Free art kits to help the lonely during lockdown

A VOLUNTEER group that has been helping the elderly and vulnerable in and around Woking during the coronavirus crisis is asking for nominations of isolated and lonely people to be given free art kits.

Sonal Sher, who runs the Knaphill, St John’s, Brookwood (KST.JB) Volunteers Support Group, has raised about £400 to buy drawing paper and colouring in pens in a scheme run in memory of a local woman who was heavily involved in community work.

Sonal Sher

The art kits are designed to help people who will find comfort in drawing and help with their mental health.

Sonal said: “I never had the pleasure to personally meet Claire Dockley, who sadly passed away a few months ago, but she was very engaged with community work.

“We were in contact when I initially set up the group, so I wanted to do something in her memory. I am in the process of getting nominations from residents who would like to receive an art kit – there is limited availability.” 

KST.JB is a network of nearly 170 volunteers who helped residents in isolation during the first lockdown and were unable to go out to get essential supplies such as food and medical prescriptions.

The group operates a database which matches requests for help with the nearest volunteer. Despite its name, it helps people outside the villages at western end of Woking.

“If people ask us for help, we don’t say ‘no’,” Sonal said.

The work continued throughout the summer for those needing help, but requests had reduced since coronavirus restrictions were eased. They increased over the past week when the new lockdown came into place.

Claire Dockley

Sonal said an important part of the group’s work is the regular “care calls” to isolated residents to provide a friendly voice and to find out if they have any particular needs.

The group passes on some of the need for help to local groups and the local authorities.

Claire Dockley was involved with Horsell Prepared, a group that helps people in the village.

After scaling down its coronavirus-related work in August, the group has also revived its work for the new lockdown, helping with shopping and collecting prescriptions for people living at a postcode starting “GU21 4.”

To nominate someone for an art kit or more information on the KST.JB group, email wokingvolunteers@gmail.com or call 01483 380801. For Horsell Prepared, email

Email us at horsellprepared@gmail.com or call 01483 380025.

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