Jo, Sangeeta and Phil join our team

8th March 2022

This month we are delighted to welcome three new members to our team.


Jo Cummins joins us as Funder Plus Manager and is responsible for running our volunteer programmes. Jo leads our Funder Plus initiative, which provides highly skilled and experienced volunteers to support organisations with advice and guidance in a range of critical business areas. 

Sangeeta Patel is our new Bookkeeper. Sangeeta provides support to our Director of Finance and works closely with our grants team to pay out each of our grants as they are awarded.

Phil Graham joins as Communications Officer with the brief to significantly raise our profile amongst key stakeholders and help us to position ourselves as the central platform for philanthropy and grant-making in Surrey. Phil will be delivering a planned programme of communications.


Our staff have specific areas of expertise and skills allowing us to be a versatile and dedicated organisation that works with both donors as well as community and voluntary groups in the county.

Discover more about our team.

Laura Thurlow is recognised in Her Majesty The Queen’s New Years Honours List 2022

5th January 2022

We’re delighted that Laura Thurlow, former Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) Chief Executive, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to the voluntary sector in Surrey, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

During her twelve and a half years at the Foundation, Laura’s last year was certainly the most challenging. As quickly as the virus spread, so did great devastation and urgency for emergency funding to support Surrey’s voluntary sector.

Under Laura’s leadership and sheer determination, the Foundation doubled its income, and was able to effectively distribute over £2.7 million of critical funding from the Foundations Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund to the inspirational charitable organisations providing direct support to those most impacted by the virus.

Congratulations Laura, so very well deserved!


Jim Glover, Chair, Community Foundation for Surrey:

“Everyone associated with CFS joins me in expressing our delight in the news that Laura’s considerable contribution to the organisation over many years has been recognised in such an appropriate manner. Having championed the development of our ambitious growth strategy, Laura then rapidly adjusted the initial implementation plans to ensure that we were able to successfully fulfil our role within Surrey’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The work of the Community Foundation has never been more important, with Surrey charities still struggling to navigate through the crisis. Many of the inequalities that already existed within the county have been exacerbated, and it is our job to work together to support the sector and continue with the excellent foundations Laura has put in place.

This wonderful award is also recognition of the superb collective efforts of the entire CFS family, and on behalf of the Board of Trustees, we would like to offer heartfelt thanks for their enduring support.”


4th January 2022

Shepperton Studios has today launched a £500,000 community fund to support local individuals, non-profit and voluntary organisations including charities, social enterprises, and community groups. Working together with independent local charity, the Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS), the Shepperton Studios Community Fund will be distributed over ten years and will benefit the Shepperton area and wider borough of Spelthorne. Areas of focus include:


  • Youth Development – Initiatives that create opportunities for young people to develop their skills and support their long-term success particularly those designed to support initiatives in the fields of youth and community development with a focus upon education in and growth of screen based, media industries. For example, but not limited to, investing in facilities that will be used by young people, training programmes or summer school initiatives.


  • Community Development – Programmes that improve and strengthen the local community, including, but not limited to, the improvement of community facilities or community events as well as green initiatives aimed at reducing emissions and achieving net zero in the local area.


  • Supporting under privileged and disadvantaged individuals and communities – The Commitment will seek to make a real difference to individuals and communities who would otherwise have no opportunity or other source of funding in particular to applicants/initiatives which support the under privileged and/or disadvantaged.

The Fund forms part of the Studios’ Set For More programme which is a long-term commitment that focuses on creating opportunities for young people, investing in the local community and supporting underprivileged groups. This is in addition to the community benefits already pledged by Shepperton Studios as part of its plans to expand and improve the world-renowned facility.


Paul Golding, Chairman and Chief Executive, Pinewood Group said:

“We are delighted to be working together with the Community Foundation for Surrey to address critical areas of need and deprivation across Spelthorne through this new fund. We know that there are countless organisations across this part of the county doing incredible work in their local communities and it is an important part of Shepperton Studios’ community engagement strategy to support them with this vital investment.”


Conservative Borough Councillor for Laleham and Shepperton Green Cllr Maureen Attewell added:

“Shepperton Studios has always been a cornerstone of our community and we’re thrilled that our residents will benefit from this significant investment in local initiatives. The recent announcement of the expansion of Shepperton Studios is a huge boost for the local economy in Spelthorne and this £500,000 underpins its commitment over the next 10 years to help bolster local associations and groups, keeping our local community spirit thriving.”


