South West Surrey

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Go Wild With Your Tots For Less!

Surrey Wildlife Trust is celebrating a £3,000 windfall from The Southern Co-op, which means families can enjoy cut-price ‘Wild Tots’ outdoor play sessions this season.

 Wild Tots provides a wonderful opportunity for children aged 2-6 and their parents to experience and learn from nature by exploring and playing in the outdoors. The popular sessions will be held every Thursday and Friday morning throughout February and March.

The usual price is £10 per child – but thanks to The Southern Co-op’s donation, sessions are now only £5 for two hours of wild fun or just £4 for members of the Trust. Sessions include arts and crafts, games, stories, exploration, mud kitchens, minibeast hunting and so much more!

“This is a fantastic opportunity to encourage young children to have some weekly fun – exploring, learning and playing in the woods, in a Forest School inspired adventure,” said Laura Stone, from the Trust’s Outdoor Learning Team.

“The sessions are designed to engage children with wildlife and to promote independent learning. We aim to boost creativity, confidence, communication skills and physical development and above all we have fantastic fun in the outdoors!”

A recent study* carried out by researchers at the University of Derby found that just one session spent getting closer to nature can help families to improve their skills and knowledge about playing outdoors with their families. Spending time outside was also shown to increase people’s sense of connection to nature and proved beneficial for health and wellbeing in both adults and children.

The Wild Tots donation by The Southern Co-op is part of the ‘My Wild Neighbourhood’ campaign, working with Wildlife Trusts in the southern region to encourage families to get outside and explore the wild in their neighbourhoods. The initiative is supported by proceeds from the carrier bag levy collected by The Southern Co-op, distributed through their ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’ programme.

The Trust hopes the subsidised Wild Tots dates will make the sessions accessible to even more families in Surrey. They will be running every Thursday from 10am-12noon at the Trust’s Nower Wood educational nature reserve near Leatherhead and every Friday from 10am-12noon at Newlands Corner near Guildford, throughout February and March.

Wild Tots forms part of Surrey Wildlife Trust’s mission to inspire and educate people of all ages about nature. Up to 15,000 children and young people benefit every year from its wide range of outdoor learning courses and events. For more information or to book a place for your child, visit

Wanted – Weekend Wildlife Warriors!

Are you looking for something wild to do this weekend – then why not volunteer with Surrey Wildlife Trust? As well as having fun in the fresh air, you can get fit, make new friends, learn new skills and it’s FREE!

The Trust has nearly 100 staff, but its ranks are swelled by an army of almost 2,000 registered volunteers, who provide around 8,000 extra ‘people days’ every year. And now the Trust is on the look-out for new weekend recruits to join its conservation squad.

“Our enthusiastic practical conservation volunteers help us clear areas of scrub, coppice woodlands, remove invasive plant species, create patches of bare ground for habitat improvement and lots more,” said Claire Courtier, the Trust’s Volunteer Development Manager.

“From teenagers to people in their 80s, all give up their time, skills and energy to help wildlife – but they get so much in return too. You can get fit, make friends from all walks of life, learn so much about wildlife and it’s fantastic fun in the fresh air!”

The Trust runs weekend volunteer conservation groups throughout autumn and winter, on sites right across the county – from scrub clearance on Wisley Common, to coppicing at Newdigate Brickworks, to path clearance on Chobham Common or grass cutting at Fraser Down.

Volunteers have been at the heart of some great success stories for wildlife in Surrey – helping restore vital habitat on Chobham Common, which now boasts a promising breeding population of nightjars and Dartford warblers. In the rivers, volunteers have been working on the Wey and Mole to improve habitats for fish and reduce pollutants. And dozens of volunteers have signed up to become Hedgerow Heroes, to help survey and restore Surrey’s network of hedges.

Jeanette Cattermole from Guildford has been volunteering with the Trust for almost ten years – helping its education teams with school groups, lending a hand in the office and getting stuck into conservation work.

“I’ve always had an interest in the outdoors and I love the countryside, so volunteering for the Trust is perfect for me,” she said. “It’s given me so many opportunities to stretch myself and learn something new. It’s great fun, you make friends, have fun round the bonfire – the camaraderie is just great and I’m so thrilled to be making a difference to wildlife and the environment.”

