020 – Aug 2021, the Community Foundation for Surrey experienced a 400% increase in grants awarded to support poverty and disadvantage compared to previous years.  

  • 23,000 children in Surrey are impacted by income deprivation. In the worst affected areas, parts of Westborough ward (Guildford), and Walton North ward (Elmbridge), over 40% are affected. (1).
  • 8% of Surrey’s older people are affected by income deprivation. In the worst affected areas, parts of Goldsworth East and Maybury & Sheerwater wards (both in Woking), over 40% are affected. (1) 
  • Life expectancy is 5.8 years lower for men and 4.7 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Surrey, compared to the least deprived areas. (2.) 
  • Research in 2022 shows that “It is clear that poverty and child poverty in particular, has been rising in every district and borough in the county for the past five years.”  (3.) 
  • In 2022 “Research into the experience of residents found that various new ‘regrettable strategies’ have emerged: parents cutting back on food (61%), skipping meals (26%), not replacing children’s shoes (19%) and winter coats (14%), and using debt to make ends meet (80%).” (3.) 
Please donate to our Winter Poverty Fundraising Campaign.

We are delighted that Surrey County Council is supporting our Winter Poverty Campaign this year with a pledge to match fund any donations up to £130,000. This means that for every £10 you donate, it will be doubled to £20.

Winter poverty is the catastrophe about to happen for many people struggling to meet the cost of high energy bills this winter. Your donation will be put towards awarding grants to local organisations that are actively helping those in poverty in our county through food banks, community fridges, warm hubs, baby banks, debt advice, energy advice and other urgent help.With your kind support, together we can combat poverty this winter in our community. There are two ways you can help:

Make a donation online (click on this link)

If you are eligible to receive either the Winter Fuel Payment or the Energy Rebate and you are in the fortunate position of being able to manage without it, please donate the money so that we can use it to award grants to organisations who are providing urgent help to those in economic crisis. Donate now (click on this link)

Become a Donation Partner

We are also looking for Donation Partners to pledge £1,000 each to help us reach our Winter Poverty Campaign target of £100,000. To become a Donation Partner, please contact us to arrange a meeting or a call by Zoom. Email and we’ll get back to you to discuss the options available.

You can also discover more at our website including options for individuals and families, businesses and corporates, Legacy and Memory Funds, and information for Professional Advisors about how best to support their clients to help now, when it is most needed  – Give to your community

Discover how we help to alleviate winter poverty

We are proud to fund hundreds of community groups across Surrey every year. In 2020-201, this totalled more than £4.3 million. We work in partnership with our Donors to fund a range of needs and themes, including helping to alleviate winter poverty. We are incredibly proud to support so many vital groups across Surrey, who work hard to make our community a better place. Here are some of the organisations that are benefiting from generous contributions from our Donors to help to alleviate winter poverty – click on each organisation to visit their website and to discover more.

Voices of Hope 

Funding towards a healthy food delivery box – for families in Elmbridge living in poverty. 

Mid Surrey Community Fridges 

Support towards the staff cost and van maintenance of a food delivery service to the isolated and elderly living in Mole Valley, and also a community fridge. 

St Andrew’s Church, Goldsworth Park 

Help with funding towards a community café which enables the vulnerable in the community to eat for free, at a church based in Woking. 

Stoneleigh Job Club 

Support towards the essential running costs of a job club that is available to those living in Epsom and Ewell. 

Leatherhead Community Hub 

Funding towards the salary of a Cafe and Events Manager for a new Community Cafe and Hub in a deprived area to improve community cohesion and tackle disadvantage. 

GoRendang CIC 

Help through funding to enable long-term unemployed people to access training and experience, whilst also providing services for vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalised people in Woking.


(1) Surrey-i, 2017. “Economy, Employment and Deprivation.” 

(2) Surrey Public Health Profiles, 2019.   

(3) Surrey County Council Report to Cabinet on Child Poverty, Jan 2022. 

Game, Set and Match!

