We have to date awarded £289,423 to support people with mental health needs from our Coronavirus Response Funding.

One in four people experience a mental health problem in any given year. This equates to 297,500 people among the 1.19 million population of Surrey.

The Mental Health Foundation also estimate that 1 in 10 children and young people have poor mental health – an estimated 14,500 individuals between the ages of 5 and 15 in Surrey.

The experience of living through the Coronavirus pandemic has been deeply challenging for those experiencing mental health challenges.

How our grants are helping:

Oakleaf Enterprise, a mental health charity based in Guildford told us:

“All Oakleaf clients already suffered mental illness before this crisis arose. Most live very isolated lives as a result of their mental ill-health, cut-off from family and friends and dependent on Oakleaf for social contact and focus. Their lives are already hugely challenged.

In the current circumstances, we have seen that our clients are relying on whatever support Oakleaf can give. Within 2 minutes of a text being sent out to clients earlier this week, 20 replies were received from clients needing urgent support to help to prevent worsening mental health. We are currently providing some level of support to over 300 clients.”

In addition to those who were already experiencing mental ill-health prior to the pandemic, charities, including Surrey Care Trust, anticipate that “Coronavirus will have sweeping and long lasting effects on Surrey’s most vulnerable communities” – including, via unemployment, loss of or reduced income; increased stress, (especially as people struggle to source or finance basic supplies); and in the deterioration of adult and child mental health, including anxiety, depression and self-harm.

A survey in the last week of March – when we launched our Coronavirus Response Fund – reported that 21% of respondents were concerned about isolation and 20% about mental illness. Concerns about having negative feelings were reported by 13% of the respondents.[1]

A more recent survey (conducted in the first week of May), reported 58% of the population were finding it harder to stay positive about the future compared with before the outbreak.[2] The variation is stark – 13% of respondents to the first survey were concerned about having negative feelings but five weeks later, the second survey reports 58% were struggling.

Key issue: We know that early intervention is crucial for the effective and long-term treatment of developing mental health issues. In lockdown, people are suffering from isolation, worry and confusion, without access to usual support networks (friends, family, leisure activities etc) and not accessing treatment when needed. Helplines are seeing increased numbers of callers with suicidal thoughts and the concern is that even once lockdown is over, lack of treatment at this early stage will mean that many more people will continue to suffer mental illness.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists have warned that there could be a “tsunami of mental health problems that only arise after lockdown is over.” A survey of 1,369 psychiatrists between 1-6 May, found 45 per cent had seen a reduction in routine appointment attendance since 23 March, leading to fears that patients were avoiding support until they reach crisis point.

In addition nearly half (43 per cent) of psychiatrists had seen an increase in urgent and emergency caseloads where patients are showing the most serious conditions.”[3]

This is a long-term crisis. The repercussions from this pandemic will be felt across the county for some time to come. 

Bereavement services are particularly likely to be affected during the crisis. There is a much bigger rise in deaths than normally expected so there are many more bereaved people needing help. Many people are finding that bereavement is particularly traumatic during the pandemic. Losing their loved ones whilst experiencing social isolation means people are often unable to say their final goodbyes or seek comfort and hugs from their own parents, siblings and children if they happen to live in different households.

Cruse Bereavement Care in the South West Surrey area have set up additional phonelines to offer support, assistance, and advice to locally bereaved people.  They anticipate that there will be a further 200 bereavements/deaths locally as a result of the Coronavirus.  The charity has recruited and trained extra volunteers to help people cope with the bereavement of a loved one.

Below are the grants we have awarded locally to support people with mental health needs.

CharityProject DescriptionAmount Awarded
40 Degreez Centre
Essential Running Costs for a charity providing youth work to support vulnerable young people in Farnham.
Belong: Making Justice Happen
Funding to provide settlements information and basic needs packs for prisoners released from Coldingley Prison, and packs for remaining prisoners to cope with emotional stress caused by restrictions due to Coronavirus (no visitors, reduced activities)
Funding to support vulnerable people struggling with addiction in Surrey during the Coronavirus pandemic
Change of Scene
Essential running costs to enable an alternative educational provider to offer additional sessions to vulnerable young people
Connect Counselling Service
Funding to maintain one-to-one counselling for clients struggling with emotional and relationship difficulties as face-to-face sessions are replaced by remote services during the Coronavirus pandemic£5,000
Creative Response Arts
Funding to provide art-based therapy to people suffering from mental health concerns alongside other disabilities, during the Coronavirus pandemic

