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.

A short questionnaire from the Surrey Lieutenancy

14th April 2021

The Surrey Lieutenancy would like to invite you to respond to a very short questionnaire in order to gain a better understanding of your charity and the kind of support you would like to receive. Your open and honest answers to the following questionnaire would be of great help in this. Ideally, in order to best be able to complete this questionnaire, you would be a volunteer or a paid worker for a Surrey-based charity. For more details on the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, please see below.

The questionnaire can be found at this link: surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TBJVK29

The questionnaire should only take you 5 minutes to complete, and we hope that the information you give us will help the Surrey Lieutenancy to better support and better connect with your organisation and the wider charity sector in Surrey in the future.

If anybody would prefer to complete a paper form, or dictate their answers to someone over the phone, then this can be arranged. Please contact Nick Bragger at Surrey Community Action on 01483566072.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey is the personal representative of Her Majesty The Queen in Surrey. The responsibilities of the Lord-Lieutenant include arranging visits to the county by members of the Royal Family and escorting royal visitors; assisting with nominations for national honours and for invitations on behalf of the Crown; presenting medals and awards on behalf of The Queen; being responsible for nominations for The Queen’s Award for Enterprise and The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service; supporting the armed forces in Surrey; and supporting and celebrating all aspects of charitable, voluntary, community and business engagement throughout the county. The role of the Lord-Lieutenant, like that of the Monarch, is strictly apolitical. It is unpaid. The Lieutenancy is the term which describes the Lord-Lieutenant and his Deputies in their generic work on behalf of the Crown. The Lieutenancy is not involved in fund-raising. 

The current Lord-Lieutenant is Mr Michael More-Molyneux. He is one of 96 around the country. The Vice Lord-Lieutenant is Sir Stephen Lamport. Deputy Lieutenants are appointed to assist the Lord-Lieutenant in carrying out his duties. There are at present 40 active Deputy Lieutenants, all volunteers, based in boroughs and districts across the county. They embrace a wide range of experience across business, charities, public service and local communities.

The Lieutenancy website www.surreylieutenancy.org/ carries news of events, information, and opinion about the county and the work of the Lieutenancy. The Lieutenancy has recently established a number of Focus Groups on subjects of particular concern to the county. The Charities & Communities Focus Group comprises five Deputy Lieutenants and five experienced members of the charity and local community sectors. It is this group which has organised the distribution of this questionnaire.

We look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Thank you!

Announcing Dr. Beccy Bowden as Chief Executive!

9th April 2021

The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Beccy Bowden as Chief Executive, following the departure of Laura Thurlow after her long and successful career with the organisation.

Beccy is currently Chief Executive of Heathrow Community Trust and has extensive experience within the third sector, having previously been Chief Executive of SATRO for nine years.

A resident of Surrey, Beccy’s leadership record and understanding are further augmented by her non-executive experience. In addition to her current role as Board Chair at Headway Surrey, she is also a Trustee of Advanced Humanitarian Operational Solutions CIO, a Non-Executive Director at Providence Row Housing, and an Independent Custody Visitor at the Surrey Police & Crime Commissioner’s Office.

Beccy said: The Community Foundation for Surrey has a key role to play not just in re-building our community, but in helping to build better, stronger and above all more equitably. I look forward to using my skills and experience to help everyone associated with the Foundation to achieve this aim.”

Jim Glover, Chair of CFS, added: “The Board was very impressed with Beccy’s professional experience, her deep understanding of the importance of our role, and total commitment to our mission.

The Boards of Trustees of the Community Foundation and Heathrow Community Trust will work closely together in order to ensure a successful period of transition for both organisations.

Jim Glover OBE DL



Over £332,000 awarded across Surrey in the latest Coronavirus Response Fund grants

15th July 2020

A further 52 charities have been awarded funding in the latest of our Coronavirus Response Fund Grants which has led to a staggering £332,520 that has been distributed to good causes across Surrey in recent weeks. This brings the total amount awarded from the Fund to over £1 million. These funds have helped many disadvantaged local people in need of support, to stay safe and to provide basic essentials during the challenging and unsettling times caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

It is thanks to the generosity of local people, businesses and funding from the National Emergencies Trust Appeal that we have raised over £1.5 million to date.

