The Mayor's charities

The Mayor of Guildford Cllr Mike Parsons' good causes for his Mayoral year are the Guildford Young Carers Fund and Headway Surrey.

Charity Banner

Guildford Young Carers Fund

GYCF logo for Mayor's page
One of Mike's aims is to raise money for the Guildford Young Carers Fund.

This innovative fund addresses an area of society that is very much overlooked. Estimates suggest that as many as 8 per cent of children aged 5 to 18 in many areas of Guildford act as carers - and their efforts are frequently unrecognised and hidden from society.  

The effects on these children of being a carer is huge. Some fail to realise their academic potential, and they often suffer mental health issues, bullying and social media abuse.

These are young people who find their normal young lives being replaced by caring for a relative within the family unit. The responsibilities often have a negative effect on their lives, such as causing them to fall behind at school, or simply lose precious childhood time. These children and young people are often unable to access help and many do not even realise that they are acting as carers - it's just what you do.

This story illustrates the charity's concerns...

Sophie is nine years old. Every morning, she gets up, helps her seven-year-old brother get ready for school, prepares breakfast for them both and makes a packed lunch for three. Sophie then takes care of her mother's needs, clears up and walks her brother to school. Later in the day, she collects her brother from school and walks him home. When they arrive, Sophie makes supper for the three of them, clears away, and does the washing and ironing. By the time these chores are finished, it's10pm and Sophie finally gets to bed. At 5.30am the next morning, her day starts all over again.

The Guildford Young Carers Fund will support the following costs for young people like Sophie:

  • additional non-statutory support in school or college

  • extra tuition or educational support outside school or college

  • IT or other equipment to support educational needs

  • school trips, outings or residential activities

  • courses

  • music, sports or play activities or other clubs outside school

  • opportunities to meet other young carers  

Visit the Guildford Young Carers Fund web page to find out more and make a donation, or call 01483 478092 to find out how you can help.

Headway Surrey

Headway logo for Mayor's charity
Based in Guildford, Headway Surrey provides cognitive rehabilitation and support for people over the age of 18 who have an acquired or traumatic brain injury. The charity also provides support for their families and carers.

Brain injury can be caused by stroke, heart attack, tumour, road traffic accident, sports injury, work incidents, victim of violence, falls, trips, encephalitis, brain aneurisms, haemorrhage, oxygen deprivation and other medical issues. Headway Surrey offers specialist support from its centre and also outreach to the community. 

Headway Surrey provides specialist cognitive workshops at their centre and also home visits and hospital liaison. They enable people to re-learn basic and more advanced life skills, including executive function, planning, prioritising, memory, writing, social skills, behavioural issues and insight.  In addition, they provide carers' support groups and befriending to tackle isolation, plus assistance to enable access to volunteering, employment and training. 

Contact details: enquiries@headwaysurrey.org 

Telephone: 01483 455225

Website: Headway

The Mayor of Guildford's Local Distress Fund

Mike will also continue to support the Mayor of Guildford's Local Distress Fund. The economic climate continues to challenge a large number of people, and some struggle on a daily basis to make ends meet. The fund provides vital support by granting small sums of money to help those in genuine need.

Guildford is unusual in that its mayors have their own long-established charity, the Mayor of Guildford's Local Distress Fund. This charity makes grants to individuals and families throughout the borough who are experiencing financial difficulties.

Find out more about the Mayor of Guildford's Local Distress Fund and how to apply for help.

Support the Mayor's Charities

Ten Pin Bowling

  • Date: Thursday 24 January 2019
  • Time: 6:30pm
  • Location: Spectrum

Banish those winter blues and join the Mayor and members of the England Bowling Team for a bit of New Year fun! Tickets cost £10 per person for two games of bowling including an exclusive Moonlight Bowling Neon Pin Challenge and buffet selection served behind the lanes. To register please email civicsecretary@guildford.gov.uk.


Live at the Arnaud

  • Date: Sunday 31 March 2019
  • Time: 7:30pm
  • Location: Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

A spectacular Sunday evening of comedy, music, magic, cabaret and musical theatre, Guildford Fringe presents Live at the Arnaud for The Mayor of Guildford's charitable causes.

Hosted by Guildford Fringe Theatre Company's Nick Wyschna, enjoy performances from a plethora of local and national acts, including Guildford-based singer-songwriter Emma Stevens; comedy from regular headliners Raymond and Mr Timpkins; award-winning clowning from Kiki Lovechild; showstopping wizardry from Griffin & Jones; stand-up and musical comedy from troubadour Jon Long; and some of your favourite musical theatre hits from Nick Wyschna. Tickets cost £22 and concessions cost £20. Visit Yvonne Arnaud to book online.


Gatsby at the Mandolay

  • Date: Saturday 4 May 2019
  • Time: 6:30pm to 1am
  • Location: Mandolay Hotel

Hosted by the Mayor of Guildford.

Join us for a trip back in time and enjoy the glitz, glamour and pizzazz of the 1920's! Celebrate in style to the swinging sounds of The Gershwin Gang and disco until the early hours. Glass of fizz on arrival, delicious 3-course meal and free entry into the Grand Raffle. Tickets cost £75 per person or £70 per person when booking a table of 10. The dress code is black tie, 1920's attire is also welcome. To register please email civicsecretary@guildford.gov.uk.