Our News Blog

Zoom Art! Good for creativity and mental health

At Oakleaf, we believe that creativity and better mental health go hand in hand. During these extraordinary Covid-19 times, our creative workshops have found a new virtual platform, forming an online community for our clients. We have been running online Art Therapy as an alternative to our in-person workshops, and these …

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Park for Free After Three Dorking Initiative

From 2nd October 2020 to 29th January 2021 Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) working with Dorking Town Partnership will offer free parking every Friday from 3pm in St Martin’s Walk, Wathen Road, Southside and West Street car parks. The Park for Free after Three initiative, funded by Dorking Town Partnership, …

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Turn Stones into Seeds at Squire’s!

We may not be able to turn water into wine, but children can turn stones into seeds this October and November at Squire’s Garden Centres! The garden centre is asking children under 16 to paint a pebble or stone to look like a vegetable. They can pick up a free …

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Weekend Walk: Ripley and the Wey Navigation (5 plus 5 miles)

This is an easy, flat, figure of 8 walk, running past a lake and alongside the historic Wey Navigation. The walk description is provided by Guildford Rambling Club (guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). Facing the back of the shops, head right, passing behind the houses until emerging on Newark Lane (the B367). Turn right …

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Walking The Portuguese Coastal Camino in memory of my father

In memory of a beloved father and footballing legend My dear Dad, Ralph Morris, died in September 2019, aged 91. He was a gifted footballer in his younger years. During his National Service in Malaya in the late 1940s, he represented RAF Butterworth, playing with distinction all over the peninsula, …

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Prologue Youth Theatre Company

Prologue Youth Theatre Company  Prologue Youth Theatre Company aims to provide high-quality workshops to help young people develop their creative, social and personal skills.  With weekly workshops for young people aged 9 to 25, Prologue Youth Theatre Company supports young people in order to develop performance skills and nurture creativity. Prologue …

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Volunteers needed in Phyllis Tuckwell Shops

  Local charity Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care is in need of more volunteers to help in its 18 charity shops, which are located across West Surrey and North-East Hampshire. If you’re a people person, you’ll love the social interaction that volunteering in Phyllis Tuckwell’s busy shops will bring, as you …

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Watch your stress levels

We all experience stress from time to time. There are many things that can lead to us feeling stressed. It can come from the news, our jobs, financial insecurity, health issues and personal problems. Feeling constantly stressed and overwhelmed can lead to a rise in blood pressure and resting heart …

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Chilworth Gunpowder Mills restoration work completed – and a walk!

Access to one of Guildford’s most important heritage sites has been improved following completion of the latest restoration works at the Chilworth Gunpowder Mills. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of its closure, in 1920, repairs to the 1880s steam-powered mill buildings on the site include improvements to three bridges, strengthening …

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Three recipes from Four Gables

Spiced Flatbreads These are a staple in my house, not just at work. I make them with lots of things, just on their own with some dipping sauce or maybe stuffed with sundried tomato and mozzarella. Love curry? Love making it at home – these are a great substitute for …

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News from The Clockhouse, Milford

Those who follow these articles will know that we have been closed since 16th March in line with Government guidelines to keep our members and volunteers safe from Covid-19. Our manager, Jules, retired on 1st May, which was already planned, and we interviewed and appointed a new manager. We were …

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Thoughts of Autumn – a poem

Late summer sun, slow change in hues of leaves whose days are nearly done, dues paid for the year, so they may either linger on, through autumn’s shifts, or drop tomorrow, an early gift to the earth below, and all the things about to grow in gardens, fields and water …

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Two more video testimonials!

Don’t take our word for it – this is what 2 of our regular advertisers have to say about VantagePoint!: Andy Jones, A2B Pest Control Francesco Bartolomei, The Talbot Hotel, Ripley

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Absolute Hair and Beauty

Absolute Hair and Beauty.  This year has been an absolute roller coaster, from small local businesses all the way up to the supermarket giants. It really has been a year that no one will ever forget. Many independent business owners became local heroes in lockdown, stepping up and going above …

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Dorking Art Trail 19th September to 4th October

Six Dorking artists who are taking part in the Surrey Artist Open Studio event have decided to stay open even if the event does not go ahead. This event takes place 19 September to 4 October, 11am – 5pm. Studios are open on various days throughout this period, please check …

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The Forest Listening Project

Until 4 October, visitors to Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village can experience Forest Listening, an audio visual installation by artist Liz K Miller.  The installation, which will be sited in the Limnerslease woodland, brings together the sounds of a rainstorm recorded from beneath the forest floor with visualisations of these …

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Phyllis Tuckwell launches online Living Well Sessions

Local charity Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care is launching a pilot online version of a selection of its Living Well sessions, to connect patients who have been and still are unable to come to the Hospice or Beacon Centre during the pandemic. Phyllis Tuckwell’s Living Well service helps patients and their …

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Bourne Mill Antiques, Farnham

Every time I visit Bourne Mill Antiques in Farnham I find something strikingly out of the ordinary that I have never come across before.  It’s a charming labyrinth of rooms, each offering items from a different trader.  Over the five floors, there are over 80 traders, who are the heart …

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Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden- a day out for all the family

“Every adventure requires a first step” The Cheshire cat, Alice in Wonderland. Every time I have the pleasure of visiting the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden I feel as if I have fallen onto the set of Alice in Wonderland. This magnificent garden is filled, not only with exquisite sculptures, but …

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Rotary in Godalming launches Job Club

Rotary in Godalming are setting up a job club for anyone who finds themselves made redundant or without work due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The present circumstances can make a job search especially challenging. So, it is even more important that you do yourself full justice when applying! Our trained …

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SilverBack Spotted in Surrey!