Research* shows that people who donate their time to a good cause show lower rates of depression later in life, while a study# found that contact with nature makes us happier and healthier. And regular exercise in the fresh air is a lot cheaper than joining a gym!

“We simply couldn’t manage without our wonderful volunteers – they make a massive difference to the work we’re able to carry out to help wildlife in Surrey,” said Claire.

“Whether you’re a student wanting work experience or working fulltime and looking for a weekend outdoors, we’d love to see some new faces. You can commit to as little or as much time as you like and you could gain so much from working with us – you never know, it might just lead to a new career!”

If you would like to help protect Surrey’s wildlife as a weekend wildlife volunteer, visit and sign up for your wild weekend.

Into the Trees Family Festival

Into The Trees is a fascinating journey which takes you into the amazing world of trees, woods andforests and will open your eyes to the ways in which we can play, work, learn and explore amongst theirleaves, branches and trunks. Taking place in the heart of one of the south of England’s most amazinglandscapes, Into The Trees offers the rare chance to explore and enjoy protected ancient woodland inthe Ashdown Forest and brings experts from the world of wood to demonstrate and inspire guests of allages.

A weekend of discovery and relaxation – explore the magical protected woodland of Pippingford Parkwith family and friends. Come for the day or camp all weekend in this unique designated area ofoutstanding natural beauty. The perfect opportunity for adults to relax enjoying delicious local food anddrink while kids run free. Rope swings, mountain boarding, bushcraft and tree climbing surroundhands-on demonstrations from wildlife experts and skilled Sussex craftspeople.

Visit the website for more info on activities, camping and glamping.

Into The Trees 14 / 15 / 16th September 2018 Pippingford Park, Nutley, Uckfield, Sussex TN22 3HW

Weeknd and day tickets on sale now

More information: Facebook / Twitter



TES Independent School Award 2018

Pre-prep/prep school of the year

We are delighted that St Ives has been shortlisted for the pre-prep / prep school of the year award at the prestigious 2018 TES Independent School Awards. This is a huge accolade as we are one of only 8 schools nominated, with competition from some of the finest and most respected of the country’s 620 independent prep schools.

The nomination recognises the success of St Ives, not only in academic achievement but also innovation, imagination and efforts to develop children in ways that go beyond the league tables. We are of course extremely proud of the high academic standards of our pupils, in a non-selective environment, but we recognise that this represents only part of developing the whole child. The breadth of wider experiences offered at St Ives allows all our children to develop as individuals, to grow a general life-long love of learning and to naturally achieve and progress. This was evident in 50% scholarships to senior schools, 34 distinctions and 5 merits in Verse & Prose / Acting exams, qualification for the IAPS swimming and coming 2nd in the National United Ideas invention competition.









Ann Mroz, the Editor of the TES has said “Independent education in this country is world class. It’s one of Britain’s great success stories. And those shortlisted for the TES Independent School Awards are the cream of the crop. This year we had more entries than ever, the standard was the best yet and the competition fiercer than ever before. To be shortlisted is an extraordinary achievement.”
Our Chair of Governors, Graham Harvey-Browne, has also said of the news “We are delighted and very proud to hear this wonderful news. This is a testament to the dedication and hard work of Mrs Goldsworthy, Miss Smith and all of the teaching and support staff at St Ives and is a clear indicator of the continued success of the school in producing well rounded young people who are inspired and supported in achieving their potential.”

Our broad curriculum is enriched and enhanced by a fantastic array of activities and events which have provided good reason for our nomination of this award. Our magical Forest School, educational visits, focus on local community and whole school charity days are just a few examples of how we broaden the perspective of our pupils and develop the whole child. At St Ives we provide opportunities for each child to discover, develop and showcase their individual interests and talents whether that be in music, art, sport or other areas. In this way, we provide a truly nurturing and inspiring environment.

We would like to thank all our staff and pupils for their dedication and commitment 

Official opening of Squire’s Garden Centre in Chertsey

Squire’s Chairman, Deputy Chairman and the Mayor of Runnymede Councillor Alan Alderson officially opened the new Squire’s Garden Centre in Chertsey on Wednesday 1st March.

