Here at the Community Foundation for Surrey, we are encouraged to spend time volunteering at the charities we support. In doing this, we gain greater understanding for the local need that surrounds us and get to see just how local giving can support the voluntary sector organisations working hard to better Surrey. Above all, we really do enjoy it!
Our Grants Officer, Rebecca Clay, this week has spent time volunteering at Redhill charity Stripey Stork.
Stripey Stork collect new and pre-loved items for babies and children and distribute them to families in need from East Surrey and the surrounding areas. The charity was started in 2013 by a Reigate mum-of-two who wondered what to do with all the baby items she had when her youngest child was finished with them. The local press was filled with stories of economic hardship and the effect it was having on young families. Initial research showed that no one was offering this service locally, but that there were local families who desperately needed this support, as well as local people who had items they would willingly donate.
“I’ve recently spent a couple of mornings volunteering with the charity Stripey Stork.
Stripey Stork supports children and parents experiencing hardship, who work in partnership with support services such as children’s centres, health visitors and social service agencies. All donations go directly to the families that they support, and each item to someone who specifically needs it.”
The Foundation has awarded 7 grants to Stripey Stork for a number of inspiring projects, including funding from Comic Relief Community Cash which provided invaluable support for women and children fleeing human trafficking. 120 bags, called Stork Sacks, helped children aged 3 to 12 years old – giving them something to call their own in challenging times. Packed by volunteers, each rucksack was filled with items including stationery, books, toys, and toiletries. The bags also contained a map of the UK to help survivors learn more about their new country.
The charity is always looking for volunteers and offers a wide range of roles open to those who would like to give their time, ranging from spending an hour or two sorting stock, to helping to coordinate campaigns. All help is appreciated, no matter how small.
“I have been really impressed with the dedication of the volunteers and staff who do a fantastic job managing the donations and referrals. They are all clearly passionate about the work they do – thank you for having me!”
We are incredibly proud to support so many vital groups across Surrey. You can learn more about these groups by visiting our Who we Support page.
Alternatively, if you are looking to apply for funding, you can find out more about our process and deadlines here.