New decade, new digs for design agency Deep in the undergrowth of Surrey a troop of design specialists have nested in a recently converted barn. Silverback® – as in the gorilla – is the name of Malcolm Gilbertson’s team of designers and marketeers, who have roamed just over the border …

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Sweet treats from the Cowdray Farm Shop & Café

These recipes are by Ben Jupp, Head Chef of Cowdray Farm Shop & Café  – www.cowdray.co.uk/cowdray-farm-shop/ Cowdray Bara Brith (Tea Loaf) Ingredients: 225g mixed fruit, 175g black strong tea, 125g dark brown sugar, 225g raising flour, 1 egg , 4g baking powder Serves 4 Method: 1. First boil the kettle …

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The Eatwell Guide – tips for planning a healthy, well-balanced diet

A healthy, well-balanced diet is important for managing your weight and preventing serious health problems, including heart disease. The Eatwell guide is a visual tool that represents government guidelines on healthy eating. In this Healthy Tip, we give you some tips for planning a healthy, well-balanced diet using the Eatwell …

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Heritage Open Days in Petworth

Enjoy a visual experience of Petworth – we are going digital on the weekend of 19th & 20th September! The Petworth Heritage Weekend team were aiming to build on the success of the last 3 years and we were planning a bigger and better event for this year, but the …

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Heritage Open Days in Godalming

Background In 2019 Heritage Open Days festival celebrated 25 years. It was established originally as England’s part of a Pan European event. The central principle is to offer free access to buildings which are normally closed to the public but now it includes tours and events which bring local history …

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Weekend Walk: Dorking, Box Hill & Reigate (10 miles)

The morning walk starts with a stiff climb up onto Mickleham Downs and there is a corresponding climb down later but your efforts will be rewarded by some splendid views and you can always soothe your aches in the Running Horse at lunchtime. The afternoon is less strenuous but no …

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Lock down Locks No Longer – another successful visit to DLo

  DLo Hairdressing  Lock down was a challenging and testing time for all of us, especially when it came to lock down locks. With some women frantically scouring the internet for home hair dye kits, whilst others tried their hand at sheering their husbands. I speak from experience when I …

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Ten tips for nurturing emotional wellbeing in the home

The new school year will soon be with us: make sure youngsters feel calm about what lies ahead. Former teacher Catherine Lynch of education resources and lesson-planning experts PlanBee has ten tips  As families struggle to deal with the fall-out from exams chaos, don’t forget that younger children also need …

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Heritage Open Days returns

This year’s festival will explore Hidden Nature with a mixture of  in-person and online events www.heritageopendays.org.uk 11th–20th September 2020  England’s largest festival of history and culture returns in September, and for the first time, the programme will include a mix of virtual tours and digital experiences as well as in-person …

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Rotary launch Waverley-wide Covid Support Fund

Rotary Clubs of Godalming, together with Citizens Advice Waverley, have launched a new fund to ensure financial support and advice is available to all those in need, across the borough of Waverley. Rotary’s Waverley Covid Support Fund has been set up in anticipation that job losses and economic hardship are …

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The Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair is back!

The rescheduled annual Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair is due to return to the grounds of the National Trust’s Petworth House this autumn.  Organised by The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited for the sixth successive year, this much loved fair opens in The Marquee, Petworth Park, Petworth, West Sussex …

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Moving later in life

When elderly parents need to downsize, it can be an ordeal for the whole family. Penny Kitchen talks to a woman who knows how to help from first-hand experience. Amanda Fyfe was a successful businesswoman with a young family when she realised that her parents, aged 75 and 85, needed …

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Vegetable Lasagne

Although this can take a while to prepare, it is well worth the effort. Using lots of flavoursome organic vegetables, served with homemade Soda bread and a light green salad, it’s a sure fire hit with the whole family. Ingredients: 2 aubergines cut into chunks; 2-3 courgettes cut into thick …

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Weekend Walk: Midhurst, Bepton and Cocking (9.5 miles)

This walk has very little in the way of ups and downs as it passes through woods and fields south of Midhurst, then, at one point, briefly climbs up to skirt the South Downs. The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). From the bottom of the car …

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Godalming garden growers, you are needed!

In its first 100 days from 20th April 2020 to 28th July 2020, the Godalming & Villages Community Store provided 12,180 days’ worth of food and hygiene products to those in the community facing food insecurity. The purpose of the Community Store is to support those in our community who …

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Grange Park Opera 2021 – Full Steam Ahead

Full Steam Ahead – 10th June–17th July 2021 It’s been a ‘challenging’ year, but what has kept us going is to focus on the future: 2021 at Grange Park Opera, Surrey. This season covers a deliberately broad range of productions from the traditional, a rarity for connoisseurs, to a brand …

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P-p-p-pick up a puppy!

Emma Marchington MRCVS, of Brelades Vets in Dorking, offers advice to anyone thinking of getting a dog There is a lot to consider when getting a new dog. Whether you have had dogs for years, not had a dog since your childhood or a first time dog owner, it is …

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Worried about job cuts? Citizen’s Advice is here to help…

“The top concern for millions of people right now is weathering the escalating employment crisis.” –Dame Gillian Guy, Chair of Citizens Advice. People in our local community facing redundancy after a period on furlough are turning to us in ever-greater numbers. This is the story of one of those people. …

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Strong spines

Back pain is a normal occurrence which on average happens once or twice a year. The back, as with any other part of the body, is made up of bones, ligaments and muscles and these structures can from time to time become injured, sore, strained and sprained and take a …

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Tinwood Estate – a wonderful wine experience!

