Community Foundation for Surrey awards £482,160 to help young people

11th August 2022

The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to announce the awarding of 59 grants, totalling £482,160 to voluntary and community organisations in Surrey.




Funded through the generous contribution of our donor funds, the Foundation’s Young People theme helps to combat issues impacting young people, including:

  • Coping with and managing mental health issues.
  • Obtaining qualifications and developing life skills that will improve their chances of gaining employment.
  • Widening horizons – giving children and young people in disadvantaged communities access to opportunity.
  • Supporting young people caring for others.
  • Mentoring and coaching.
  • Enabling young people to access sports, arts and the environment.

There was a wide spread of issues supported through the funding round, but the two dominant themes were Mental health and wellbeing, and Education, skills and employability which accounted for more than half the awards. Mental health alone made up a third of the awards.

We are very excited that one of our donor funds has awarded four, three-year grants for salary costs, thereby providing stability to the charities supported. One of the recipients said:

“A 3 year funding offer is absolutely brilliant and is a massive weight off our trustee-shoulders, knowing that we have security for our ongoing work with our young people. It also enables more strategic, longer-term planning and will encourage other investments of support. Just wonderful all-round.” (Claygate Youth and Community Hub)

Feedback from grant recipients

We have received some fantastic feedback from our grant recipients. Here are a few of their comments:

Your Sanctuary

– Surrey based charity supporting survivors of domestic abuse.

 “This generous grant from the Community Foundation will help us to continue our vital work supporting children who are living in our refuges for families fleeing domestic abuse. Our specialist support workers provide a safe place for children to talk, play and heal from their experiences. Thank you.”

Fiamma Pather, Chief Executive Officer, Your Sanctuary

Buddy Up

 – A mentoring charity for young people to develop skills so that they can thrive in education, relationships and beyond.

“Buddy Up are incredibly grateful for the grant from The Community Foundation for Surrey. This funding means we can continue to provide our much needed mentoring service to the most vulnerable young people in Surrey.”

Andy Reid CEO and Founder Buddy Up

Horsley, Bookham & Leatherhead Riding for the Disabled Association

 – A local charity providing therapeutic riding sessions for children and adults with disabilities.

“Horsley, Bookham & Leatherhead RDA are delighted to receive Community Foundation for Surrey’s grant towards the purchase of our next horse. This ensures that we can cater for more local children/young adults who want to ride with us and have therapeutic sessions with our horses and ponies each week.”

Joanna Marsh, Trustee, Fundraising

Breck Foundation

– Campaigns for a safer internet for all children and young people – whether they are gaming, communicating on social media, using apps or taking part in any other internet-based activity.

“Breck Foundation is extremely grateful for the support of Community Foundation for Surrey, with it we can deliver our powerful and potentially lifesaving ‘Online Safety’ sessions in schools all over Surrey; Breck’s Mother believes that had her son seen our ‘Online Safety’ session, he would still be alive today“.

Michael Buraimoh, CEO of Breck Foundation


For more information, please contact our Grants Team at email:


Together We Can Video Credits

5th August 2020






Shahid Azeem DL – High Sheriff of Surrey

Dele Ryder – Partnership and Business Development Manager, A2 Dominion

Michelle Blunsom MBE – Chief Executive, East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services

Jonathan Lees – Founder, Epsom and Ewell Foodbank

Nicola Dawes – Founder, Stripey Stork

Nick Brooks – Chair, Surrey Young People’s Fund

Professor Max Lu – Vice-Chancellor, University of Surrey

Craig Duncan – Service user, The Amber Foundation

Joy Wright – Founder, Emerge Advocacy

Seven Hills – Script

James Llewelyn – Cameraman

Goodwork PR Agency – Editing

Community Foundation for Surrey Donors, Trustees and staff

Over £332,000 awarded across Surrey in the latest Coronavirus Response Fund grants

15th July 2020

A further 52 charities have been awarded funding in the latest of our Coronavirus Response Fund Grants which has led to a staggering £332,520 that has been distributed to good causes across Surrey in recent weeks. This brings the total amount awarded from the Fund to over £1 million. These funds have helped many disadvantaged local people in need of support, to stay safe and to provide basic essentials during the challenging and unsettling times caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

It is thanks to the generosity of local people, businesses and funding from the National Emergencies Trust Appeal that we have raised over £1.5 million to date.

