Domestic Abuse

AROUND £500 was raised at a coffee morning in Knaphill for a charity which supports domestic violence victims.

The event, held Saturday morning last week at the village Methodist church, attracted more than 50 people.

Ann Gammon, Tarina Berry, Helen Brice and Linda Todd serving hot drinks

It was organised in aid of Your Sanctuary by church member Tarina Berry, with help from fellow members of the congregation.

The Mayor of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, cut a ribbon to open the coffee morning, which was supported by people from other churches in the area.

Visitors were served coffee and tea, bacon butties and homemade cakes, with the sale of bric-a-brac and cards, a tombola and games including guess the name of a teddy bear adding to the proceeds.

Donations of goods from Ryman, Broadway Furniture, RSM Domestic Appliances and Woking Funeral Service also boosted profits. Tarina is expecting the total raised to increase when further promised financial donations are received.

She organises two or three charity coffee mornings a year and has previously supported organisations including Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK.

“I’m a firm supporter of Your Sanctuary and it’s a good cause to support,” she said.

Your Sanctuary provides support, advice and family refuges for women affected by domestic abuse in Woking, Surrey Heath and Runnymede boroughs. It also helps men in Surrey who have suffered domestic abuse.

A VICAR is to cycle nearly 280 miles between London and Paris, hoping to raise £5,000 for the Woking-based domestic abuse charity YourSanctuary.

The Rev Neil Hopkins is vicar of Holy Trinity and St Saviours, serving parishioners in Knaphill and Brookwood, which have been supporting YourSanctuary for some time.

The Rev Neil Hopkins heading out to train on his borrowed bike

Neil told the News & Mail that the charity ride, beginning on 5 June, came about because he had offered to ride with a friend who is doing the trip for another good cause.

“On Mothers’ Day, we took some donations to YourSanctuary and I asked them ‘what do you need?’ The answer was money – to keep the service afloat and support the 24-hour helpline.”

Neil said he realised that he could raise money for the charity on the bike ride.

“I thought it probably good for a bloke to be raising money and awareness of domestic abuse.”

He is a keen runner but new to road cycling.

“I used to cycle to college, but that was some time ago.”

Neil has borrowed a bike and has been training since the beginning of the year, while keeping up running, competing in the Surrey Half Marathon and the Maverick Surrey Hills 13km run on 18 May.

“I have a basic level of fitness, but you use different muscles. I felt it more after I had been cycling, when I went back to running.

“Some will set off at a flying pace, but we want to complete each day – you have to average 10mph – and enjoy the journey.”

Neil said the highlight will be the arrival into Paris and the finish at the Eiffel Tower.”

“There will be some prayer and it will be good to have help from the Lord. The main thing is to raise £5,000 for the charity.”

Wendy Denty, from YourSanctuary said the Holy Trinity and St Saviours were among the most supportive churches.

“Neil is doing an incredible thing and we really appreciate him raising much-needed money but also awareness of what we do,” Wendy said.

Neil has a “my donate” page, where he has written: “I thought this [ride] would be apt as the probable difficulty of this journey is nothing compared to journey that many women (and men) make as they escape terrible situations and seek to rebuild new lives away from domestic abuse. So please do give generously.”

To donate to the bike ride fundraising, visit

To contact YourSanctuary, visit or call the helpline on 01483 776822

For the full story get the 23 May edition of the News & Mail