Fundraising

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 https://my.rationchallenge.org.uk/jonathansmith. For more information, visit https://www.rationchallenge.org.uk/about/where-the-money-goes/

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

FUN and fundraising were the aims of the dog show at Millbrook Animal Centre in Chobham on Sunday last week.

The event made a total of £5,200 for the RSPCA, as dozens of owners and their pets turned up to take part.

Members of the Mortlock and Frankland families and friends with their dogs.

Extra classes were added to the show this year, due to the high number of entries in 2018. Dogs of all types were welcome – pedigree, non-pedigree or “mix-up”.

Judging took place throughout the afternoon in three different, with prizes for star canines ranging from Perfect Puppy to Best Rescue Dog.

Entrants were also able to show off with classes called Best Three Tricks and How Many Sits in 30 Seconds and have a go at fun agility sessions.

Apart from entry fees, money was raised through volunteers selling refreshments, including cakes and burgers.

“It was a good day all round and well supported,” said Jocelyn Iveson from the centre. “We would like to thank all those who took part and helped on the day.”

For the more pictures get the 30 May edition of the News & Mail

A WEST End man who took up Thai boxing to help his daughter continue in the sport has raised more than £5,500 for the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices by taking part in a fight, in which he suffered a broken rib.

Kelvin, a lifelong Woking-area resident who runs an electrical contracting company, turned to his business contacts and wide circle of local friends in his fundraising.

Coach Chris Murphy helps Kelvin warm up

He has previously raised £7,000 for the hospice, most of which came from running the London Marathon in 2014.

In January this year, after training regularly for several months, Kelvin noticed that there was to be a Thai boxing show in Guildford in May .

“I thought this would be a great way of raising money for the Woking Hospice. I would be able to sell lots of tickets and due to my age would be the complete underdog in this fight.”

Before he could take part in the full fight, he had to compete in two interclub bouts, which are similar to intensive sparring in which no winner is declared and the referee steps in if someone is getting hurt.

“Mick Murphy, Chris Murphy and Paul Boosey at Woking Thai spent lots of time with me improving my technique and fitness. Everyone at the club was really supportive and helpful in my training.”

The fight, at Rubix Nightclub at the University of Surrey, was refereed by Chris Batcheldor, a former Thai boxer, who was at The Winston Churchill School with Kelvin.

He was drawn against an opponent who had just turned 25. In the third of five scheduled rounds, Kelvin suffered a broken rib, but refused to retire.

“In the fourth round, I couldn’t breathe, and so the fight was stopped. The best man won and the greatest respect to Harry Vito Hale for smashing it and I wish him all the best in his future. This has been one hell of a journey.”

Kelvin said that he had always planned to take part in just one fully competitive fight, but is continuing training with Woking Thai at the Leisure Centre and nearby boxing club and will take part in interclub bouts.

He said that his wife Rebekah said the fight was the “craziest, most stupid” thing he had done.

Kelvin said he has been amazed at the amount of support he has received from friends and family.

“I have also been amazed and overwhelmed at the generosity of people. I was in the barbers talking about what I was doing and the chap next to me who I had never met before just handed me £5 to put towards my cause.

“It is an absolute pleasure to give just a little bit back for the great things that the people at the hospice do for others.”

DONATIONS can be made via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kelvin-franklin1.

For the full story get the 30 may edition of the News & Mail

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 https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/neilcyclestoparis.

To contact YourSanctuary, visit https://www.yoursanctuary.org.uk/ or call the helpline on 01483 776822

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

A TEACHING assistant at a school in Sheerwater has described how the death of a close friend inspired her to complete The MoonWalk London on Saturday.

Anita Allard planned to complete the half-marathon walk on behalf of her friend Kirsty, who had been undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Anita Allard in her disco-tastic walking gear

But just days before taking on the challenge for the first time, Anita learned that Kirsty had died. “I’d planned to do the walk for her, then surprise her with a picture with her name on the board at the end. I’ve got the picture, but quite what I’ll do with it I’m not sure yet.

“She died on the Tuesday, and I found out on Wednesday. She seemed to be recovering well.

“It’s been devastating, but it made me even more determined to do the walk. I knew I couldn’t pull out.

“Every bit of my body hurts right now, but as I was walking it really came home to me that if Kirsty could go through radiotherapy, chemotherapy, sickness and discomfort every week, I could push through a few aches and pains.”

An emotional Anita, 45, said that she plans to do the MoonWalk again, and was delighted that she and three friends had raised £1,800 for the locally-based charity, Walk the Walk.

For the full story get the 16 May edition of the News & Mail

A SPECIAL “Raise the Roof” fund raising car wash was held on Saturday morning, to help repair the damage caused after lead was stolen from St John’s Church roof.

Young people from the St John’s Church community, along with a few adult volunteers

The event was organised and manned by young people aged seven to 16 from the church’s congregation. As well as rolling up their sleeves to provide the required elbow grease on the day, they also arranged for a Suds & Bubbles café, offering tea and cake for waiting customers.

Cakes were donated by church members, with the café set up under a gazebo which provided some respite from the changeable weather on Saturday.

Young congregation members Charlotte, Zoe and Ellis hard at work

“We had the lead stolen from our church roof and the young people wanted to help in any way they could,” said Andy Williamson, the youth minister. “They came up with the idea of the car wash. It’s very encouraging to know they want to participate fully in the life of the church.”