Below are some examples of how these grants will make a difference to the lives of people in Surrey:

The Include Project in Redhill were awarded funding to deliver choir and advice services online for people with learning disabilities, autism, dementia, brain injury, stroke or tumour. The Include Project supports clients with understanding and speech difficulties by teaching better ways of including and involving those with specific communication needs. They do this through community choir sessions, performances, workshops and training. The weekly Include Choir gives these members an outlet to engage with familiar faces and meaningful, uplifting activity in a safe and welcoming environment. It also helps their care staff with structure and regular activity.

The Virtual Tea Break:

“In the same way that people in a wheelchair need a ramp to access buildings, people with understanding and speaking difficulties need a ramp to access the lives and services we take for granted.

Include is building that ramp through The Include Choir, which provides empowering social musical opportunities for people with communication needs and teaches communication skills to choir members, care staff and audiences alike. In addition to the Choir, Include provides music and communication activities and training, based on clinical evidence, to health and social care providers, third sector organisations and more.

Despite Covid-19’s significant challenges, Include has been able to adapt and continue including our members, thanks to the support of our funders.”

– Alix Lewer, Director, The Include Project


Re-engage who seek to support people who live alone aged 75 and over received funding towards their essential running costs and befriending service. The scheme is called Call Companions and is a free service for anyone over-75 who lives alone and feels they could do with a friendly phone call every week or two. The same person calls every time so, gradually, clients and callers get to know one another. It helps lift everyone’s spirits and makes them feel more connected to the world.

“On behalf of us all here at Re-engage, thank you for your generous support of our call companions programme.  Your support will make all the difference to lonely older people in Surrey. One of our volunteer call companions recently told us, “One guest I spoke to told me she hadn’t used her voice in two weeks. She hadn’t spoken to a soul.” Your funding will help us reach those that need us the most.”

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

The 50 other charities who received funding were:

  1. Active Prospects in Reigate received funding to purchase equipment and supply activities to support the physical and mental well-being of people with learning disabilities, autism or acquired brain injury
  2. Age Concern Epsom and Ewell advice and information helpline which supports older people, has received a contribution towards staff costs to help the charity respond to a large increase in demand for their service
  3. Belong: Making Justice Happen, who are based in Woking received funding to provide support, information and basic needs packs for released and incarcerated prisoners
  4. Byfleet Community Action (Byfleet Care) received a grant towards the salary cost of a Volunteer Coordinator, for a service in Byfleet, that offers transport to medical appointments and a delivery service of shopping for isolated elderly people
  5. Camberley Nepali (G) Society were awarded funding to help support the older Nepalese Society with shopping deliveries, prescription drop offs and regular support phone calls to support some of Camberley’s most isolated people
  6. Care Ashore were awarded a grant to purchase equipment and cover volunteer costs to provide activities for retired seafarers at a care home in Alford
  7. Connect Counselling Service, who are based in Camberley were awarded a grant to work remotely whilst maintaining their one-to-one counselling for clients struggling with emotional and relationship difficulties
  8. Creative Response Arts in Farnham were awarded funding to provide art-based therapy and activity packs to people suffering from mental health disorders and other disabilities
  9. Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity received funding towards the essential running costs, IT costs and education technology to support families across Surrey with children that have cerebral palsy aged 5 and under
  10. Fairlands, Liddington Hall, and Gravetts Lane Community Association in Guildford obtained funding to produce information and activity packs to isolated older people during the pandemic
  11. Family Voice Surrey, based in Leatherhead, received funding to provide online and telephone support to carers in each of the 11 Surrey boroughs
  12. Fredericks Foundation in Lightwater received funding to staff a help desk aimed at low income and financially excluded families who largely fall outside the government financial support packages
  13. Global Grooves Foundation obtained a grant to purchase and deliver goods and groceries for 22 high priority families in Woking (experiencing low income, unemployment, isolation or recently grieving)
  14. Guildford Shakespeare Company were supported to purchase equipment and resources to offer an online play writing and drama course to improve the mental health of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged families in Surrey
  15. Hale Community Centre obtained funding for a community store to borrow or swap a variety of items (including puzzles & board games, books, musical instruments, garden games etc) to support local people
  16. Haslemere Educational Museum received a grant towards the essential running costs, salary costs and material costs to continue their outreach to the local community through online workshops, videos and resources for families with young children and vulnerable adults
  17. Hersham Youth Trust obtained funding toward the essential running costs to run youth clubs and online and phone support for local disadvantaged and vulnerable young people
  18. Home-Start Elmbridge obtained funding for a specialist Family Support Worker to help struggling families with parenting and mental health support 
  19. Home-Start Surrey Heath received a grant towards the essential running costs to continue support for families with a child aged 5 or under, that are struggling to cope 
  20. Home-Start Waverley were awarded a contribution to essential running costs for a charity supporting families with young children facing wide-ranging difficulties
  21. Imago Dei Prison Ministry received funding to support vulnerable and isolated women in prisons, to improve their mental well being
  22. It’s Not Your Birthday But, based in Claygate and Walton on Thames, received a grant to support isolated older people’s mental health by providing creative activity packs, socially distanced portraits and interviews for a biography
  23. KidsOut in Guildford were awarded funding towards the purchase of food vouchers for women in refuge in Surrey to enable mothers to purchase essential groceries
  24. Man and Boy, a charity that promotes positive male role models for boys where there is no father figure, received a grant to provide a remote programme for vulnerable boys aged 9-12 with weekly support worker contact
  25. The Meath Epilepsy Trust, a specialist residential care home in Godalming for adults who have complex epilepsy, severe physical and learning disabilities were awarded funding towards the purchase of separate changing facilities for staff
  26. Mustard Seed Autism Trust, a charity supporting children with autism received funding to make resources available online and support families remotely at a time when they also experiencing a substantial increase in enquiries 
  27. Oakleaf Enterprise in Guildford, received funding towards their Client Service Outreacher Worker supporting people experiencing mental ill-health and isolation
  28. Painshill Park Trust Limited in Cobham, were awarded a grant to provide a safe space for older isolated people, and older volunteers to return to duties following the COVID-19 lockdown
  29. Painting our World in Silver in Weybridge, obtained funding toward the purchasing of art and craft packages that help the isolated and elderly
  30. Princess Alice Hospice in Esher, obtained funding toward the purchase of essential Personal Protective Equipment to continue their services supporting people with life limiting illnesses
  31. Prison Advice & Care Trust (PACT) in Woking, received funding to provide advice and support to the children and families of prisoners. The charity provide support through food vouchers, emergency supplies, household items, clothing and have developed special new online resources and printable activity packs
  32. Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People received funding towards the additional costs incurred by acquiring Personal Protective Equipment for those providing care for adults and children with disabilities
  33. Reigate & Banstead Borough African and Caribbean Community Association were awarded funding to support African and Caribbean communities. Support packages include providing transportation, personal assistance and delivery of shopping, food vouchers and prescriptions
  34. Samaritans East Surrey were awarded funding for IT and cleaning equipment, and some essential running costs so they can continue supporting the most vulnerable and isolated
  35. Sebastian’s Action Trust obtained funding to provide online services, food/essential supplies, and activity bags to vulnerable families who have children with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness in Surrey Heath and Guildford
  36. Something To Look Forward To, a Guildford based charity, were awarded funding to provide essential items including bedding, toiletries and clothing for people affected by cancer who are experiencing financial hardship during and in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic
  37. Southwark Diocesan Welcare obtained a grant towards the cost of food vouchers to support with vulnerable families from Surrey with children up to the age of 13
  38. Stanwell Village Hall received funding to enable a village hall to host a food bank, cooking meals for vulnerable and self isolating members of the community
  39. Surrey Choices Employability received funding to provide IT Equipment and access to WiFi for disabled people and their families
  40. Surrey Family & Mediation Services received funding toward the purchase of equipment and software licences to enable a mediation service to deliver their service online  
  41. Synergy Dance Outreach were awarded a grant to provide remote yoga and exercise classes to older people and people with disabilities
  42. Talk, a charity based in Guildford, were awarded a grant to provide a remote support service, including activity packs and telephone support to people who have been affected by a stroke and have aphasia
  43. Taylor Made Dreams obtained funding toward food and hygiene parcels for families who have a child suffering from a life-limiting illness
  44. The Autism Trust from Camberley were awarded funding for essential running costs, online support and a telephone line for families with Autism Spectrum Disorder members
  45. The Woodlarks Centre in Farnham, received a grant to purchase equipment to enable online physiotherapy sessions for people with learning disabilities
  46. Three Counties Money Advice in Haslemere, were given a grant towards the purchase of equipment to enable staff to work from home and give financial advice to vulnerable families who have had reduced working hours or have been furloughed
  47. Transform Housing and Support were awarded further funding for Personal Protective Equipment for staff and volunteers at a homelessness charity
  48. Voluntary Support North Surrey were awarded funding to provide online training to volunteers to support the Third Sector in North Surrey with centres in Camberley, Chertsey and Staines. Training will include befriending, buddying and fundraising
  49. Waverley Hoppa Community Transport, a transport charity supporting older, disabled and/or vulnerable people, received funding for 3 months of Personal Protective Equipment
  50. Young Epilepsy in Lingfield, received two grants to purchase laptops to enable staff to work remotely alongside young people with epilepsy and their families