In recent years, the Studios have supported the local community, charities and organisations by sponsoring and/or providing space and amenities for both physical and virtual events including the Spelthorne Means Business Awards, Surrey Youth Awards, Shepperton Big Tree Night, Shepperton Village Fair and Spelthorne in Bloom.

Shepperton Studios approached the Community Foundation for Surrey with the ambition to set up a fund that could draw on relevant experience and knowledge of existing projects in the local area. With this knowledge the CFS will make well-informed grant award decisions and oversee the implementation and monitoring of projects.


Rebecca Bowden, Chief Executive at the Community Foundation for Surrey said:

“We’re excited to be delivering the Shepperton Studios Community Fund to help bridge some of the gaps presented across young people and communities within Shepperton and surrounding areas. This funding will make a real and lasting difference to those within those communities who need it most. We are most grateful to Pinewood Group Limited for helping us to achieve this.”  


Application details

To apply for a grant from the Community Foundation for Surrey, applicants should visit:

The first deadline for funding applications for the Shepperton Studios Community Fund will be in April 2022, with the first grant awards being made in July 2022.

Please note, grants will be awarded subject to meeting the Fund Criteria.

For general enquiries, please contact the Community Foundation for Surrey on 01483 478092.


Over £700,000 awarded to local groups from the Surrey Health and Wellbeing Fund

2nd December 2021

Helping Surrey’s disadvantaged communities recover from COVID-19.   

Independent local charity, the Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) has been proudly working together with NHS Charities in the Surrey Heartlands area and Surrey County Council Public Health to award grants to local projects through the Surrey Health and Wellbeing Programme. Over £700,000 was awarded from the programme to 21 local groups helping our communities respond to and recover from COVID-19.

Please note we are no longer accepting applications to this fund.  






Below are some of the magnificent projects who are using the funding to improve and save lives across Surrey!





The Mums and Midwives Awareness (MAMA) Academy received a grant award to provide pregnancy passports delivering key safer pregnancy messaging to every expectant parent in the Surrey Heartlands area for a year. Chris Binnie, Business Development Manager at the MAMA Academy advised:

“We’re so excited to be able to make Pregnancy Passports available to the women and families of Surrey thanks to this generous funding. These resources have a track record nationwide of improving parents’ awareness about safer pregnancy, and we look forward to them helping to save babies’ lives in Surrey.”









Family Voice Surrey received funding over two years for a safe space where parent carers of children with additional needs can share their experience, awareness of local services and affect system change.

Benedicte Symcox, CEO of Family Voice Surrey advised:

“The engagement project is crucial to ensure that the evidence we give our partners is truly representative of our community. A key aspect of the project is to offer every parent carer the chance to be heard”.





The Momentum Children’s Charity received funding over two years towards the salary of a Family Support Worker for helping families, whose children have cancer or a life-challenging condition, within four Surrey hospitals. Bianca Effemey, Founder and CEO from Momentum Children’s Charity said:

“We’re thrilled to receive this significant grant from the Community Foundation for Surrey and Surrey Heartlands NHS Charities. The families we support were already facing huge challenges in caring for their seriously ill child. COVID-19 brought many additional fears and anxieties; our Family Support Workers are needed more than ever.”







A two-year grant was awarded to Sight For Surrey for their “Living Without Barriers” project to support those with significant sight and hearing loss at the early stages of diagnosis in the eye and audiology clinics. This project is supporting people to access a range of emotional and practical help as they go through the process of coming to terms with the fact that they now have significant sight and/or hearing loss that is going to impact on their daily lives. Bob Hughes, CEO, Sight for Surrey advised:

“We are thrilled to have been chosen as a beneficiary of the NHS Charities Together funding. This will enable us to provide more emotional and practical support to people in hospital eye clinics across the county as well as introducing Hearing Loss Advisors in the audiology clinics”.







Funding over two years was also awarded to

Emerge Advocacy for their Voice of Hope programme supporting young people in A&E and beyond because of self-harm, suicide attempt or emotional crisis. Teams of specially trained staff and volunteers across Surrey Heartlands are present in hospital during the evenings to bring comfort, compassion and care to people aged 10 to 25 arriving in A&E or staying on the wards because of self-harm, suicidal ideation or emotional crisis. The team also provides follow-up support as soon as young people leave hospital to provide a bridge back into daily life following their crisis. This tailored support reduces the risk of repeat crisis and re-admission and helps to set young people on a new trajectory. 








