The Woking-based Jigsaw project, which provides clothing, toys and equipment, as part of its role to support families with pre-school children in financial need, has received a £4,000 grant from the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation. The grant will be used to part-fund the cost of a co-ordinator and help with operational costs to meet the growing need for the services provided.
According to the Borough Council’s figures 11% of children in Woking are living ‘below the breadline’ and across Surrey it is believed that 23,000 children and young people are living in poverty. Jigsaw provides immediate, non-judgemental support to families in crisis. Referrals are made through social services, health visitors, charity Your Sanctuary and other sources. Jigsaw also works closely with the Borough Council assisting those arriving under the Government's Syrian refugee resettlement scheme. The project collects high quality pre-owned children’s clothing, toys and equipment (buggies, car seats, cots etc.) and provides them free of charge to families in need. Jigsaw has grown from operating once a month to three times a week and in 2017 supported 474 children.
Erik Jespersen, director of the Jigsaw Project comments: “We are very grateful for this latest grant from the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation, which will enable us to continue and develop this vital service. The positive and practical support we give to people in crisis, while they work a way out of their situation, is so rewarding. We have many examples of clients returning to express their gratitude and appreciation of the help they have received and some of them now donate their goods and time to the project, which is building a marvellous community spirit.”
Grant-making by the BGF is managed through the Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS), an independent trust which is part of the national network of community foundations. By making grants through CFS, the Foundation is able to keep its costs to a minimum. CFS can also, on occasions, find other sources of funding to support grant applicants.
Find out more about the work of the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation. You can also donate to the Foundation online.