Become a Friend of Surrey!

5th April 2023


Supporting our local community with vital funding and making Surrey a better place for everyone






  • Annual membership of £500 – half of which is awarded to current projects & half towards the work of the charity
  • Membership pack: Introduction to the Community Foundation to Surrey, Fast facts report about the issues facing disadvantaged people in our county, email Bulletins and funding literature.
  • Invitation to exclusive annual ‘Friend’ event
  • Quarterly updates on the impact of your donation
To become a Friend of Surrey

Please contact our Development Managers, Zoe or Amy:

Tel: 01483 478092



More about the Community Foundation for Surrey 

We are proud to fund hundreds of vital community groups across Surrey every year. And in 2021-2022, our grants totalled more than £2.7 million. We work in partnership with our donors to fund a range of needs and themes, including helping to alleviate winter poverty. Discover more

A big THANK YOU for helping us to raise £200,000 for our Winter Poverty Campaign

13th March 2023

The current economic crisis has hit us all, but more so disadvantaged people in our county. We have been working hard to get vital funding out as quickly as possible over the winter period to those groups who are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.

Our fundraising campaign has been a big success and thanks to your generous contributions and match-funding from Surrey County Council, we have raised £200,000 which has been disseminated in grants.

The projects that your donations are supporting

A total of £206,996 has been awarded to 34 projects. The average grant size was £6,088 and we were pleased that many donors were able to collaborate, meaning that more projects were fully funded. In total there are more than 14,000 direct beneficiaries of the services that we have supported.

There was a wide range of projects reflecting the often-complex aspects of winter poverty, with many overlapping areas:

Some of the organisations where your donations are helping

Your donations support food banks, warm hubs, baby banks, elderly people, housing challenges, employment support, charities providing debt and energy advice, and other essential service providers. Here are some of the organisations that we are supporting.

Stripey Stork

Stripey Stork, a Surrey baby bank, collects donations of clothes, toys and essential items for babies and children and rehomes them with local families experiencing hardship.

“Stripey Stork appreciates the opportunity to put a Winter Poverty grant to good use for the benefit of Surrey families this winter. We provide practical support to families with children aged 0-16 years across Surrey and it is clear from the requests for help that the cost-of-living crisis is hitting hard. We have seen an increase in requests for warm clothes and blankets, and from families who have never had to access a service like ours before. The grant will allow us to resource more volunteer sessions in our warehouse and ensure we can fulfil requests promptly and with the care and quality that our partners have come to depend on.”

Nicola Dawes, Chief Executive

Watch video


Runnymede DraughtBusters

A team of experienced volunteers who help people with draughty homes struggling with their energy bills – covering Egham, Englefield Green, and Pooley Green.

“This grant will allow our volunteers to visit homes of people struggling to stay warm, and take simple steps to keep out draughts – saving them money, reduce their energy consumption and improve their quality of life”.

Chris Gray, Director, Runnymede DraughtBusters

Watch video of Runnymede DraughtBusters Volunteer

Watch video


And many more projects:

Voices of Hope – BRITE Box

“The grant will help us to reach the increasing number of families at risk of food insecurity and help resource them to eat more healthily together on a budget and establish positive healthy cooking habits. Through BRITE Box, a larger number of families will have access to healthy and nutritious food, thus reducing food insecurity locally. The family will be able to cook new healthy recipes which are all replicable on a low budget. Having families in the programme for a year helps develop long term healthy cooking and eating habits, impacting the whole family unit.”

Nick Dawson, BRITE Box Project Lead


Camberley BESOM

“We are so grateful for the grant from the Community Foundation for Surrey, as every penny will go towards providing food for the poorest in our community. This year more than ever we are seeing the impact of the increase of home energy costs, plus the rise in general cost of living.  We are seeing families who have never before needed to use a food bank seeking our help.  Although we receive a large number of ambient food donations from Churches, Schools & Shoppers (at four supermarkets), we still need to purchase fresh fruit, vegetables, fresh and cooked meat, eggs, bread & spread, in order to provide a full balanced diet for our recipients. Thank You!”

