THE Chobham-based Children with Special Needs Foundation has donated £4,000 to this weekend’s Handycamp, which is run in conjunction with Woking Scouts.

“This is the 15th year that we have helped to sponsor the Handycamp at Woodlarks, in Farnham,” said Gordon Parris, who began the charity in 1995 when he and his wife, Ann, were mayor and mayoress of Surrey Heath.

ALL IN A GOOD CAUSE – Gordon Parris, founder of the Children with Special Needs Foundation, presents a cheque for £4,000 to Woking Scouts, led by District Explorer Scout Commissioner Brian Pinto, right, to help fund the Handycamp weekend

“The donation to Handycamp covers £1,000-worth of food for the weekend, and the rest goes towards the general running costs.”

Woking Scouts “buddy up” with special-needs students to give them the opportunity to try typical Scouting activities.

“The activities can include swimming, canoeing, archery, even rock-wall climbing,” said Gordon. “We’re trying to help the children achieve even more of their goals.

“We enjoy being able to help this brilliant event as when we visit it is obvious that everyone is having a good time.”

For more information on the work of the foundation or to donate, please visit:

For the full story get the 5 September edition of the News & Mail

ALONG with 15 other walkers, Surrey residents Tabitha Richardson, 28, and Erin Grieve, 29, will be attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge next month to raise money for mental health charity Woking Mind.

GOOD CAUSE – Erin, left, and Tabitha, who will be tackling the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge next month to honour the memory of Katherine

The walk is dedicated to the memory of Katherine Hannah who, at 27, died in a car crash in Australia last year.

Woking Mind supports adults in the local community living with mental health difficulties, providing a programme of activities that aim to build purpose, routine, personal and social development.

Occupational therapist and fundraiser Katherine Hannah, who died last year in a car crash in Australia

“Katherine spoke regularly about her concerns regarding the current state of our mental health service and desperately wanted to increase awareness in our local area and in the UK as a whole,” said Katherine’s friend and fundraiser, Tabitha.

The aim is to raise £10,000 between the 17 walkers attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday 21 September. The walk is 24.5 miles with the highest peak at 2,414 feet. The walk involves more than 5,000 feet of climbing and the walkers are hoping to complete the challenge in around 10 hours.

To find out more about the challenge and to donate to Tabitha’s fundraising page please visit:

For more information on Woking Mind, please visit:

For the full story get the 29 August edition of the News & Mail

WOKING & Sam Beare Hospices have received £1,774.75 thanks to unwanted items dropped off at community recycling centres being sold to the public.

The Revive charity scheme, which operates at Martyrs Lane, Woodham, donates a portion of the money raised from its five shops across Surrey to local charities nominated by customers.

CASH FROM TRASH – Councillor Colin Kemp and Louise Morton, right, communications manager at Suez, present Woking & Sam Beare Hospices CEO Marian Imrie with a donation from the Revive scheme

Woking & Sam Beare Hospices were the chosen charity at Woodham Revive during the first quarter this year.

The Revive reuse shops, operated by Suez recycling and recovery UK on behalf of Surrey County Council, reclaim unwanted but usable items to sell. More than £18,000 was donated to Surrey charities last year through the scheme.

Accepting the donation on behalf of the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, CEO Marian Imrie said: “We are delighted that the local public have kindly taken the time to vote for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices.

Revive shops are based at Woodham, Redhill, Leatherhead, Witley and Shepperton community recycling centres.

For more information on Woking & Sam Beare Hospices please visit:

For the full story get the 29 August edition of the News & Mail

IT’S a journey that starts in Rouen on the banks of the River Seine, crosses through France’s finest wine regions, kisses the gateway to the Pyrenees, and finishes on Barcelona’s city beach after driving across two countries in three days.

Local businessman Brian Barr, of Copeland Blue in Chobham, and three friends will be taking part in the Barcelona or Bust banger rally next month to raise money for the children’s charity, Cherry Trees.