Phase 2 Funding

We are extremely proud to announce that we have awarded our first grants from Phase 2 of our Coronavirus Response grant-making. Together with local partners, we have awarded over £58,000 to furnish a new Refuge that will support up to 20 victims and their families fleeing domestic abuse, at a time when staying at home is not the safest place for them to be. Read more here

A group of 8 Surrey charities led by young people’s charity, Eikon have been awarded a total of £50,000 to help deal with the surge in demand for children and young people’s mental health services following the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

For more information and how to apply for a grant from our Coronavirus Response Fund, please visit our webpage here!



28th April 2020

Laura Thurlow

The Community Foundation for Surrey urges people to continue to donate as Surrey’s charities face increased demand.

The Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund, established by the Community Foundation for Surrey, has reached the remarkable milestone of £1 million raised. The Foundation, which brings together local donors with those providing positive solutions to the issues facing Surrey, has already distributed more than £600,000 from the emergency fund.

Laura Thurlow, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Surrey says:

“The generosity and response of our community to this crisis has been extraordinary. This milestone is the clearest example yet of what our community is able to do when we come together. And whilst this is definitely good news, the reality is there are still hundreds of groups who are in need of funding. I am certain this £1 million milestone will inspire those of us in Surrey who can help, to donate now so we can keep on helping and plan for the crucial next stage of support.”

The £1 million figure includes £326,700 from the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal, and more than £717,000 in donations from generous local donors and partners. This concerted effort has ensured the Foundation has been able to quickly award emergency funding to 122 community groups reaching more than 90,000 beneficiaries across Surrey.

Funding needs continue during uncertain times

These emergency grants have been used by charities to cover unexpected expenses. Sarah Beasley, Scheme Manager at Home-Start Runnymede and Woking, and her team were surprised when they discovered many families lacked simple basics for their children, such as craft materials, pens and paper:

“Our family support worker offered to bring around some colouring books for the children. And the mum said, ‘OK, yeah, that’ll be great. But we don’t have any crayons or pens.’ And that was when it really hits us that actually so many families don’t have anything. So what we’ve used some of our [grant] funding for is a whole load of resource packs.”