A plaque was unveiled on a 300-year old olive tree, which had been planted by Chairman Colin Squire to commemorate the opening of the new centre. An olive tree was chosen as it’s a tree of great vigour, very hardy and easy to grow, and it is a symbol of abundance, glory and peace.

Invited guests had a tour of the garden centre, which has a new outdoor plant area and a stylish shop with a great range of gifts. Customers enjoyed live music in the new Café Bar, which is a perfect place for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. The cosy and atmospheric Café Bar is housed in a 200-year old octagonal lodge building, which has been loving restored to keep its wonderful character.

Squire’s is a successful family owned business and £1.5 million was spent building the new garden centre. Matt Tanner has been appointed Manager of Squire’s Chertsey.

Chairman Colin Squire commented; “I am very proud to officially open our new garden centre in Chertsey. Thank you to the Mayor and Mayoress of Runnymede, and to other local business people for coming including The Chertsey Society, The Chertsey Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from the White Lodge Centre, an excellent charity that we support. Squire’s Chertsey is small but perfectly formed. We have a great team here, plus a few different products to make it a little bit extra special. I hope that the local community will enjoy coming to Squire’s in Chertsey as much as I do.”

In photo – L-R: Colin Squire (Chairman), Alan Alderson (Mayor of Runnymede), Matt Tanner (Centre Manager), Martin Breddy (MD) & Sarah Squire (Deputy Chairman)

Visit up to 5th March and you can take advantage of Squire’s “Spring Fever” event, where there’s 20% off all garden furniture and BBQ’s. Or come on Saturday 11th March, and the first 50 customers will receive a free packet of lettuce or spinach seeds!

Squire’s Garden Centre, Holloway Hill, Chertsey, KT16 0AE.


Visions of the Future – Young Artists Award 2017, Farnham Maltings

 Visions of the Future

Young Artist Award 2017

Competition Launch: 01 November 2016

Submission Deadline: 10 February 2017

Finalist’s Exhibition:

Riverside Café Gallery, Farnham Maltings

05 – 31 March 2017

Awards Night: 24 March 2017

Media Categories:

drawing / mixed media / painting

£3 entry, A4 size limit

Original Artwork only

For ages 6 – 18 years

Let your creativity flow and imagine what your world will look like in 50, 100 or 1000 years’ time. What will our cities, towns and houses look like? How will people dress? Will the future be similar to the present day, or very different? Our judges are looking for imagination, originality and innovative creations.

Farnham Maltings is delighted to present the second annual Young Artist Award. For 2017, we would like to invite 6-18 year olds to submit artwork to theme Visions of the Future. We are celebrating the creative talent of young people, giving them an opportunity to exhibit work in a professional space. We want to inspire and give confidence to young people wanting to pursue a career in art and design, highlighting the importance of creativity and imagination.

Charlie Betts (artist and educator), Outi Remes (Director of New Ashgate Gallery) and Paul Smith (London-based painter), will be selecting five winners from each Media Category for the Finalists’ exhibition at the Riverside Café Gallery. Finalists will have their work framed and will be invited to an Awards Night at the opening of the Maltings’ annual Youth Arts Festival Spark, Friday 24 March 2017. Winners will be presented with a certificate and three overall winners will be announced.

Following the success of the inaugural Young Artist Award 2016, which explored the theme of portraiture, we are hoping for even more young artists to get involved. The Maltings Young Artist Award Visions of the Future is proudly supported by creative firm Stride Treglown, who specialise in town planning, architecture, urban and interior design.

Please deliver your artwork with completed Application Form and entry fee to the Visions of the Future, Box Office, Farnham Maltings, Bridge Square, Farnham, Surrey by 10 February 2017. More information and Application Form can be found on our website:

The Sunflower Trust promote children’s left:right brain development

The boy plays with balls

Pioneering local children’s charity, The Sunflower Trust, has found that neurological integration has far-reaching effects on health, wellbeing and happiness.  Efforts to improve behaviour, concentration, self-esteem or even fitness have limited benefit if the central nervous system is not functioning as it should.

Many of the parents that get in touch with Sunflower do so because their children are experiencing behavioural, developmental or learning difficulties.  It is painful for a parent to watch a child struggle academically, socially or on the sports field yet understanding why they are struggling and how best to help them is often a confusing and frustrating process.