Karen Kendall, Project Lead, Besom in Camberley


Leatherhead Community Hub

“A huge thank you from everyone at Leatherhead Community Hub for the funding towards our events programme and community café. We are delighted that we can run ‘family feasts’ (a free 2 course meal once a month) and ‘community movies’ (free film night once a month with free drinks, snacks and buffet food) until at least Spring 2024. It is also fantastic to know that we are now able to keep our café prices affordable during the day… We fully understand that poverty can be extremely isolating so this project will help reduce feelings of loneliness and allow local people, particularly families who really struggle to find inexpensive activities to do together, to feel part of the community and draw strength from it.”

Jenny Moore, Trustee and Co-Founder, Leatherhead Community Hub


Home-Start Waverley

“This grant is vital in helping us provide immediate support to vulnerable families. The cost-of-living crisis has had a substantial impact on many of the families that Home-Start in Waverley supports. The cost of basic food and baby items has risen sharply and increased energy prices have made many afraid to turn on their heating. For the families we support who are already facing challenging circumstances, these additional adversities are having a devastating impact on health and wellbeing.”

Dawn Murphy – Scheme Manger, Home Start Waverley


Farnham Christian Community Trust

“This grant enables us to help people in the Farnham area who are struggling with money worries, particularly during this cost of living crisis. We are able to help them address benefits, budgeting and debt issues, and let them see that there is life after debt.”

David McNeight, Frontline Farnham Money Advice Manager & Client Adviser (Farnham Christian Community Trust)


Rentstart – Academy

“Rentstart are delighted to be able to increase the impact of our daily academy: offering individual and group sessions assisting with employment, finances, social isolation, and more; targeting specific client needs to take people from homelessness to thriving independence.”

Helen Watson, Chief Executive


Citizens Advice Surrey Heath

“At Citizens Advice we are seeing unprecedented demand for help with the rising cost of living and managing debt, up around 44% on the previous year. Funding from the Winter Poverty Fund means we can increase our Supervisory capacity to enable our Advisers and Caseworkers to support more clients in getting the help they need – giving the right advice at the right time to address their issues and prevent these spiralling out of control.”

Kate Sawdy, CEO, Citizens Advice Surrey Heath


You can still donate

We are keeping the Winter Poverty Campaign donation page open until 31st March and any donation of any size is really welcome. With Surrey County Council supporting the campaign, your donation doubles. And if you add Gift Aid, your donation grows even more.

Donate now (click on this link)


More about the Community Foundation for Surrey 

We are proud to fund hundreds of vital community groups across Surrey every year. And in 2021-2022, our grants totalled more than £2.7 million. We work in partnership with our donors to fund a range of needs and themes, including helping to alleviate winter poverty. Discover more

Community Foundation for Surrey awards £45,000 to support refugees arriving from Ukraine

23rd February 2023

This week marks the start of the war in Ukraine, an ongoing conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions of people.


Many Ukrainians are now living in a safe place in a different country, but all the time are thinking about their family members, who may still be living in Ukraine where life is often unimaginably difficult. At the same time moving to a new country can be challenging and it is vital that we help these displaced people in their time of need.

The Community Foundation for Surrey is heartened to see so many Surrey residents opening their homes, and hearts, to our Ukrainian guests. Working with the Freemasons’ Charity as part of a national programme, we’re pleased to be able to provide grant funding to help this vital work.

Supporting Ukrainian refugees in Surrey

Working with the Masonic Charitable Foundation Ukrainian Refugee Support Project, we are delighted to confirm that £45,000 has been awarded across the following six organisations in Surrey that are supporting displaced Ukrainian people.

