Creative types rewarded with Mayor’s Picture a Story awards

TO CELEBRATE their achievements, 10 lucky winners of the Mayor of Woking’s Picture a Story Competition – held in association with the News & Mail – were invited to a special party hosted at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel on Saturday.

Each week since March, Derek McCrum read a short story on Radio Woking, based at The Winston Churchill School, which was available to download as a podcast, and invited children aged between seven and nine years old to draw or paint a picture inspired by the story.

Parents were then asked to capture the picture and send it to the Mayor by email.

Every week he chose the three best entries, which were published here in the News & Mail, with the overall winners receiving a £25 book voucher sponsored by Greenoak Housing Association, a member of Woking Chamber of Commerce.

The unique reading competition was supported by the charity Let’s Read, which provides schools with professionally trained volunteers who offer one-on-one help to children who have reading difficulties.

Derek, whose term as Mayor comes to an end today (Thursday 19 May), said: “As a former teacher, encouraging children to read more is a passion of mine. Reading improves focus and concentration, helps develop verbal skills and is a great way to unearth a person’s creative side, which is why beginning a drawing competition appealed to me.

“I’d like to congratulate not only the winners, but everyone who took the time to discover their creativity, and of course recognise the support local businesses have shown through Woking Chamber. It is truly astonishing and shows just what can be achieved.

“As Mayor, I am pleased to have been able to raise the profile and joy of reading with young families.”

All 10 stories can still be downloaded by going online to

Picture Special in this week’s News & Mail.

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