The urgency has also seen the charity, which supports families with young children through their challenging times, distributing its Christmas donations in April due to the sudden need for toys and games. Sarah Beasley continues:

“Obviously that will be a challenge when it comes to Christmas. But we just thought, actually, this is where the real need is now. It’s the kind of decision that needs to be made straight away – and we just have to do it.”

Other charities are finding themselves unexpectedly struggling to meet their essential running costs during a period of increased demand. Jen Clay, Fundraising and Partnership Manager at Oakleaf Enterprise, a mental health charity based in Guildford and serving Surrey, says:

“The £5,000 grant from The Community Foundation for Surrey, from the emergency fund, that was one of the very first grants we received. And I remember it being such a moment of hope, because to be honest, that was at the start where we really were concerned whether Oakleaf was financially going to make it through this.

We don’t know when the lockdown is going to lift. We don’t know when fundraising will resume. We expect a shortfall of £100,000 this financial year, which for us a small charity is huge. We need to make sure that our core costs are covered so that not only can we be there during this crisis, but we can also be there on the other side when we’re only going to see an increase in the need for our services.”

Laura Thurlow continues:

“So many of our community groups have had their fundraising efforts put on hold whilst demand for their services only continues to increase. We are grateful to everyone for the amount we’ve raised, yet we know we need to keep looking ahead to that next milestone. Together we can make sure that this emergency fund is there for our community’s charities even beyond the lockdown – just as they have been there for so many in Surrey during this crisis.”

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) have estimated that charities across the UK stand to lose £4 billion in 12 weeks as a result of the crisis.

Charity and community groups interested in applying for Coronavirus Response Funding, can find the eligibility guidelines online and apply online here. Applications can be made either by filling out a short online form or by selecting a time for a telephone interview with a CFS volunteer.

To donate
Donations to the Fund are collected securely online through Virgin Money Giving and by direct bank transfer.

A list of additional grantees is available here.

The Lady Noel Byron Nursing Association

9th April 2019

Created in 1858, the Noel Byron Nursing Association was established to support a District Nurse for the villages of East and West Horsley. The first meeting of the Trustees held on 6th March 1858 was chaired by the Earl of Lovelace and the minute book recording every meeting since is now available to see in the County Archives.

The Charity became largely redundant with the creation of the NHS, until the retirement of Nurse Horsley and the sale of the house she occupied. After the sale, the Trustees began to award grants to local groups promoting the health and welfare of Horsleys residents. Under the Chairmanship of the late Marcus Colby, and latterly Jeremy Miles, this work continued until the charity was transferred to the Horsley Community Fund in 2015, enabling the charity to continue to benefit the health and well-being of village residents in line with Lady Byron’s wishes in perpetuity.

David Morgan, former Lady Noel Byron Nursing Association Trustee, has joined the Horsleys Community Fund panel and his local knowledge and experience is a fantastic addition to the team.

“We are delighted that by combining funds we will generate more money to have a bigger impact and better support the villages and their residents; whilst preserving the rich history of the Lady Noel Byron Nursing Association.”

Clare Mathias, Horsleys Community Fund Panel Chair

Tandridge Voluntary Service Council & CFS FUNDING SURGERY Wednesday 18 January

3rd January 2017

Kate Peters

Does your group need funding?  If so come along and meet the Grants Manager for Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) to discuss your funding needs.

Tandridge Voluntary Service Council and CFS are running a FUNDING SURGERY on Wednesday 18 January 2017 12.30pm- 2.30pm at Oxted Community Hub, First Floor above Oxted Library, 14 Gresham Road, Oxted. RH8 0BQ

Did you know…..?

  • Tandridge charities and voluntary groups are not applying for funding that could be theirs!
  • 65% of groups who submit an expression of interest go on to receive funding
  • 85% of applications are successful

Following a short presentation from Kate Peters, Grants Manager for CFS there will be an opportunity to book a ‘one-to-one’ chat with her to discuss your funding needs.

