Editorial Team


THE West End dancefloor will come to Woking on Sunday 27 January at 3pm when ballroom stars Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag bring their new show to town.

In Dance Those Magical Musicals they’ll do just that, Their choreography will be set to theatrical favourites like The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, 42nd Street, Hairspray, Cabaret, Wicked, Top Hat and Jersey Boys.

The duo will be joined on stage at the New Victoria Theatre by Strictly Come Dancing singer Lance Ellington, the London Concert Orchestra with conductor Richard Balcombe and a West End dance ensemble.

A WOKING psychotherapist is using the countryside around the town for outdoor “walking and talking” counselling sessions, which brings multiple benefits.

Be Cortade discovered the benefits of outdoor therapy when she found that walking along the El Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) in France and Spain cured her of longterm depression a few years ago.

Be researched walking therapy and also trained as a psychotherapist.

“I discovered that the combination of talking, walking and being in nature was more beneficial than the sum of those things,” she said.

OUTDOOR THERAPY – Be Cortade uses commons around Woking and the canal towpath

Be said that one of the many advantages of walking therapy was that it removed the problem of having to face someone and talk about difficult issues.

“Eye contact can be difficult for some people in these circumstances, but here we are walking side by side.”

Walking has particular benefits as it “activates specific neurons that makes thinking more lateral and allows for more creative solutions to problems.”

Be has found a route at Newlands Corner, near Guildford, that is ideal as the walk takes about an hour and includes woodland and open spaces.

She also uses commons around Woking and the Basingstoke canal towpath.

“I have to negotiate with clients about how we will approach things because the issue of confidentiality is different when you are not in a room.

“For instance, if we encounter other people, should we stop talking or engage in general conversation?”

Be, who lives in Old Woking with husband Guillaume and has three teenage sons, is a member of the National Trust and has permission to use NT properties for walking therapy. Many of these have few visitors during week days.

Be was born in France and left in her early 20s. She has been living in Woking for eight years after spells in the US and Australia.

Be is incredibly busy, also teaching French and English and translation work, as well as several volunteer commitments.

These include working at The Cosy, the café attached to The Lighthouse in the town centre, and doing voluntary counselling at a women’s support centre in Woking and a young people’s service in Croydon.

She said her husband was very supportive, especially while she trained as a psychotherapist having worked as an account director in the design and branding industry.

Be said that the walking therapy sessions began with an assessment, often over the phone, so that she could adapt the outings according to the clients’ ability to walk.

There are discounts for the first sessions and block bookings. FOR more information, email bluecloud@cortade.net or call 07553 826 017.

British Gymnastics has nominated the Woking Gymnastics Club as one of three nominees for the National Award for Equality and Inclusion.

Singled out for its “outstanding contribution” to the sport Woking was put forward for its work with community partners and in 2018, when it reached 120 new participants at local Sure Start centres, giving opportunities to people from all backgrounds. The club also added a weekly preschool class to its programme and continues to engage with disability organisations, running dedicated sessions for these groups free of charge.

INCLUSION FOR ALL – Youngsters enjoying a parachute session at Woking Gymnastics Club

“Each year at our National Awards, we delight in recognising and celebrating the achievements of the most inspirational people within our gymnastics community,” says Jane Allen, Chief Executive of British Gymnastics.

“I’m thrilled that Woking Gymnastics Club has been recognised for their hard work over the years. Without the contribution of members and clubs like Woking Gymnastics Club our sport wouldn’t be what it is today. It’s important we recognise the extraordinary contribution of these amazing members. They are great heroes of gymnastics and we are very grateful for the contribution they make.

Jessica Spragg,Development Manager at Woking Gymnastics Club said: “We are thrilled and delighted to be a nominee for the National Award for Equality and Inclusion. Our community work is at the heart of our ethos and we passionately believe in offering gymnastics to people of all abilities and ages.”

WESTFIELD moved into a play-off position after they edged aside promotion-hopefuls Marlow 1-0 on Saturday.

The Yellows executed their game-plan to perfection and secured all three points away at the Alfred Davis Memorial Ground.  They also registered their third consecutive clean sheet.

Westfield’s scorer, Dylan Cascoe. Picture by Andy Fitzsimon’s

After defeating Bedfont Sports 3-0 in midweek, Westfield boss Tony Reid made just two changes to his starting XI, with Adam Bellmaine and Antonios Kozakis both getting the nod.

Chances on goal were at a premium throughout the first half, with both sides nullifying each other.  After the break, the visitors moved up a gear and showed plenty of character, which has seen them rise up the table as one of the form teams.

Dylan Cascoe was put through on goal, sliding the ball past the onrushing Marlow keeper Simon Grant to put Westfield 1-0 ahead after 66 minutes.