  • Creative Response Arts – Arts for Wellbeing
  • Epsom & Ewell Refugee Network (Good Company Surrey) – Pathway of Hope
  • The Lighthouse (also known as Emmaus Transformation Trust Limited) – Ukrainian Hub
  • Elmbridge CAN – Ukrainian Support 2023
  • Voluntary Support North Surrey – Ukrainian Support in Runnymede
  • St Mary’s Ukrainian School Ltd – Children’s Art and Music workshops

Here are brief details about four of the projects:

Voluntary Support North Surrey

Funding for continued support of displaced Ukrainian refugees in Runnymede, Spelthorne and Surrey Heath via an established Ukrainian Hub. The grant supports regular and structured drop-in sessions at a local venue with services to allow people to access emotional support and help with applying for benefits, workshops on finding employment, access to a Ukrainian translator and informal English lessons.

“We have seen first-hand the need for support that Ukrainian refugees have at our Chertsey drop-in. Over 600 Ukrainian families are expected in North Surrey and this funding will be used to support and develop up to six local drop-ins and increased individual support.”

– Solette Sheppardson, CEO, Voluntary Support North Surrey



St Mary’s Ukrainian School Ltd

St Mary’s Ukrainian community schools became the shelter and safe place for children and families helping them to recover from loss and other traumatic experiences and reconnect with their peers who share the same language, culture and Ukrainian heritage. St Mary’s Ukrainian School Woking is planning to invite art and music teachers/specialists to teach lessons/run sessions and workshops to 65-80 displaced Ukrainian children aged 8-15 who are currently part of the Woking, Surrey community. Read more

“We sincerely thank you for funding the Art and Music project at Woking St Mary’s Ukrainian Saturday School. Your donation makes a massive difference for Ukrainian displaced children in our community. Thanks to you, Ukrainian kids can attend Saturday school, where they spend quality time with their peers, deepen their knowledge, work as a team on various art projects, and simultaneously form friendships with peers and build trust with teachers.”

– Orysya Novetska, St Mary’s Ukrainian School Ltd



The Lighthouse

Funding for continued support of a busy Ukrainian Hub offering a range of support and services to displaced Ukrainian people in and around Woking.

The Lighthouse is working with the local council as well as individuals and organisations, providing a hub that helps Ukrainian refugees find signposting help, get connected into their local community, and be able to meet with others in a similar situation.

The Lighthouse is currently supporting around 100 Ukrainian people on a weekly basis. The Ukrainian team offers support throughout the week by phone, email and provides one-to-one support. Help is provided in many areas from school and job applications to community events and socials. Read more

“Thank you so much for funding to help to create a lifeline of support for Ukrainian refugees upon their move to the UK. It makes a massive difference in their ability to find help, opportunity and positive community despite the circumstances.”

– Lucy Greenland, The Lighthouse



Epsom & Ewell Refugee Network (Good Company Surrey)

Funding for English and Employment support for displaced Ukrainian people in Epsom & Ewell, Mole Valley, and Reigate & Banstead. Read more

EERN has devised a programme called Pathway of Hope, which is supporting displaced Ukrainian people with support and training for English skills and employment guidance. This will enable people to create their own futures, as they build lives for themselves and their families whilst they are living in Surrey. This project has been created in response to feedback received from the Ukrainian refugees currently being supported. The aims are to enable people to access better employment opportunities and accommodation. The funding will be used to pay for two Ukrainian teachers of English and teaching materials Other teaching support is from volunteers.

“English classes are very important – they are vital. For us, Ukrainians, they are survival lessons. The more lessons we have, the faster we will integrate into society. Thank you for the opportunity the Network is giving us!”