Below are some examples of how these grants will make a difference to the lives of people in Surrey:

The Include Project in Redhill were awarded funding to deliver choir and advice services online for people with learning disabilities, autism, dementia, brain injury, stroke or tumour. The Include Project supports clients with understanding and speech difficulties by teaching better ways of including and involving those with specific communication needs. They do this through community choir sessions, performances, workshops and training. The weekly Include Choir gives these members an outlet to engage with familiar faces and meaningful, uplifting activity in a safe and welcoming environment. It also helps their care staff with structure and regular activity.

The Virtual Tea Break:

“In the same way that people in a wheelchair need a ramp to access buildings, people with understanding and speaking difficulties need a ramp to access the lives and services we take for granted.

Include is building that ramp through The Include Choir, which provides empowering social musical opportunities for people with communication needs and teaches communication skills to choir members, care staff and audiences alike. In addition to the Choir, Include provides music and communication activities and training, based on clinical evidence, to health and social care providers, third sector organisations and more.

Despite Covid-19’s significant challenges, Include has been able to adapt and continue including our members, thanks to the support of our funders.”

– Alix Lewer, Director, The Include Project


Re-engage who seek to support people who live alone aged 75 and over received funding towards their essential running costs and befriending service. The scheme is called Call Companions and is a free service for anyone over-75 who lives alone and feels they could do with a friendly phone call every week or two. The same person calls every time so, gradually, clients and callers get to know one another. It helps lift everyone’s spirits and makes them feel more connected to the world.

“On behalf of us all here at Re-engage, thank you for your generous support of our call companions programme.  Your support will make all the difference to lonely older people in Surrey. One of our volunteer call companions recently told us, “One guest I spoke to told me she hadn’t used her voice in two weeks. She hadn’t spoken to a soul.” Your funding will help us reach those that need us the most.”

Kitty Blackwell, Director of Fundraising and Communications, Re-engage

The 50 other charities who received funding were:

