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“I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal.” Her Majesty The Queen, 19th March 2020

A Message from HM Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux

“COVID-19 is a grave challenge facing people around the world, within our country and here in our own county, Surrey.

The cost to human life has already been truly heart breaking. My sympathy goes out to the families and loved ones who have lost those closest to them, as well as my best wishes to all those who may be suffering from the virus. I also know the debt of gratitude that we all feel to the front-line public, social and volunteer services who are working around the clock so tirelessly to keep us safe at this time of great challenge.

Working together to focus on a common goal was the message recently from Her Majesty. It is heartening to see around our county so many phenomenal acts of commitment and courage to protect those most vulnerable in particular, and to protect the community in general.

The rapid response of our NHS, the nationwide sign up of 750,000 NHS volunteers in less than a week, and the work of so many other superb organisations show just what can be achieved when we combine our efforts.

Indeed, a number of organisations and charities that the Lieutenancy supports are already central in ensuring front line support delivery where needed. The good news is that the Community Foundation for Surrey has launched the county’s own Coronavirus Response Fund (story below) and has already awarded invaluable grants to local charities and vital community causes.

Businesses across Surrey, while facing uncertain times, are also finding innovative ways for employees to work from home. And food producers and retailers are successfully offering home delivery services (story below) to ensure that Surrey produce and products continue to be available to us.

On this website we feature examples of the work of individuals and communities around our county in this great moment of need. And we are rapidly overhauling our digital capabilities (scroll down for more details), to play our part in highlighting information on the response across Surrey to safeguard lives during the COVID-19 epidemic.

The focus for the Lieutenancy has always been to shine a light on those people and organisations making a positive difference all over the county. Now we are stepping up this effort, with the Surrey Lieutenancy and my Deputy Lieutenants doing all we can to assist in the vital work ahead.

This comes with my very best wishes to you and your families.”

Michael More-Molyneux
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey

The full message from Her Majesty The Queen, 19th March 2020 can be found at:

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's message to everyone who is helping to tackle the pandemic, 20th April 2020 can be found at:


Down on the farm during Covid-19

Hill House Farm at Beare Green, near Dorking is a family run farm dedicated to connecting people to the countryside through great food and outstanding rural experiences. Just before the Lockdown, it received the Surrey Hills Enterprises Gold trademark award for 2020/21. One of many local food producers needing to adapt production and delivery during the coronavirus crisis, Hill House invited Lord-Lieutenant, Michael More-Molyneux, to go down on the farm on 19th May to meet the team, along with representatives from Aldhurst Farm, Chalk Hills Bakery and Dorking Brewery. He heard how they’ve collaborated during this challenging time, delivering produce to homes all over the Surrey Hills and, with a new website, across mainland Great Britain. more...


Cross party politicians together for Runnymede

Thirteen councillors across all the political parties in Runnymede Borough have joined together to run the Runnymede Foodbank (linked to The Trussell Trust) during the pandemic. Operating since 2012, the foodbank in normal times supports those in personal crisis – but this Covid Response is different. The operation to handle the emergency provision moved from Chertsey to a larger warehouse in Egham and, by 20th May, had delivered its 500th food parcel since the councillors took over. The transition back to the original volunteers is under way, but this cross party support has shone a light for the local community on how its local councillors have worked collaboratively to meet pressing need. Watch them in action...


Surrey Food banks call for financial donations

The 28+ Food banks across Surrey urgently need financial donations (to replace the food donations they usually rely on). To make a donation to an individual Foodbank – go to and type in key word ‘Food bank’ for details of countywide food banks. These grassroots, community organisations need your backing more than ever now.

Surrey Community Helpline open longer

Surrey County Council has set up the Surrey Community Helpline (0300 200 1008) and extended its hours from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm. It is also open from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm, Saturday and Sunday. There are also linked webpages at

The Helpline provides essential information, advice and links for: residents who need the help of volunteers and community groups, or financial support and also those people who want to help their community, by volunteering.


