Decision details

Hardship payment to VCF sector - St Matthews + Surrey Meditation

Decision Maker: Executive Director Transformation, Partnerships & Prosperity

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


Applications for financial support for Voluntary, Community & Faith sector organisations are being received by the Council. These requests for support are a direct result of financial hardship felt as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, due to either additional costs being incurred by these organisations to meet increased demand for their services or enable remote working, or as a result of reductions in their usual funding sources (eg donations and fund raising events). 


Applications are submitted on a standard request from and are being considered initially by a panel made up of Strategy and Finance colleagues.  The panel is assessing requests against the following criteria:

  • Small and medium sized organisation with an annual income of less than £1million during the financial year 2018/19
  • Are not in receipt of any outstanding, adverse judgements from relevant regulatory bodies e.g. Charities Commission, CQC
  • Operate within and provide services to meet needs in the county of Surrey
  • Provision of services to support vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, and/or later in the recovery phase
  • Have provided SCC commissioned and/or funded services between 2015-2020, including organisations funded via grant, contracts and/or one-off commissioning
  • Provision of broader, strategic services to Surrey residents that SCC considers vital to maintain
  • Have evidenced and substantiated the additional financial pressures caused to the organisation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Will remain viable and able to assist Surrey during the post COVID-19 recovery phase, taking account of financial pressures already incurred and those that are forecast
  • Where funding will support the long term, future sustainability of the organisation.


In addition, applications must also demonstrate that:

  • Funding is actively being sought from alternative, relevant sources e.g. central government and Community Foundation for Surrey. SCC hardship funding will particularly favour residual pressures that cannot be met from other available means.
  • Organisations can remain viable between the receipt of staged payments from the SCC COVID-19 Hardship Fund which may be paid in several tranches


The following applications were recommended by the Panel and approved by the Executive Director for Transformation, Partnership & Prosperity & the Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Fire & Resilience.





Amount awarded


St Matthew’s Church


The applicant was able to demonstrate hardship as a result of loss of income and ongoing costs/overheads.  They asked for £18,000 but the panel is recommending giving half that amount which is in line with the criteria and covers the period up until the end of June.  The church is being used as the foodbank and is supporting 100 families a week at this time which was a key factor in recommending this decision.

Surrey Mediation Service


The applicant applied for £10,000 and it is proposed to partially support them with £5,780 which supports the gap in managing the costs for the months that fit the hardship criteria.  The application came in two weeks ago in which time officers have asked the applicant for more information to better understand the reason for hardship.  There has been a reduction in clients paying for services which has caused the hardship.  The applicant has taken sufficient mitigating measures like furloughing staff/small businesses payment however a gap remains.  They will be signposted to CFS for any further support if needed but will remain sustainable through their business model which is primarily based on fee-paying services. 



The following applications met the agreed criteria for financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic:


St Matthews’s Church


Family Mediation Service



A one-off payment of £14,870.00 will be made to support the above organisations.


Reasons for the decision:

To ensure the sustainability of the organisations and the continued provision of their services to the residents of Surrey during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Alternative options considered:

The alternative is to not provide financial support and leave the organisations to try to find alternative means of financing additional costs incurred and loss of income due to COVID-19.  This could put the continued delivery of the services they provide to residents of Surrey at risk.

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:



Urgent item?: Yes

Publication date: 03/07/2020

Date of decision: 17/06/2020

Accompanying Documents: