Other News

THE 25th Woking Beer Festival has raised more than £3,000 for the homelessness charity, the York Road Project.

The money came from sales of raffle tickets at the three sessions at the Leisure Centre last weekend. The YRP is the mayor’s charity and Cllr Will Forster, Mayoress Hannah Thompson and several volunteers were out in force selling raffle tickets.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Woking, Cllr Will Forster and Hannah Thompson, with volunteer barmen

Around 3,500 people attended the festival, which is believed to be the only one of its kind with singalongs accompanied by a Wurlitzer organ.

John Mintram, who runs Thurstons Brewery in Horsell, said the 25th Woking Beer Festival was very good with the Friday evening session particularly crowded.

He said the singalong to the Wurlitzer organ was as popular as ever.

“By 10pm on the Friday, everybody was singing,” he said.

For the full report, see the 15 November edition of the News & Mail

TRUDI Fletcher is on a mission to raise more than a tonne of products for Woking Foodbank by Christmas.

She rallied the community to donate that amount in 2017 and is determined to collect even more stock for the charity’s shelves this year.

Trudi, of Connaught Crescent, Brookwood, is stepping up her efforts to get the village involved in her festive campaign in support of people in crisis.

Trudi Fletcher and young helpers with a consignment of donations. Pushing the sleigh are Mollie-Ann Bayliss (left) and Amber Kiy, with Eloise Brennan on board. Picture by Rob Searle

“It was a massive community effort last year and I’m aiming to do even better this year,” she told the News & Mail. “I particularly want to get young people involved and am already getting a lot of help from young people in collecting donations.”

This year, she will be raising her profile on the streets by collecting supplies in a Santa’s sleigh based on a trolley donated by Homebase at Knaphill.

“The trolley was kindly transformed by Phil Bayliss, of PA Bayliss Carpentry in the village,” said Trudi. “He’s done a magnificent job.”

She has also had valuable support from the Co-op store at St John’s, which donated 1,000 carrier bags to be used to distribute food to the individuals and families supported by Woking Foodbank.

Trudi and helpers will be collecting around the area in the lead-up to Christmas. Donations can also be left at Brookwood Club and at the post office counter in Bakers Dozen, both in Connaught Road, Brookwood.

To join Trudi’s campaign, contact her on trudifletcher@rocketmail.com.

For the full story, see the 8 November edition of the News & Mail

LARGE crowds braved the autumn chill to rocket over to Ripley’s village green on Saturday to enjoy the fun of the fair, food stalls, bars and one of the biggest bonfire and firework events in the South East.

Drum Major Tony Nicolas and the Surbiton Royal British Legion Youth Marching Band led the parade, followed by Bonfire Queen Emma Doherty and her two glamorous attendants Saffron and Philipa in their Queens Coach, then floats and the traditional torchlight procession along the high street to the village green.

Ripley bonfire

Emma set the bonfire ablaze, which was followed by the spectacular and sparkling Dynamic Fireworks’ display illuminating the night sky.

“The kids have an amazing time,” said Sarah, the 1st Ripley Scout Akela. “This is such a good event for our community.”

Vernon Wood, chairman of the Ripley Bonfire Association, said: “I must thank all of our hardworking volunteers, event marshals, bucket collectors, sponsors and Benson’s family funfairs.

“It’s a great free family event that has been running successfully for 63 years and we are proud to have one of the biggest bonfires in the region. The money raised from generous members of the public will be put to good use by our local charities.”

For more pictures see the see the 1st November edition of the News & Mail

THE largest mobile chemotherapy treatment unit in the world has visited the Woking headquarters of the breast cancer charity Walk the Walk.

The 146ft-long unit weights 30 tonnes and the charity, whose main offices are in Albert Drive, made a grant of half a million pounds to Tenovus Cancer Care, which is running the facility.

The money was raised by walkers taking part in Walk the Walk’s MoonWalk events. Several local supporters of the charity were invited to see the unit.

One of those was Brenda Barrow, who has completed 15 Walk the Walk events.