Community Angels move to telephone service

Community Angels are volunteer befrienders who support adults of all ages and life stages in Guildford Borough – the aim to is help overcome isolation and loneliness through befriending, connecting and empowering. It is part of the Guildford Town Centre Chaplaincy that also includes Guildford Street Angels (but both volunteers and those they support are of all faiths and none). During this crisis, the Community Angels have moved from face to face to telephone befriending and are welcoming those who need to talk on: 07825 799309. Anyone wishing to volunteer as a Community Angel should contact Rachel Guilford at: more...

Surrey’s NHS Hospital Heroes!

NHS staff at Surrey’s hospitals are our front-line champions in the fight against COVID-19. That’s at Ashford & St Peter’s; East Surrey Hospital; Epsom and St Helier’s Hospitals; Frimley Park/Health; and Royal Surrey County Hospital. And across the county, individuals and communities are stepping-up to support them, volunteering much needed items and donations of time and/or money. Watch this interview with Louise Stead, CEO of the Royal Surrey County Hospital on 8 April 2020, to hear how the RSCH is coping with the demands of the coronavirus: youtube

Huge demand for Telephone Counselling Service

SDAC (Surrey Drug and Alcohol Care) is responding to extra demand for its Helpline and Telephone Counselling Service (TCS). Many other services that offer group therapy have closed, leaving recovering alcoholics and drug addicts worried about the effects of the virus and at high risk of relapse. What’s more, SDAC is accepting additional clients with mild to moderate mental health issues (unrelated to addiction) who are struggling to cope with the current situation. SDAC is reaching out through social media and word of mouth to encourage anyone feeling isolated or fearful to call its 24 hour freephone Helpline for support: 0808 802 5000. Or find them at , on Facebook (Surrey Drug & Alcohol Care) or twitter (@SDAChealthymind). more...

Food from Spectrum hub for most vulnerable

Guildford’s Spectrum Leisure Centre has become a key hub for distributing food supplies on behalf of the Government to hundreds of people across Surrey with medical conditions that make them extremely vulnerable to Covid-19. On 16th April, Surrey’s Lord-Lieutenant Michael More-Molyneux visited the hub and worked alongside those packing the food boxes for distribution. The Surrey Local Resilience Forum is co-ordinating a network of these hubs in each of Surrey’s districts and boroughs, organising support for anyone in the county who needs it – not just those who fall within the extremely vulnerable group. That support can be emergency food, help with shopping, prescription collections or care to deal with social isolation and loneliness. more...

BERT leads the way with community response

Brockham Emergency Response Team (BERT) was set up in 2013 to respond to local emergencies and help protect the lives of those in distress in its community. Now, with emergency funding from Surrey’s Coronavirus Response Fund and Mole Valley DC, BERT has set up a foodbank with Christ Church, Brockham to provide for those in financial hardship – many older and vulnerable – during the Coronavirus pandemic. Working in partnership with Mid-Surrey Community Fridges and Fare Share, ‘foodaid Brockham’ uses donated supplies from supermarket hubs with BERT centrally co-ordinating requests from residents received by phone/email to: or call 01737 402821. more...

Watch out for Coronavirus scams!

Surrey’s Trading Standards is reporting numerous different coronavirus scams, including miracle cures for the virus and home testing kits, which don’t exist. Also in circulation are fraudulent text messages or emails that claim to fine residents for going out, or offer refunds on taxes or business rates. Residents are reminded never to invite strangers into their homes, pay upfront for services or offers of shopping, nor give out bank details. Trading Standards advises: don’t be rushed into making a decision; be sceptical; don’t be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door. For more advice visit the ‘stay connected’ page at or to report a scam call 01296 388788.


Surrey’s own Coronavirus Response Fund

To meet some of the urgent funding needs of community groups and charities assisting in the relief effort across our county, a Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund has been set up by the Community Foundation for Surrey. By 28th April, £1 million had been raised, with grants totalling £550,000 to support 120 vital organisations and projects across the county. more... The Orpheus Centre (above) received funding for the ongoing running of its centre, supporting young disabled adult students during the crisis. more...