30th August 2022

Thank you to Richmond Lawn Tennis Club for their fundraising tournament


In May this year I was invited to attend the Club’s annual fundraising tournament which raised funds for our Surrey Sports Fund – a fund that supports people to access sport who otherwise might be prevented due to disability or economic disadvantage.

It was a blistering hot day and the intrepid tennis players raised £1,200 which has now been used to award a grant to the Kinetic Foundation to run October Half Term Sports Projects in the east of Surrey (Redhill & Preston). This charity will be running engaging and active sport sessions for 6-12 year old children giving activity for up to 100 young people this autumn. The sports offered will be varied, from football and cricket to netball and athletics, making sure that young people get the opportunity to try new sports and take part, socialise and learn with new friends in a fun and safe environment. The sessions will be free and open to all. Kinetic Foundation will link with children services and Raven Housing to target specific families, who otherwise would not be able to participate in this type of activity.

If you’re involved in a Surrey sports club and would like to raise funds for the Surrey Sports Fund, please do get in touch – email:

As Richmond Tennis Club said to me, “We couldn’t have asked for a better use of the money”‘.

Rebecca Bowden
Chief Executive
Community Foundation for Surrey


A stand out year for the ‘Social’ in ESG investing

24th May 2022

The end of the last decade brought with it one of the most difficult years for investors of all hues, but it marked a watershed moment for ESG investing, which moved firmly from the periphery to centre stage.

The E (environmental) has been prominent for several years, but it was the S (social) which had the stand out year, also resulting indirectly in greater focus being given to the G (governance).

The pandemic has clearly highlighted the social inequities and injustice that exist within the current global financial and economic system. For example there has been no shortage of scrutiny on global supply chains, with several industries rocked by high profile cases of labour exploitation, including within the fast fashion, FinTech and industrial materials sectors.

  1. It’s time to put people at the heart of investment decisions

The rise in prominence of social issues has meant that investors are now putting more difficult questions to companies on important issues such as labour and business relations, minimum wage, employee training and development and welfare. Human capital, long absent from balance sheets, is now being recognised on par with other more tangible items such as plant equipment and machinery. This will prove vital as the global economy rapidly moves into its next phase; increased digitalisation, which in no small part has been accelerated by the pandemic. The need to recruit, develop, train and retain human capital will be at the core of resilient business models. This augurs well for ESG investors who give such focus to social issues over the next decade and beyond, where the human capital will not only be a key innovator, but also an important driver of consumer behaviour.

  1. Engagement with companies remains key

As the pandemic has changed the way we eat, drink, socialise, exercise, travel, learn and work in a profound and lasting way, this same impact has been felt by many companies; businesses have had to perform a dramatic shift in how they engage with their employers, suppliers, customers and investors. For the latter group, it has provided an opportunity for responsible and sustainable investors to reinforce the benefits of using an ESG criteria; when making key decisions on investing in companies, but also importantly when engaging with companies on ESG issues and on divesting from unsuitable names. Investors have never had such opportunity to engage with company management on a wide variety of ESG issues, and this new and improved alignment of both stakeholders should help to deliver long-term investment returns to shareholders over the coming decade.

  1. Could this be the next ‘roaring 20s’?

Rapid digitalisation across a wide range of industries, from traditional cyclical parts of the economy to the newly emerging sub-sectors remains a key catalyst for ESG investors to watch. The “roaring” 1920s were spurred on by the rapid uptake of electrification in then newly emerging industries and there is every possibility that rapid digitisation by all parts of the current economy will lead to another “roaring 20s” in this next decade. A more engaged consumer has led to greater changes in consumption patterns, driven in large part by these digital tailwinds. There are now a diverse range of providers in the market place allowing investors a greater choice in terms of investment style and philosophy. It also brings about increased awareness of responsible and sustainable investing, and adds further momentum to ESG investing in the medium to long-term.