The Tinwood Estate is a wine estate that I knew about but had never visited. It is situated close to Goodwood, near Chichester, which is one of my favourite places on earth. As a member there, I have driven past the signs for the past ten years or more while …

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Bring some sunshine to your lunch time

Whether the sun is shining or not, bring a little of the Tropics to your dinner table with these delicious, and healthy, summer dishes from award winning nutritionist Christine Bailey… Mango Salad with Thai Dressing This is an incredibly simple salad but is jazzed up with a delicious Thai style …

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Surrey FA recognise grassroots heroes

Surrey FA held their 2020 Grassroots Football Awards ceremony on Tuesday 11th August, recognising the valuable contributions of those who make grassroots football happen. The Covid-19 crisis forced the ceremony to take place online for the first time in the event’s history. However, there was no less sparkle to proceedings …

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A monumental challenge: Hospice appeals for community’s help

Giles Tomsett is Chief Executive at St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley. He wanted to share this moving message with you all. “Dear reader, I hope that you and your family and friends have been keeping safe and well through this very difficult time. This pandemic isn’t something any of us …

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St Wilfrid’s Hospice Moonlight Walk Week 5th-12th September

St Wilfrid’s Hospice much loved annual Moonlight Walk event is going virtual – step up to support your local Hospice with 10,000 or 20,000 steps. Chief Executive Alison Moorey said, “During this difficult time, our St Wilfrid’s Hospice nurses are stepping up to continue caring for people living with a …

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Godalming Museum reopens

Godalming Museum cannot wait to welcome back visitors and will be reopening part of the Museum from Monday 17th August.  To celebrate the reopening, a brand new exhibition will be in place entitled Godalming’s Secret Cemetery, based on the 9th-12th century (Saxon-Norman) cemetery excavated in Godalming in 2014 and subsequent …

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Weekend Walk: Alice Holt Forest (7 miles)

Alice Holt is such an ancient forest that no one is completely certain how it got its name. Most likely, it came from Ælfsige, anglo-saxon bishop of Winchester and “holt” meaning simply “a wood”. The Forestry Commission took it over in 1924 and established a research centre which advises on …

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Dobbies digs National Allotments Week – 10th-16th August

National Allotments Week returns this August to put the spotlight back on the benefits of growing your own. With a rising interest in becoming more self-sufficient, many Brits have made the most of extra time at home by taking up gardening as a newfound hobby. The National Allotment Society, who …

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Surrey Sculpture Society launches first on-line exhibition

Earlier in the year the Surrey Sculpture Society (SSS) was busy preparing for the Society’s usual full programme of outdoor exhibitions throughout 2020, but due to the current circumstances their proposed schedule of events has meant that their spring and summer events were cancelled.   Until the Society will be …

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The Punchbowl Trail – Surrey Artists Open Studios

The Punchbowl Trail is a group of local artists who are taking part in this year’s Surrey Artists Open Studios. This is a great opportunity for those keen to have a look behind closed doors to witness the workings of varying art and design studios. The trail enables you to …

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The Hunter Centre in Haslemere reopens

The Hunter Centre in Haslemere this week reopened its doors, offering people with dementia and alzheimers a lifeline for interaction and socialisation, after months in lockdown. It also offers respite to their carers; some of whom have found it increasingly difficult to watch their loved ones deteriorate during this time. …

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Abinger Cookery School recipes

Chargrilled leeks with a Romesco sauce Ingredients: 8 small leeks 3 tbsp olive oil Juice and zest of 1 lemon 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced Small handful of basil and parsley, roughly chopped Salt and pepper For the Romesco sauce: 1 dried red chilli, soaked in warm water …

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Antiques and Collecting

Local antique dealer Debbie Serpell offers some advice on collecting… Many of the good antique dealers began their trade as collectors first. Their love of their specialist field of antiques has invariably sprung from their passion for collecting. My own personal love of collecting antiques and subsequent career in dealing …

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Guildford Walking for Health restarts

Fresh air, sunshine and gentle exercise can do a world of good for your mental and physical health. The advice from the government is that you can continue to walk outside (staying a safe distance from others) unless you are showing symptoms. The latest guidance from the Ramblers Walking for Health state that …

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The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre set to re-open!

The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford is thrilled to be opening its doors once again with series of films and live events this summer and autumn. On Saturday 8th August, enjoy a drink and an afternoon of live Jazz on the riverside terrace courtesy of Guildford Jazz and some of …

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Discounted Dining In Dorking

Dorking diners can delight in a tasty discount at 19 participating establishments during August under the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3rd and 31st August, diners will get a 50% discount on food and soft drinks (up to a maximum of £10 …

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Guildford Antiques & Brocante market is back!

Guildford Antiques & Brocante market is back on 13th September in the High Street  from 9.30am-3.30pm with 50+ stalls. Following two successful markets last year, they are back on the 13th September for the first of two for the autumn. It will be offering a huge array of items,  including …

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A message from Haslemere Museum

Firstly, we hope that you and your family and friends are well and have not found the restrictions too difficult to manage. We would like to thank you for your continued support of the Museum, we are grateful not just for your financial generosity but also for your generosity of …

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Weekend Walk: Leith Hill and Friday Street (6.5 miles)

At 965 feet (294m) Leith Hill is not only the highest point in Surrey but also the highest in south east England. It is a magnificent viewpoint, one of a series that crowns the well-wooded greensand ridge a few miles south of the North Downs. This walk is mostly through …

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Heirloom Fruit and Vegetables

Food writer Shirlee Posner looks into traditional varieties of fruit and vegetables Some chefs are proud of the provenance of their ingredients and its not unusual to see heritage or heirloom mentioned on menus particularly in reference to tomatoes. In the south east of England we are lucky to have …

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Guildford-on-Sea now online!

Enjoy the ultimate seaside ‘staycation’ without even leaving the comfort of your home or garden, as Guildford-on-Sea goes online. One of Guildford’s top-ranking summer attractions, the family-friendly urban beach is to return this year, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, will be offering a virtual day at the seaside to keep …

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Fabulous new testimonial for VantagePoint!