To book a place compete the attached form and return to by Wednesday 11 January.

Community Foundation for Surrey’s Executive Director Awarded MBE in Queen’s 2016 Birthday Honours

13th June 2016

The Executive Director of the Community Foundation for Surrey, Wendy Varcoe, has been awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s 2016 Birthday Honours list. The Honour has been awarded to recognise Wendy’s dedication and hard work in supporting local communities across Surrey.

Wendy said

 It has been a privilege to have been involved with building a Community Foundation for Surrey and to have had the opportunity to work with such an inspiring and dedicated team. Building the Community Foundation has been a joint effort over 10 years with many people involved. I would particularly like to recognise and thank our Founding Chairman, Professor Patrick Dowling, our current Chairman, David Frank, and our amazing Donors, Trustees, Staff and supporters.

Wendy was involved in initiating and developing the Community Foundation for Surrey and was inspired by the need to build permanent community resources through local philanthropy. Wendy said “This is about local people supporting other local people and helping to build thriving communities that are so vital to the quality of people’s lives. The funding so generously given by our donors supports projects at the very local level across the width of need and ensures funding gets right where it is needed to help those in most need and to change lives”.

Over the past 10 years the Foundation has inspired Surrey families, businesses, trusts and individuals to come together and invest in their local communities now and for generations to come. Since it was established in 2005, the Community Foundation has awarded over £6 million in grants to local voluntary groups, community projects and individuals across the width of community need in Surrey and has built permanent community resources of £10 million which generates on-going funding in perpetuity.  Last year alone, the Community Foundation awarded over £1 million in grants to local communities across the county.

David Frank, the Community Foundation’s Chairman, said

It is very appropriate that Wendy’s work in the local community should be recognised during our tenth anniversary year. Wendy has worked tirelessly since the inception of the Foundation to promote local philanthropy and the results that she has achieved to date speak for themselves. She has been an inspiration to the whole team and I am very glad that this has now been publicly acknowledged.

Wendy  said

The Foundation has continued to build year on year and we have ambitious plans to help even more of Surrey’s communities going forward.

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Gold-i Innovation Fund awards first grant to Mane Chance Sanctuary

13th May 2016

Mane Chance Sanctuary, founded by actress Jenny Seagrove, is the first recipient of funding from The Gold-i Innovation Fund. A cheque for £2,500 was presented by Tom Higgins, CEO of Gold-i on 23 October 2015 to help fund bursaries for the pioneering Chance 4 Trust (C4T) Programme which benefits young people in Surrey aged 8 to 18 years who have social or emotional behavioural difficulties and are often excluded from mainstream education.

The C4T programme includes one to one therapy with a specially trained C4T practitioner and involves the young person interacting closely with the horses at the Mane Chance Sanctuary in Compton.  A pilot study earlier this year with children who had experienced high anxiety levels in some school situations resulted in very clear benefits, ranging from reduced levels of conflict to increased emotional resilience. It also had a positive impact on the horses who are in recovery at the sanctuary after being neglected, mistreated or abandoned.

On receiving the donation, Jenny Seagrove commented,

We are hugely grateful to receive the funding from the Gold-i Innovation Fund. The C4T programme is truly groundbreaking – it helps to heal our horses at the same time as helping young people in our community with particular challenges in their lives. I am so pleased that we now have the opportunity to roll the programme out to support young people who would otherwise not be able to access this remarkable form of therapy.

Tom Higgins, CEO, Gold-i added,

The Fund was established to help charities and local organisations in Surrey to push boundaries and do something innovative or remarkable. The C4T programme is hugely inspiring and I am very proud that we are able to support them with our first donation.

Mane Chance Sanctuary is a local charity which rescues neglected, mistreated and abandoned horses and seeks to bring them back to full health, both physically and emotionally. The sanctuary is located on a 47-acre site in Compton and aims to integrate the animals with the local community.