RAIN, hail and blustering wind made running difficult, but more than 3,500 people completed the Mercer Surrey Half Marathon on Sunday.

Woking Mayoress Hannah Thompson congratulates first woman home Emma Davis, second Lesley Locks, far right, and third Lucie Custance, far left

They streamed for over three hours from Woking Park to Jacobs Well and back, in another successful staging of the largest event of its kind in the county.

Serious club runners out to set a record or a new personal best, joggers raising money for charity and children enjoying the kids’ races braved some awful weather in the day’s three events.

There was an overall total of 4,385 finishers, in the half marathon and the five and two-kilometre races.

“The runners and organisers faced some challenging conditions, especially when we were packing up,” said Hollie Light, the Surrey Half marketing manager. “But there were some excellent performances, especially from some of the teams taking part.”

Two participants – Richard Moffat and Evie Read – are waiting for confirmation that they have broken the Guinness World Record for pushing a disabled children’s buggy in a half marathon.

With Evie being pushed by Richard around the course, they took three minutes off the current world record of one hour 35 minutes.

Teenager Evie, from Headley Down, near Haslemere, has ataxia-telangiectasia (AT), a rare genetic disease. She and friend Richard, from Ascot, were raising money for the Action for A-T charity.

An innovation for entrants this year was a pre-race meditation session in Woking Leisure Centre.

“A lot of runners get anxious before a race and this helped them relax and prepare themselves in a quiet place,” said Hollie. “There were also massage and yoga sessions for runners after the race.”

For the full story and picture feature get the 14 March edition of the News & Mail

THE annual Woking Shopmobility pancake race was won by the marketing team from Woking Borough Council on a crisp but dry day.

RETURNING CHAMPION: Woking FC mascot K.C. Cat tries for a second year running as fastest mascot

They finished ahead of Fidessa, from the town centre-based recruitment company, with Seafarers, more used to serving fish and chips, coming third.

A shortage of entrants led Shopmobility to enter a team at the last minute.

“We had fun, but didn’t win our heat,” said the charity’s Joyce Browning.

Despite the slight drop in the number of competitors, there was a good crowd of spectators for the 24th pancake race in Jubilee Square, and the 12th run by the charity that hires out mobility scooters, powered and manual wheelchairs to help shoppers in the town centre.

For the full story and picture feature get the 7 March edition of the News & Mail.

CRITICALLY ill patients will be more comfortable during their hospital stay thanks to the efforts of a Byfleet-based dance school.

Susan Robinson School of Ballet raised £12,000 for a special intensive care unit bed at Royal Surrey County Hospital.

BED BOOST- Cedric Jones (centre) and Susan Robinson School of Ballet dancers Millie, 11, and Elliott, 13, with Ced’s Bed and medical staff at the Royal Surrey

The money is the proceeds of a gala production in aid of the hospital’s official charity staged by the school last year.

Susan Robinson Jones, from Byfleet, who set up the school 40 years ago, chose to support the charity after her husband, Cedric Jones, was successfully treated for cancer of the oesophagus at the hospital in 2016.

It was while Cedric recovered in the intensive care unit that the couple realised the specialist beds that helped his recovery were limited due to costing £12,000 each.

With the support of the people involved in the ballet school, Susan was determined to raise the money to buy a specialist bed for the hospital. The new bed has been named Ced’s Bed.

More than 120 dancers aged three to 18 were involved in five performances of the variety show, Reverence, at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre in Woking last April. The money was raised through ticket proceeds, a raffle and cakes sales.

“When Cedric was diagnosed, it was an incredibly tough time for us,” said Susan. But everyone we met along the way, from the surgeons to the nutrition nurses, were so positive. They have given us our lives back and we are very grateful for that.

“We wanted to do something that would make a difference to people going through what Cedric went through. If we can make that whole experience a little more comfortable, it’s worth it.

“We are overwhelmed by the support we received and want to thank everyone who came along to the gala and gave so generously.”

The hospital’s matron of critical care, Sue Herson, commented: “The beds allow for patients to be in the correct position at the early stages of recovery. This reduces complications to patients when ventilated, as well as allowing a good upright seated position for physiotherapy.

“The beds also allow patients to stand upright from the foot end of the bed, allowing them to stand and move at an earlier recovery stage. Rolling on their side to get out of bed, causes less stress, pain and discomfort.”

The Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity funds projects that provide life-saving equipment, redevelop wards, invest in staff development and fund innovative research. Find out more at or call 01483 464146.

CHARITIES, clubs and community groups can claim a share of a £50,000 pot being offered to fundraisers by a water company.

Affinity Water launched its latest community engagement fund this week, inviting bids to win financial help for good causes.

An Affinity Water executive visiting a wetlands project which won a grant from the company

The company is keen to see applications for projects that promote sustainable water use, have a positive environmental impact or help disadvantaged people.

Its fund is open for applications until Friday 24 May 2019. Bids will be reviewed by a team of people from across the company and selected applicants, to be announced on Monday 3 June, will go through to the next round.

The review panel is chaired by Affinity Water’s corporate responsibility manager, Beverley Taylor, who said: “We think supporting local good causes in our supply area is a natural extension of our work to keep customers’ taps flowing with safe, high quality water.

For the full story get the 21 February edition of the News & Mail

CHARITIES and community groups have received more than £10,000 from the proceeds of the 2018 Ripley bonfire and fireworks celebrations.

BENEFICIARIES: Bonfire association chairman Vernon Wood, first right, representatives from the over-60s club, the village cubs and scouts, the air ambulance, Surrey Search & Rescue, SERVE and the hospice charity

Cheque presentations by the Ripley Bonfire Association took place at the village cricket club on Sunday 3 February.

Bonfire association chairman Vernon Wood said: “I would like to thank the bonfire builders, who work selflessly every weekend in October, everyone who tidies up our green after the event, and all supporters, volunteers and committee members who have made the event such a success.”

The chairman of Ripley Parish Council, Jennie Cliff, congratulated the bonfire committee for supporting local organisations.

“The over-60s are grateful for the wealth of opportunity given to them, and it’s lovely to see organisations such as Surrey Search & Rescue benefit from our event,” she said.

Liz Cussans, the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices HR director, added: “I would like to thank the bonfire committee and Ripley residents for their much-appreciated support.”

For the full story get today’s edition of the News & Mail (14 February)

THE organisers of a charity gig at the Fiery Bird in Woking have presented the Shooting Star Chase children’s hospice with a cheque for £2,490 and 46p.

DEDICATED FUNDRAISERS: Ellie Bennet of Shooting Star Chase, far left, with Christine and Andrew Mabbutt and his mum, Sue

The money was raised at the event last month when almost 150 people were entertained by acts including Argonaut, whose guitarist Nathan comes from Woking, local band Birdsworth, Dakka Skanks and The Sha La Las.

It was the third annual Jackfest held in honour of Knaphill resident Jack Bruce, who has muscular dystrophy and is regularly helped by Shooting Star Chase.

Christine said the staff at the Shooting Star Chase office in Addlestone were overwhelmed by the presentation of the money.

“They said they appreciated the great work we do to raise money for the charity. We will be doing another show next year, Jackfest 2020 but are still deciding on the date and venue,”

A calendar, organised by Christine for which she and ten friends and family stripped off for a Calendar Girls-style shoot, is on sale in aid of the charity.

The calendar, produced by Knaphill Print, is on sale at a discount of £5 and is available by emailing and at the Knaphill Post Office shop.

For the full story get today’s edition of the News & Mail (14 February)