We we very grateful to receive a lovely message from Jen Clay at Oakleaf Enterprises. As a VantagePoint team, we all joined into one of their wonderful quizzes in lockdown and had a great time – and raised money for this amazing charity. Support them if you can! www.oakleaf-enterprise.org

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Shallot tarte tatin with goat’s cheese

David Gillott is the owner of Four Gables Group, which is based on a smallholding in Ashtead. In David’s Tarte Tatin, the gentle flavour of the shallots is a perfect partner to goat’s cheese – whether you choose a young, mellow cheese or a full-flavoured showstopper, these are going to …

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Creating a Garden for Retirement by Beth Otway

In the garden I am always thinking ahead, whether I’m ordering seed for future sowings, designing a new feature, planning a long-term trial or just thinking about which new plants to grow next year. It is always wise to plan for the future so that you can fulfil all your …

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BBC Countryfile explores Surrey’s precious heathlands

This week BBC Countryfile TV presenters Matt Baker and Margherita Taylor joined Surrey Wildlife Trust in celebrating Surrey’s rare and precious heathlands.  A full schedule of virtual guided walks, talks and heathland inspired activities took place on the Trust’s social media channels between 27th July and 2nd August to celebrate …

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The importance of music in schools

Nearly everyone enjoys music, whether by listening to it, singing, or playing an instrument. Read on to learn why music education is so important, and how it offers benefits even beyond itself. 1. Musical training helps develop language and reasoning: Students who have early musical training will develop the areas …

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A Perfectly Packaged Picnic

The FoodSmith  Having been a nanny for 5 years of my professional career I feel like I am qualified to have an opinion on this. The common picnic… For many folks this is a slap-dash job, roll out the tin foil, clingfilm, tupperware boxes, with mismatch lids and arrive at …

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Video Advice Service from Citizen’s Advice extended

Citizen’s Advice Waverley are pleased to report that the Video Advice Service at the Farnham and Cranleigh offices is working well and supporting a significant number of the community who do not have access to the phone and email service. They will extend the service to Haslemere and Godalming commencing …

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Top tips for summer pet safety

With summer on its way, it is vital to ensure that our dogs and cats are properly cared for in the hot weather. We asked a couple of local vets for some hints and tips: 1. Provide plenty of clean fresh water for all pets in warmer weather. 2. Paddling …

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Haslemere’s Glad Rags Project

The GladRags Project began in March as lockdown confined us all to our homes. Haslemere Educational Museum and artist Diana Burch are collaborating to create a community textile record of the positives we noticed in trying times. As restrictions ease, we would like all ages and abilities to think about …

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Mole Valley’s Healthy Walks Return

Mole Valley District Council’s (MVDC) Walk for Health walks have restarted, with new guidelines to keep walkers safe.   The Walk for Health scheme is a programme of fun, free and accessible weekly walks ideal for anyone looking to become more active. A maximum of five places are now available per …

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5 ‘Post Lockdown’ Tips for improving your fitness and health

Well, these last few months have been a tricky one for health and fitness! Where have you stood, or possibly sat, during the lockdown months? Many started with great intentions; out walking more, taking up running, home workouts and cycling, but alongside this, there seemed to be more ‘evening comfort’ …

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Weekend Walk: Shottermill to Marley Common (3.5 miles)

This is a great walk to do with the children, and dad will be happy as it starts and ends at a pub! It takes in ancient beech woodland, perfect hide-and-seek territory, and a chestnut coppice that’s an ideal den-building spot. You may also catch a glimpse of fish in …

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Guildford’s refreshed town centre museum opens soon

Guildford Museum is looking forward to welcoming visitors back after being closed for the past twelve months for essential repairs providing another free attraction to visit in our historic town centre. The museum opens with a temporary exhibition ‘Commemoration and Celebration’ to commemorate Guildford’s experience of Victory in Europe Day …

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Brunching out

Given people’s increasingly hectic lives, brunch is becoming a very popular meal, especially at weekends. After that stolen lie-in, a heavy duty shopping expedition or a morning ferrying children left, right and centre, what could be better than a mouth-watering mid-morning treat? The word ‘brunch’ first appeared in print in …

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Kiddiwalks: Gunpowder at Chilworth (3 miles)

A lovely walk that starts in peaceful woodland where only the bird song and the sound of running water breaks the silence. Amongst the trees will be found the stark remains of Chilworth’s old gunpowder mills, at one time the most important in England. Just imagine the scene as horses …

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Cooked Meals for Vulnerable Families

Stoke Community Support, Guildford and surrounding areas.  The Project Team of Stoke Community Support (SCS)  is providing cooked meals to vulnerable families/individuals across Guildford in response to Covid-19.   Led by St John’s Church Stoke and St Peter’s Church Stoke Hill, SCS is working in collaboration with St Saviour’s Church, …

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Is Covid-19 a Pain?!

For many people,  working from home has resulted in many aches and pains, with very little awareness of the potential problems that can occur. There are so many potential problems but here we have decided to focus on just one – laptops. Many people work on laptops all of the …

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Mole Valley Heritage Open Days Return

Heritage Open Days brings together more than 2,000 organisations, 5,500 events and 46,000 volunteers annually. It’s a chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences, all for free. For the first time, because of current social distancing measures, the programme will focus on virtual tours and digital experiences, …

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Dealing with Debt – Citizens Advice Waverley can help…

During the coronavirus pandemic many people have been made redundant, others have been furloughed to protect their jobs and many have had to claim benefits. The government, regulators and firms have acted to protect people from the financial impact of coronavirus by pausing large parts of the economy. Across the …

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Take three local chefs…

These recipes have been supplied by our good friend Tracy Carroll from www.localfoodbritain.co.uk which showcases the very best local food, drinks, and places to eat locally. Wilted Watercress & Local Squid Sauté The Elsted Inn, Lisa and Malcolm King’s jewel of a country pub, is a favourite with walkers and …

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Oakleaf Update

At Oakleaf, we are adjusting to the times and moving forward best we can. We are now offering 22 different activities, training and support virtually to hundreds of clients, as well as our 1:1 counselling service and evening Safe Haven. Our current online activities: Tai Chi, Choir, Sleep, Creativity, IT …

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Weekend Walk: Runnymede and its memorials

This walk this month takes you through Virginia Water and on to the River Thames and the three memorials at Runnymede – to the Magna Carta, President Kennedy and the Air Forces, all of which are free to visit. If you want to make a day of it, you could …

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Personal Training that Suits YOU and YOUR Lifestyle.