East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services are using their funding towards a specialist Domestic Abuse and Mental Health Worker and specialist counselling and psychotherapy to survivors of domestic abuse in East Surrey. The group has created a position dedicated to working with survivors whose experiences of trauma have led to significant mental ill-health as well as providing them with opportunities to access appropriate trauma informed therapeutic interventions that meet their needs.



The Surrey NHS Charities who funded this programme were:


Congratulations to all of the groups who were awarded funding from the 2021 Surrey Health and Wellbeing round. The grants awarded will make a massive improvement to some of Surrey’s most disadvantaged people as they recover from the unexpected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note, grants are awarded subject to applicants meeting the Community Foundation for Surrey’s eligibility criteria and the Fund Criteria.

The Surrey Health and Wellbeing Fund is now closed.  For further information on available funding opportunities and to apply for a grant, applicants should visit:

Surrey County Council donate £200,000 to the Community Foundation for Surrey to support local charities seeking support this winter

23rd November 2021

Grants available to address urgent issues around the economic impact on our community  over the coming months.   

Independent local charity, the Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) is working together with Surrey County Council (SCC) to award grants to projects across Surrey in need of emergency and crisis funding. The purpose of the funding is to support an increased number of people facing poverty by strengthening community initiatives, including a focus on activity that helps address the root causes of food poverty.

The Surrey Community Fund (SCF), managed by CFS, has been in operation since 2006 and pools donations from local people and partners to address current and emerging needs in communities across the county. The £200,000 donation from Surrey County Council will enable the Foundation to efficiently distribute urgent emergency and crisis funding for grants relating to poverty during the period of 1 December 2021- 31 March 2022.

During December to March, the Foundation will not have a particular deadline for applications but will operate a rolling programme responding to Crisis.

Applications will be prioritised for projects dealing with urgent issues arising from what is anticipated to be a tough Winter, in particular:

  • Support for organisations tackling the impact of rising costs and falling benefits including crisis provision e.g. measures which improve the sustainability of food banks, or increase the ability of debt advisors to provide support.
  • Support for organisations that tackle the root causes of poverty.

Priority will also be given to initiatives that support those parts of the community that may have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19.

During this period, the Foundation will also accept emergency requests from previous grantees facing a financial crisis where a short-term award could help to bridge a gap with a view to implementing a sustainable solution.

The two Surrey organisations have an ongoing partnership, with SCC and CFS aligning on many initiatives in recent years to support Surrey residents.

Surrey County Councillor Mark Nuti Cabinet Member for Communities said:

“We made a pledge to “leave no one behind” and this latest funding is about enabling those organisations out in our communities to address critical areas of need and deprivation across Surrey. Our continued partnership with the Community Foundation Surrey is vital to ensure that we can get funds to those families and individuals that need it most.”

Since its establishment in 2005, CFS has been bringing together local donors with the local charities and voluntary groups delivering positive solutions to the many challenges within our communities. The Foundation, who works together with philanthropic individuals, families, businesses and charitable trusts, awards hundreds of grants each year to Surrey community groups tackling identified local needs.

Rebecca Bowden, Chief Executive at the Community Foundation for Surrey said:

Winter is a challenging time for families and individuals walking a financial tightrope and, with many funding schemes closed, and rising costs for fuel and food, the outlook for this winter is looking bleak. This funding will provide invaluable support to those within these communities who need it most. We are delighted to have such a strong partnership with SCC and we are most grateful to them for their generous and timely donation which we will use our knowledge and expertise to distribute quickly and effectively.”  

The Foundation knows through the applications it has received, that the impact of these issues is being felt greatly by local people, and the sector. 23,000 children already live in poverty in Surrey and spiralling food and fuel costs could mean a very uncomfortable winter for many. This support will enable organisations such as food banks, baby banks, debt advice services, homeless shelters and other services to help mitigate the impact on their beneficiaries.

