5th June 2020

The next phase of funding will focus on the most pressing needs of Surrey’s most vulnerable people

The Coronavirus Response Fund, established by The Community Foundation for Surrey to get urgent funding to local charities quickly, has grown to more than £1.3 million over the past 10 weeks and will now be awarding grants of up to £25,000. These larger grants will ensure key voluntary organisations will have the capacity to meet the surge in demand as lockdown restrictions ease.

The Community Foundation for Surrey, which brings together local donors with those providing positive solutions to the issues facing Surrey, is working closely together with organisations across the county to identify crucial areas where the support from our community will be most needed.

The Coronavirus Response Fund will give priority to voluntary organisations providing support to the most vulnerable and isolated, including:

  • Older people and those who are self-isolating due to underlying conditions People with disabilities
  • People with mental health needs
  • BAME communities
  • Victims of crime such as domestic abuse
  • People experiencing financial hardship;
  • and Families with young children

Laura Thurlow, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Surrey says:
“With the generosity of our community, our Coronavirus Response Fund has helped hundreds of voluntary groups quickly navigate the sudden challenges of lockdown. Now, as we look ahead, it’s important to anticipate what our community groups will need going forwards. The need is still now, and the issues we have identified call for us to come together to meet the imminent surge in demand. We must ensure services continue to be delivered to our most vulnerable people. This is a crisis that continues to require solutions and we’re urging Surrey residents to stay involved and donate.”

The value of taking action early:
Anticipating the emotional toll of isolation, The Community Foundation for Surrey has already awarded over £118,000 to mental health organisations in Phase 1 of their emergency response funding.

Joy Wright, founder of Emerge Advocacy, a charity offering mental health support to young people in crisis says it was this “insightfulness” of the Community Foundation, in anticipating the need for mental health services and awarding grants quickly, that ensured that Emerge Advocacy could continue delivering its services.

“We really are running at capacity at the moment in terms of the amount of support that we’re able to give, despite the increase in demand. We’re really grateful to the Community Foundation that they were so responsive and made the process so streamlined. They trusted us to know that we’re still going to do our best for young people; sure we’ve had to pivot but we’re still going to be doing what we’re set up to do in the midst of everything. And that has been crucial to the young people we work with.”

The Community Foundation for Surrey knows that early positive action makes all the difference for many vulnerable people, and is urging Surrey residents to continue to donate to the Coronavirus Response Fund so those who feel the effects of the pandemic more severely and for longer can continue to access much needed support.

The £1.3 million figure includes £530,640 from the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal, and more than £800,000 in donations from generous local donors and partners. This concerted effort has ensured the Community Foundation has been able to quickly award emergency funding to 146 community groups reaching more than 94,000 beneficiaries across Surrey.

You can find an outline of eligibility requirements and how to apply to the Coronavirus Response Fund here.