Fiona Digby-Jones gives some advice on how we can get back on track and in shape following the past few months of lockdown. I know how overwhelming it can feel keeping on top of all that your business or busy job demands of you,  Let alone keeping on top of …

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Surrey Hills next in line for boundary extension

The Surrey Hills AONB Board are delighted to hear the news that fellow AONB, Suffolk Coast & Heaths has had approval from the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to extend their current boundary. This extension is great news for all protected landscapes and shines a light …

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Montezuma’s Chocolate recipes!

Montezuma’s Chocolate has partnered with Rosie Birkett, a cook, food writer and influencer to create a Chocolate, Cardamon and Hazelnut Tart and Mango & White Chocolate Mousse recipe. Chocolate, Cardamom and Hazelnut Tart This tart is a wonderful example of how great quality chocolate can be elevated into a really special dessert. I …

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Our Local Wildlife Trusts

Phil Kemp meets with the Surrey Wildlife Trust to learn about the outstanding work they and other Wildlife Trusts do to safeguard and enhance the natural environment for the benefit of nature. The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts was founded in 1912 with the charity’s primary role being to ensure …

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Guildford Book Festival launches fundraising appeal

Guildford Book Festival has announced that it is facing an uncertain future as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The charity, which this October is set to celebrate its 31st edition, is reliant upon sponsorship and advertising to generate the £20,000 it costs each year to deliver …

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Barbecue and a bread

Jerk pork & shallot skewers with pineapple salsa Ingredients: 650g pork steaks, cut into 2.5cm cubes (leg or shoulder), 12 shallots, peeled and cut in half, 3 tbsp jerk rub, 3 tbsp olive oil. For the Salsa: ½ fresh pineapple, chopped into 1cm cubes, 3 shallots, finely chopped, a handful …

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Latest news from The Clockhouse, Milford Day Centre

The trustees continue to contact and support members and volunteers regularly. Our mobile lending library is popular and the number of books and DVDs has increased considerably thanks to some very generous donations. For those who wish to purchase a book or DVD they are on sale for £1. Alternatively, …

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Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex

Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS)  has raised more than £1m so far through its Coronavirus Emergency Appeal. This is just over a third of the total shortfall the charity was predicting due to the cancellation of major events and a decrease in fundraising income. The life-saving charity launched its …

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Weekend Walk: Chawton – figure of eight (4.5 + 5 miles)

This walk takes you through pretty woods and fields around Chawton in Hampshire. You may, of course, choose to tackle only one of the loops and spend time visiting Jane Austen’s house. The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). Option 1 – 4.5 miles – Chawton to …

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Citizens Advice Waverley Coronavirus update

During the Coronavirus crisis Citizens Advice Waverley advisers have been working safely from home to continue to provide advice to the community via telephone and e-mail. This service will continue. Telephone: Call Advice line 0344 848 7969 to speak to an adviser. e-mail: Please complete the enquiry form at www.waverleycab.org.uk …

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Help Phil Spencer halt the Alton Incinerator

We’re all keen to go green aren’t we? All being urged to ditch single-use plastic, switch to smart cars and embrace all initiatives to halt climate change? So why would anyone think that an enormous incinerator generating CO2 is the answer to the world’s waste problems? But French multi-national Veolia …

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Arts Alive is E-Live in Mole Valley

Local arts groups are being invited to take part in Mole Valley’s annual arts festival, Arts Alive, which this year has been renamed Arts E-Live as events move online. Supported by Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) and now in its 24th year, Arts Alive is the biggest arts festival in …

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Stay Loyal to Local!

As Local Food Britain launches a new campaign encouraging people to ‘Stay Loyal to Local’ beyond the lockdown, here we explain more about how it all came about – and the ways that independent businesses are set to benefit While the lockdown has undoubtedly brought many challenges, one of the …

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The Meaning of Birdsong – a poem

This poem was sent in to us by one of our readers, Peter Taylor           Warm May morning, pink azaleas alight, never been so bright before, so fiery so soon after winter’s wake (quite late this year). I toast my feet beneath a dodging sun, soaking …

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A light summer lunch

Chicken Caesar Salad Cups These cute Little Gem lettuce cups make perfect bite sized scoops for a delicious cheat’s version of the classic Caesar salad. Ingredients: 3 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 clove garlic, crushed, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 20g parmesan, finely grated plus a little extra for decoration, 4 radishes, cut …

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Weekend Walk: Reigate Heath (4.5 + 3.25 miles)

This more or less level walk takes you through woods and fields close to Reigate. Reigate Heath is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), one of the most important wildlife designations nationally and a Local Nature Reserve (LNR). It is an important example of the lowland heath habitat, …

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Help Save Biddles Guildford!