Funding for home visits, PPE equipment and other costs due to need to change delivery model in supporting members and carers
Cruse Bereavement Care South West Surrey AreaFunding toward the essential running costs of a bereavement charity, based in Milford, during the COVID-19 pandemic£5,000
East to WestSalary costs to help a charity support young people who are suffering during the Covid-19 crisis, using new practises£5,000
East to West
Salary costs for 2 new roles to expand the services of a charity providing youth work for vulnerable young people
EikonContribution to a Surrey charity supporting vulnerable young people during the Coronavirus pandemic
EikonFunding towards increasing the capacity of 8 charities to provide support for Young People's mental Health in Surrey.
Emerge Advocacy CIO
Providing supporting to vulnerable young people suffering with mental ill-health exacerbated by the Covid-19 outbreak£5,000
Emerge Advocacy CIO
Essential running costs to expand provision of support to young people at risk of suicide
Guildford Shakespeare CompanyFunding toward the purchase of equipment and resource, for a theatre company based in Guildford, to offer an online course to those who suffer with mental health issues, during the COVID-19 pandemic£5,000
Hale Community Centre

Funding for a community store of items to borrow or swap during the coronavirus crisis
Hersham Youth Trust
Funding toward the essential running costs of an organisation, based in Hersham, that runs youth clubs for the local young people, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Holy Trinity Church Claygate -The Well Youth Drop-In
Funding is requested for video and IT equipment, digital subscriptions and project costs to enable outreach youth work to continue for a local church
I'm all earsFunding to provide 190 hours of free counselling to people in Waverley who are struggling during the Coronavirus pandemic£4,750
Imago Dei Prison Ministry
Funding to support isolated women in prisons, supporting their mental health, amid the Coronavirus pandemic
Jigsaw (South East)
Costs to providing remote support to grieving people across Surrey during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Funding to provide a remote programme for vulnerable boys aged 9 - 12 with weekly contact with support workers and posted practical activities
Mary Frances Trust
Funding for additional IT equipment to expand support services to people suffering from mental ill-health and isolation across Surrey amid the Coronavirus crisis£4,313
Matrix Trust
Funding toward the delivery in amended services and essential running costs for a youth work charity, based in Guildford, during the COVID-19 pandemic£4,500
Funding to provide remote counselling to vulnerable families during the Coronavirus pandemic
Oakleaf Enterprise
Delivery costs to support people with mental health problems during the Covid-19 crisis, using new remote methods
Oakleaf Enterprise
Funding towards the Client Service Outreacher Worker supporting people experiencing mental ill-health and isolation during the COVID-19 lockdown
IT equipment and running costs for a charity supporting LGBT+ people suffering during isolation during the Coronavirus pandemic
Possability People
Core costs for a charity supporting people with long-term health issues during the Coronavirus pandemic
Prison Advice & Care Trust (Pact)
Funding to provide support to the children and families of prisoners during the coronavirus crisis£5,000
Samaritans East Surrey
Funding for IT and cleaning equipment, and some core costs, for a Samaritan Service to support disadvantaged people amid the Coronavirus pandemic
Funding for an Advice Line for Carers of people with learning disabilities, autism and sight loss to provide support during the Coronavirus pandemic
Funding to support Asian women via online sessions during the Coronavirus pandemic
Surrey Care Trust
Funding to upgrade and implement a number of remote working practices to enable support to be given to vulnerable people across Surrey, facing an array of issues during the Covid-19 outbreak
Surrey Care Trust
Funding for COVID-19 Support Groups, helps those who have suffered the effects of COVID-19, or are bereaved
Surrey Drug and Alcohol Care
Funding towards Telephone Counselling Service for people suffering from mental-ill health during the Covid-19 outbreak
Surrey Sands
Costs towards a charity supporting grieving parents in Surrey effected by the Coronavirus pandemic
The Brigitte Trust
Costs towards a Telephone Befriending Service addressing loneliness and isolation during the Coronavirus outbreak
The Lightbox
Costs to deliver arts-based support to existing elderly, isolated and vulnerable clients during the Coronavirus pandemic
The Lucy Rayner Foundation
Funding to provide free counselling for those struggling during the Covid-19 outbreak
Woking MIND
To fund the purchase of equipment to offer remote support to people suffering from mental ill-health during the Covid-19 outbreak



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