Speaking to the News & Mail after the match, Reid said: “When Marlow came to us (at Woking Park) earlier in the season I thought they were arrogant, so we wanted to frustrate them on the return fixture and teach them a lesson.

“My players showed plenty of character; they showed they were men,” he added.

For the full match report, get the 17 January edition of the News & Mail

FIRST aiders who looked after children injured in the Woking fireworks night funfair incident have been presented with special awards.

Nine members of the town’s Red Cross unit received certificates for their compassionate action when they treated young people who fell from an inflatable slide.

The first aiders who tended the injured children at the fireworks night incident with Red Cross national director Ian Killick and Woking Mayor Will Forster

The presentations were made by the British Red Cross events first aid and ambulance support director, Ian Killick, during a ceremony at the unit’s headquarters on Thursday last week.

Those who received certificates were the duty officer for the night, Raymond Reed, incident officer Ian Pennells and first aiders Ken Haley, Lauren Jelly, Malcolm Cron, Kirsty Wright, Vicky Bowles and Sophie Barnes.

Mick Bullen, who was called in from home to help staff the first aid post during the incident, also got the commendation.

The Red Cross members were on duty when several children tumbled from the top of the slide in Woking Park on the evening of Saturday 3 November. They gave first aid to the injured before the arrival of paramedics.

Eight children were taken to hospital by ambulance and helicopter, with injuries ranging from bumped heads to a suspected broken pelvis.

For the full story, see the News & Mail’s 17 January edition

GENEROUS Woking FC fans helped to raise nearly £1,400 for a charity for bereaved children at a bucket collection during the FA Cup Third round match clash with Watford.

Halo Children’s Foundation had nearly 30 collectors at the match, around half of whom were Goldsworth Park Rangers players, including the Vikings U9s seven-a-side team whose home kit carries the charity’s logo.

Claire Browne speaking at a media press conference with Woking manager Alan Dowson

Halo’s involvement with the Cards was arranged by Goldworth Park mum Claire Browne, whose partner died of cancer two years ago. Claire found the charity while looking for support for her son Laurie, who plays for the Vikings.

In August last year, Woking FC manager Alan “Dowse” Dowson hosted a visit to the Laithwaite Community Stadium by the Vikings U9s so they could collect their new kit and also meet Cards players and staff.

When Woking was drawn against the Premier League giants last Sunday, Dowse invited Halo to do a bucket collection. At the press conference on the Friday before the game, the manager invited Claire to address the meeting, which included journalist from national papers and the BBC.

“That was a bit scary as they didn’t tell me I’d be doing it until two minutes before,” said Claire, who works at the White Lodge Centre, the disabled children’s charity in Chertsey.

“Several people have made contact from that and it has led to a couple of invitations to go on radio shows. It was such a fantastic opportunity. When the draw came up we were over the moon to be invited to collect at Woking’s biggest game for a long time.”

Claire and the charity’s founder and CEO Alia Jones were invited to speak at the pre-match hospitality event on Sunday.

A local man whose wife had recently died spoke to the pair about getting support for his child.

“There are a lot of families where children have lost their father and so it tends to be women who approach us but recently more men have been coming forward,” Alia said.

Claire and Alia said that the club, especially Dowse, has been very supportive of the charity.

Halo offers regular support group meetings and information about dealing with various crises, including long-term illness.

The charity, based in Hillingdon, northwest London, supports several Woking families.

Claire said that raising awareness that the charity existed to support bereaved children was as important as the money collected on Sunday.

“There was a bit about Halo in the programme, which was great,” she added.

“The atmosphere at the ground was brilliant and we had several collectors in the Watford section and those fans were very generous. It was a fantastic day for the kids, who are all Woking supporters. They were on their feet for about four hours and did ever so well. They did get to see the game and it was all a lovely memory for them.”

Alia said she had not yet decided how to use the collection, which totalled £1,337 and a few euros, but was working on a couple of big projects. These included providing a permanent meeting place for bereaved children and their families and books to be distributed at schools in which children who had lost a parent could record their thoughts and memories in writing and art.

For more information, visit http://www.halochildrensfoundation.org.uk/

MEMBERS of the 1st Knaphill Scout Group have been doing their bit for the local environment, taking to the streets and parks of Knaphill to complete the annual village litter pick.

The new year good turn saw Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and their families collecting over 20 full bin bags of litter from the area. Unusual items cleared away included a TV set, chair and supermarket basket.

The 1st Knaphill Scout Group litter picking team

“It is quite an eye opener to see just how much litter is out there, but we are pleased to report that overall there seemed to be less litter on the streets than we have found before,” said group Scout leader, Tracey Daniell.