Sunflower is proud to cite a measured 83% uplift before and after the programme in children’s health and wellbeing. The premise of the Sunflower Programme is that by making improvements to the way the brain mediates between the mind, the musculoskeletal and the biochemistry of the body is critical to effectively addressing the problem.  This, in turn, leads to improved self-esteem and confidence as well as improved performance academically and socially.

There are simple exercises you can do to help your child be balanced and neurologically integrated from their early years, the below is just a snapshot:

Be mindful of posture – stand up straight, align your spinal cord.  Is your head on your spine, is your spine straight into your pelvis – your jaw is the pelvis of your head.

  1. Breath through your nose, expand your lungs and feel your diaphragm rise.  40% of the oxygen of every breath supports your central nervous system – help yourself – breath better!
  2. Try marching for 10 minutes – swinging the arms (alternative to the legs!) or play catch with a ball and alternate between each hand.
  3. Say the alphabet, then try to do it backwards – get better at it
  4. Practice balance: can you move your eyes without moving your head, walk heel to toe without wobbling or stand on one leg with your eyes shut for one minute?
  5. Eat healthily – you have a choice!  Is it cake every time?  Avoid additives, artificial flavouring and colouring, reduce sugar and salt and take multi-vitamins if you can.
  6. Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard.  When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that “Life is Good!”

For further information about the Sunflower Trust visit or call for an informal chat on 0845 054 7509.

Squire’s, Badshot Lea announce their Charity of the Year
Squire's Badshot Lea - Richard Wells (Manager at Squire's Badshot Lea) with Sue Weaver (Chief Officer at Change Of Scene)

Squire’s Badshot Lea – Richard Wells (Manager at Squire’s Badshot Lea) with Sue Weaver (Chief Officer at Change Of Scene)

Squire’s Garden Centre in Badshot Lea (Farnham) is proud to announce that they have chosen Change of Scene as their dedicated ‘Charity of the Year’ for 2016/2017.

Squire’s in Badshot Lea will support Change of Scene through to July next year, and will raise awareness of the charity in the garden centre and through their marketing materials, as well as providing ongoing fundraising from events and collection boxes. All donations from the public will go directly to the charity. The charity will also be invited to a special preview of Squire’s new Christmas Circus this Winter.

Located on a 16-acre smallholding in South Farnham, Change of Scene provides respite, educational and leisure facilities for disadvantaged children and young people aged 6 – 18 years old. Set in a quiet haven with a homely atmosphere, the children interact with a wide range of animals. The Charity’s purpose is to help young people gain strength from the natural environment; achieve a sense of purpose & self-esteem, and to provide a sanctuary to which they can return.

Sarah Squire, Deputy Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres commented: “We are delighted to be supporting Change of Scene, which was chosen by our team at Squire’s in Badshot Lea to be their local ‘Charity of the Year’. I know my colleagues at our Badshot Lea centre are looking forward to working with the team at Change of Scene and supporting their wonderful work in the local community.”

Squire’s Garden Centre, Badshot Lea Road, Farnham, GU9 9JX.

Find out more about the charity at

Mums on the Buses Boost the UK Economy

Mumpreneurs Networking Club Bus Tour visits UK locations using NatWest’s iconic purple 1966 Routemaster.

Hop on and get inspired to start that business!

MNC tour bus

NatWest is supporting mum entrepreneurs (Mumpreneurs) by lending its iconic purple branded bus to the Mumpreneurs Networking Club as they do whistle stop tour of 4 UK locations in May: Guildford, Brighton, Kingston and Portsmouth.

  • The Mumpreneur economy (businesses run by mothers with children under 18) generated £7.2bn for the UK economy in 2014 supporting over 200,000 jobs. That figure is predicted to rise to £9.5bn by 2025 according to research carried out by EBay. The Mumpreneurs Networking Club has had over 17,000 visits to their events and it is their mission to connect, inspire and engage mumpreneurs nationwide thus making their contribution to the UK Mumpreneur economy.
  • The goal for the bus tour is to inspire more mothers to start their own businesses, to offer support and advice to those running businesses and to showcase some excellent examples of successful Mumpreneurs who will inspire the ‘bus tour ticket holders.’