Priority is being given to organisations providing support to the most vulnerable and isolated. Details on the funding available, the first grants and how to apply are available at:

Support local enterprise in this crisis

Even though we may currently no longer explore the stunning Surrey countryside, while you stay at home you can continue to enjoy and benefit from some of the wonderful products and services that Surrey Hills businesses have to offer. The message is clear: Support local enterprise and the local economy during the crisis –because those businesses are doing all they can to support your local communities. To see the inspiring range available from Surrey Hills businesses, go


University of Surrey rolls out its Covid Assist

The University of Surrey has received daily requests for assistance from organisations, both locally and nationally, since the start of the Covid crisis. The most significant support to date has been provided to its partners at the Royal Surrey County Hospital (RSCH), Surrey Heartlands and to Surrey County Council. This reaffirms the University’s position as an anchor institution within this county and the region. Stepping up efforts to support the NHS to fight the Covid-19 crisis, University staff, final year nursing, midwifery and paramedic students have volunteered to save lives on the frontline, while two anaesthetic machines and four oxygen support systems, plus much needed PPE has been delivered to the RSCH. more...

Inspiring food drops for Mole Vale communities

Responding to the Covid 19 crisis, Mid Surrey Community Fridges has changed how it operates. It is no longer distributing the good, surplus food it collects – from waste food charity, FareShare, plus supermarkets, shops and producers – to the public via three static fridge sites and a refrigerated Mobile Fridge. Instead, it has launched a referral only bag drop service for the Mole Valley communities, working with Social Services, Mole Valley DC, schools, Leatherhead Youth Project, Brockham Emergency Response Team (BERT), see story below... St John’s Church, North Holmwood and the Link Up Project (Goodwyns Estate) to identify the most needy. With an amazing team of 80+ volunteers, in just three weeks upscaled to 4500kgs, making-up 650+ bags for vulnerable people and delivering door to door. more...

Private Royal visit supports the Hope Hub

Working to prevent and end homelessness in Surrey Heath Borough and the surrounding areas, The Hope Hub in Camberley is currently delivering food parcels every week to vulnerable clients who are in temporary accommodation during COVID-19 and would otherwise be homeless. Staff and volunteers are also supporting clients by phone and email, to maintain their mental health and identify necessary intervention support. On 9 April, the charity was proud to welcome HRH The Countess of Wessex on a private visit. The Countess met staff and volunteers and helped pack the emergency food parcels, before going on to deliver five food parcels within Surrey Heath. more...

Join the 2.6 Challenge for Surrey charities!

Fundraising events have been postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19 for Surrey's local charities. Many work at the front line with some of the most vulnerable in our county, of every age and background – and they need our support more than ever. Now there’s the chance to show how much we care. Join the 2.6 Challenge for all ages and abilities – no need to be a marathon runner to take part. Think of an activity based around the numbers 26 or 2.6 and complete it on or from Sunday April 26. You can bake 26 biscuits and eat them; run round the garden for 2.6 kms to burn off the weight; do 26 press-ups with the dog on your back. Go to this website to find out how to get involved and support your Surrey charity:


Grant for PPE protects Transform key workers

The charity Transform Housing and Support operates across Surrey, providing vital accommodation and support for homeless, vulnerable and excluded people. Transform clients – who can face challenges that include mental ill-health, disability, a history of offending, or substance abuse – often don’t have a wide support network of family and friends to help them if they need to self-isolate. It’s also common for them to have other mental and physical health problems, which put them more at risk during the coronavirus pandemic. Recognising this, the Community Foundation for Surrey see story below... awarded Transform a £5,000 grant for Personal Protective Equipment so that the charity’s front line key workers can deliver their service safely to clients. more...

Food for front line NHS staff

HRH The Countess of Wessex joined volunteers from the Army’s Cadet Training Centre Frimley Park on Friday 17th April at Frimley Park Hospital. Together they distributed food donations from local businesses and individuals to NHS heroes at the front line of the coronavirus pandemic. Many caring for Covid-19 patients are working long hours and struggle to get provisions from shops. The Countess helped to pack 100+ bags with fruit, vegetables, coffee and treats, which were then presented to grateful hospital staff. She is colonel-in-chief and patron of the QARANC Association, which supports past and serving members of the Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps; some corps personnel are based at Frimley Park Hospital. more...