LONG-DISTANCE RUNNER  – Boris The Banger takes in the sights of Monte Carlo on a previous Monte Carlo Or Bust rally

They’re also calling for more people to sign up to the challenge in their own cars and help raise more money for Cherry Trees.

The quartet will join hundreds of drivers crossing Bordeaux, Andorra and the Catalan countryside, picking up points on the way by completing challenges which have included finding random statues in set locations, buying Chinese newspapers and finding the homes of notable inventors.

“This year we are really ready for all that will be chucked at us and are hitting the road prepared,” said Brian.  “A mini-fridge stocked with chilled chocolate is packed, we know water pistols are a must after some ad-hoc water fights broke out and we’ve already got the road music cued on our phones – Freddie Mercury!

“We can’t encourage people enough to get involved by persuading a few mates to sign up, get an old banger, get it decorated and hit the road.

The charity, which already helps 115 families with children with disabilities, supports families from Woking and the surrounding areas.

It provides home-from-home specialist short breaks for children and young people aged 0-19 with a range of disabilities, including learning, physical and sensory impairments.

Barcelona Or Bust begins on Thursday 12 September and to find out more about entering your  own car please visit  

To find out more about the work of Cherry Trees, please visit

For the full story get the 8 August edition of the News & Mail

THIS SUMMER holiday saw 12-year-old Izaak Yeoman as a boy with a mission as he set off with and his dad, Gregory, from the World Wildlife Fund’s UK head office in Woking to its offices in Gland Switzerland on a 600-mile bike ride.

Gregory Yeoman and son Izaak, 12, set off from WWF’s Living Planet Centre in Woking, Surrey, on a 600-mile bike ride to the organisation’s Headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, to raise over £5,000 to protect endangered pangolins.

They are well on their way to exceeding their target of £5,000 to raise funds to protect pangolins, the world’s most illegally trafficked species, which the charity includes in its work to prevent the international trade of illegal species.

Inspired by their dedication, environmentalist and broadcast icon Sir David Attenborough wished the pair “every success with their ride” and said in a letter to them that he was “impressed by their dedication to help protect pangolins”.

Pangolins, native to Asia and Africa, are the most trafficked mammal in the world, sought after for their meat and unique scales. In the last 10 years, over one million pangolins have been illegally taken from the wild to feed demand in China and Vietnam.

Donations are open via Izaak and Gregory’s page with Virgin Money at To learn more about the endangered pangolins, please visit

For the full story get the 1 August edition of the News & Mail

A KNAPHILL woman is working to raise money for the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices charity by losing 10 stone.

Niki Handover, who has lived in the village all her life, previously lost 14 stone following a strict diet plan and exercise regime for 18 months between 2008 and 2010.

Niki Handover aims to lose 10 stone in a year

Niki has been inspired to repeat her feat of a decade ago by raising money for the hospices.

This time, she is aiming to lose 10 stone and will then take stock and possibly go for another two.

Niki in 2008, after her original weight loss effort

“The exercise is the hard part – I feel like a fat duck!” she said. “The dieting is the easy bit, as I’ve done it before and I’m not craving anything.”

Niki will be regularly weighed at the hospice building in Goldsworth Park and her first aim is to lose six stone by December. “Realistically, the 10 stone should take me about a year,” she added.

Anyone wanting to donate to the hospices through Niki’s weight-loss challenge should visit the Alan Greenwood & Sons offices, where they can donate cash or send a cheque to the charity with the reference “Niki’s Slimathon” written on the back of the cheque.

“I am also going to donate for every pound I lose,” Niki said.

For the full story get the 18 July edition of the News & Mail

WOKING Mind, this year celebrating its 40th anniversary, has elected former Mayor of Woking Will Forster as its new president

His new role was formerly confirmed at Woking Mind’s annual general meeting on 12 June when Will attended along with the new Mayor of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, who both joined some of the trustees and service members to cut a birthday cake for the local branch of the mental health charity.

Chair of trustees Pauline Rogers, new president Will Forster, Woking Mayor Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, along with service members Val and Angela, and treasurer John Ennett

Will takes over from David Rye, who was thanked for his passion and commitment to Woking Mind over his many years of service to the charity, in which he was also a former chairman of trustees.