Sara Guiel says: “Being able to run a business alongside bringing up children could be deemed as a perfect job. So often the statistics are reeled out for the low numbers of women in the boardrooms – but how frequently is it considered that those women absent at the top of the corporate ladder are not in fact running their very own successful businesses from the kitchen table?”

Case studies show that most Mumpreneurs had successful careers before having children but decided to not go back to the rat race (with the gender pay gap at 14% more for men according to the Office of National Statistics) but to start up a business using their skills, drive and tenacity, and the proof is in the pudding with the figures that Mumpreneurs contributed £7.2bbn of the UK economy in 2014.

The Mumpreneurs Networking Club Bus Tour, sponsored by DotUK starts on May 16thin Guildford, May 17thin Kingston, May 25thin Brighton and May 26thin Portsmouth. Each tour starts from 10am to 4pm and has a packed agenda covering off all aspects of running a business with advisors (who are mumpreneurs) giving free sessions from: marketing, accountancy, PR, Vlogging, branding, networking, social media, personal styling, business life coaching to name a few. See the full time table here:

Claire Jones Hughes from social media experts ClaritaCo Media is running a Blogathon alongside the bus tour says: “Parent bloggers have a wealth of experience not only with technology but also juggling work and family life, as many pro-bloggers are self-employed. We want to come together as a collective and hopefully prompt those thinking about taking the plunge into self-employed life to take action.”

Visitors can drop in informally at a time which suits and they are guaranteed to walk away more inspired to put more into the UK economy!

– See more at

From Monkey Music to the World Famous Metropolis Studios


Local Woking resident, Naomi Brenchley, has announced that she will running the popular Monkey Music franchise in the Woking area in Surrey. Covering Woking, Chertsey, Byfleet and Chobham, Naomi will bring the successful music and education franchise to the area – Monkey Music understands the magical power of music and how early exposure to music paves the way for a child’s future emotional and intellectual development.

Naomi, who is married to Ian Brenchley, CEO of the world famous Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, has always been heavily immersed in music. Metropolis has seen everyone from Queen to Michael Jackson to Amy Winehouse and more recently and Adele walk through their doors.

Naomi Brenchley

(L to R – Hendrix [4], Naomi Brenchley, Ian Brenchley, Beaux [1])

As mum to young Hendrix (4) and Beaux (1), following a successful career working in the hospitality and HR industry, Naomi herself discovered Monkey Music and after four years, the rest is history!

Naomi said “Music has always been around us at home; having seen through Ian first hand the journey artists take with music, it’s brilliant to be able to work with children now to get them to develop new skills through music. It’s such fun and who knows we may find the next Justin Bieber!!”

Now something of a ‘cult hit’ in many areas of the UK – Monkey Music was established in London in 1993. Today, more than 10,000 children aged between 3 months and 5 years enjoy Monkey Music’s age-specific classes. A much loved weekly treat, the children grow and develop new skills through musical activities and songs.

Special Monkey Music teachers are selected for their lively musical personalities and are trained on the Monkey Music curricula before teaching their own local classes. Many parents comment on the “excellent fit” of classes for each different age group and on the stimulating class atmosphere which is “great fun for grown-ups too!”

At the heart of Monkey Music is a progressive and educational music curriculum that supports every aspect of a young child’s development.

As Monkey Music founder, Angie Coates, explains; “By captivating a very young audience with a winning combination of original and traditional songs, gentle dances, fascinating sounds, amazing instruments and colourful props, the children are so busy having fun that they don’t notice how much they’re learning!”

Many Monkey Music parents specifically mention how important Monkey Music’s pre-school classes are as preparation for going to Nursery.  Teachers are amazed, they say, at the enthusiasm and levels of concentration that children who have been to Monkey Music demonstrate when listening and responding to music.

A major research study by the McMaster Institute in Canada has found that babies who attend music classes with their parents smile more and communicate better. But the results of the study – the latest of many which indicate the considerable benefits of an early introduction to music – will come as little surprise to parents who attend Monkey Music classes with their children.

Contact Details:

Tel: 01932 429 240

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