Surrey County Council donate £200,000 to the Community Foundation for Surrey to support local charities seeking support this winter

23rd November 2021

Grants available to address urgent issues around the economic impact on our community  over the coming months.   

Independent local charity, the Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) is working together with Surrey County Council (SCC) to award grants to projects across Surrey in need of emergency and crisis funding. The purpose of the funding is to support an increased number of people facing poverty by strengthening community initiatives, including a focus on activity that helps address the root causes of food poverty.

The Surrey Community Fund (SCF), managed by CFS, has been in operation since 2006 and pools donations from local people and partners to address current and emerging needs in communities across the county. The £200,000 donation from Surrey County Council will enable the Foundation to efficiently distribute urgent emergency and crisis funding for grants relating to poverty during the period of 1 December 2021- 31 March 2022.

During December to March, the Foundation will not have a particular deadline for applications but will operate a rolling programme responding to Crisis.

Applications will be prioritised for projects dealing with urgent issues arising from what is anticipated to be a tough Winter, in particular:

  • Support for organisations tackling the impact of rising costs and falling benefits including crisis provision e.g. measures which improve the sustainability of food banks, or increase the ability of debt advisors to provide support.
  • Support for organisations that tackle the root causes of poverty.

Priority will also be given to initiatives that support those parts of the community that may have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19.

During this period, the Foundation will also accept emergency requests from previous grantees facing a financial crisis where a short-term award could help to bridge a gap with a view to implementing a sustainable solution.

The two Surrey organisations have an ongoing partnership, with SCC and CFS aligning on many initiatives in recent years to support Surrey residents.

Surrey County Councillor Mark Nuti Cabinet Member for Communities said:

“We made a pledge to “leave no one behind” and this latest funding is about enabling those organisations out in our communities to address critical areas of need and deprivation across Surrey. Our continued partnership with the Community Foundation Surrey is vital to ensure that we can get funds to those families and individuals that need it most.”

Since its establishment in 2005, CFS has been bringing together local donors with the local charities and voluntary groups delivering positive solutions to the many challenges within our communities. The Foundation, who works together with philanthropic individuals, families, businesses and charitable trusts, awards hundreds of grants each year to Surrey community groups tackling identified local needs.

Rebecca Bowden, Chief Executive at the Community Foundation for Surrey said:

Winter is a challenging time for families and individuals walking a financial tightrope and, with many funding schemes closed, and rising costs for fuel and food, the outlook for this winter is looking bleak. This funding will provide invaluable support to those within these communities who need it most. We are delighted to have such a strong partnership with SCC and we are most grateful to them for their generous and timely donation which we will use our knowledge and expertise to distribute quickly and effectively.”  

The Foundation knows through the applications it has received, that the impact of these issues is being felt greatly by local people, and the sector. 23,000 children already live in poverty in Surrey and spiralling food and fuel costs could mean a very uncomfortable winter for many. This support will enable organisations such as food banks, baby banks, debt advice services, homeless shelters and other services to help mitigate the impact on their beneficiaries.

Community groups and charities can apply for a grant using the details below. Some examples of what could be funded are:

  • To support organisations to access, store and distribute additional supplies of good quality food, including good food surplus, in particular, e.g. Purchasing fridges, freezers and cooking equipment.
  • Purchasing IT equipment to help facilitate a system of electronic referrals and contact with customers.
  • Development of projects such as social supermarkets, community cafes, lunch clubs and community cooking classes.
  • Development and strengthening food partnerships with a view to creating healthy, sustainable local food systems to help tackle food insecurity.
  • Providing specialist support for initiatives such as outreach work, training for volunteers and development of community hubs which co-locate a range of support services.
  • Skills workshops to enhance employment opportunities.
  • Provision of 1 to 1 debt advice and support to vulnerable clients.

Application details

Please note, grants will be awarded subject to applicants meeting the Community Foundation for Surrey’s eligibility criteria and the Fund Criteria.

For further information and to apply for a grant, applicants should visit: