22nd February 2021

Local grant assists the surge in demand for support services for survivors of domestic abuse in Surrey

The Coronavirus Response Fund (CRF), established by the Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) to get urgent funding to local charities quickly, has awarded a significant grant to Surrey Domestic Abuse Partnership (SDAP), a formal partnership of four independent charities, that have come together to support survivors of domestic abuse across our county.

A total of £87,178 has been awarded – with funding from the CRF, together with the generosity of the Foundation’s local donors, and match funding from Surrey County Council. This funding will help these local charities meet the surge in demand for local domestic abuse support services as lockdown restrictions ease.

In Surrey, there are an estimated 35,400 victims of abuse. Since lockdown has lifted, the number of people calling Surrey Police for help has increased, with an 8% rise in the number of incidents being reported. On average, Surrey Police will record 28 domestic abuse crimes every day.

Michelle Blunsom MBE, Chief Executive of East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services says:

“Not only are domestic abuse services facing increased demand for services, but we are acutely aware of the way in which lockdown is impacting upon survivors and their children. The is a significant need not only to sustain services during the pandemic, but also resource them so they can deal with the physical, psychological and emotional trauma that being lockdown with an abuser will create. We are so grateful to the Community Foundation for Surrey and their partners for listening to our need and taking action at a time when this support has never been more of a lifeline.”

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 within our community is most needed.

The Coronavirus Response Fund gives priority to voluntary organisations providing support to the most vulnerable and isolated. The Fund has two ‘phases’ of funding – with larger Phase 2 grants supporting groups now seeing a tsunami of need for their services. Since its establishment on the 26th March, the local Fund has grown to just under £2 million thanks to the generosity of local individuals, families and Surrey partners. This funding has enabled the Foundation to effectively distribute over £1.4 million to 190 local groups in need of vital support.

A domestic abuse survivor and campaigner says:

“Leaving an abusive relationship is the hardest and bravest decision a survivor can make. Rapid access to services such as the Surrey Domestic Abuse partnership is essential to ensure our physical and emotional well-being. Survivors need support whilst living in these conditions in addition to preparing for, and leaving, if and when that is possible. The incredible generosity of the Community Foundation for Surrey through their Coronavirus Response Fund will enable the Surrey Domestic Abuse Partnership to not only meet the increased demand they now face, but ensure sustained support and provision for survivors and their children.”

Other partnerships that have benefitted from the CRF Phase 2 funding are:

  • A group of 8 Surrey charities led by young people’s charity, Eikon have been awarded £50,000 to help deal with the expected 30% rise in referrals for children and young people’s mental health support services.
  • Over £58,000 was awarded to Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid to furnish and equip a new local Refuge which will provide a place of safety for up to 20 families fleeing domestic abuse.

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.

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. We have listened to the needs of our charities every step of the way, and the issues we have identified call for us to come together to meet the imminent surge in demand. This is a crisis that continues to require solutions and we’re urging Surrey residents to get involved and donate.”

To donate, please contact Laura Thurlow at the Foundation on 01483 478092, or visit: