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About the Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund

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

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 who have 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).

How beneficiary charities are chosen

The Trustees of the Richmond Voluntary Fund decide on a theme they would like to focus on for the year and then invite expressions of interest from voluntary and community organisations to be the chosen beneficiaries. The expressions of interest are reviewed by Trustees and the beneficiary charities are selected.

Beneficiary charities in 2022/23

The 2022/23 beneficiary charities are Richmond Carers Centre, Off The Record, ADHD Embrace, and the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation. Find out more about these charities.

Funds raised in 2021/22

In 2021/2022 the Fund raised over £100,000 which was split between Off The Record, Richmond Borough Mind, Dose of Nature and Marble Hill Playcentres.

The funding was split between the charities in the following way:

  • Off the Record (one third)
  • Richmond Borough Mind (one third)
  • Dose of Nature (one sixth)
  • Marble Hill Playcentres (one sixth)

With this funding these organisations have provided:

  • Counselling services to vulnerable young people requiring support with their mental and emotional health. This comprises crisis sessions and ongoing weekly counselling sessions for young people, either face-to-face or online
  • Continued support to the majority of schools and youth clubs across the Borough to provide a range of peer support, mentoring, assemblies and workshops, covering topics such as managing anxiety and anger, building resilience and transitions from primary to secondary school or into adulthood
  • Supported young people with one-to-one and group ‘nature prescriptions’
  • Provided opportunities for outdoor play and social reconnection for children with Special Educational Needs

Funds raised in 2020/21

In 2020/2021 the Fund raised over £110,000 which was split between Off The Record and Richmond Borough Mind.

With this funding these organisations have provided:

  • Counselling services to vulnerable young people requiring support with their mental and emotional health. This comprises crisis sessions and ongoing weekly counselling sessions for young people, either face-to-face or online
  • Increased telephone support and referral, not only to young people in crisis, but also to parents and carers who themselves are anxious and confused about what support is available
  • Support to the majority of schools and youth clubs across the Borough to provide a range of peer support, mentoring, assemblies and workshops, covering topics such as managing anxiety and anger, building resilience and transitions from primary to secondary school or into adulthood
  • Workshops for parents, carers, families and friends on recognising the signs, symptoms and triggers of poor mental health in young people and how to cope, support and communicate with them during times of poor mental health

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 Richard Bennett – Leader of the 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 Nancy Baldwin - 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.

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. You can either make a one-off gift or set up a direct debit so you can donate on a regular basis.

Our selected charities this year have told us how your donation would be used. For example:

  • £15 could provide a young carer with an activity resource pack
  • £75 could provide a one-to-one advice clinic session for a parent or carer in need supporting a child with ADHD
  • £250 could provide half-day drug education workshop to students
  • £500 could provide a young person with a full counselling programme with an experienced counsellor

Donate online

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.

Privacy notice

View the Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund privacy notice (pdf, 104 KB) for information on how it uses and shares your data.

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: 18 July 2022

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