– Natalia (class attendee)



More about the Freemasons’ charity

The Freemasons’ charity (the Masonic Charitable Foundation) is funded entirely by Freemasons and their families. The charity’s mission is to provide support, care and services to Freemasons and their families in need, and also support other charities to help the most disadvantaged in society. Read more

More about the Masonic Charitable Foundation Ukrainian Refugee Support Project

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) Ukrainian Refugee Support Project is providing a total donation of £500,000 to UK Community Foundations (UKCF) to support refugee arrivals from Ukraine. The target organisations are local charities and voluntary and community groups that are:

  • Preparing support for the arrival of people from Ukraine
  • Funding the direct delivery of services for Ukrainian refugees
  • Developing longer-term support for the integration of Ukrainian refugees

Read more


Discover more about applying for a grant with the Community Foundation for Surrey



Community Foundation for Surrey awards £318,389 in grants to improve people’s lives in Surrey

14th February 2023

We have just completed our most recent round of funding addressing a wide range of issues across our county.

We are delighted to announce that our Donor Funds have awarded £318,389 to 48 organisations. The average grant size was £7,600 and we were pleased that many donors were able to collaborate, meaning that more projects were fully funded.

The round was focused on Equity and Inclusion and there was a wide range of applications reflecting the aspects of this theme.

Funded through the generous contribution of our donor funds, the Foundation is supporting charities, community interest groups and other organisations to help combat:

  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Mental ill health
  • Poverty and disadvantage
  • Homelessness
  • Domestic abuse
  • Food poverty
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Debt
  • Crime
  • Violence, exploitation and gangs
  • Housing challenges

As part of the same funding round, we are providing grants to support many early intervention projects, including: learning and skills development, physical health improvement, wellbeing, recreation (leisure activities), early years learning, accessibility, improving mental health, life skills and aspirations, as well as core funding.


Feedback from successful applicants

Here’s some of the feedback we have received from some of our successful applicants:


“Welcare is a charity working with parents and children up to the age of 13 in South London and East Surrey.” Welcare website

“Thanks to a generous contribution from the Community Foundation for Surrey we are thrilled to continue our Playworker support for babies, children and families from minority communities. In the Redhill area over 41 different languages are spoken and Welcare is here to help them and their children to thrive.”

Anna Khan, CEO, Welcare


Streetlight UK

“Streetlight UK is a frontline specialist support service, specifically focused on providing women with tangible and material pathways out of a lifestyle of prostitution and violence and have developed its specialism and understanding of women involved in prostitution across London, Surrey and Sussex since 2012.” Streetlight UK website

“The Surrey Community Foundation grant of £5,000 is a tremendous boost to our team in supporting women across Surrey. Such partnerships are vital in enabling our staff and volunteers to deliver our specialist service at Breakfast Clubs, Police operations, 1-2-1 direct support and online to 100’s of women each year. Thank you so much.”

Helena Croft, CEO, Streetlight UK



“As we get older, our social circles diminish, and we find ourselves with fewer and fewer people to turn to. Imagine realising one day that all your friends and family have gone from your life. Loneliness can be cruel, and it affects millions of people over 75 who live in social isolation. Re-engage is making life less lonely for thousands of older people every year. Older people tell us that our volunteer-led activities make them happier and more able to trust others.” Re-engage website

“This donation from the Community Foundation for Surrey will allow us to continue to provide local solutions to help those aged 75 and over who may be lonely or isolated.  Around seven in ten older people say they feel less lonely as a result of being part of Re-engage and this funding will help ensure we maintain this vital support.”

Kitty Blackwell, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Re-engage



How to apply to the Community Foundation for Surrey for a grant


Fundraising evening raises over £33,000 for the Woking Community Fund

24th January 2023

On Thursday 19th January the Woking Community Fund held an evening reception, hosted by local businessman and Vice President at the Community Foundation for Surrey, Shahid Azeem, for Woking businesses and representatives from Woking Borough Council. The aim of the evening was to launch a fundraising appeal that is supported by Woking Borough Council with match-funding.


The evening was held at Export House and £22,500 was pledged by the following local businesses:

  • Seymour’s Woking
  • Sharaz Homes
  • Arcom IT
  • Woking Asian Business Forum
  • Natta Buildings
  • JRL Group
  • Boz Fruit & Veg
  • Deli Class

Woking Borough Council has kindly donated £11,250 to 50% match-fund donations.