Hand made for heroes

Responding to the extreme shortage of PPE for the county’s dedicated frontline workers, Surrey County Council is appealing urgently for skilled volunteers to help supply gowns, aprons and masks, made to a specification from Public Health England. Anyone who can offer urgent assistance should contact Surrey CC is also asking businesses to email offers of support. more...
The Meath Epilepsy Charity needed scrubs for its frontline care workers and has seamstresses volunteering to make them, to stringent NHS specifications. With no scrub material available, The Meath asked supporters to donate cotton/cotton mix bedding. Due to the outstanding response, within 72 hours it had received hundreds of offers from the public and so the Appeal was closed. more...

How you can register to volunteer

Your local Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) or Volunteer Centre is the place that coordinates volunteers in Surrey. It is in touch with many local organisations, charities and community groups that are organising help for vulnerable people who have to self-isolate, and then·matches volunteers to those in need of support. You could help with picking up shopping, prescription collections or being a telephone friend. The CVS and Volunteer Centres in Surrey are listed here. more...
Or you can sign up as a British Red Cross community reserve volunteer. In Surrey, these volunteers are helping to deliver prescriptions to people who are self-isolating, and providing essential help to local communities.


Community support is centre stage at Harlequin

The Harlequin Theatre in Redhill has been repurposed as a community support centre to co-ordinate the distribution of·food, emergency welfare packs and medicines to high risk and vulnerable residents needing to self isolate, and to those in severe financial need. The operation is run by over 100 community volunteers alongside Reigate and Banstead Borough Council staff redeployed from other roles. The theatre has been transformed with shelving stacked with food and essentials donated by local supermarkets and market traders; over 440 parcels were dispatched on 15th·April alone. The Harlequin support centre is working with other local foodbanks including St Matthew's, Redhill and also providing hot meals cooked by the theatres catering staff for those who would otherwise go without. more...

Helping Surrey communities through the crisis

Surrey Community Action (SCA) is working with the county’s voluntary, community and faith sectors to help co-ordinate their responses to the coronavirus. SCA always supports 100+ Good Neighbour schemes in Surrey and now is helping them·to remain active and effective in the crisis. more... That includes supplying ID lanyards for new mutual aid groups launched to support existing Good Neighbour schemes, which have had to scale back due to the age of volunteers. And the SCA ‘Warmth Matters’ adviser is providing vital online and telephone support (07521 503 696) for Surrey residents who have suddenly found themselves without employment or on a reduced income, struggling to pay their utility bills – including access to the warm home discount and priority service register. more...


Guildford Cathedral turns blue for the NHS

Guildford Cathedral – high on Stag Hill – is being illuminated in blue, the colour of the NHS, every Thursday evening during the crisis, to salute healthcare workers in their fight against the coronavirus. Other UK landmarks turning blue include the London Eye, the Royal Albert Hall, the Shard and Wembley Stadium in the capital, the Principality Stadium in Cardiff and Lincoln Cathedral. Kitchens at the Cathedral’s Seasons Café and Restaurant are preparing fresh meals for staff at the Royal Surrey County Hospital to pick up at the end of their shift. All the food is being provided through crowdfunding. Since the cathedral closed on 17th March, services are conducted from clergy’s homes and can be accessed via the Cathedral website and Facebook page. more...


Lord-Lieutenant volunteers with ‘Surrey Drive’

On 27th April, Surrey’s Lord-Lieutenant, Michael More-Molyneux, joined a team from local networking group, Surrey Event Professionals, volunteering to provide hot meals to hardworking NHS staff during the coronavirus crisis. This is part of ‘Surrey Drive’ a campaign organised by local catering companies, events specialists and other businesses plus volunteers working together to cook and deliver some 4,500+ meals each week. Crowdfunded with over £20,000 of public support,·the caterers and volunteers are cooking and driving an enticing range of nutritious, immune boosting hot meals and sweet treats to frontline staff working within the Royal Surrey County Hospital Trust – both in the Guildford hospital and at other key NHS locations in the west of the county more...


Take a wellbeing drone flight over Painshill Park!

