Local charities guests of honour at the All England Club

The Wimbledon Foundation, the charity of The All England Lawn Tennis Club and The Championships hosted its annual reception last week celebrating the work of local charities supported by the Foundation.

Representatives from 48 charities and community organisations awarded funding by the Wimbledon Foundation in 2018 attended alongside the Mayor of Merton Councillor Mary Curtin and the Mayor of Wandsworth Councillor Piers McCausland.

Local charities guests of honour at the All England Club

Guests enjoyed live jazz by talented young musicians from the Merton Music Foundation, moonlit tours of Centre Court, the chance to have their photographs taken with The Championship trophies and of course, strawberries and cream.

The evening also included inspiring speeches by two charities recently awarded three-year grants by the Wimbledon Foundation’s Health & Wellbeing Fund. Merton Vision supports and empowers blind and partially sighted people living in Merton while CARAS is a Wandsworth-based charity supporting young refugees and asylum seekers.

Chloe Smith, a visually impaired young person, has been volunteering with Merton Vision for six months and has helped to set up a social group to support young people with visual impairments to overcome the many challenges they face from loneliness and isolation to finding employment. The Wimbledon Foundation is funding Merton Vision over the next three years to expand this support.

Local charities guests of honour at the All England Club

Chloe said:

“I was so sheltered by my own parents that I’d never even met another young person with a visual impairment before. Peer support really is key to a happy and a healthy young person and that’s why projects like these have such significant value to society.”

Ian Hewitt, Chairman of the Wimbledon Foundation said:

“The evening is a celebration of these charities and their work and a chance for us to say thank you to their staff and the many volunteers on the ground. While we have been able to help in a modest way, we know that it’s their commitment and expertise that is helping to meet social needs and alleviate disadvantage.”

Local charities guests of honour at the All England Club

In 2018, grants and donations awarded by the Wimbledon Foundation exceeded £1 million for the first time, more than half £600,000 of which was donated to charities and community groups working in the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth.