Bringing hope to young lives

13th July 2018

The Community Foundation for Surrey is proud to support a number of youth organisations that provide vital support to young people in our county, and this week we have asked east to west to tell us more about their work. Working across a range of schools, the team respond to and meet need daily in supporting children, young people and their families through Relational Support Work. We ask Anthony Horton, Chief Executive just how they do this.

From 5-year olds struggling to contain and manage their emotions, to 16-year olds feeling anxious about their GCSEs, our team of Relational Support Workers create a safe space for those they support to talk about the challenges they’re facing. It is in these relationships, that real, life enhancing, outlook growing change happens. On any given day, east to west bring hope to around 50 different children, young people and families across 10 projects.

There has always been a need for people to share. It’s a huge part of human evolution and embedded within our identity. From the ancients verbally sharing creation stories and history, to the creation of the printing presses in the 15th Century and the modern trends of Vlogging, Twitter and Facebook. All these developments have been about giving people the opportunity to share their experiences.

Relational Support Work (RSW) is a response for people needing to share. It allows for those who don’t feel comfortable, or who’s main audience isn’t receptive to what they’re saying, to share their concerns. RSW creates a space which empowers and encourages children, young people and families to open-up about what their thinking, and what their accomplishments and fears are. It provides an opportunity for those it supports to begin seeking solution, which in turn promote personal growth, wellness and wholeness. By helping the individual understand more about themselves, there is a wider good for those members of the family, school and community as they become a more well-rounded, engaged member of society.

Our main cost is our face to face team of Relational Support Workers. With that in mind, we’re always looking for ways to maintain and grow our provision, which involves donations and people actively engaging with what we do. We look to raise around £5,000 for each project to ensure all costs and support are provided. If people or businesses would like to sponsor or support a project local to them, we’d be delighted to hear from them.

Beyond raising funds through people’s generosity, we’re constantly seeking to improve our team. We meet each month to look at personal development and training and have been blessed by having some excellent teaching on mental health, grief and bereavement, character and leadership and autism, all which feeds into the work we do. We have an ongoing commitment to grow, develop and improve our delivery by seeking excellence in all we do.

We’re truly grateful for our relationship with the Community Foundation for Surrey. CFS have been amazing advocates for us with funders within Surrey, helping deliver funding, and therefore projects, which may have otherwise struggled, closed or not even started. Having a partner like CFS, who have a track record of not only achieving successful funding, but who also engage and support the charities they work with so well, makes sailing in the increasingly turbulent waters of the current funding sector, much easier and worthwhile. We know that when we make an application to CFS, that whatever happens, they’ll do their best on our behalf, and for that, we’re truly grateful.

If you are an individual or family that could benefit from east to west services, please visit their website here.
The Community Foundation for Surrey is a philanthropic charity inspiring local giving for local need. The grants we make to groups in Surrey such as east to west are made entirely possible by the giving of individuals, businesses and trusts whom we work closely with to help direct their giving to causes they are passionate about. Please do have a look around our website to find out more.