The new Surrey Mental Health Fund awards over £54,000 grant funding in response to growing mental health issues among children and young people

4th February 2019

The Community Foundation for Surrey is pleased to announce the award of the first round of grants from its new Surrey Mental Health Fund. Grants are being awarded to fund charitable projects across the county which support the improvement in mental health and well-being of children and young people.

The Community Foundation, a philanthropic charity which awarded £1.2 million in grant funding last year to over 300 community groups in Surrey, has launched the fund in response to a growing need relating to mental health issues amongst children and young people.

Joe Crome, Director of Philanthropy at the Community Foundation for Surrey, said: “Each year we receive hundreds of grant applications from charities and groups across Surrey, but it has become noticeable that the number of mental health projects requiring support has been increasing. We made the decision to set up this new Mental Health Fund which will provide grants to projects across Surrey which are making a difference, and it became clear from speaking with colleagues across the voluntary sector and local authorities that we needed to focus our resources on children and young people, who face increasing pressures and mental health issues.”

This first round of grants has been allocated to innovative early intervention projects helping children and young people aged 8-13 develop emotional resilience and self-esteem.

In total, £54,000 has been awarded to 7 projects which will make a lasting difference to local young people in Surrey. The full list of projects supported in the first round are:

  • Peer Productions – ‘Hidden’, a performance raising awareness of self-harm, performed at schools across Surrey
  • George Abbott School – ‘Space for Young Minds,’ a series of well-being projects developed by student well-being Ambassadors
  • Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum – ‘Being Ourselves’, a pilot project exploring issues which affect mental health of BAME young people
  • YMCA East Surrey – Early intervention mental health workshops in schools in East Surrey
  • 40 Degreez Centre – ‘Health Hub’ project, offering dedicated 1:1 and group support sessions for young people
  • Momentum – Specialist counselling for young people who are living with cancer
  • Prospero Theatre – Multi phase project to support the well-being of boys at Sunnydown School

Eve Baker, Fundraiser at 40Degreez Centre said: “This funding will make a huge difference to our support services. We are fortunate to enjoy funding from the Community Foundation for Surrey and that of your donors without which the scope of our services would be severely limited and young people and their families would suffer.”

Beth Wood, Artist Director at Prospero Theatre said: “A huge thank you to Community Foundation for Surrey for funding Sunnydown in the Community. Through drama and Mind Fitness the boys will learn much needed coping mechanisms and have the opportunity to make real and positive links with local groups. We can’t wait to start!”

Sarah Kenyon, Heads Together Manager at YMCA East Surrey said: “The project will deliver fun and interactive workshops around mental health issues in the boroughs of Epsom & Ewell and Reigate & Banstead. The workshops focus on specific areas highlighted by schools as an issue, as well as increasing understanding of mental well-being, reducing stigma and helping to prevent the escalation of mental health issues in young people.”

Bianca Effemey, Founder and CEO at Momentum Children’s Charity said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Community Foundation for the recent donation towards counselling for the children we support. Cancer survivors are at higher risk of mental health issues in later life, but research shows that psychological support during treatment could prevent or reduce this. Our goal is to further expand our counselling programme that we are able to offer, and this generous donation will help us achieve this.”

David Frank, Chairman of the Community Foundation for Surrey, added: “We are hugely grateful to local donors who have helped to establish this fund, and we are delighted to have awarded grants to such interesting projects which will make a real difference locally. We look forward to seeing how they progress and sharing examples of their success in the coming year.”

The Foundation is inviting groups in Surrey who meet the fund’s criteria to apply for our second round of funding before our next deadline of 18th April 2019. The criteria of the Mental Health Fund, and further guidance on who can apply to the Community Foundation for Surrey, can be found here.

Any individual or business who might like to contribute to this new fund can do so by contacting Joe Crome at the Community Foundation for Surrey,, 01483 906383.