  1. You don’t need to give up performance to keep your values

The performance of ESG funds during the pandemic was another highlight for the sector, with 1 in 5 of all 1st quartile funds in the UK All Companies sector being screened. The performance story is also strong over the longer time horizon, which will help to fight off the age old misguided criticism levelled against ESG funds, where investors were forced to give up performance to keep their values. That whole myth has well and truly been debunked.

  1. The future looks bright for ESG investors

Suffice to say, 2022 heralds the start of an exciting new era for the industry, driven by more active and engaged participants entering the market.

About Eden Tree

EdenTree are proud to be part of the Benefact Group – a charity owned, international family of specialist financial services companies that give all available profits to charity and good causes. We are a responsible and sustainable investment manager with a strong heritage of delivering Performance with Principles. Read more about Eden Tree.


About the Community Foundation for Surrey

The Community Foundation for Surrey is a philanthropic charity, who for over 15 years has been bringing together local donors and those acting to provide positive solutions in our communities for local people.

Interested in partnering with us?

Please email us at

If you wish to speak to one of our team:

Contact Zoe Coltart, Fund Development Manager

01483 958307,



FUND IN FOCUS: What is a Corporate Fund?

29th March 2022

The Community Foundation for Surrey partners with a number of businesses, small and large, to ensure their community donations get to where they are most needed in Surrey. Setting up a Corporate Fund is a tremendous opportunity for companies to be more socially responsible and to help their communities through corporate philanthropy. At the same time companies with successful corporate philanthropy strategies receive impactful benefits not only for their brand and their workforce, but also for their bottom line as their reputation in enhanced in the mind of their customers (1).

The SES Water Community Fund is one of our range of Corporate Funds and in this article we’ll look at the background and the impact that the Fund is making to the lives of people in the region.

The SES Water Community Fund

SES Water supplies 160 million litres of clean water every day to over 735,000 people in parts of Surrey, Kent and south London. Their supply area is 322 square miles extending from Morden and South Croydon in the north to Gatwick Airport in the south and from Cobham, Leatherhead and Dorking in the west to Edenbridge in the east. Importantly, SES Water doesn’t just supply water, its customers expect the Company to make a valuable contribution to its communities too, and one of the ways it does this is through its Community Foundation for Surrey Fund which was first set up in 2019.

Helping people most in need

The Community Fund gives SES employees the chance to get involved in making decisions about which grants are awarded locally

The fund awards grants twice a year in July and January and focuses on projects within the area of SES Water operations to the east of Surrey. Since it was set up it has awarded over £90,000 of funding to local groups working on the following issues:

  • Young People – supporting positive opportunities for young people to gain confidence and raise aspirations through training and the development of new skills.
  • Vulnerable people – supporting families in need and older people through local projects which combat social isolation and disadvantage.
  • Environment – supporting community environmental projects (such as, for example, community gardens), including conservation and restoring wildlife habitats.
How the SES Community Fund is making a difference

Here are three organisations that have benefited from the SES Community Fund.

Volunteer It Yourself

Volunteer It Yourself combines DIY and volunteering by challenging young people aged 14-24 to help repair and refurbish youth and community facilities, while learning vocational trade skills on the job. VIY participants are mentored by local professional tradespeople and can work towards and gain Entry Level City & Guilds trade skills accreditations. The majority of young people who take part are disengaged or excluded from mainstream education and training, and/or unemployed.

CEO of Volunteer It Yourself, Tim Reading, said:

“VIY is very grateful for SES Water’s funding of our work via the Surrey Community Foundation. Through this support SES Water has enabled the refurbishment and improvement of two valued community facilities – Merstham Cricket Club and the Amber Foundation Residential Centre in Ockley. It has enabled 34 young people to gain hands-on work experience and training in construction, half of whom have successfully achieved an Entry Level City & Guilds Accreditation through taking part. The vast majority of these young people were not in education, employment or training upon joining VIY, and so through its support SES Water has helped some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Surrey to boost their skills and employability. 

“SES Water’s support has also helped unlock further match funding from Sport England, Travis Perkins and Dulux across these two refurbishment projects.”

Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell

Citizens Advice is a network of independent, local charities that helps people resolve the problems they face in life. It provides information and advice to everyone who needs it, and influences government and organisations to bring about changes in policies and laws that affect people’s lives.

Chief Executive Officer for Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell, Lisa Davis, told us about the impact of the funding:

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant that will greatly impact upon the lives of those with severe and enduring mental health conditions. The funding will ensure that they have access to the advice and information needed to obtain entitled benefits, manage their finances and avoid homelessness – leading to them feeling less stressed and better able to cope.”

Abigail’s Footsteps

Abigail’s Footsteps is a Baby Bereavement Counselling charity in Redhill that provides support and specialist counselling for bereaved parents and families. Grief is intolerable following the death of a baby, and mothers are at risk of experiencing post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression. This project offers parents six free specialist baby loss counselling sessions.
Research shows that counselling can significantly make a difference to grieving couples by supporting and improving mental and emotional wellbeing of parents and the rest of the family. If parents have living children, it is vital to explore the impact of baby loss on the family unit. Even if a sibling is a toddler, young children sense ‘something is wrong’, it is common to see a change in their behaviour because of this. Counselling can help parents strike a balance with acknowledging and mourning the lost baby without overshadowing the living child.

Here is some feedback from Faye Hill, Head of Operations & Events for Abigail’s Footsteps:

“Thanks to the SES Water fund we have extended our baby loss counselling programme into Surrey. With their help we can now support 12 families who have experienced a late miscarriage, stillbirth or neo-natal death by delivering over 80 individual sessions. The outcome we want to see from this programme is for all bereaved families to receive specialist bereavement support designed specifically for them from qualified experts. This in turn will ensure a more cohesive family unit where all family members can support each other.”

Reference (1) San Diego Foundation, 2021

Interested in becoming a donor?

To enquire about ‘Becoming a donor’, please email us at

If you wish to speak to one of our team:

Contact Zoe Coltart, Fund Development Manager

01483 958307,


Contact Amy Lee, Fund Development Manager

01483 906383, 




FUND IN FOCUS: What is a Legacy Fund?

21st March 2022

The Community Foundation for Surrey has the honour of administering several funds that have been provided as a legacy in memory of someone to whom Surrey was once home. Legacy funds are an important way of giving that make a contribution to future generations. The Dora Fedoruk Fund is a fitting memorial.


Dora Fedoruk’s life

Dora was a remarkable lady whose legacy is still having a profound impact on the county she lived in. An outstanding scholar gaining a master’s degree in just one year at UCL before the war, she was very much in evidence during the war in home defences and after the war helping with the Polish refugee situation by giving a temporary home to many. She worked with Oppenheimer’s team in London as a chemical assistant and met her husband Jan Fedoruk on the London Underground after realising they both worked at the same firm – Peak Frean & Co Biscuits.

With little or no money, she and Jan built up a farm in Grayswood near Haslemere, Surrey, a hard-working life dominated by their animals. Their farm was very much a working farm both livestock and arable (surviving two bouts of the dreaded ‘foot and mouth’) and she was still tending cattle well into her eighties despite having had two hip replacements! At the same time her farm was open house to the community. She was generous to a fault in helping others. Her philosophy would embrace those in hardship as well as work involving animals and their protection and rescue.

Her nephew Adrian is still involved in the fund and in memory of his aunt’s determination to help refugees we have recently awarded funding to YMCA East Surrey towards the translation of a welcome pack for unaccompanied asylum seeking children into various different languages for residents at Hillbrook House which offers secure and affordable accommodation to young people aged 16-30 in housing crisis. Currently around half of the beds are being used to provide emergency or long-term accommodation to Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children, who are aged 16-17, seeking asylum from persecution and have no responsible adult to care for them.

What does the fund support?

