Community Cash Fund – 2023

27th April 2023

We were thrilled this year to open our Community Cash Fund again, offering grants of up to £1,500 to help small groups start or build upon local projects in the community. This year our focus was on young people aged 16-24, so we were looking for applications demonstrating how the projects would support their health and wellbeing of young people aged 1 0 24 in Surrey.

We were pleased to receive 31 of applications. Our volunteers, including 3 members from our Young Healthwatch group assisted us to shortlist these to 8 final projects, awarding over £11,000 in total. All of the winners were invited to our winners workshop, held on 27th April. This workshop also gave the winners a chance to meet each other and network as well as meeting more of the Healthwatch Surrey staff team and the volunteers who had been on the panel.

We will continue to work closely with each of these projects throughout the coming year to learn how we can better support and encourage young people to be involved in the shaping of their local communities.


Our winners were:

  • Addlestone Salvation Army
  • Appeer CIC
  • Intergenerational Music Group
  • Leatherhead Youth Project
  • The Matrix Trust
  • Red and Black Roots Football Team
  • Twister
  • Youth Include Choir



Addlestone Salvation ArmyAddlestone Salvation Army being presented their award cheque by our CEO Kate


Working with young people who are street homeless or sofa surfing, Addlestone Salvation Army applied for the Community Cash Fund to continue helping young people access help and to support their mentoring programme for their young volunteers.

The funding was for various activities including:

  • First Aid and Food Handling and Safety courses, enabling the young people to gain skills and confidence in their abilities and have a qualification to add to their CV
  • Leisure equipment so young people who might struggle with socialisation, communication skills and stress can play alongside others without the pressure to speak.
  • To fund a small group to take part in a camping and hiking trip in Oxfordshire, spending time with positive role models in an environment free from their daily challenges and anxieties.

“the young people find it hard it hard to interact with others and need more activities so we can chat alongside and they join in that way”

Appeer CICAppeer logo; the letter A in a teal blue. Within each side of the sloping part of the A are the outlines of two women, they are touching hands at the topof the A. Underneath the A are the words:


The grant helped to fund Appeer’s Teens Exploring Work (TEX) programme, a 4 to 6 week, autistic-friendly work experience programme for girls aged 16 to 18. The programme involves meeting as a group, visits from external speakers, low-pressure learning and practicing of work skills, and real-life practice in planning and running activities for younger autistic girls.

TEX candidates develop their confidence, self-esteem and ability to function in social and work settings, by learning together skills in accessing work, self-advocacy and being in the workplace. They meet autistic women role models who share tips from their working experience, and professionals providing information and advice on accessing support. At the end of the programme there are individual appraisals, a celebratory graduation and a tailored work reference. The programme also works with candidates’ parent/carers, enhancing family support for their daughters’ aspirations and increasing their knowledge about available work/education support.

Quote from someone who has used the service “It’s like [TEX] gave me a map on how to navigate the world as an autistic woman.”


Intergenerational Music making (IIM)IIM being presented their award cheque by our CEO Kate


IIM recognise that youth social action can lead to young people feeling more personally empowered in their communities, more confident, becoming increasingly social justice orientated in their classrooms, and possibly even feeling an increased sense of their civic purpose promoting an overall sense of identity.

“we want to focus on creating a space where young people can be heard and validated”

IIM are using their grant to deliver an innovative intergenerational social action pilot, enabling young people to connect, through a combination of think tanks, podcasts and mentoring.



Leatherhead Youth ProjectLeatherhead Youth Project being presented their award cheque by our CEO Kate


The Aspire Project run by Leatherhead Youth Project, supports young people from the age of 16 as they transition from school into the world of college or work.  The project addresses the lack of employment opportunities, transferrable life skills, aspirations and choices that are faced by many of the young people it supports.

To help the young people gain a sense of belonging and purpose within a community, the project runs social events, bringing the young people together and helping to build lasting, positive relationships amongst their peers and with the team running the project. This provides vital opportunities to develop their social skills, boost their self-confidence and better equip them for when they head into the working world.

The grant enabled 58 hours of one to one support for young people supported by this project, “your funding makes such a difference”


The Matrix TrustThe Matrix Trust being presented their award cheque by our CEO Kate


BOOST is a Matrix project which seeks to ‘improve the wellbeing of the young people aged 16-24 by building their confidence and transferable skills through supportive work experience’ at a café in Guildford. The Community Cash Fund grant has enabled 3 young people access this 12 week traineeship.

Through this project the young people learn to interact with customers and colleague, developing confidence, problem solving, communication skills and independent working.

“We are trying to be more inclusive with who we support and this funding will help with that. It was so great to make new connections within the room at the workshop today”


Twister LGBTQ+

Twister being presented by our CEO Kate with their winning chequebeing presented their award cheque by our CEO Kate


The grant was awarded to improve the resources available to this youth project working with young LGBTQ+ people aged 14 to 19, providing education and support regarding problems with drugs and alcohol in the community. Within these session the group develop the trust and relationship to have these conversations, and the additional resources enable them to do some smaller group work around these topics.

“This funding is enabling us to deliver integrated substance use informal education throughout the year. The resources are a powerful tool for our youth workers to be able to engage and educate young people. Statistically LGBTQ+ young people are at greater risk of substance misuse, so having the support of Healthwatch Surrey will be invaluable for the future of these young people”



Red and Black Roots Albanian CharityHysen from Red and Black Roots Football, presenting Hannah, our Volunteer Coordinator with a new Healthwatch Surrey football shirt


“We’re working together no matter which race or gender”

This charity received a grant to start a football team for young people (aged 16 – 25 years) from the Albanian Community and other communities in East Surrey.

This team plays matches with other community football teams and hopes to be able to enter a local amateur league where they will be able to play competitive matches.

As the Albanian Community is generally young and a large proportion of the men are of the aged between 15- and 26, the football team provides an opportunity to exercise, socialise and improve their wellbeing. Having the team also benefits non – players in the community, brining people together to support the team and also requiring people to be involved with team management, physio, organising fixtures, driving etc.


Youth Include ChoirThe Youth Include Choir being presented their award cheque by our CEO Kate


The period of transition (from 16 -24) is complex and stressful for young people with additional needs and their families and, following multiple requests from local schools, individuals and families, the successful Include Choir therefore required funding for the addition of a Youth Include Choir, to support and empower young people and their families at this highly challenging time.

The Include Choirs provide social, musical and self-advocacy opportunities, bringing together people with and without learning disabilities, autism & communication needs. Using Makaton signing and other speech and language therapy-evidenced communication techniques, additional skills are built and everyone is included. The Choir performs a range of music and song-writes collaboratively about topics that matter to their members.

“If we were all a bit better at communicating, it would make a difference to the world”