Today marks 10 incredible years of #SmallCharityWeek. Small Charities Week provides the opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness of the essential work of the UK’s small charity sector. Small and micro charities make up 82% of the sector but with just 5% of the income. These grassroots local charities and community groups are at the heart of our communities and as a Community Foundation, we are proud that our grants focus on these organisations.
Below are just a few of the inspiring local organisations that we support, making a big impact within Surrey.
Emerge Advocacy launched in 2016 to fill a unique gap – to provide mental health support to young people who were admitted to Accident and Emergency at Royal Surrey Hospital. Emerge was created as a response to these young people’s needs and vulnerability, and in response to a desire to make a difference to them during and after their time of crisis. Supportive adults operate as mentors and role models for the young people they work with, both during their time in A&E and later in the community, and this helps to reduce levels of anxiety, increase cooperation with health care professionals, and helps the young people to engage with statutory services. By doing this, the charity reduces the likelihood of further crisis in future.
In 2018 Emerge Advocacy received a grant for salary costs to establish a mental health support project in another local Hospital – St Peter’s Hospital. This is the charities 4th grant from the Community Foundation for Surrey.
“Following the success of Emerge at the Royal Surrey County Hospital supporting young people attending A&E with mental health issues, Emerge Advocacy has experienced significant demand for Emerge projects across a number of Surrey hospitals. An opportunity arose to share our model with Egham based charity ‘east to west’, in order to open an Emerge project at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey. This grant from the Community Foundation for Surrey has made it possible for our Founder, Joy Wright to have dedicated time to work with east to west, thus enabling them to set up and deliver an Emerge project of their own. The project launched on schedule in April 2019 and is now busy supporting young people!”
Synergy Dance Outreach provide specialist dance, yoga and fitness to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities participants (SEND) including visually impaired children and adults. Their classes work with smaller groups and SEND trained teachers, and are all inclusive, delivering programs for Special Educational Needs and the disability community. The charity promotes physical and mental health and wellbeing through lifelong participation in dance, fitness, yoga and related wellbeing activities for all, where neither finance, fitness, ability, disability or family circumstance are barriers to participation.
“The Grant from the Community Foundation for Surrey has enabled Synergy Dance Outreach to deliver classes for visually impaired children and teens in East and West Surrey. This support has allowed us to deliver dance, fitness and yoga classes which will teach technique, posture, core stability, balance and mindfulness. Our dance and fitness classes include resistance, toning, strength and cardio work increasing energy levels, muscle tone and strength, endurance, flexibility and motor skills. On a social level, participants are building up their fitness and making friends, improving confidence, self-esteem, independence and quality of life. Our aim is to offer fun, inclusive activities that enrich lives.”
Due to funding from CFS, Synergy Dance Outreach is now able to offer family yoga sessions, movement and dance sessions which are supporting both visually impaired participants and their parents or carers. They have also been invited to deliver sessions at Oxted school and other schools with visually impaired units.
Integrational Music Making connects and brings together generations in their local communities through intergenerational music therapy projects. Local schools, colleges and universities connect with their local care homes in creating exciting and meaningful music projects to improve well-being. Their programmes give “targeted and identified” children and older people the opportunity to live life to the full. Working together they create music they can feel proud of.
The Intergenerational music therapy projects benefit both the health and education sectors within the community in sharing cultural and musical understanding, increasing access to music-making and raising self-confidence and self-esteem of participants. The company aims to seek out opportunities to facilitate meaningful connections and experiences through the medium of music.
The grant from the Community Foundation supported the charity to work with two care homes and two schools across Surrey.
“The project has shown great changes in our residents – their mental health, wellbeing, confidence, self-esteem, mood and physical ability have all improved and they all look forward to seeing the children each week. This project meets local and national agendas whilst creating a cohesive community for us all.”
Rosie Clark, Head of Woodlands SEN School, Leatherhead.
“There’s something about having children on site which makes residents feel more human and gives them permission to care about others. It boosts their confidence and feeling of self-worth, when I tell them the children are coming their faces light up.”
Maria, The Beeches Activity Co-ordinator.
The Community Foundation for Surrey is so proud to help local people direct their giving to vital local and often these small charities and community groups, making sure money goes to the projects and causes which make the biggest difference.
If you’re a small organisation looking for funding, please visit our Applying for Funding page for more information.