The Dora Fedoruk fund awards grants four times a year and likes to support small grassroots groups working with:

People who are facing hardship or who are at a time of need or crisis, for example people suffering from domestic abuse or from drug or alcohol addiction;

• Young people to increase their opportunities, skills and confidence;

• People who are homeless; and

• People in need of help being supported with the assistance of animals

  • Disabilities

“Working with the Community Foundation for Surrey makes it easy to continue the legacy of my aunt, they help me by researching and identifying local organisation who are really reaching those most in need. A lot of need is hidden in Surrey and the Community Foundation help to shine a spotlight on where my Aunt’s legacy can make the most impact”.Adrian , Nepthew of Dora Fedoruk

How this fund is making a difference

Here are just two of the charities that have been awarded grants by the Dora Fedoruk fund:

Your Sanctuary

Funding toward the essential running costs of a charity that provides support services to women who have been affected by domestic violence in Surrey. Your Sanctuary provides refuge, outreach and helpline support services and has seen a 200% increase in demand during the lockdown periods.


Funding towards providing loans to homeless clients. The project enabled us to loan client’s the Rent In Advance (RIA) to our client group, without this they are unable to access the PRS which for many after failed social and supported accommodation tenancies, is there only housing option.

The homeless and vulnerability housed are especially susceptible to catching coronavirus, and those with ‘multiple and complex’ needs e.g. addiction, poor mental and physical health even more so. As even when this client group do not fall into the ‘shielding’ or ‘extremely vulnerable’ categories, they are very ‘high risk’, as they suffer from increased poor mental health and/or from underlying health conditions than the general public. Our scheme adopts a Housing Frist ethos, in that safe and stable housing is the starting point to allow our client group to then address their issues and move away from their chaotic lives. They are supported by in in this endeavour via our ecosystem of partner agencies. In providing access to the PRS, we’re not only assisting the client but the wider community e.g. clients suffering physical or mental health issues are likely to experience improved health, an alcoholic can avoid the pressures of the street culture of drinking or an ex-offender will benefit by obtaining self-respect. With a fixed address, our clients will be able to enter the job market, build normal relationships, rebuild family ties and participate in community life.

In addition, the Dora Fedoruk fund has helped fund the Cellar Cafe and Mane Chance charities several times.

Case study of beneficiary

When Bill* first approached us he was rough sleeping, He had recently experienced a relationship breakdown and was struggling emotionally and physically. A cable engineer by trade, he lost his job due to the pandemic and was forced to return to the family home in Spelthorne.

He had fortnightly weekend access to meet with his two-year old daughter. On one occasion, whilst his daughter was visiting, there was a family argument involving the dog. Bill believed that the dog had bitten his daughter – his pride and joy. There was some disagreement, which rapidly escalated and resulted in him being asked to leave. Bill believes it was time for him to leave anyway, and that the incident had pushed him to do it. Whilst in the process of moving, Bill crashed his friend’s car, he reversed into something and wasn’t insured.

To add to his woes, he now owed his friend £300, which would have to come out of his monthly Universal Credit benefit. Bill had zero savings and no support network to turn to for assistance during this awful period in his life. Identified as a rough sleeper, we were able to swiftly source a self-contained property in Staines, which would give Bill a fresh start and the ability to maintain the special relationship he has with daughter. Since being housed Bill has been thriving. He has reconnected and built bridges with his family and is back in employment but most important of all to him, he is enjoying being a daddy again.

*Name changed for confidentiality reasons


“You changed my life. You were there when there was nobody else, I can’t thank you enough”

Bill Thomas*, beneficiary of the Dora Fedoruk fund


To find out more, click here to read our Legacy information sheet


Interested in leaving a lasting legacy?

To enquire about ‘Leaving a lasting legacy’, please email us at

If you wish to speak to one of our team:

Contact Amy Lee, Fund Development Manager

01483 906383, 

Support for local young people

2nd March 2022

The Community Foundation for Surrey supports a number of funds that have been set up to specifically help individuals in need across Surrey – the Surrey Young People’s Fund provides a lifeline to our disadvantaged young people. Nick Brooks, Chairman of the Surrey Young People’s Fund, tells us more…

We established the Surrey Young People’s Fund (SYPF) in October 2014 to support disadvantaged young people in Surrey gain access to training and employment. We bring together a strong alliance of donors, referrers of young people towards our fund, and a network of experienced volunteers covering the county, to undertake assessments of applicants. Grants are awarded by an experienced panel of volunteers who have a passion for assisting local young people to improve their employment prospects. Our volunteer assessors are an essential part of our offering, and aim to meet each applicant to discuss their background and explore their aspirations in order to better understand whether their application can proceed, and whether additional or alternative support could be beneficial to enable them to achieve their objectives.

