Stories About Our Work

What type of projects do we support?

Our key focus is to raise funds to support faith-linked projects and groups within the area of the Diocese of Guildford; projects that address needs at a local level and are committed to their local communities. Here are a few examples of projects we have recently been able to help, but for the latest news please visit the BGF Facebook page.

Camberley Besom

GW Mar 17 Camberley Besom

A £1,000 grant is helping with the running costs of Camberley Besom which provides supportfor individuals and families who find themselves in a desperate situation and are in emergency accommodation. Many of these need help with basics such as food and starter packs of  bedding, towels and kitchen equipment. “There are many reasons why people need support,” says Mary Rigby, chair of Camberley Besom . “Family breakdown and bereavement are two of the most frequent causes, but others include those who have suffered domestic abuse, are homeless or have just been released from prison. We are very appreciative of this further grant from the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation.The first grant we received five years ago was crucial – Camberley Besom wouldn’t be here today without it and this latest grant will help support us for a further year.”

Supporting the vulnerable and lonely in Ewell

GW Feb 17 Generation 2_Lowres‘Friday Friends’ a club for elderly people  run by Generation Church, Ewell, has been awarded a £1,000 grant by BGF, which will help with running costs and transport for those who can no longer drive to the club.  Jonathan Lees, senior leader of Generation Church says: “We are very grateful for this support from BGF. With an ageing population, loneliness and isolation among the elderly is a key issue in our area. The project has been going for four years and we now welcome over 50 guests to our sessions – nearly 40 of whom have joined us in the last year. It is proving a great success and for many of those who come it is the highlight of their week. They are making new friends over a cup of coffee and some are even arranging to go away on holiday together.

Jigsaw Project, Woking

The Jigsaw Project, which provides GW Feb 17 Jigsawclothing,toys and equipment to support families in financial need with pre-school children has received a grant of £6,500 from monies donated to the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation. The grant will be used to help meet operational costs and to appoint a coordinator to enable more fund-raising activities. Karen Heynike, Jigsaw coordinator, comments: “We are very appreciative of the support from the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation for this vital work we do in the community. Some of our clients are women in safe shelters, some are refugees, others find themselves in poverty through no fault of their own. We aim to help children who are victims of their family’s crisis by providing clothing, toys and equipment such as stair gates, cribs and prams.” Donations in kind are welcome, call Karen on 07780 332458.

Befriending Network, Busbridge

GW Dec 16 BefriendingThe Befriending Network run by Busbridge church is being expanded to meet demand, helped by a grant of £5,000 from monies donated to the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation.  this will help fund a co-ordinator to manage a team of volunteers spread throughout the Godalming, Farncombe, Milford, Witley and Chiddingfold areas.   The project befriends and supports anyone who is isolated, lonely, or vulnerable, by offering increased opportunities for social interaction.  This may be by the provision of a volunteer visitor or inviting them to join in the regular social activities provided through the parish’s Prime Time programme.   Mark Pateman, director of older people’s ministry for the parish of Busbridge and Hambledon said: “We are very grateful for the support of the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation, which is helping us to spread this very worthwhile service to a wider area  of south west Surrey.


Cellar Café, Godalming

BGF Cellar CaféThis café in Godalming, which provides a secure, affordable and friendly place for vulnerable people in the community to meet and discuss problems among themselves or with staff, has received a £3,000 grant from the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation. The grant will help cover the cost of staff salaries and running costs. The Cellar opens its arms to those with mental health or learning difficulties, drug or alcohol problems, and those who are lonely, isolated, living under stress, or have suffered breakdowns or illness. The staff team has close contact with social services, Rethink, the Meath Epilepsy Trust, the CAB, local GP practices, churches and schools for pupils with autism or learning difficulties. Jeremy Hunt MP for South West Surrey visited The Cellar Café (see photo) to talk to trustees and customers. He said he was: ”Very impressed by the support The Cellar gives to vulnerable people in the community”.


Bookham Baptists’ Children’s Centre

BGF Bookham ChildrenBookham Baptists’ Chilidrens’ Centre has been given a grant of £1,000 by the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation to help support the running of a range of services and support groups for families and children in the local community. Following funding cuts, resources have now been concentrated in Leatherhead, leaving Bookham with  just one ‘Stay and Play’ session one morning a week. Many families are unable to travel to Leatherhead to benefit from the other services there  because they do not have access to a car and the bus service is poor, so Bookham Baptist Church have decided to go it alone and raise the funds to run family support services for the community. The Revd Rob Stevens, Baptist minister in Bookham says: “Research shows that Bookham is an area of priority need for children’s services and parents often have difficulty finding employment. We are very grateful to the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation for their support in getting this exciting new project off the ground.”


Jolly John’s Breakfast Club

BGF Breakfast ClubBishop Andrew visited the breakfast club at St John's CofE Primary School in Dorking recently. The Club was started by the school four years ago, with support from the Bishop of Guildford's Foundation, to provide a good healthy breakfast for those children who want it and to help those parents who find themselves under pressure in the morning. The club has had a significant positive impact on those children using the club in terms of attendance, punctuality, concentration and behaviour in class.


Supporting a children’s club in Ewell

 The Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation has made a grant of £3,000 towards the annual running costs of the Ark Tuesday Club which is based at the Edge Youth Centre in Ewell. The club provides a wide range of play and creative opportunities in a safe environment for children aged 5-11 from the Watersedge estate, which is ranked as the ninth most deprived area in Surrey. The Club is run by the Ewell Christian Fellowship Trust, which operates under the name of Generation Church. Sally Newman, one of the leaders of the club explains: “Opportunities for after-school activities in this area are limited and we hope to further both the physical and social development of the children by providing sport and creative activities at minimum cost to local families. We also train junior leaders (aged 11-16) to provide experience of working with younger children and to develop leadership and other skills.”

Family worker in Bordon

£3,000 has been granted to continue the provision of a family support worker at St Mark’s shared church, Bordon. The town is one of the most deprived areas of the diocese and has many social problems; there is a high level of unemployment and poverty, comparatively few go on to higher education and there are many single parents. Bordon was highlighted in the Index of Multiple Deprivation in 2010 for its low score in education skills and training. Vicar, the Revd Deborah Scott-Bromley explains: “Having a family support worker means that we can provide support in people’s time of need; someone who is not judgemental and not seen as part of the ‘officialdom’ as Social Services sometimes are. “Many are not church-going families and can find a visit from a member of the clergy a bit intimidating, so Jenny Futcher, our family support worker, acts as a bridge with the community and clergy can be called in if required.”

Church of the Good Shepherd, Farnborough

£900 was awarded to the Church of the Good Shepherd, Farnborough to help fund an Olympic-themed community fun day event in August 2012. The event included a range of children’s activities, including an inflatable bouncy castle, face painting, crafts, circus skills workshops, a Nintendo Wii with an Olympics-themed game, penalty shoot-out competitions and table top sports, as well as a barbecue and Olympics coverage on a big screen. The parish is recognised by the CofE National Administration Network as being the most deprived in the Diocese of Guildford and the aim was to provide a free, fun event to help build relationships with vulnerable people in the parish. It also provided a platform for promoting the many community services which the parish provides.

Event co-organiser, James Lee, said: “We wanted to make this a free event, so that cost wouldn't be a barrier to anyone - and we couldn't have done this without the grant we received from the BGF.”