  Biddles need your help to rescue our store!  Biddles, Guildford’s oldest stationery shop, is a well-loved Guildford retailer that has been supported by our loyal customers for over 135 years. Trading throughout the great depression and both world wars, however now we need your help. Covid-19 Due to the …

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Summer berry recipes

Mixed Berry Cheesecake This beautiful cheesecake is the perfect centrepiece to impress guests. With its pale pink colour and a bounty of berries on top it’s delicious too. Add edible flowers for an extra touch. Ingredients: 125g digestive biscuits, 75g ginger biscuits, 100g melted butter, 300g strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, …

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Wildflowers on our roadside verges

The A24 between Dorking and Capel is notable for its bikers, but also for its central strip of grass, dotted with trees, between the two sides of the carriageway. Over the past few months, the verge has grown up and there have been wildflowers and long grasses waving in the …

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Birds of a feather get hot in this weather

Temperature predicated to climb above 30 degrees this week across parts of the UK. While we enjoy the sun, our favourite garden birds, like robins, blue tits and blackbirds could be left struggling as the heat dries up natural water sources. The RSPB is asking people to leave out a …

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Weekend Walk: Chiddingfold to Ram’s Nest (8.75 miles)

This walk takes you through woods and fields between Chiddingfold and Ram’s Nest. Chiddingfold became famous for its glass-making – during the reign of Elizabeth I, there were no fewer than 11 glass works on the green. Chiddingfold glass was used in some of the finest buildings in the land, …

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Piano lessons during lockdown

When schools in England closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, many teachers had to transfer their curriculum online. For instrumental music teachers, it was possible to continue lessons with relatively little upheaval, using Skype or other means of video call. Some musicians have been teaching in this way for …

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Art for All Seasons at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village

Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village (WGAV) has launched a series of activities to celebrate its Art for All Community learning programme. Inspired by the charity’s founders – the great Victorian artist George Frederic Watts OM RA (1817-1904) and his wife, the artist and designer Mary Watts (1849 -1938) – who …

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Some summer salads…

It’s almost summer which means it is time for salads. There are masses of fabulous ingredients out there which will help you to create some terrific combinations. Use them as lighter starters or side dishes or go large and make them your main meal. The first three salads come courtesy …

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Age UK Surrey Supports Veterans

Age UK Surrey is delighted to announce that we are supporting veterans across Surrey through our Call of Friendship project.  Although lockdown has eased, many people are still restricted in going out and feeling more isolated than ever before.  The Call of Friendship project provides a range of support services …

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Weekend Walk: Shamley Green and Winkworth (9.5 miles)

This is a walk which offers some splendid views and a brush with religious history and, in parts, a fairly strenuous leg stretch. Some of the bridleways can get pretty muddy, so stout waterproof boots are recommended outside of the summer. I did the walk starting at Winkworth Arboretum, which …

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Get updates from your local MP

Our local MP Jeremy Hunt MP (South West Surrey) is sending out very useful email updates on a daily basis. To receive a daily update from from him, please email huntj@parliament.uk I’m not sure about others, but you may like to contact them as follows: Andrew Griffith (Arundel and South …

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A Foraged Meal for Early Summer

June is a time when many wild foods are at their best; combine these with some of the cultivated foods in season now and you can create some wonderful dishes. Here are a few seasonal suggestions from our friend Peter Sibley… Sea Trout with Samphire Sea Trout is in season …

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Ingredients for Academic Success

What makes the difference between an academically successful child and one who struggles with schoolwork? Anna Dalglish, Instructor at the Kumon Maths and English Study Centre in Guildford North, believes a child’s potential to learn is unlimited, particularly if these key components for successful learning are in place: Individualised progress …

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Local Craft Gin Distilleries

Phil Kemp visits three of our local artisan distilleries to get a taste of the craft gin explosion The gin industry throughout the country is reportedly experiencing a booming demand for one of the nation’s favourite tipples. And with total sales of almost £2 billion across the sector last year …

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Weekend Walk: Thorney Island (8.5 miles)

This is the ideal walk for those who love sea views. Doing the walk clockwise from Emsworth gets the inland sections over at the beginning. Once onto the shoreline, the route is very easy to follow so you can concentrate on enjoying the route rather than reading instructions. A visit …

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Weekend Walk: Abinger, Holmbury and Wotton (8.75 miles)

This is a walk of extraordinary variety showing you many different aspects of the Surrey countryside between Dorking and Guildford. There are just a few nettles around the stiles but little mud and the route is fine for a dog. The stile count is moderate. It is a bit text …

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Historic gardens reopen to compete for coveted award

Following clarification from government on 22 May that fee-paying outdoor heritage sites in England could now reopen to visitors, the attractions of Historic Houses – Britain’s largest collection of independent heritage – are throwing open their garden gates in increasing numbers, giving the public a chance to stretch their legs and enjoy the sunshine in some …

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Some picnic food ideas

Easy Coronation chicken pies Ingredients 1 tbsp olive oil; 1 onion; 2 tbsp medium curry powder; 3 tbsp mango chutney; 1 large cooked chicken breast; diced into chunks; 140g double cream; knob of butter; 500g pack shortcrust pastry; flour for dusting; 1 beaten egg; 2 tbsp flaked almonds (optional). Makes …

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WWII Discovery at West Horsley Place

As the nation marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day, a significant discovery was made at West Horsley Place.  Whilst sorting through old papers, a member of the West Horsley Place team came across an envelope containing 18 thank you letters from children evacuated to the manor house in 1939, …

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Gin cocktails

We have three cocktail ideas from our friends at Silent Pool Distillery. BEE’S KNEES Bees harvest nectar from nearby flowers, so honey is a direct reflection of the area in which it is made. That’s why local honey is not only a key ingredient in Silent Pool gin but also …

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Sunfower Seed Plait from Bake with Jack

Here is a recipe from our good friend Jack Sturgess, who runs Bake with Jack. Visit www.bakewithjack.co.uk for more information       Ingredients: 200g wholemeal flour 175g strong white bread flour 7g salt 7g sachet of dry yeast, or 12g fresh yeast 250g room temperature water 20g soft butter …

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Bank Holiday Recipes

British Asparagus Spring Pasta A super quick and easy dish for those mid-week meals that requires little preparation time. Ingredients: 400g British asparagus; 170g frozen peas; 350g pappardelle pasta; 2 knobs of butter; 1tbsp olive oil; 4 shallots, finely chopped; 2 garlic cloves, crushed; 200ml crème fraiche; handful of chopped …

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This weekend, wake up to the symphony of the Dawn Chorus!