Brenda Barrow, left, with Walk the Walk founder and chief executive, Nina Barough

She said: “It was great to have the opportunity to see the Mobile Cancer Support Unit. It is fantastic and is going to provide a great service to patients suffering from cancer.

“It was a privilege to be able to see that through doing events like The MoonWalk, I have been able to contribute to something like this – it really incentivises me to continue taking part in events for Walk the Walk”.

With seven chemotherapy chairs the unit can accommodate 30 patients a day and deliver more than 8,500 treatments a year.

Walk the Walk’s founder and chief executive, Nina Barough, said: “If you need to have chemotherapy this is where you’d want it to be – it is an intimate, reliable, warm, welcoming space, which is exactly what you need to help reduce the fear and anxiety that many feel when diagnosed with cancer.

“It has been great that our Walkers in the South East have been able to see how the money they have fundraised is helping people in other parts of the UK.”

The unit will treat patients in Wales.

SPECIAL VISIT – The mobile cancer support unit at the Walk the Walk Woking offices, with charity workers and supporters

FOR more information, or to sign up for a Walk the Walk event, including The MoonWalk London on Saturday 11th May, visit walkthewalk.org

A YOUNG Woking volunteer has raised £1,500 for the learning disability charity LinkAble by running the New Forest Marathon.

Connor Ward, 21, took part in the event with his cousin Marcus and finished in under five hours.

Connor first started volunteering at LinkAble as part of his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award four years ago and has continued helping at the charity when home from university.

1. Connor Ward, left, and his cousin Marcus after running the New Forest Marathon in aid of LinkAble

The amount he has raised adds to a prize of £1,000 given to LinkAble in recognition of Will Siegmund, 18, being named Young Woking Volunteer of the Year.

The money for Will’s success will go directly towards supporting vital services for children and adults with learning disabilities.

He missed the awards ceremony for the event run by the Greenoak Housing Association earlier this year, but was presented with the cheque by the Mayor of Woking, Will Forster, at the LinkAble premises in Board School Road

Will is off to further his studies at university but still plans to continue volunteering at LinkAble. He said: “I’ve really loved volunteering at LinkAble and have found it incredibly rewarding.” when he can and


Will said, ‘I’ve really loved volunteering at LinkAble and have found it incredibly rewarding.”

Alison Keeley, LinkAble’s Chief Executive said, “These two young men have been fantastic and we have been so lucky to have them as volunteers.   They are always diligent and get on brilliantly with all the adults and children with learning disabilities. We rely so much on our volunteers and having people like Connor and Will who we can trust to work hard makes such a difference to our charity.”

LinkAble is always looking for reliable and hard working volunteers.  Call 01483 770037 or email HR@linkable.org.uk if you are interested in helping.

THE 60th Woking Drama Festival has been held with large audiences watching around 30 local amateur groups perform over two weeks.

The first festival in 1959 consisted of six plays over two nights and was held at the Lion Works Social Hall.

ALL THE WINNERS – celebrating a successful festival

The event has been held at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre since 1975, except for a brief move to a temporary theatre during the building of the Peacocks Centre in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The drama festival is one of the largest of its kind in the country.

The winning play was Cider with Rosie from Woking College, which won four awards. Cider with Rosie was the Best Play by a Cast Under 21, Claire Nevers and Gina Marshall won the Director Award and Jack Derry and Ana Richardson were Best Youth Actor and Best Youth Actress.

For full story and pictures see the 25 October edition of the News & Mail

WOKING Football Club is encouraging other sports organisations to follow its lead and join the White Ribbon Campaign, in which men stand up against violence to women and girls.

As well as pledging its support for the international initiative, the club will be holding a collection at Saturday’s home game to raise money for local charity Your Sanctuary, which offers help to anyone affected by domestic abuse.

Woking manager Alan Dowson, club chaplain and director Ian Nicholson, assistant managers Martin Tyler and Ian Dyer, showing the club’s support for the White Ribbon Campaign

“Your Sanctuary were very excited to learn that Woking FC had decided to become a White Ribbon organisation,” said charity chief executive Fiamma Pather.

