Woking Community Fund – a fund by and for the people of Woking since 2012

5th March 2024

A man in a white apron paints a bird box brown that has been made in a workshop

In a world where communities face diverse challenges, the importance of local support cannot be overstated. For residents of Woking, the Woking Community Fund offers vital assistance to grassroots organisations making a difference in our borough. But what sets this fund apart, and how does it empower locals to create positive change?

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand the independent nature of the Woking Community Fund. This fund is administered by Community Foundation for Surrey (CFSurrey), an independent registered charity with no direct affiliation to Woking Borough Council, or any other public sector body. The fund was set up in 2012 by local business people and has been run by a team of volunteers ever since, all overseen by the trustees of the Community Foundation for Surrey who have been overall responsibility for the governance and strategy of the foundation.

Led by a dedicated panel of volunteers, including Taravat Taher-Zadeh (Chair), Shahid Azeem DL, Elizabeth Duggan, and Mark Stevens, the Woking Community Fund embodies the spirit of local empowerment. These passionate individuals oversee the fund’s fundraising and awarding of grants, supported by the Community Foundation for Surrey who ensure that donations are channelled directly into projects that benefit our community. From combating social isolation to providing essential support services, every grant awarded reflects the collective effort to uplift Woking and its residents.

But how much impact can local giving truly have? The answer lies in the generosity of donors like you. The Woking Community Fund operates on a simple yet powerful principle: the more we receive in donations, the more we can award to local organisations. The Community Foundation for Surrey has awarded over £22m in grants since it was set up in 2005, and the Woking Fund alone has awarded over £138k since 2012; supporting small local organisations, empowering them to address pressing community needs with flexibility and efficiency.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge the Woking Community Fund is now operating in a landscape where previous sources of funding are limited. Despite our best efforts, our resources may not match those previously provided. Nevertheless, this reality underscores the importance of grassroots philanthropy and the resilience of our community in the face of challenges.

As we navigate the complexities of local giving, transparency and accountability remain paramount. The Woking Community Fund prides itself on its open and transparent allocations process. While all donations are pooled to support various Woking community causes, the panel ensure that grants are made aligning with the fund values and priorities.

In conclusion, the Woking Community Fund represents a shining example of the power of local giving to create positive change. Through independence from the council and a steadfast commitment to community empowerment, this fund empowers locals to make a tangible difference in the lives of their neighbours.

If you are able and would like to help us, you can donate to the Woking Community Fund here:

Grants will be 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; and
  • Supporting people who are experiencing difficult circumstances due to an illness, injury, disability, bereavement or financial difficulty.
  • Grants may fund existing services or facilities and new initiatives and can contribute to either capital costs such as funding new equipment or support on-going running costs.

Protected: Woking Community Fund

17th November 2023

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Woking Community Fund

27th April 2016

CFSurrey heart logo with Woking written in teal and Community Fund underneath written in dark blue.

The Woking Community Fund 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 enables and encourages local giving to support local communities to develop and thrive by supporting voluntary effort, not just for a single cause, but across all sectors including; isolated older people, those affected by long term illness and disability, the environment, sport and recreation, young people, families and community facilities.

The Woking Community Fund makes it easy for local residents to support the breadth of local needs by:

  • 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

At the moment we are able to double your donations to Woking Community Fund thanks to matched funding up to £4000 from Surrey County Council – click the banner above to donate!

There is also the opportunity to help by volunteering in Woking, and we are looking for interested community members to help us make a difference in our town. If you think you could spare time and/or skills and advice to local organisations, please email recruitment@cfsurrey.org.uk to find out more.

Example grants from the fund:

The Woking Community Fund has recently awarded £17,000 to support project in the local community:

Catalyst – Shifa (£5,000)

Funding towards the staff costs of a project supporting women from ethnic minority backgrounds with health and wellbeing.

Emmaus Transformation Trust Limited – Nurture Project (£5,000)

Funding is towards staff costs for Emmaus Transformation Trust’s Nurture Project for women in Woking facing hardship, helping them to become more resilient, to make friends and gain self-esteem.

LinkAble Woking – Life Skills Plus (£7,000)

Funding for a project providing life skills and learning opportunities for adults with learning disabilities to improve wellbeing.

Other projects supported include:

True Honour – £2,000

True Honour delivers training and awareness on crimes such as domestic violence, female Genital mutilation, forced marriage and honour based violence. The charity’s mission is to engage with Police and other agencies to gauge a better understanding of victims, to meet the needs of all communities, by providing awareness-raising activities on hidden abuse, and to support them in a safe and empowering way.

This grant will help with the continuation of the women’s support group at the Woking Children’s Centre and to run workshops for women who attend as they have been through domestic abuse. The charity will run keep fit classes for the women to encourage both positive mental and physical well being, as well as provide the charity’s volunteer to complete a counselling course to support victims further.

Bright Shadows – £7,178

Bright Shadow’s mission is to enable people with dementia and those affected by it to live well and to thrive. Creativity and performance are used to create means and opportunities for people with dementia to express themselves, interact with others and take part in meaningful activity.

This grant helped support the charity’s ‘Zest’ workshops and programmes for people living with dementia and their carer’s, in care settings and the community. Bright Shadow also deliver training for care staff and activity workers, produce resources to enable those working with people with dementia to deliver meaningful and creative activities, and deliver creative public awareness raising events.