CRISPIN BLUNT WELCOMES LAUNCH OF NEW LOCAL CHARITABLE FUND

Commenting on the recent public launch of the Reigate and Banstead Community Fund which has been established to offer a grant-making vehicle to support local charities and good causes operating within the Borough of Reigate and Banstead, Crispin Bunt MP said:

“I have been supporting and encouraging The Community Foundation for Surrey to set up a Local Fund for Reigate and Banstead for over two years and am delighted that the concept has finally come together. The Fund’s objective is to increase the level of funding to support local communities by inspiring philanthropy and creating a sustainable source of support for those in need in our borough. I would like to thank all the private individuals and local companies whose charitable donations, to date, have made this possible as well as all those local public-minded volunteers who have worked hard to set up the fund from scratch. Responsibility for generating donations and making grants lies with the Reigate and Banstead Community Fund Grant Panel. Most of the current members of the Panel have been active in the process of initiating the fund from inception and developing it into the active grant-giving Fund that it now is.”

The Fund comprises two strands. Firstly, a long term endowment fund which will grow over the years both by ongoing new fund donations and by capital appreciation. The endowment fund, currently comprising around £100,000, is invested by The Community Foundation for Surrey with a regulated financial investment firm along with endowment funds from the other Surrey local Funds by, generating economies of scale, and investment performance is constantly monitored.

Secondly, a proportion of total donations is held in an instant access grants fund. This money is used to make quarterly grants to local charities and good causes, through a formal grants application process.

RBCF was able to award its first grants in July 2019 totaling £7,500:

  • £2,000 to Welcare – Play Worker, supporting local vulnerable families with young children
  • £2,000 to VARB (Voluntary Action Reigate and Banstead) – Festive Christmas Day Feast for isolated people locally
  • £2,000 to Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid – Transition Items for women moving on from an experience of domestic abuse
  • £1,500 to Loveworks – to support the local Foodbanks

The aim is to increase the endowment fund to at least £300,000 in the next eighteen months and this will require a strong campaign to encourage new local private and corporate donors.

Commenting on the need for the new Fund, Panel Chair Gareth Owen said: “Whilst, on the surface, Surrey appears to be a leafy and affluent area of the country, it also contains pockets of severe deprivation and social and economic hardship. This is reflected in the Borough of Reigate and Banstead that hosts some of the most deprived wards in Surrey. People affected by such deprivation, by and large, are supported by local charities such as food banks, refuges, parent and children’s services, advisory services, and so on. Funding for these charities had been increasingly tight in recent years, especially in view of the pressure on local authority services and spending, and an increase in need resulting from a larger population and decreased statutory provision.

Anyone who wishes to make a charitable donation, but does not have any particular cause or charity in mind, can donate to RBCF knowing that their donation will help to alleviate hardship in their local community for years to come. Not only does a donation to the fund support immediate local giving but, perhaps more importantly, it contributes to a long term fund for future generations. A donation to the Fund is, therefore, in effect, a legacy that will outlive the donor. Furthermore, the Fund has very limited administrative overheads. Virtually all the money donated goes directly into the Endowment Fund or Grants Fund for the benefit of others.”

More information about the Reigate and Banstead Community Fund can be found here: https://www.cfsurrey.org.uk/fund/rbf/. For more information, please contact the Chair of the Fund Panel at garethowen104@yahoo.co.uk and Community Foundation for Surrey direct via 01483 47 8092, info@cfsurrey.org.uk