She said she was proud of her scouts for working together to do what they can for the community and the area, and also thanked Woking Borough Council officer Kate Wilson for coming out to take part: “Not only does she bring along litter pickers and arrange for the rubbish to be collected, she also joins in. It is great to have her support.”

A WOKING artist has been named a winner in the Liberty of London Open Call competition, looking for the next big artistic talent in the UK.

Emma Hill was one of four winners, her abstract painting picked out from more than 5,100 entries.

“I saw an instagram post for the Liberty Open Call and submitted immediately with an abstract painting I had finished the night before: Graffiti Summer,” said Emma.

Emma Hill in front of her graffiti inspired painting

She describes her work as “raw, self-expressive and contemporary, blurring the lines between impressionism and graffiti”.

Some weeks after submitting her entry, Emma was informed that she was one of twelve artists who had been shortlisted.

“I was both delighted and shocked to hear that I had been shortlisted from such a large number of entries around the country,” she said. “Then when I was told that I was one of the four winning entries, I had to pinch myself, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t have wished for a better Christmas present.”

Emma has a BA in Art History and Scandinavian Studies. With no practical training she considers herself self-taught. She feels her creative journey began when she worked as cabin crew travelling the world with British Airways.

Married with two daughters, who she calls her “greatest influence and hardest critics”, Emma also works as an art instructor at Arthouse Unlimited, a Godalming- based charity working with artists living with complex epilepsy and learning difficulties.

“Mostly, I am inspired by nature: its repeat in pattern, the colours and changes of the seasons, but predominantly, I am intrigued and fascinated by the sea and the sky.”

Later this month, Emma and the other winners will visit Liberty’s London store to work with designers to turn the winning artworks into iconic Liberty fabric. In February, they will visit the company’s printing mill in Milan, Italy to see the fabrics being printed.

Each of the winners will receive their winning fabric designs which will also be documented in Liberty’s historical archives. All of the winning designs will be available to purchase in-store or on-line in May.

“Being a winner in the Liberty Open Call has given me a huge boost. It gives me the opportunity to share my work on a larger platform and I am looking forward to taking my art to another level: pushing the boundaries and possibilities of my artwork even further,” she said.

For more of Emma’s work, visit her website www.emmahill.co.uk.

LIFE-SIZE sculptures of animals and plants made from Lego bricks will be found nestling in lush foliage at the RHS Garden Wisley later this month.

They are featured in The Great Brick Safari, which is being staged in the Glasshouse from Saturday 26 January to Sunday 3 March.

More than 40 sculptures will be on display in the building’s temperate and tropical zones include animals such as an elephant, lions, meerkats, turtles and a gorilla.

The Great Brick Safari at RHS Garden Wisley

Lego brick plants created especially for RHS Garden Wisley include a Venus fly trap, a golden barrel cactus, a bird of paradise and water lilies.

As the discover each sculpture, visitors will be able to learn about the animal and plants, such as the natural habitats they are found in and conservation efforts taking place around the world.

There will be a Lego brick-making workshop the Glasshouse Gallery during the school half term – 16 to 24 February – where visitors can purchase their chosen mini-animal to take home.

The Glasshouse will be open from 10am to 4.30pm daily during The Great Brick Safari event and normal garden entry fees apply. For further information, visit www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley.

KNAPHILL crashed out the Senior Senior Cup in the cruellest way possible after losing 8-7 to a Kingstonian side 55 places above them in the football pyramid.

Knaphill boss Richard Keown made four changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Horley Town, while The Ks made six changes to their side that beat Bishop Stortford 3-0 last Saturday.

After a fairly non-eventful first half, which saw neither side register a clear shot on target, Knaphill notably led the charge in the second half.

Felix Ahorlu makes a run for Knaphill against Kingstonian. Ahorlu went on to hit The Knappers’ 72nd-minute goal. Picture by Andy Fitzsimons

Jacob McDonald came close to giving the hosts the lead, but Robert Tolfrey stood firm at the near post to keep the hosts at bay.

The visitors then came close to scoring themselves when Shaun McHolly hit the post from a freekick, with Kevin Wheeler saving well from the rebound.

However, The Knappers’ resilience paid dividends when Sheridan Campbell squared the ball for Eugene Hagan-Morgan, who saw his shot saved from point-blank range, only for Felix Ahorlu to find the net after 72 minutes.

The Ks’ hit back four minutes later from Thomas Brewer, who toe-poked home from a goalmouth scramble.

Both sides went in search for the winner in normal time, but it finished 1-1 and went straight to a penalty shoot.

With 13 of the opening 15 penalties converted, it was left to Matthew Kellet-Smith to keep the Knappers in the sudden death shoot-out.  Unfortunately, Tolfrey guessed correctly to save his spot-kick to send The Ks through.

Kingstonian will now play Carshalton Athletic in the next round of the competition.