Talking about his new role, Will Forster said: “Mental health services suffer from underfunding and lag behind in comparison to treatment for physical health problems, yet one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. Mental health is sadly the Cinderella service of our NHS, which is why the work that Woking Mind does is vital to support residents and top-up NHS services.”

Woking Mind delivers an extensive range of groups, courses and drop-in provision to help prevent mental health problems from escalating where possible and supporting recovery for their members. The charity also provides mental health training across Surrey to raise awareness and help break down stigma and prejudice around ill mental health through education.

For the full story get the 20 June edition of the News & Mail

A WOKING man is raising money for a poverty charity by living off the rations available to the average refugee in camps around the world.

Jonathan Smith, who lives in Horsell, is taking part in the Ration Challenge, with a meagre amount of food.

Jonathan Smith with his week’s worth of rations

Money raised will go to the charity Concern Worldwide, which has organised the fundraising challenge with participants around the world.

Jonathan, who works in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Team at Surrey County Council, has been taking on various challenges every year, including cycling 100 miles, half marathons and rowing 2,021 km in the gym.

“I wanted this year to support a charity that works further afield and to do a challenge over a longer amount of time that would really push me,” he said.

He said Concern Worldwide have been showing participants footage of some of the deprivation in refugee camps, which puts the week-long challenge into perspective.

“The refugee crisis has been in the news a lot over the last couple of years and it truly is a crisis. These people have been forced to leave their homes because of war and have no choice but to live off barely anything.

“Reading more and more about it really wakes you up to the fact that a refugee eats for a week on what we spend every day on a meal deal or a takeaway coffee.”

SPONSORSHIP can be made via For more information, visit

For the full story get the 20 June edition of the News & Mail

PYRFORD residents Ian Lamaison and Eldon Sandys crossed the finish line on Thursday at the end of a 250-mile bike ride to raise money for the Church Mission Society’s Devonport Project.

Ian Lamaison, geared up and ready to ride.

The Devonport Project is one of the main charities supported by the Parish of Wisley with Pyrford, which allocates a proportion of parishioners’ donations to the church for charitable projects at home and overseas.

The Devonport area of Plymouth suffers from high levels of unemployment. Church Mission Society worker Ruth Sayers was sent to the area to work with a small local church community, to be a presence in this area of deprivation and disadvantage.

Ruth has many roles and ambitions, and a key one is leadership of a work club which seeks to help the unemployed through fellowship, practical advice and guidance.

A determined Eldon Sandys prepares for the ordeal to come.

Ian and Eldon hit on the idea of a sponsored bike ride to Plymouth to supplement the annual contribution made by the Parish of Wisley with Pyrford.  So far, parishioners have pledged almost £5,000 in support of the bike ride.

Ian said: “Our aim is to raise money for Ruth Sayers and her project but to do so in a way that made our parish’s link with Devonport more personal by actually going there.”

They began their trip on Monday. “Neither of us are very young men so we are restricting ourselves to about 55-60 miles per day on average.”

For the full story get the 13 June edition of the News & Mail

SOME colourful, fast and very, very messy fundraising took place at Gordon’s School.

Pupils from the West End secondary joined together to raise £800 for charity in a Colour Run

Anna Rakoczi, Hana Godfrey and Laila Pell joined hundreds of others at Gordon’s to raise money for Eikon Charity and Pride in Surrey

More than 200 were pelted with powder paint of many colours as they ran a circuit of a school playing field. Many of them completed several laps.

Each had paid to take part and the proceeds were donated to local charities including the Eikon Charity, which supports vulnerable young people in Surrey, and the Pride in Surrey organisation.

The event marked the International Day Against Homophobia; Biphobia and Transphobia.

It was organised by Sarah Maslen, the LGBT+ lead at Gordon’s, who said: “This is one of the most popular charity events held at Gordon’s. As usual, it was enjoyed by students and staff alike. We were delighted to raise money for these charities.”

For the special picture feature get the 30 May edition of the News & Mail