  1. Active Prospects in Reigate received funding to purchase equipment and supply activities to support the physical and mental well-being of people with learning disabilities, autism or acquired brain injury
  2. Age Concern Epsom and Ewell advice and information helpline which supports older people, has received a contribution towards staff costs to help the charity respond to a large increase in demand for their service
  3. Belong: Making Justice Happen, who are based in Woking received funding to provide support, information and basic needs packs for released and incarcerated prisoners
  4. Byfleet Community Action (Byfleet Care) received a grant towards the salary cost of a Volunteer Coordinator, for a service in Byfleet, that offers transport to medical appointments and a delivery service of shopping for isolated elderly people
  5. Camberley Nepali (G) Society were awarded funding to help support the older Nepalese Society with shopping deliveries, prescription drop offs and regular support phone calls to support some of Camberley’s most isolated people
  6. Care Ashore were awarded a grant to purchase equipment and cover volunteer costs to provide activities for retired seafarers at a care home in Alford
  7. Connect Counselling Service, who are based in Camberley were awarded a grant to work remotely whilst maintaining their one-to-one counselling for clients struggling with emotional and relationship difficulties
  8. Creative Response Arts in Farnham were awarded funding to provide art-based therapy and activity packs to people suffering from mental health disorders and other disabilities
  9. Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity received funding towards the essential running costs, IT costs and education technology to support families across Surrey with children that have cerebral palsy aged 5 and under
  10. Fairlands, Liddington Hall, and Gravetts Lane Community Association in Guildford obtained funding to produce information and activity packs to isolated older people during the pandemic
  11. Family Voice Surrey, based in Leatherhead, received funding to provide online and telephone support to carers in each of the 11 Surrey boroughs
  12. Fredericks Foundation in Lightwater received funding to staff a help desk aimed at low income and financially excluded families who largely fall outside the government financial support packages
  13. Global Grooves Foundation obtained a grant to purchase and deliver goods and groceries for 22 high priority families in Woking (experiencing low income, unemployment, isolation or recently grieving)
  14. Guildford Shakespeare Company were supported to purchase equipment and resources to offer an online play writing and drama course to improve the mental health of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged families in Surrey
  15. Hale Community Centre obtained funding for a community store to borrow or swap a variety of items (including puzzles & board games, books, musical instruments, garden games etc) to support local people
  16. Haslemere Educational Museum received a grant towards the essential running costs, salary costs and material costs to continue their outreach to the local community through online workshops, videos and resources for families with young children and vulnerable adults
  17. Hersham Youth Trust obtained funding toward the essential running costs to run youth clubs and online and phone support for local disadvantaged and vulnerable young people
  18. Home-Start Elmbridge obtained funding for a specialist Family Support Worker to help struggling families with parenting and mental health support 
  19. Home-Start Surrey Heath received a grant towards the essential running costs to continue support for families with a child aged 5 or under, that are struggling to cope 
  20. Home-Start Waverley were awarded a contribution to essential running costs for a charity supporting families with young children facing wide-ranging difficulties
  21. Imago Dei Prison Ministry received funding to support vulnerable and isolated women in prisons, to improve their mental well being
  22. It’s Not Your Birthday But, based in Claygate and Walton on Thames, received a grant to support isolated older people’s mental health by providing creative activity packs, socially distanced portraits and interviews for a biography
  23. KidsOut in Guildford were awarded funding towards the purchase of food vouchers for women in refuge in Surrey to enable mothers to purchase essential groceries
  24. Man and Boy, a charity that promotes positive male role models for boys where there is no father figure, received a grant to provide a remote programme for vulnerable boys aged 9-12 with weekly support worker contact
  25. The Meath Epilepsy Trust, a specialist residential care home in Godalming for adults who have complex epilepsy, severe physical and learning disabilities were awarded funding towards the purchase of separate changing facilities for staff
  26. Mustard Seed Autism Trust, a charity supporting children with autism received funding to make resources available online and support families remotely at a time when they also experiencing a substantial increase in enquiries 
  27. Oakleaf Enterprise in Guildford, received funding towards their Client Service Outreacher Worker supporting people experiencing mental ill-health and isolation
  28. Painshill Park Trust Limited in Cobham, were awarded a grant to provide a safe space for older isolated people, and older volunteers to return to duties following the COVID-19 lockdown
  29. Painting our World in Silver in Weybridge, obtained funding toward the purchasing of art and craft packages that help the isolated and elderly
  30. Princess Alice Hospice in Esher, obtained funding toward the purchase of essential Personal Protective Equipment to continue their services supporting people with life limiting illnesses
  31. Prison Advice & Care Trust (PACT) in Woking, received funding to provide advice and support to the children and families of prisoners. The charity provide support through food vouchers, emergency supplies, household items, clothing and have developed special new online resources and printable activity packs
  32. Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People received funding towards the additional costs incurred by acquiring Personal Protective Equipment for those providing care for adults and children with disabilities
  33. Reigate & Banstead Borough African and Caribbean Community Association were awarded funding to support African and Caribbean communities. Support packages include providing transportation, personal assistance and delivery of shopping, food vouchers and prescriptions
  34. Samaritans East Surrey were awarded funding for IT and cleaning equipment, and some essential running costs so they can continue supporting the most vulnerable and isolated
  35. Sebastian’s Action Trust obtained funding to provide online services, food/essential supplies, and activity bags to vulnerable families who have children with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness in Surrey Heath and Guildford
  36. Something To Look Forward To, a Guildford based charity, were awarded funding to provide essential items including bedding, toiletries and clothing for people affected by cancer who are experiencing financial hardship during and in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic
  37. Southwark Diocesan Welcare obtained a grant towards the cost of food vouchers to support with vulnerable families from Surrey with children up to the age of 13
  38. Stanwell Village Hall received funding to enable a village hall to host a food bank, cooking meals for vulnerable and self isolating members of the community
  39. Surrey Choices Employability received funding to provide IT Equipment and access to WiFi for disabled people and their families
  40. Surrey Family & Mediation Services received funding toward the purchase of equipment and software licences to enable a mediation service to deliver their service online  
  41. Synergy Dance Outreach were awarded a grant to provide remote yoga and exercise classes to older people and people with disabilities
  42. Talk, a charity based in Guildford, were awarded a grant to provide a remote support service, including activity packs and telephone support to people who have been affected by a stroke and have aphasia
  43. Taylor Made Dreams obtained funding toward food and hygiene parcels for families who have a child suffering from a life-limiting illness
  44. The Autism Trust from Camberley were awarded funding for essential running costs, online support and a telephone line for families with Autism Spectrum Disorder members
  45. The Woodlarks Centre in Farnham, received a grant to purchase equipment to enable online physiotherapy sessions for people with learning disabilities
  46. Three Counties Money Advice in Haslemere, were given a grant towards the purchase of equipment to enable staff to work from home and give financial advice to vulnerable families who have had reduced working hours or have been furloughed
  47. Transform Housing and Support were awarded further funding for Personal Protective Equipment for staff and volunteers at a homelessness charity
  48. Voluntary Support North Surrey were awarded funding to provide online training to volunteers to support the Third Sector in North Surrey with centres in Camberley, Chertsey and Staines. Training will include befriending, buddying and fundraising
  49. Waverley Hoppa Community Transport, a transport charity supporting older, disabled and/or vulnerable people, received funding for 3 months of Personal Protective Equipment
  50. Young Epilepsy in Lingfield, received two grants to purchase laptops to enable staff to work remotely alongside young people with epilepsy and their families





