Surrey charities and community groups were celebrating this month as we announced the recipients of £35,000 from round one of the 2023 Gatwick Foundation Fund – the first awarded since the fund was paused as a result of the pandemic in 2020.
Six outstanding organisations benefited from a financial boost:
- Amber Foundation – Funding towards employment readiness training for young people who have experienced homelessness and/or addiction.
- Guildford Shakespeare Company – An intergenerational project that enhances people’s mental health through drama by an organisation based in Guildford.
- Home-Start Epsom, Ewell & Banstead (HSEEB) – support group for parents. Funding for a support group and services for mothers with young children who are experiencing difficulties.
- Mary Frances Trust – Funding for regular English lessons for asylum seekers together with monthly group support sessions.
- Mid-Surrey Community Fridges – Funding toward the staff costs of a food delivery service to the isolated and elderly living in Mole Valley by a community fridge.
- YMCA East Surrey – Funding towards the expansion of a project supporting young people with disabilities to develop life skills and support for employment.
Christine Schauerman, Programme Manager, Mary Francis Trust said:
We are delighted to have received this vital funding from The Gatwick Foundation Fund via The Community Foundation for Surrey. The funding will give an opportunity for asylum seekers to learn some basic English, alongside this we will be providing them with some emotional wellbeing support.
The Gatwick Foundation Fund has granted Guildford Shakespeare Company £5,000 to continue their intergenerational programme ‘Spirit of Youth’. Since 2018, ‘Spirit of Youth’ has sought to address social isolation in the elderly by bringing together care-home residents with children from less-advantaged primary schools, exploring Shakespeare’s plays and using drama to learn from each other.
Kerrie Driscoll, GSC Creative Learning Producer said:
GSC are thrilled to be awarded this grant. By linking primary school children with a care home, participants share their experiences and stories, as they convert Shakespeare’s words into their own. The age-gap complements each group through companionship and respite, combined with a real desire to listen and engage – principles that both ages readily offer and accept.
Each course is led by professional drama facilitators from GSC in consultation with school and care-home staff.
The funding from Gatwick Foundation Fund will enable GSC to launch the next ten-week course. Once a week in a safe and a risk-free environment, the children and adults will work together to create a 15-20 minute version of a Shakespeare play, which is then performed to family, friends and the wider community.
One of the relatives of a participants said:
It was so good to see the young children working alongside the residents. Although my mother has difficulty in remembering sometimes, she found it good to have something to work towards.
Gatwick’s Fund was originally launched in 2016 and to date has awarded over £1.2M, in more than 230 grants, benefitting over 100,000 people across Surrey, Sussex and Kent. For Surrey organisations it supports projects in Tandridge, Reigate & Banstead and Mole Valley and each year there are three rounds of grants, totalling £100,000. The community Foundation for Surrey works in partnership with the Community Foundations of Kent & Sussex to support the Fund.
The Gatwick Foundation Fund was set up specifically to support work to fight social isolation and tackle disadvantage, raise aspirations and develop skills, improve health and wellbeing, and support children and young people. See here for more information on the fund criteria.
Click here to apply for funding.
Click here if you are a local business who wishes to talk to us about setting up your own Corporate Fund.