The lead was stolen on two separate occasions at the start of March, first overnight on Sunday before the thieves returned a few days later. The thieves dislodged and damaged ridge tiles and slates as they ripped out the lead, even breaking apart a section of parapet. The theft caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

He estimated they had washed as many as 40 cars that morning, raising a total of £553.68.

For the full story get the 16 May edition of the News & Mail

MENTAL health charity Woking Mind opened in 1979 – but now, 40 years on, there are fears it could close.

Based at Courtenay Road, Woking, the charity provide support to people with mental health difficulties.

Woking Mind’s team of Mandy Dhingra, Elle Wilks and Jill Bishop

Some of the 200 registered members have been accessing Woking Mind’s services for 33 years, and last year another 1,005 non-registered members received phone and email support.

The member’s mental health conditions range from mild anxiety and depression to bi-polar, autism, OCD, psychosis, schizophrenia and drug and alcohol problems.

“We don’t offer clinical services. We provide social, emotional and practical support. It’s about being the organisation that people can’t find anywhere else,” said Elle Wilks, chief executive of Woking Mind.

The activities provided at the centre between 10am and 2pm Monday to Wednesday weekly include arts and crafts, creative writing, current affairs, walking, film club, gardening club, gentle exercise and visual journaling.

Last year the charity was in peril after a 60% cut in funding, but permanent staff members Elle Wilks, Jill Bishop and Mandy Dhingra managed to secure funding from Woking Borough Council.

“We’ve bought ourselves six months – but if we don’t raise £50,000 we’ll have to shut down next year,” said Elle.

Without any financial support from the umbrella charity Mind, Woking Mind are entirely self-supported and rely on donations and corporate funding to run their services.

The charity has a number of summer plans to celebrate their anniversary, spread the word and raise money. On Wednesday 10 July they are holding a birthday party for all service users, staff, volunteers and trustees.

Alongside this, Woking Mind are launching “40 for 40”, an initiative encouraging people to take on a 40-themed challenge to raise £40. For example, Freedom Leisure Centre are running a one-hour/40-station circuit class on Saturday 4 May at 11am and Funmumsfitness are running a sponsored 40-minute exercise activity at Sportsbox Woking, also on 4 May.

Debenhams Woking are supporting the charity for the month of April and Woking Mind are asking local businesses to try turning £40 into £400.

On Wednesday 12 June the charity is holding their Annual General Meeting at the Surrey History Centre, with an open invitation, to celebrate the previous year and showcase work from service users.

But amid the plans for the future, the fact remains that Woking Mind desperately need to raise funds to meet the increasing demand on their services.

“It’s a difficult thing for people to do in the current climate, but with us you know that every pound will go towards providing services,” said Elle.

People can help the charity by donating via cheque or online, raising funds and awareness, volunteering and following them on Twitter and Facebook: visit @Wokingmind and facebook.com/Wokingmind/.

For the full story get the 25 April edition of the News & Mail

A LOCAL Waitrose store has donated £490 to Woking-based breast cancer charity Walk the Walk Worldwide.

Nina Barough CBE, founder and chief executive of Walk the Walk, was presented with a supersize cheque by Karen Finn, Community Matters representative at Waitrose in West Byfleet, at a special event at the store.

CHEQUE THIS OUT – Nina Barough CBE and Jan Treacher-Evans, both of Walk the Walk, are delighted to receive a donation  from Oliver Howes, left, Karen Finn and Peter Collis (all Waitrose West Byfleet)

The money was raised through the Waitrose Community Matters Green Token Scheme for customers, and funds will go towards the maintenance of the Walk the Walk cold cap at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospital. The cold cap, also known as a scalp cooler, is used to help patients undergoing certain types of chemotherapy to retain their hair.

Nina said: “All of us at Walk the Walk give a huge thank you to Waitrose in West Byfleet and all of their customers for supporting Walk the Walk. Our aim is to raise money and awareness for breast cancer so that we really can make a difference towards research, which will support all our future health, and for those that are living with cancer.

“Our fundraising is always important, but when it comes from our local community it is even more special. Thank you to all.”

For more information, including on MoonWalk London, please visit www.walkthewalk.org

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

REPRESENTATIVES from all sections of the community gathered at the HG Wells Centre on Saturday night to raise money for a good cause.

YORK ROAD PROJECT: Mel Roth, Cath Stamper, Cherisse and Steve Dealtry

A glamourous swirl of evening dresses and dinner suits caught the eye as people attended the Mayor’s Civic Ball in support of the York Road Project, raising more than £7,254 for the Woking charity which looks after the homeless in the borough.

“It was great to welcome representatives from business, charities, community groups and political life,” said Woking Mayor Cllr Will Forster. “Many thanks to everyone who came along and donated to support the York Road Project, thank you all!”

HOSTS: The Mayor and Mayoress of Woking, Cllr Will Forster and Hannah Thompson

The black-tie event began with a drinks reception in the Griffin Lounge, before the guests enjoyed dinner, entertainment from the Crashing Waiters – which involved everyone present banging out rhythms on various kitchen utensils – and dancing. The evening also included an auction and raffle.

“It’s been a great honour for York Road Project to be the Mayor’s chosen charity during his tenure and the Civic Ball demonstrated the amazing level of support we’ve received from the Woking community,” said Cath Stamper, the charity’s chief executive.

“The Civic Ball was an excellent evening, we were delighted to be there and it helped to further raise the profile of our charity locally,” added Cherisse Dealtry, deputy chief executive.

For the full picture feature pick up the 7 March edition of the News & Mail