“I was invited to join SYPF as a volunteer assessor to fill a gap because the east of the county was under-represented on the SYPF panel. I had an immediate appreciation of the need in parts of Surrey where some of the most privileged live in very close proximity to some of the most disadvantaged in our society. There are very compelling reasons for me to be involved: styled as the fund being a provider of grants to young people who have identified a pathway towards employment but who are struggling to find often limited financial assistance to pursue that goal, I relish the chance to be the representative who can say “yes, we can help”, to see the young people light up with the realisation that their dream can be realisable, and to feel that we’ve helped a young person potentially on their way to financial independence and a sense of self-worth.”

Anna Briggs, Vice Chair of SYPF


“I joined SYPF having seen an advert for volunteer assessors while I was looking for a way to contribute to my local community. With its mission to help disadvantaged young people (who are often hidden by the impression that Surrey is home only to the affluent) get on in life, SYPF ticked all the boxes for me. I’ve been part of the team since 2016 and love the collaborative way assessors work, learning from each other’s experiences to ensure we give the best support, financial as well as signposting better opportunities to the young people we help, who now number in the hundreds across Surrey. It can be challenging at times, but it is a very rewarding experience, and I am proud to play my small part in achieving our aims.”

Andrew Whitby-Collins, SYPF volunteer


SYPF provides vital funding for individuals (aged 16-25 inclusive) who are resident in Surrey with the purpose to assist young people to move towards an identified goal in education, training, apprenticeship, or employment.

Grants from the Fund will typically be up to £300 and will fund items that will directly enhance the young person’s employability skills, such as;

  • assisting them to obtain qualifications, certificates or licenses,
  • developing vocational or technical skills, or
  • providing self-development opportunities that improve social skills, motivation and confidence

We are pleased to typically provide between 65 and 90 grants per year, directly supporting disadvantaged young people to support them to improve their lives


Showing what a difference SYPF can make to a young person’s prospects

A young person in the care system

“Since I received my laptop it’s been a tremendous help, especially since having to do college work online in 2020. In my progress meeting with my teachers, they all tell me I’m a top student and all my coursework is done on time and 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.”

This young person successfully completed her Level 3 course, has continued her studies at college, and is working part-time with an offer to move full-time with the same employer when her course finishes.


Struggling with poor mental health

A young person who had a number of mental health challenges and who struggled in conventional education was supported to attend the Therapy Garden, where he thrived and discovered a passion for gardening and horticulture. He received guidance and support whilst at Therapy Garden and displayed significant personal development whilst there.

SYPF contributed towards the course costs to ensure he was able to stay at the Therapy Garden. He has now successfully applied to attend Merrist Wood College to move towards obtaining a qualification in either landscape gardening or horticulture.


Please note: The Fund is a funder of last resort and applicants will be expected to have been unable to obtain funding from other sources. Our funds are limited and so we may not be able to award a grant for all of the funding requested. In addition, our experienced assessors discuss with professional referrers from other agencies how best to provide support to the young person.


Working together to support the SYPF fund

The Surrey Young People’s Fund is one of our collective giving funds – meaning that anyone can contribute funding to support it. We know there are many more disadvantaged young people across the county who we want to reach out to. Work together with us to support our endeavors to reach these young people – you can donate now to ensure this fund never has to turn anyone away!

Together we can.


If you are interested in donating to the Fund, please contact us for more information on 01483 478092 – thank you. 

Follow the Surrey Young People’s Fund on Twitter using @SYPFund to stay up to date!