Woking Borough Council Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for the Voluntary Sector, Cllr Will Forster, said:

“I am delighted the Council is joining forces with the Community Foundation for Surrey to help the voluntary sector across Woking. I know first-hand that the Woking based Foundation do amazing work. The Council is looking forward to working with them to support charities, community groups and volunteers in the coming weeks, months and years.

“I want to thank the businesses who have already generously supported the Woking Community Fund. The new partnership between the Council and the Foundation is already proving its worth, bringing in vital funding from private donations.”

Community Foundation for Surrey Chief Executive Beccy Bowden was thrilled with the success of the evening:

“I’m really pleased to see the local business community in Woking stepping up to support the Woking Community Fund at a time when we are seeing a 400% increase in number of requests for funding to support those impacted by economic disadvantage in our county. It’s a real testament to the wonderful community spirit in Woking and I know that the money will be used to support those most in need.”

Woking Community Fund Chair Emma Patel underlined the importance of the fundraising event:

“It was a fantastic evening. With the donors’ enormous generosity and support, we are making a massive difference by providing positive solutions in our communities for local people and disadvantaged individuals.  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Thank you to everyone who attended.”

More about the Woking Community Fund

The Woking Community Fund was established in 2012 by Jim McAllister, CEO of The Rutland Group, who was present on Thursday evening. To date, the Fund has awarded £126,490.28 in grants to support charities and organisations working in Woking for the benefit of the local community. Read more. 

Grants are awarded to support the following:

  • Supporting projects or improving facilities which combat social isolation and disadvantage;
  • Helping people to gain confidence and raise aspirations through training and development of new skills;
  • Providing counselling, advice, respite and support;
  • Supporting those experiencing difficult circumstances due to an illness, injury, disability, bereavement or financial difficulty.

If you would like to help, you can donate to the Woking Community Fund here.

Mental Health Scale Up Fund makes five year grant award to Be Me Project

9th January 2023

The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to make our second grant award from our Mental Health Scale Up Fund to Be Me Project. The five-year award with enable Be Me Project to extend their reach and support hundreds of additional young people.


About the Be Me Project:

“Our mission is to support girls and women to celebrate that they are uniquely and wonderfully made for a purpose and to be equipped to build positive mental wellbeing and confidence in life.”

“The Be Me Project is a charity established in 2014 to enhance girl’s and women’s emotional health, well-being, self-esteem, and self-efficacy by inspiring them to explore their true identity, to cope with the world’s pressures, to understand that they are uniquely and wonderfully made and equip them for purpose and hope in life.
Be Me, and its courses, has been established and run by local women for girls and women who are either referred by a third party (i.e. their school) or self-referred. Many of the girls and women that Be Me work with battle with self-worth and make poor life choices, often following the pattern of behaviour of their parents, siblings or the community in which they live. The majority have low expectations of themselves and have little hope for the future. Be Me believes that by investing in these girls and women, they have a far better chance of breaking negative thought patterns and are able to build healthy self-esteem and a sense of purpose which lead to a more positive life.”

“The Be Me Project team is thrilled to have received the Community Foundation Mental Health Scale Up fund. This funding will enable us to consolidate our expansion plans, and confirm the projects that we are able to offer local schools in Dorking, Leatherhead, Reigate, Redhill and Epsom. As well as reaching at least 640 new beneficiaries over the five year period, it gives the team security in knowing that their invaluable work will continue, and continue to grow. In particular, it is a huge boost to all of the team, including new joiners, and we have lots of ideas on how to grow them through training in the new year.”

Lu Mason, CEO and founder, Be Me Project

Discover more at the Be Me Project web page.