Sunday 3rd May is International Dawn Chorus Day – a day to celebrate the early morning swell of birdsong! In this unprecedented time when many of us have limited access to the outdoors, you only need to open your window to enjoy this natural phenomenon. 40 million birds have disappeared …

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Get Drumming with Dominik Wilhelm!

Vivian Greene once said that ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.’ O.K., so I’m healthy, my loved ones are healthy, we have food, drink and a house and garden to enjoy and give each other space in. I’m …

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Think about your Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney

We are experiencing exceptionally difficult times. We will get back to having fun with our families and our favourite pastimes before too long. At the time of writing we have wonderful weather which many of us are able to enjoy however those who are working in essential services and in …

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Spring is here! Top ten signs of it in your garden

Spring is now here, and there are signs of it all around us – birds singing, flowers blooming, and being able to go outside without five layers on! The RSPB has collected top ten signs of spring that you may see from your garden: Birds building nests – birds only …

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Dog training tips whilst in isolation

Life in lockdown is very different for your dogs as well as yourselves.  Their old routine has gone out of the window and they are adjusting to the new ‘norm’.  You may be busy working at home, or entertaining your children, but do give some attention to your wonderful pets …

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Inspiring Surrey Hills Businesess

In amongst the difficult daily news, Surrey Hills has an inspiring range of stories about local businesses supporting their local communities, key workers and NHS staff. Despite the most challenging circumstances, there is a growing community of Surrey Hills businesses who are collaborating to deliver much needed local produce to …

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Help support our nurses with the National Garden Scheme

In a new campaign led by Britain’s most famous gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, the National Garden Scheme is reaching out to people to help support the nursing and health charities for which it has raised money since its foundation. With all gardens closed and so no income coming in, the National …

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Wey & Arun Canal Trust marks 25 years of boat trips

When the first fee-paying passengers cruised along the Wey & Arun Canal back in 1995, few members could have imagined that Trust would be celebrating 25 years of public boat trips and this year welcoming more than 1,000 passengers on boat trips just in the Christmas and New Year period …

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St Catherine’s Hospice seeks community’s support

Whilst many of us are in lockdown at home, staff at St Catherine’s Hospice continue to provide vital care and support to local terminally ill people across our community. Never has their care been more important, but it’s only thanks to the generosity of readers like you that St Catherine’s …

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Ron Calverley – 100 not out!

Ron has helped out at The Clockhouse day centre in Milford for 12 years – and was the face of a new National Lottery campaign launched to mark ‘Blue Monday’. Turning 100 in April, he is in isolation and misses volunteering at The Clockhouse enormously! This is his story… I …

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Beth Otway’s Exciting Vegetables to Grow Now!

I enjoy the excitement felt at this time of year!  By the middle of March, the window of possibility stretches out before us; we have the opportunity to sow seeds of a wide range of great tasting vegetables.  Here are some of the seeds you can sow this month: I …

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Weekend Walk: Bignor Hill and Houghton Forest (5.5 miles)

This walk is an absolute classic, and you can see the reason: it has the ingredients of great views without climbing and wonderful woodland on the return. It is short and easy and hugely rewarding, especially recommended for those who want a pleasant half-day in the South Downs or maybe …

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Beth Otway’s Gardening Advice

Spring is a magical time.  Cheerful spring flowers brighten our gardens, as we bask in the joy of nature’s promise that there’s so much more to come.  This is such an invigorating and inspiring time, with much to see and do in the garden. It’s easier to pull up weeds …

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Weekend Walk: Polesden Lacey Circular (8 miles)

At Hikes of Surrey, we begin most of our walks from St Martins Church because of the easy parking and the spire acts as an excellent focal point and marker when we’re out in the hills. Parking is easiest in St Martins car park just north of the church. Make …

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The HR Department offer advice on Coronavirus

Please find the latest updates on #COVID-19 #coronavirus FAQs https://lnkd.in/exwVynS News https://lnkd.in/dSVdAJ7 If you are struggling with the effects this is having on your business, and the action you may need to take, please get in touch with The HR Dept Woking and Guildford for advice. If they cannot help, they will know someone who can. The …

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Zero Hours Contracts

According to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS, https://www.acas.org.uk/), a zero-hours contract is a type of contract between an employer and a worker where: your employer does not have to give you any minimum working hours; and you do not have to take any work offered. Workers on zero …

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Tips for working from home

          Helpline Number – 01483 600085 Tips for working from home These tips are for anyone working from home. Recent Coronavirus developments have led to many organisations asking staff to work from home. Usually this should be done with plenty of change planning, but in this …

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EJ Body Fit

  EJ Body Fit As one of our newest advertisers, I wanted to find out a bit more about Ella and her business. Ella’s work is mobile so I invited her to come to my house so that I could find out more. Ella arrived and her energy was infectious …

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Cowdray Estate

The Cowdray Estate The Cowdray estate really does have something for everyone. The family owned estate is set on 16,500 acres of land within the stunning South Downs National Park. Whether it is golf, polo, health and well being a weekend away filled with leisure pursuits or food and drink, …

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Woking Football Club

Woking FC.  I feel like I should start with a disclaimer. Football is NOT my forte.  I dabbled in Rugby at university, even then i use that term loosely. I was carrying a bit of winter weight (8 stone of it) and assumed the silver lining would be that I …

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Acorn Godlaming

Acorn Godalming. This restaurant has now been in the heart of Godalming for over two years. I remember before the team had even opened their doors and I popped along to introduce myself and they were still unpacking boxes and getting artwork up on the walls. How things have changed… …

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Avery+Brown

        Avery+Brown. On Wednesday morning I met Russ and Tim at The Lost Boy in Farnham, for a cup of coffee and a very insightful chat. Having worked for VantagePoint for nearly three years, I am very aware that networking is a vital part of local business. …