“This world-wide initiative encourages men to campaign against violence against women and girls. White Ribbon gives opportunities for male organisations and groups to become part of a change in culture that says domestic abuse and violence is unacceptable and to promote local specialist services such as Your Sanctuary.

“By changing attitudes there is a real chance to reduce and possibly eradicate a social issue that sees two women per week killed by a partner or ex-partner. We are looking forward to working with Woking FC and other sports clubs and groups in Surrey to promote this innovative campaign.”

With the whole club backing the campaign, Woking director and club chaplain Ian Nicholson has become a White Ribbon Ambassador, pledged to help spread the message to schools, colleges and workplaces.

A CHANCE to listen to the recollections of hostage survivor Terry Waite is being opened to the public by St Peter’s Church, Old Woking, on Saturday 27 October at 4pm.

Now a renown public speaker, Terry was taken and held hostage in Lebanon for nearly five years, in the midst of his work to try and secure the release of four hostages, including John McCarthy, while operating as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Envoy, in the 1980s.

HIGH PROFILE HOSTAGE – Terry Waite will talk about his traumatic experience in Lebanon when he visits Surrey

Terry will be recalling moments from his life through readings and poetry with illustrative music played by St Peter’s pianist Matthew Rickard. It follows an invitation by the church prompted by a longstanding member of the congregation and a friend and colleague of Terry’s, Dr Mary Baker, MBE, the prominent neurologist who was until recently President of the European Brain Council and President of the ‘Year of the Brain’ project.

“I’m so pleased that Terry has agreed to speak at St Peter’s I think people will find him very interesting,” says Mary. “I met Terry at the funeral of Bob Holness, who he told me had sent him a message while he was in captivity that had helped to give him hope.”

In an interview with the News & Mail ahead of his visit, Terry says: “During my years of captivity it was important to keep some degree of sanity so I would write in my head because I didn’t have paper and pencil and I wrote my first book in my head.

For full story see the 25 October edition of the News & Mail

A NEW restaurant/café/bar is due to open next Wednesday (31 October) at the Commercial Way end of Church Path.

Marciano Lounge, which will employ 25 local people, is the latest of more than 100 similar venues around the country operated by the Bristol-based group Loungers.

The Woking branch will support the town’s homelessness charity the York Road Project with donations of 50p from every burger and 10p from every coffee sold during the first month of trading.

Loungers has spent £550,000 fitting Marciano, promising “eclectic artwork and quirky curios, next to oversized vintage sofas and old school benches, strikingly painted table tops and statement lighting”

The atmosphere of “lounges” is high-quality but relaxed dining, with particular attention paid to families

A spokesman for the group said that the Mariano Lounge “will be a home from home, offering delicious food and drinks, all day.

“We exist to bring people together and our unique atmosphere changes hour by hour with each new wave of customers. We are proud of our Lounge and its community and our aim is simple: every customer leaves happy.”

The atmosphere of the various “lounges” is high-quality but relaxed dining, with eclectic décor, described by Loungers as “potty”.

The spokesman added: “Particular attention has been paid to families. There is a fine selection of games and books, colouring pencils and pads, a full menu just for Little Loungers and high chairs and baby-change facilities are available for the tiny ones.”

The all-day menu will include tapas and burgers, beef chilli, paninis and mac and cheese. There will also be a specials menu, options for children as well as vegan and gluten-free dishes.

There will be a community notice board, a book swap area and regular fundraising events.

PRESTIGIOUS racing and sports car leaders, Woking-based McLaren, is changing gear to give its support to BBC Children in Need’s Rickshaw Challenge.

The company has used its vast automotive technology and research to build a rickshaw for The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge, now in its eighth year, which kicks off on November 9.

Some of the 2018 Rickshaw Challenge riders with The One Show presenters Alex Jones (fourth right) and Matt Baker (third right)

The ride by a group of seven young people covers more than 400 miles over eight days from Calais, 31 miles through the Channel Tunnel and across England and Wales towards the finish line at BBC Media City, Manchester.

The new design features a rapidly reconfigurable seating system, enabling a wider range of riders to take part, an innovative drivetrain system that improves reliability and integrated outrider braking mounts that improve safety.

For full story see the 18 October edition of the News & Mail