Community groups and charities can apply for a grant using the details below. Some examples of what could be funded are:

  • To support organisations to access, store and distribute additional supplies of good quality food, including good food surplus, in particular, e.g. Purchasing fridges, freezers and cooking equipment.
  • Purchasing IT equipment to help facilitate a system of electronic referrals and contact with customers.
  • Development of projects such as social supermarkets, community cafes, lunch clubs and community cooking classes.
  • Development and strengthening food partnerships with a view to creating healthy, sustainable local food systems to help tackle food insecurity.
  • Providing specialist support for initiatives such as outreach work, training for volunteers and development of community hubs which co-locate a range of support services.
  • Skills workshops to enhance employment opportunities.
  • Provision of 1 to 1 debt advice and support to vulnerable clients.

Application details

Please note, grants will be awarded subject to applicants meeting the Community Foundation for Surrey’s eligibility criteria and the Fund Criteria.

For further information and to apply for a grant, applicants should visit:

Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund Report

4th August 2021

Our new report has launched to share the outcomes of the financial aid delivered to the voluntary and community sector in Surrey through our Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund (SCRF). 

The SCRF launched to get emergency funding to where it was most needed, supporting charities to meet the increasing demand they were experiencing as the pandemic brought new challenges and to help them adapt and deliver their services remotely.

We were met with enormous generosity from local residents, companies and partners, and following an urgent appeal for donations, we were able to effectively distribute over £2.7 million in grants across Surrey – to support 225 organisations working on the frontline.

The report includes further statistics and outcomes from the Fund, including our grant-making by geographical area and to support critical themes of need. Information gathered through research and partnering with a range of local stakeholders, reveals the extreme challenges our county faced and where support was imperative.

We know that our SCRF was just the start of the journey and that there will be a long road to rebuild and recover our county. It is our hope that the community will come together once again in support to address the new and ongoing challenges arising across many areas of Surrey – the rise in children and young people’s mental ill-health, loneliness and isolation, and homelessness to name a few.


Kate Peters, Director of Grant-making at the Community Foundation for Surrey said:

“We are incredibly proud to share this report – to say a huge thank you for the resilience of the sector, and share stories from just some of the inspirational charities working tirelessly to support local people. While we celebrate what we have achieved together, we must not forget that the future of Surrey relies on what we do next. Our Surrey Community Fund is now our vehicle to ensure that longer-term sustainable recovery of the county is possible.”


The Surrey Community Fund will now assist charities and voluntary groups supporting local residents and communities to cope and find a long-term and sustainable pathway to recovery. The priority areas for funding will assist projects around health & wellbeing, education & training, promoting inclusion & overcoming disadvantage, and empowering communities.


Beccy Bowden, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Surrey said:

“The SCRF provided support to communities impacted by the virus at the most critical time, and we are most grateful to all of our local Donors and partners that have enabled this level of grant-making. But we know that the hard work is far from over. Many of the inequalities that already existed are now more prevalent, and new challenges have arisen that we could have never predicted. Now is the time to help us support Surrey to build back stronger.”

Find out more about how our Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund provided meaningful support to local people here!


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The Surrey Young People’s Fund secures further donations to support more of Surrey’s most disadvantaged young people!

3rd June 2021

Coming together in support of local young people

Established back in 2014, the Surrey Young People’s Fund (SYPF) launched to provide greater support for disadvantaged young people across the county, enabling them to gain access to training and employment opportunities. Since then, until the end of 2020, £110,000 has supported 464 determined young people, to assist them to move towards identified goals in education, training, apprenticeships, or employment.

A dedicated volunteer Panel, together with Community Foundation for Surrey staff, work to ensure the Fund supports those most in need. Small, but often lifechanging grants are awarded to young people aged 16-25, resident in Surrey, to support provision including laptops, work related clothing or training, course fees, travel costs and childcare.

Fast forward to 2020 and there is a multitude of further challenges for our young people as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. Financial hardship, school and college closures, a significant increase in mental health issues, and a lack of social opportunities have resulted in a tsunami of pressures for this demographic.

However, it is with grateful thanks to our generous local Community Foundation Donors, that the Surrey Young People’s Fund has received a further £45,000 in donations in 2020 – confirmation that the Fund can continue to support more young people through our grant-making programme! We are working to spread awareness of the Fund to enable more young people to be supported to reach their potential through education, training and employment.

