About the Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund

Donate now to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable residents in Richmond upon Thames.

Customer notice

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are working remotely and it may take us a bit longer to process donations and respond to queries. Thank you for your support.

What is the Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund?

The Voluntary Fund is a charitable trust, independent from the Council, that has been set up to give the local community, on a voluntary basis, the opportunity to donate to local organisations who make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people in Richmond upon Thames.

How the Voluntary Fund works

Every year the Trustees of the Voluntary Fund will select a vulnerable group where they know there is a need for community funding to provide help and support. 

Residents will be invited to donate towards local charities that work hard to offer support in this area of need. For example, this could be charities who work with children, older residents or those with disabilities. Local charities will be selected, on an annual basis, to be recipients of the funding raised. 

Whilst anyone in the borough will be able to donate, the Council will be writing directly to those residents who live in the highest valued properties (Bands G and H).

Trustees of the Fund

The Trustees are:

  • Gillian Norton OBE (Chair of the Trust) - Former Chief Executive of Richmond Council. She is now the Chairman of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Richmond upon Thames
  • Cllr Gareth Roberts – Leader of Richmond Council
  • Cllr Paul Hodgins – Leader of the Opposition Group at Richmond Council
  • Cllr Richard Bennett – Leader of the Minority Opposition Group at Richmond Council
  • Cllr Robin Brown – Lead Member for Finance at Richmond Council
  • Cllr Penny Frost – Chair of the Children’s Services Committee at Richmond Council
  • Cllr Michael Wilson – Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector and Communities at Richmond Council

Donations

Will all the money donated go towards those charities?

Yes. Every penny donated will be given to the selected charities. The Council has kindly agreed to cover the administrative costs of the Trust.  Funds raised will be split equally between the selected charities.

Do I have to donate?

No. It is a voluntary scheme.

How much do I have to donate?

You can donate any amount and every donation will make a difference. Our selected charities this year have told us how your donation would be used.  For example, £55 will help a young person have a crisis counselling session; £500 will pay for a full counselling programme for a young person with an experienced counsellor and a £1000 would pay for 18 young people on the waiting list to have immediate support from a counsellor.

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Other boroughs with similar schemes

Boroughs in London with similar schemes are Westminster City Council, Kensington and Chelsea Council, Lambeth Council and Islington Council.

Why doesn't the Council give more money to these charities

The Council values and works closely with the voluntary sector, but it is not possible to provide all the support needed due to huge reductions in the Council’s own funding. The Council’s support from Central Government has been massively reduced by over £40 million over the last eight years. Since 2018/19, the general grant received has been zero and Richmond continues to be one of the lowest funded Councils in London - forcing the Council to rely on residents’ Council Tax to cover an increasingly higher share of service costs.

The services that would be funded by these charitable donations will be in addition to those already funded by the Council. 

Charity registration number

The charity registration number is 1186870. 

Find out more about the Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund on the Charity Commission website.

Further information

If you have a question about the Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund, email richmondvoluntaryfund@richmond.gov.uk or call 020 8487 5259.

Updated: 24 March 2020