Instead of marking Surrey Day 2020 on Saturday May 2nd·with public events or private visits, the coronavirus crisis meant a 'virtual' celebration instead. Through the day, BBC Radio Surrey celebrated our county – and the people and places that make it great. Painshill Park, the award-winning Grade 1 listed 18th century landscape garden at Cobham, is one of those. Offering wellbeing and peace, plus some of Surrey’s most iconic views, it is closed during the pandemic. But you can still visit Painshill via its website. Enjoy a tranquil drone flight more... over this living work of art, dream of your next visit – the staff team and dedicated volunteers are determined to open again, immediately the lockdown lifts – and help preserve these 158 acres of international importance. more...


Royal visitor helps to shine a light

The Lighthouse Woking Foodbank welcomed HRH The Countess of Wessex to its warehouse facility at Sheerwater on 24th March, where she joined volunteers packing emergency food parcels. The food packages are being delivered to vulnerable clients in Woking Borough during the coronavirus outbreak. The Countess helped assemble parcels for delivery and heard from staff and regular volunteers at The Lighthouse about the work the foodbank is doing to help those in need. See more photographs here... She was also told about other inspiring projects managed by this charity – the common theme is to encourage, empower and equip people and so help transform lives through kindness, belief, and hope – which support the local community. more...


Citizens Advice free support in Surrey

As people encounter unprecedented problems related to Covid-19, more are turning to Citizens Advice, the network of independent charities offering online and telephone advice (not face to face during Lockdown). In the month from 9th March to 9th April, the Citizens Advice UK website was viewed 9 million times – a 39% increase year on year. The most viewed advice pages were on coronavirus top issues: bills, work, benefits and sick pay. And in that month, advisers helped 220,000 people by telephone, email and web chat. Across Surrey, Citizens Advice bureaux and hubs see list here... support our local communities, with Advisers providing FREE AND INDEPENDENT practical knowledge and guidance to help individuals find a way forward during these challenging times. more...


Lifeline for vulnerable East Surrey families

The work of Stripey Stork, the baby bank that is a lifeline for ‘at risk’ families in Reigate and Redhill – supplying them with practical (donated) items to raise their children – is paramount in this crisis. Thanks to the charity’s volunteer team, referral partners, supporters and funders – including the Community Foundation for Surrey, which awarded a £5,000 grant from the Coronavirus Response Fund – it has continued to meet individual family requests at the high level pre-lockdown AND supported 532 additional families from the start of the crisis to 30th April. That’s despite running a skeleton service of reduced staff/days/ hours. Essential supplies including nappies, toiletries and stationery have gone out via bulk requests from the charity’s referral partners, to support the most vulnerable families in local communities. more...


VE Day 1945 recalled from Covid-19 isolation!

Friday 8th May 2020 marked 75 years since the nation celebrated the allied victory in Europe with VE Day. Although the current pandemic meant that commemorative events across Surrey had to be postponed or cancelled, residents still found ways to mark this historic day from their isolation. And many of the Surrey based veterans and those who lived through WW2 took the time to recall their memories of VE Day 1945. From her Covid-19 self isolation, one of Surrey’s longest serving Deputy Lieutenants, Dame Elizabeth Anson DBE JP DL, shared diary extracts she had written on VE Day as a 14-year-old school girl at the Royal Naval School in Haslemere. Do watch her on this YouTube video. more...


Sign-up to the Healthy Surrey Virtual Wellbeing Hub

There’s never been a better time for those who are socially isolated to focus on their wellbeing – and now they can enjoy great activities, courses, discussions and workshops for free, with the Surrey Virtual Wellbeing Hub. It’s possible to join a virtual coffee morning from the kitchen, or a Zumba class from the living room. Take a creative writing course, tune into Mindfulness, or learn about Nutrition in Isolation. Here's the link for those who welcome experiencing interactive mental health and emotional wellbeing support during Covid-19 isolation more... Simply go online and sign-up to whichever activity appeals – and please spread the word to others, as there are spaces available on most sessions and workshops. more...



The Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux and his wife Sarah (above) socially distanced with neighbours at 8pm on Thursday 14th May to #ClapForOurCarers. This event has become a weekly ritual: the first national clapping in gratitude for front line champions was held on Thursday 26 March at the same time. But while the event was originally held in honour of the NHS, the ‘Clap For Our Carers’ event now pays tribute to all key workers including NHS staff, supermarket workers and teachers. On 12th May, the Lord-Lieutenant had delivered food to nurses at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford to mark International Nurses’ Day, before going on to nearby North Guildford Food Bank at Park Barn. more...


‘Nourish our Nurses’ receives Royal support

To mark International Nurses’ Day on 12th May, HRH The Countess of Wessex spent the morning volunteering with ‘Nourish our Nurses’. This enterprising group from Englefield Green, founded by Jo-Ann Airikkala, buys fresh produce from the market and then supplies bags of fresh food to hospital, ambulance and community healthcare frontline champions. more... The Countess joined the volunteer team to help pack and deliver 200 bags to St Peter’s Hospital at Chertsey, where she also met nurses and midwives on several wards including critical care. A number of the lucky recipients found more than just food in their bags – Her Royal Highness placed golden envelopes with extra treats donated by local businesses in some. more photographs...


Woking Mosque welcomes Royal volunteers

The Earl and Countess of Wessex joined volunteers at the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking on 221st May to help pack emergency food parcels for vulnerable people across the borough. They were shown the remarkable collaborative effort being undertaken by the entire mosque community and heard how people from every background and every faith are benefiting. With the generous support of local churches and businesses – and spearheaded by mosque manager Habib Shah – the response has already delivered more than 700 parcels to help local residents through the crisis. The Royal visitors also delivered a personal video message for the local and wider Muslim community to mark the end of Ramadan and the start of Eid Mubarak celebrations. more...


National Honours for COVID-19 work

The government has announced that new Honours will be awarded to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the UK’s COVID-19 response. Anyone can make a nomination, there is no deadline and submissions will be considered by an·independent honours committee. Simply download and fill in the special·honours nomination form·and email it to the Honours and Appointments Secretariat: The Surrey Lieutenancy has also published an informative leaflet ‘How to nominate Surrey champions for National Honours’ which explains how to recommend outstanding individuals in our county who were already making an exceptional impact in their community or field of work, outside of the current pandemic, and who may deserve an honour. Click for a copy...


We are overhauling our digital capabilities, to highlight information on the response across Surrey to safeguard lives during the COVID-19 epidemic. Our new website will include useful links and stories of the work of people striving to help others, and become a platform to register any particular community needs which come to our notice.

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Surrey organisations and charities ensuring vital front line support delivery.
Click on each name to read the news update

Army Training Centre Pirbright


Coast to Capital Growth Hub

Dorking Area Foodbank

Elmbridge Borough Council

Fairlands, Liddington Hall, and Gravetts Lane Community Association (FLGCA), Guildford

Fairwood Helpers and Worplesdon community groups, Guildford Borough

Farnham COVID-19 Co-ordinating Group

Foodbank at St Matthew’s Redhill

Godalming & Villages Community Store

Guildford Borough villages and parishes

Haslemere Help

Headway Surrey

Holy Cross Hospital, Haslemere

Jigsaw South East (youth bereavement charity), countywide

Manna Foodbank, Spelthorne

Merstham Mix/Community Café CIC

Nourish our Nurses, Englefield Green

Patchworking Garden Project, Dorking

Right at home, Farnham

Royal Alexandra and Albert School, Reigate

Runnymede Foodbank/The Trussell Trust

Samaritans, Epsom and countywide

Shah Jahan Mosque, Woking

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices

Step by Step, Aldershot and across West Surrey

Surrey Care Trust

Surrey Heath Borough Council

Surrey Heath PREPARED

Surrey Youth Focus

Tandridge District Council

The Brigitte Trust, Dorking and countywide

The Guildford Institute

The Lighthouse, Woking

The Meath Epilepsy Charity, Godalming

The Orpheus Centre, Godstone

The Royal Alfred Seafarers Society, Weston Acres near Banstead

© Surrey Lieutenancy 2020