Phase 2 Funding

We are extremely proud to announce that we have awarded our first grants from Phase 2 of our Coronavirus Response grant-making. Together with local partners, we have awarded over £58,000 to furnish a new Refuge that will support up to 20 victims and their families fleeing domestic abuse, at a time when staying at home is not the safest place for them to be. Read more here

A group of 8 Surrey charities led by young people’s charity, Eikon have been awarded a total of £50,000 to help deal with the surge in demand for children and young people’s mental health services following the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

For more information and how to apply for a grant from our Coronavirus Response Fund, please visit our webpage here!


Vacancy: Director of Philanthropy

18th June 2020

We have an exciting opportunity for a Director of Philanthropy to join our team and help us make a difference in Surrey!

Job Title: Director of Philanthropy

Salary: Up to £40,000 dependent upon experience

Contract: Permanent

Hours: Full-time

Location: Surrey

The Community Foundation for Surrey brings together local donors and those acting to provide positive community solutions to local challenges across Surrey. The Foundation was established in 2005 and has generated over £28 million in this time. The Foundation has ambitious plans for growth over the coming five years to substantially increase the levels of support it can give.

Charisma Recruitment Agency is working in partnership with the Foundation to appoint the new Director of Philanthropy. The successful candidate will be a dynamic individual, with vision to see new opportunities, grow income and work alongside the CEO, the senior management team and the trustees to deliver the new strategic plan.

In order to succeed in this role, you will be able to demonstrate:

  • experience of exemplary donor led stewardship to achieve income targets
  • ability to engage, motivate and inspire staff and volunteers
  • experience of strategic oversight and leadership
  • excellent ability to network, build relationships and influence internal and external stakeholders
  • excellent verbal and written communication skills

Reporting to the CEO, you will be a natural leader, have proven development experience with the ability to deliver financial targets against a growth strategy.

You will be professional and approachable with a commitment to quality and attention to detail. If you feel you have the skills and experience to succeed in this role, we very much look forward to hearing from you.

To apply please submit your CV and supporting statement as soon as possible to info@charismarecruitment.co.uk quoting our reference JO2770.

For any further information, please contact Adam Stacey on 0207 998 8888 or 01962 813300.

Closing date for applications: 13 July
First interview date: Week commencing 27 July
Second interview date: Week commencing 3 August 

Announcing Joe Crome as Director of Philanthropy

6th October 2017

The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to announce the appointment of Joe Crome as our Director of Philanthropy.

Joe begins his new role in early December. He will work closely with the Foundation’s Donors to successfully achieve their giving objectives and alongside Kate Peters, our Director of Grants & Impact, to ensure the effectiveness of our Donors’ generosity. Joe is also committed to raising the profile of the Community Foundation and supporting the further development of local philanthropy across Surrey.

For the last 4 years, Joe has led Leatherhead Youth Project (LYP), a charity with whom the Foundation has had a strong relationship for a number of years. Although he will be greatly missed by all at LYP, we are proud to have him join our team.

Joe’s passion for philanthropy and creative approach can only serve to positively support the Foundation’s continued progress. We know you will join us in welcoming Joe and wish him every success when he begins the new role.