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A room for all seasons

Local garden building designer Kani.House gave us a tour of their latest project, a stunning pool house in Tadworth. It was February this year when Kani.House owner Neil Phillipson was called to design and install a replacement for a dilapidated log cabin, being used as a summer house by a …

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6 Financial Recruitment Trends to Look Out for in 2020

Staying up to date with the latest financial recruitment trends and leveraging new technologies is crucial — both for job searching and the hiring process. The finance and accounting sector has been going through some significant changes lately. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the key finance …

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1Sculpt Studios

There is nothing like an early fitness class on a Monday morning, to get you set up for the week ahead. That is what happened to me this morning. I was invited along to 1Scuplt studios, to have a look at their new space, as well as to take part …

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It’s cold outside and maybe inside

Are you, or someone you look after, having difficulty paying energy bills?  If you are, Citizens Advice may be able to help with advice about your energy issues. Anyone can ask for help, but we would particularly like to speak to you if you fall into the following groups: Those …

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The Kings Arms, Dorking

Last week myself and Sarah decided to take some rather handsome fellas out to lunch.  Lee from The Britannia, Guildford, and Tim from The Kings Arms, Dorking. I have been lucky enough to have known these two for over a decade, we have also been on many holidays together, one …

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Another Amazing Holiday

St James Club, Antigua.  As some of you might remember, I went on the holiday of a lifetime last January. Many of you commented on how amazing it looked, how much you all wanted to go, and if I’m honest, the holiday blues from that holiday lasted longer than ever. …

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Driveway Transformation

Duncan James Landscapes. I like to be as organized as I can be, however sometimes things do slip through the net and become last minute jobs. I tend to find its always the bigger jobs that this applies to…I am working on it. I found myself in this situation a …

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Do you ever wake up at 3am and struggle to go back to sleep? 

Do you ever wake up at 3am and struggle to go back to sleep? This is a very common symptom people discuss with me. Stress causes hyperarousal, which means we may have difficulty falling or staying asleep and experience restless nights. This impairs concentration, attention, learning and memory. The problem …

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Why wait until spring to get your garden sorted for summer!

AK Garden Services – offer a range of Garden Services in Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex – established in 1994 with full company insurance and references available upon request. With winter now firmly upon us why not start work on garden improvements now. AK Garden Services will undertake all types …

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Improve Your Physical and Mental Health with these 5 Tips

My name is Penny Delve and I am a Transformational Coach with a passion for health and wellbeing.   I help people who want to improve their physical and mental health in some way but they just don’t know where to start! This can be anything from loosing weight, reducing …

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Blue Monday Football with Surrey FA

VantagePoint supported Surrey FA Blue Monday football session on Monday 20th. The session held at the Surrey FA’s Meadowbank Football Ground, Dorking was aimed at raising awareness of Blue Monday, the saddest day of the year. Prior to games commencing, Operations Manager Andrew Dickinson welcomed the 30+ people who turned …

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Club 66 – The New Exclusive Business Club

What does Club 66 offer? A brand-new exclusive business club in the center of Godalming high street. Club 66 is an exclusive business club that is designed to give you a flexible place to meet with business associates. With a range of seating options, including relaxed sofa and armchairs with …

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We Love to Dance

On January 9th I was invited along to take part in one of Rachel’s classes. I haven’t danced in many years, unless you call flailing about in Popworld on a Saturday night “dancing.” I jumped at the chance as I used to dance at school and really enjoyed it! I …

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Still Outstanding 25 Years Later

On Tuesday 7th January 2020, Oak Lodge care home celebrated their 25th Anniversary and Outstanding CQC rating with a large party attended by many across the Basingstoke community. To celebrate 25 years of caring, Oak Lodge hosted a day of entertainment, which included a photo slideshow of memories made at …

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Claire from VantagePoint visits Roots Yoga

When I was younger, I had no time for yoga. I did not have the patience, coordination or if I’m completely honest I did not really understand the point of it all. Over time this has all changed a lot. As soon as I started suffering with mental health issues …

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The Beauti Pod

  For those of you who have already been here you will know what I mean when I say, it’s one of the most welcoming places I have ever walked into. Sally and her team are all so approachable and you always receive a warm welcome as soon as you …

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Weekend Walk: Round the Devil’s Punch Bowl (4.5 miles)

This family-friendly walk takes you along the rim of the Punch Bowl, across to the opposite side and over the highest points with spectacular views. It returns via Gibbet Hill and a part of Hindhead Common with views all around. Perfect for all the family (including the dog, but beware …

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Godalming Panto

The Godalming Pantomime. On Friday evening, I took the little one I used to nanny for along to the Godalming pantomime. When I found out it was being held in the Borough hall, I was a bit dubious as to what it would look like, and how they would be …

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The Britannia- Our Christmas Party!

Our Britannia Christmas Lunch.  “Why fix something when it isn’t broken?” I feel like this saying applies to choosing where to eat. We had such an enjoyable meal last Christmas at the Britannia that it was a unanimous decision to return this year. We were sent the menu choices nice …

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The Woolpack review

On Friday 29th November I was invited to the newly refurbished Woolpack in Banstead. This impressive building has been stopping traffic on the main road, as people have been eagerly awaiting the big reveal and re-opening of the pub. As soon as I walked in, I was amazed at how …

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The Bear and Ragged Staff

On a recent visit to Farnham Alex and I had an enjoyable lunch at the newly refurbished Bear and Ragged Staff pub. Just outside of the town centre the pub has been most tastefully re-furbished, in a way that appeals to all ages of pub goers. It still maintains its …

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Trinity School pupils no longer lost for words!

On Monday 18th November 2019, Leatherhead Rotary Club was delighted to present around 50 copies of the Usborne Illustrated Dictionary to Year 6 pupils at Leatherhead Trinity School to assist them with their studies during their final year at the school as well as their future secondary education. ‘Dictionary 4 …

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