If you would like to learn more about the Surrey Young People’s Fund, and how it is providing meaningful support to Surrey’s local young residents, please read the recently published SYPF Annual Review 2020 here!

Nick Brooks, Chair, SYPF said:

“I am delighted to share our report on the progress of Surrey Young People’s Fund in 2020, in what was a uniquely challenging year for the disadvantaged young people we support across the County, as well as for our Fund volunteers, referrers and funders. We are delighted to have been able to help as many young people as we have in our 6th year of operation, and I would like to thank all of our volunteers and donors who do so much to support young people move towards training and work.”

If you are a young person looking for support, please visit the SYPF webpage to find out more.


On behalf of us all at the Community Foundation for Surrey, thank you to everyone that is working to support young people at this critical time.


A short questionnaire from the Surrey Lieutenancy

14th April 2021

The Surrey Lieutenancy would like to invite you to respond to a very short questionnaire in order to gain a better understanding of your charity and the kind of support you would like to receive. Your open and honest answers to the following questionnaire would be of great help in this. Ideally, in order to best be able to complete this questionnaire, you would be a volunteer or a paid worker for a Surrey-based charity. For more details on the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, please see below.

The questionnaire can be found at this link:

The questionnaire should only take you 5 minutes to complete, and we hope that the information you give us will help the Surrey Lieutenancy to better support and better connect with your organisation and the wider charity sector in Surrey in the future.

If anybody would prefer to complete a paper form, or dictate their answers to someone over the phone, then this can be arranged. Please contact Nick Bragger at Surrey Community Action on 01483566072.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey is the personal representative of Her Majesty The Queen in Surrey. The responsibilities of the Lord-Lieutenant include arranging visits to the county by members of the Royal Family and escorting royal visitors; assisting with nominations for national honours and for invitations on behalf of the Crown; presenting medals and awards on behalf of The Queen; being responsible for nominations for The Queen’s Award for Enterprise and The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service; supporting the armed forces in Surrey; and supporting and celebrating all aspects of charitable, voluntary, community and business engagement throughout the county. The role of the Lord-Lieutenant, like that of the Monarch, is strictly apolitical. It is unpaid. The Lieutenancy is the term which describes the Lord-Lieutenant and his Deputies in their generic work on behalf of the Crown. The Lieutenancy is not involved in fund-raising. 

The current Lord-Lieutenant is Mr Michael More-Molyneux. He is one of 96 around the country. The Vice Lord-Lieutenant is Sir Stephen Lamport. Deputy Lieutenants are appointed to assist the Lord-Lieutenant in carrying out his duties. There are at present 40 active Deputy Lieutenants, all volunteers, based in boroughs and districts across the county. They embrace a wide range of experience across business, charities, public service and local communities.

The Lieutenancy website carries news of events, information, and opinion about the county and the work of the Lieutenancy. The Lieutenancy has recently established a number of Focus Groups on subjects of particular concern to the county. The Charities & Communities Focus Group comprises five Deputy Lieutenants and five experienced members of the charity and local community sectors. It is this group which has organised the distribution of this questionnaire.

We look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Thank you!

Announcing Dr. Beccy Bowden as Chief Executive!

9th April 2021

The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Beccy Bowden as Chief Executive, following the departure of Laura Thurlow after her long and successful career with the organisation.

Beccy is currently Chief Executive of Heathrow Community Trust and has extensive experience within the third sector, having previously been Chief Executive of SATRO for nine years.

A resident of Surrey, Beccy’s leadership record and understanding are further augmented by her non-executive experience. In addition to her current role as Board Chair at Headway Surrey, she is also a Trustee of Advanced Humanitarian Operational Solutions CIO, a Non-Executive Director at Providence Row Housing, and an Independent Custody Visitor at the Surrey Police & Crime Commissioner’s Office.

Beccy said: The Community Foundation for Surrey has a key role to play not just in re-building our community, but in helping to build better, stronger and above all more equitably. I look forward to using my skills and experience to help everyone associated with the Foundation to achieve this aim.”

Jim Glover, Chair of CFS, added: “The Board was very impressed with Beccy’s professional experience, her deep understanding of the importance of our role, and total commitment to our mission.

The Boards of Trustees of the Community Foundation and Heathrow Community Trust will work closely together in order to ensure a successful period of transition for both organisations.

Jim Glover OBE DL