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A ray of hope to the voluntary sector in challenging times

One year on from the partnership which was set up between Community Foundation Surrey and Surrey County Council establishing the Surrey Community Fund, £1.25m funding has helped more than 35,000 people in Surrey to ‘build-back’ following the pandemic.

Thanks to an historic investment of £500,000 in 2021 from Surrey County Council. This funding has been used to kick start the fund set up to support communities. Here are just three of the organisations that have benefited from the funding:

The Merstham Mix

The Merstham Mix is a Community Interest Company founded in 2017 to support the local community of Merstham. Merstham has some of the highest level of deprivation in the country and by working with food surplus partners and using high quality donated goods, Merstham Mix offers affordable, nutritious meals available to everyone.

The Fund provided emergency funding towards the increased salary costs to recruit a General Manager to enable the continuation of a community cafe in a recognised area of deprivation. Merstham Mix Community Cafe was awarded £10,000.

“Cafe takings are up consistently from when we last spoke – from around £100-£150 per day to now generally over £200. We took £380 last Saturday which is our most successful day ever. It really feels like we are moving in the right direction, and I wanted to thank you and your team SO much for being there for us when we needed it.”

Café Volunteer

South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Outreach Service

South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Outreach Service providesfree, confidential, independent and impartial advice to anyone aged 16 or above affected by domestic abuse living in the boroughs of Waverley and Guildford. 

As the pandemic receded, it has become evident that many victims of domestic abuse display symptoms such as PTSD, depression and anxiety, and are in extreme need of expert counselling. The Fund provided £10,000 to supportspecialist counselling for adult and child victims of domestic abuse.

We are also working with a significant number of severely traumatized children who require support. Their degree of trauma has been exacerbated due to lockdown and they require more specialist intervention. NHS waiting lists are now so long that this needs to be sought privately; most our victims cannot afford this. This funding supports a qualified chartered children’s psychologist who combines psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural techniques to provide appropriately targeted therapy.”

Chief Executive

Age Concern Mole Valley

Age Concern Mole Valley has been caring and supporting vulnerable and isolated older people throughout the district for over 75 years. They are an independent local charity, responsible for their own funding and services.

The £20,00 funding helped to tackle the isolation, health and wellbeing challenges in older people following the coronavirus pandemic. In the last financial year (2019/20) Age Concern Mole Valley supported older people with over 4,500 activities and continued to develop the Local Community Support Project with core activities, including the Befriending and Visiting Service, information & signposting/advice, events, etc. The difference the organisation makes is to reduce social isolation and loneliness and improve the health and wellbeing of older people.

I am delighted with how the visits are going with my befriender. It is so nice to have someone to natter with and have something in the diary each week to look forward to. You have found me such a nice person. Thank you. My befriender has made such a difference to me and is a really important part of my life now. I always look forward to our meetings and feel better after I’ve seen her.”

Client of Age Concern Mole Valley 

More information about the partnership can be found here £1.25m funding from Surrey Community Fund helps more than 35,000 people to ‘build-back’ following the pandemic – Community Foundation for Surrey (cfsurrey.org.uk)

For grant application and funding enquiries please email [email protected], and for general enquiries, email [email protected]. For general enquiries please call 01483 478092.

Visit the Community Foundation Surrey website at cfsurrey.org.uk

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