Aspire grants help our less advantaged residents

Some of our borough's most vulnerable residents will get extra help thanks to funding of more than £40,000 from our 2021-22 Aspire Voluntary Grants.

We have awarded grants of up to £5,000 to 16 local charities, community groups and voluntary organisations to help fund projects that support our older, more vulnerable and less advantaged residents, including disabled children, carers, isolated and less mobile adults, and people suffering from serious physical and mental illness. 

Lead Councillor for Community, Cllr Julia McShane says:

"These grants will help to make a real difference to thousands of people across the borough, and help to build a brighter and more positive future for some of the people who need our support the most. I am delighted to see the range of charities and community groups which we have been able to help this year, and the brilliant projects which we are funding throughout our borough. 

"We know that this has been a very difficult time for many of our residents, and we hope that these grants will allow voluntary organisations to continue to provide the very best support. Aspire is here because our residents are at the heart of everything we do and we believe that every person matters."

Formed in 2002, CHIPS provides safe, fun and stimulating play opportunities for less advantaged children in Westborough and Stoke wards during the Easter and summer holidays. The scheme enables some children to attend for free, and caters for children who have additional needs such as autism, ADHD or speech difficulties. The grant from Aspire will pay for qualified staff to support children and for activities where extra equipment is needed, such as art and crafts. 

CHIPS Chair of Trustees, Chris Bunting says: 

"This Aspire funding will help CHIPS support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in North Guildford to bounce back from the social, emotional and health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are looking forward to delivering playscheme activities that increase the children's confidence and self-esteem, raise their aspirations, get them active and improve their mental and physical wellbeing all whilst they try new things, make friends and have fun!" 

Crossroads Care Surrey provide respite breaks for carers who look after family members. During the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, they have helped over 1,500 carers with shopping, prescriptions, dog walking, letter posting and telephone calls. With over half of carers in the borough shielding during the pandemic, Crossroads Care Surrey have given invaluable support in addition to their regular home-based respite services. 

Chief Executive Officer of Crossroads, Terry Hawkins says:

"We are so incredibly grateful for this support towards our befriending and outreach project, which has really come to life as a result of Covid-19 and having to be adaptable in an ever-changing environment to keep caring for those who care.

"Your funds will help us to continue to recruit our volunteer heroes who will connect with carers to offer help through befriending calls by phone or by connecting virtually, offering companionship in the home and outreach support, helping with shopping or prescription medicine collections. With your support, we hope to offer your residents who are caring unpaid, all the help and support they need at this time."

Founded and run by parents of autistic children, Appeer help autistic and neurodiverse girls aged 7-12 through peer groups based on shared interests. With these groups and activity sessions, they help girls to make friends, develop essential life skills and not feel so isolated. Appeer currently work with over 200 families from across Surrey, many of whom live in Guildford.

Appeer Founder and CEO, Jo Dilworth says:

"We are so grateful for our Aspire grant, which will help us maintain and expand our social interest-based activity sessions for autistic girls, ranging from online sessions such as Minecraft and baking, at the moment, and eventually returning to real life and outdoor activities like Forest school and animal visits. Over the next two months we are running sessions on Star Wars, Face Painting, Digital Skills and Gaming, Cooking and more which will enable the girls to connect, share strategies and interests and have fun. Thank you so much to Guildford Borough Council and Aspire for supporting us to do this."

Grants have been awarded to: 

  • Age UK Surrey - Men in Sheds - £2,000.00 
  • Appeer Community Interest Company - Autistic and neurodiverse girls - £1,000.00
  • Ash, Ash Vale, Ash Green Coronavirus Support Group - Support and food parcels - £5,000.00 
  • Autism All Stars Foundation - Running and staffing costs - £1,000.00 
  • CHIPS Guildford - Holiday Play Scheme - £5,000.00 
  • Crossroads Care Surrey - Community Outreach Support - £5,000.00 
  • Disability Challengers - Inclusive Leisure for Disabled Young People - £2,500.00 
  • Guildford Baptist Church - Millmead Holiday at Home - £600.00 
  • Horsley and Bookham Riding for the Disabled Association - Raise the Roof - £2,500.00 
  • Shooting Star Children's Hospice - Emergency Respite Care - £2,000.00 
  • Sight for Surrey - Eye Clinic Liaison Service - £1,500.00 
  • St John the Evangelist Church Merrow - Baby Basics Merrow - £1,000.00 
  • Surrey Welfare Rights Unit - Local advice support - £5,000.00 
  • TALK Surrey CIO - Asphasia Stroke Support Groups - £2,000.00 
  • The Brigitte Trust - Telephone and Home Visiting Support - £2,000.00 
  • ThriveFit Charity - Cancer, schools and mental health - £2,500.00

Published 10 March 2021