Read more about our Mental Health Scale Up Fund

Surrey Strategic Transformation Programme awards grants to support resiliency in the local voluntary and community sector

20th December 2022

We are delighted to announce the award of a number of grants to support local voluntary and community organisations to become more resilient.

The funding from our Surrey Strategic Transformation Programme will help organisations to plan and adapt to change and be better equipped to survive and thrive through challenges and opportunities that may arise.


Grants have been awarded to the following organisations (click one each organisation to visit their website):

  • Merstham Community Facility Trust – Funding for a professional Fundraiser to broaden the income streams and volumes of funding for a community hub, working in partnership with multiple organisations.

“This grant has enabled us to access fundraising expertise and capacity which we don’t currently possess. We’ve already identified opportunities for improving and expanding our income streams and our own capabilities in terms of seeking funds. We are currently developing a fundraising strategy and the necessary tools and resources for us to progress this. Recovering from the impact of Covid on our financial viability and resilience has proved very challenging. This funding is a key part of our return to ‘business as usual’ and having confidence in our long-term viability.”

Chris Spragg, Trustee, Merstham Community Facility Trust


  • Intergenerational Music Making – Funding for a feasibility study, community research and project delivery piece to understand current need for the charity and to plan for the future and increase opportunities available.

“This is truly wonderful news and a massive thank you to the donors whom were able to make this happen and support our vital community intergenerational work – research and training.  We are all over the moon and THANK YOU.”


  • The Orpheus Centre Trust – Funding for a feasibility study to asses the capacity to undertake a large scale capital funding project to meet the growing demand of service.

“We are very grateful for this grant which will enable us to move forward with a feasibility study for our capital build project. We have grown enormously in recent years and have strong ambitions to develop our site. Our plans include a large scale project to provide better learning experiences for the young disabled students who come here.

Demand for places at our college has significantly increased and we have insufficient space to expand in the current building. We want to be able to welcome more students and help them to learn essential independence and life skills for their future. This funding takes us another step towards achieving those aims and realising our ambitions .”

Lisa Whitbread, Communications and Engagement Manager, Orpheus Centre Trust


’We are so grateful for this grant for a CRM for The Lighthouse. It means we’ll be able to communicate more effectively, keep track of everyone from funders and donors, to referrers, volunteers and guests, and it will ensure that our database is kept confidential. We have grown to such a point that this is an essential part of the next stage in our development. Many thanks for your support!”

Lucy Greenland, The Lighthouse Trust Limited


  • Farncombe Day Centre – Grant for new domestic laundry equipment to replace equipment that is no longer fit for purpose at a centre providing support for older people.
  • Farncombe Community Garden – Funding for a fully accessible disabled composting toilet in a community garden project in an area of disadvantage.
  • Stripey Stork – Grant towards the expansion of services to make them accessible to every family across Surrey that needs them.


Read more about the Surrey Strategic Transformation Programme including how to apply for a grant.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas (and office closing details)

15th December 2022

Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season from the Community Foundation for Surrey.

Please note our office will be closed between Christmas and New Year. The last day the Grants Team will be available is Thursday 22nd December, returning Tuesday 3rd January.

Providing breakfast on a Sunday morning to those most in need

1st December 2022

A couple of weeks ago, our Chair of Trustees Sir Denis O’Connor visited St Martins church in Camberley to meet the team who provide breakfast every Sunday morning to those most in need. 

Volunteers from the Old Dean Community Group – short name ODCoG – helped to serve breakfast. Bacon roles were supplied by Cllr Mark Gordon (Bagshot ward) who is landlord of the Kings Arms Bagshot. Mark also assisted in setting up the stall you can see in the photos below. The Old Dean Community Group is also supported by funding from the Community Foundation for Surrey.

In the Family and youth centre grounds opposite the church, a metal container holds all the set-up equipment and some of the goods contributed by local supermarkets, allotments and food purchased.

Discover more about how the Old Dean Community Group is working with St Martins Church.

These are two of the lovely volunteers who helped on the day.