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.

Grants to get GoodGym in Woking up and running

24th November 2016

Establishing a GoodGym in Woking

A grant from the Surrey Sports Fund and The Pargiter Trust Fund has awarded a total of £12,500 to GoodGym. GoodGym is a community of runners who get fit by doing good, by doing physical tasks that benefit their community. The funding from the Community Foundation for Surrey will cover the core costs of establishing GoodGym in Woking – the first in Surrey.

What will a GoodGym in Woking do?

GoodGym members run:

  1. In groups to do manual labour for community organisations.
  2. To make social visits to isolated older people referred to ‘coaches’ because they motivate runners to keep going.
  3. Missions for older people; such as clearing gardens, changing lightbulbs and doing odd-jobs for people who struggle to do them alone.

An area of need that GoodGym has particularly focused on is loneliness and isolation amongst older people, with over 1 million people aged 65 and over admitting to always or often feeling lonely, and 17% of those living alone seeing family and friends less than once a week.

Bringing this project to Surrey will advance GoodGym’s aim of getting people all over the world off treadmills and into their communities in addition to tackling isolation. The Community Foundation looks forward to seeing GoodGym “up and running” in Woking in the near future!

You can find out more about the tasks that GoodGym runners undertake in their communities by reading their run reports.

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Woking & Sam Beare Hospices have been awarded a grant of £15,017 from the Community Foundation for Surrey. The funding will go towards the installation of Alenti lift Chairs and Miranti lift bath trolleys in the patient assisted bathrooms in the charity’s new hospice in Goldsworth Park.

The facility will include two large, assisted bathrooms for patients with limited mobility. These bathrooms will be fitted with necessary equipment to ensure that they are not only fully accessible for the patients and the nurses who care for them, but are comfortable and enjoyable to use. Lizzie Loveless, Senior Trusts Fundraiser explains the importance of the donation:

“For many of our patients, such as those with motor neurone disease, their visits to the hospice are the only time that they are able to have a bath and therefore to have these assisted bathrooms dramatically improves the care we are able to give them by providing the space, privacy and equipment which they don’t have at home. We are delighted to have been granted such a generous amount from the Community Foundation for Surrey towards the equipment which will allow every patient to safely enjoy a bath.”

Wendy Varcoe, Executive Director of the Community Foundation said of the donation:

“The Community Foundation is delighted to be able to support this fantastic project that will enable better care for more people in the local community. By working with our local donors, we are able to support organisations such as Woking & Sam Beare Hospices that have a lasting impact for the people of Surrey.”

To find out more about the new build on Goldsworth Park, visit www.wsbhospices.co.uk/NewBuild