Elmbridge Community Fund supports Cobham based youth project

13th May 2016

The Elmbridge Community Fund, launched in January 2015 has awarded its third grant to the Cobham based SAY Youth Club. A grant of £2,400 has supported the club’s expansion to support older teenagers.

Elmbridge Community Fund panel member, Dominic Raab MP for Esher and Walton and Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) presented representatives from SAY Youth Club with the grant cheque at an event promoting the local Fund at the House of Commons.

The grant will enable the Youth Group to expand their programme to provide weekly activities for teenagers in a safe environment, away from the streets, which can for some, ultimately lead to danger to themselves and crime.


Dominic Raab MP explains

We are delighted to have supported such a worthwhile local project and are excited by the huge potential of the Fund to support more and more local community and voluntary groups in the future.

Elmbridge Community Fund Panel Chair Richard Waller explains,

Although Elmbridge is often perceived as a universally wealthy borough there are pockets of very real disadvantage and many people need extra support. The Elmbridge Community Fund works with existing charities and community groups to provide a simple way for local residents to support local communities in need.

This is a permanent fund that will grow over time. Founding donors have already come together to establish the fund and supported us to award our first three grants. Now we are seeking others to come forward to build the fund further.

Wendy Varcoe, Executive Director of the Community Foundation for Surrey said

By maximising Gift Aid your donation to the Elmbridge Community Fund can go further to support even more people, providing a very effective way supporting the local community.

Essential support to children in need in Elmbridge

27th April 2016

Grants from the Community Foundation for Surrey’s funds including the Elmbridge Community Fund have supported Oasis to enhance their outreach service, train a second facilitator in the Freedom Programme, a nationally acclaimed programme supporting female victims of Domestic violence and buy equipment for the Charity’s new, larger premises.

Oasis Children’s Charity provides essential support to children in need and their families across Elmbridge. Helping on average 250 vulnerable families a year, Oasis works closely with the family unit as a whole together with schools, GP’s and Social Services with the aim of keeping vulnerable children out of the social care system and with their own families.

Elmbridge has one of the highest rate of abuse in the country – statistically 1 in 3 women here in Elmbridge will be a victim of domestic violence

The following story is an example of the complexity of cases we handle and how effective we are at responding to the needs of an individual.

Kate’s story: Finding my voice.

I was brought up in a secure and reputable family, I received the very best of private education in Surrey and went on to gain 3 qualifications from English Universities. By my early 30’s, my CV and my attitude to work was outstanding, I got every job I ever went for, owned my own house and I had a huge group of friends – I was every parents success story.

In Easter 2007, I met the man of my dreams, he was driven, self-assured and financially secure. I was sure he loved me. We made plans, got engaged. I thought ‘this is it now I have it all!’

The cracks only really started to show when we began to disagree – the small things at first – about decorating or me doing something without his permission. He was now in charge of all the finances, he owned the house and I had to ask for money for anything that I needed as all my money was to go on groceries.

Whenever I thought I was getting anything right, he moved the goalposts and criticised me for not knowing. I became terrified, confused and I was very much alone in the world.

None of us know what life’s cards will deal us or what we will have to face or learn along the way. But what is absolutely crucial is that there is someone who understands and that there is help available when we need it.

After our baby was born his behaviour became even more frightening. His temper would fly if my son didn’t finish his bottle, he kicked my dog across the kitchen and he shook our son because he wouldn’t settle one morning. Not long after that, he raped me.

I was utterly terrified and thought I had no way out. I firmly believe that if my mother hadn’t come to collect my son and me before he returned from London that weekend he would have killed me.

Social Services simply didn’t have the resources to help us – Amazingly the Oasis Charity did. They arranged for me to receive specialist counselling and gave me the courage to face my son’s dad, attend mediation, set boundaries with him and even represent myself in court.

As humans we need to relate to each other to survive, to learn and to face things together, and we should never need to be alone in finding our voices. Without Oasis I would not have found mine and for that I will be forever grateful.

Elmbridge Philanthropy

26th April 2016

Elmbridge is one of Surrey’s most affluent and sought after areas, and regularly features as one of best places to live in the UK. Amidst this wealth, there are pockets of disadvantage in the borough where groups and communities are quite simply overlooked.

The overall wealth of Elmbridge often masks these, but there are many shocking statistics about social or geographical areas of deprivation and need, and because they are hidden, they are often much harder to address.

Elmbridge Philanthropy supports local community and voluntary groups who are making a difference to the quality of local community life by awarding grants to fund their work. The Fund supports voluntary effort, not just for a single cause, but across all sectors including; isolated older people, those affected by long term illness and disability, young people and families living in poverty and disadvantage.

The fund makes it easy for local residents to support the breadth of needs in Elmbridge:

  • Exclusively supporting local community projects
  • Pooling donations from companies, individuals and families to make a bigger impact
  • Providing a sustainable source of funding to support the evolving community needs
  • Developing the capacity to respond to local issues as they arise


Simon Lewis, Chief Executive of PMW and Chairman of Elmbridge Philanthropy has said:

The purpose of ECF is to finance the hard work of local volunteer groups and allow their passion to have an even greater impact for the benefit of our community.

Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton, and Fund Panel Member has said:

We are building a fund to support disadvantaged individuals and communities across all of Elmbridge. It will bring major benefits and help inspire local giving.

Grants awarded

A grant of £1,200 was awarded to The Brigitte Trust for their Volunteer Support Groups, supporting families where there is a life-threatening illness. These Volunteers provide care and company to the socially isolated – taking them in to town for shopping, a coffee or just spending time doing everyday activities where they may otherwise struggle.

A grant of £1,500 was awarded to Walton on Thames Charity KT1-2 Football for a project offering weekly free football coaching to children aged 6-14. The project specifically targets children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and has achieved considerable success in engaging with both hard to reach and “problem” families within the local community. Over 140 children are currently engaging with the project.