East Surrey

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Our plan for playgrounds

Following the latest government guidance, we’re preparing for a phased reopening of our play areas and outdoor gyms from the end of next week. We know that these spaces are hugely important to children and families living in Reigate & Banstead and we’re looking forward to welcoming people back safely.

Our Greenspaces team is working hard behind the scenes to assess all 48 of our play areas and outdoor gyms and putting safety measures in place. We’ll start by opening some of our smaller play areas and are hoping to open some of our larger play areas over the coming weeks.

On Friday 10 July, the following play areas and outdoor gyms will reopen:

  • Field Bank, Horley, Surrey, RH6 9EH
  • Flint Close, Horley, Surrey, RH6 9QE
  • Peppiatt Close, Horley, Surrey, RH6 9FR
  • Whittaker Drive North, Horley, Surrey, RH6 9FB
  • Whittaker Drive South, Horley, Surrey, RH6 9TN
  • Common Road Earlswood, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 6HG
  • Abinger Drive, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 6ST
  • Somerset Road, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 6LS
  • Woodhatch Road, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 7PA
  • South Park Recreation Ground, Whitehall Lane, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 8LZ
  • East Road, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 9EX
  • Battlebridge Recreation Ground, Frenches Road, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 2JE
  • Subrosa Drive, Merstham, Surrey, RH1 3LY
  • Brook Road, Malmstone Avenue, Merstham, Surrey, RH1 3NE
  • Howards Close Recreation Ground, Walton on the hill, Surrey, KT20 7QF
  • Beecholm Recreation Ground, Osier Way, Banstead, Surrey, SM7 1LL
  • Woodmansterne Recreation Ground, Woodmansterne Street, Banstead, Surrey, SM7 3NL
    Lakers Rise (play area and fitness equipment), Chipstead Way, Woodmansterne, Surrey, SM7 3LQ
  • Chipstead Meads, High Road, Chipstead, Surrey, CR5 3SB
  • Maple Way, Hooley, Surrey, CR5 3RN
  • Hogden Bottom Recreation Ground, Chipstead Lane, Lower Kingswood, Surrey, KT20 6RE
  • Preston Park (play area and Fitness equipment), Preston Manor Road, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 5FB
  • Kingswood Recreation Ground (play area and Fitness equipment), Buckland Road, Lower Kingswood, Surrey, KT20 7DN
  • Tattenham Way Recreation Ground, Burgh Heath, Surrey, KT20 5NQ

The safety of all those using the facilities is our top priority so we’ll be introducing a range of new measures that all visitors will need to follow:

  • If you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please DO NOT visit any of our parks, play areas or outdoor gyms. You must self-isolate and book a test at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
  • Reminders about social distancing will be displayed. Please follow these and encourage your children to do so, too. We ask that only one parent/guardian accompanies their child/children during their visit to the play area.
  • New maximum capacity recommendations will be displayed at the entrance to each play area and on some pieces of equipment. Please respect these capacity recommendations. They are there for your family’s safety and for the safety of other park users.
  • Some pieces of equipment will unfortunately be out of action as social distancing is simply not possible when these are in use. These will be clearly marked.
  • We ask all visitors to continue regularly washing or sanitising their hands before, during, and after their visit to the playground.
  • For the safety of everyone, consumption of food or drink on play equipment or in the playground area is currently prohibited.
  • If you’re visiting one of our outdoor gyms, please follow the one-way system marked around the site. Please follow social distancing measures and continue with regular handwashing.

Cllr Natalie Bramhall, Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services said: “We’re really glad to be able to see these spaces begin to reopen as we know how much they’ve been missed by children in the borough. To make sure we can keep playgrounds open, we need everyone to play their part and stick to these new guidelines when using the spaces. We know this can be difficult with little ones, but we encourage everyone to play as safely and as considerately as possible.”

Please keep an eye on our website and social media feeds for further announcements about the remaining play areas.

For more information on the new guidance, visit www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/coronavirus. For details about our borough parks and playground, visit https://www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/playareas

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council has repurposed its Harlequin Theatre in Redhill as a community support centre to co-ordinate essential assistance for its vulnerable residents.

The venue will be used to distribute food, medicines and essential supplies to high risk and vulnerable residents needing to stay at home, as well as to those in severe financial need.

The operation is being run by an army of Council staff redeployed from other roles and community volunteers. The theatre itself has been transformed with rows upon rows of shelving filled with food and essentials, ready to be sent out to those in need.

The community support centre has three roles:

  • Supplying local foodbanks – local foodbanks are being invited to come and stock up, like they would do at a supermarket.
  • Preparing emergency welfare packs for vulnerable residents, identified through the Council’s various frontline support services.
  • Providing hot meals for those that would otherwise go without, cooked by the theatre’s and other catering staff.

The Council is also co-ordinating outgoing welfare calls to vulnerable residents and those who have contacted us needing urgent support, in what is a difficult and lonely time for many people without their usual support networks.

Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are helping to help fill the centres shelves, and traders from Redhill Market have stepped in to provide fresh produce direct from their suppliers. We are also in discussions with other food retailers and food producers, and local restaurants that have closed.

Council staff and vehicles have been redeployed to make the deliveries, along with volunteer drivers. Anyone who would like to volunteer can register with us on our website www.varb.org.uk.”

The Harlequin is one of 11 local community support hubs across Surrey’s boroughs and districts, working with the County Council’s central support hub.

The Harlequin is not open to the public. Anyone needing support is urged to contact Surrey County Council’s Community Helpline on 0300 200 1008 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), who can help direct them to sources of support.

For updates on the Council’s response, visit www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/coronavirus and follow our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook). If you know people who do not have access to the internet, please share this information with them.

For the latest health information for the public see www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Warlingham Park School has announced that it has been acquired by The Inspired Learning Group, a family of Independent schools and nurseries.

The current Warlingham Park School was founded by Stuart Sexton, former Advisor to the Secretary of State for Education and Science, in September 1986. The Independent preparatory school and nursery was established with the aim of providing primary level children with a curriculum that included an emphasis on design technology and IT and its practical teaching, while maintaining a solid grounding in Maths and English.

Over 30 years later, the school still follows the same educational approach while also developing strengths in the broader curriculum particularly in areas such as Drama and Music. Mr Sexton, who turned 85 in 2019, felt that the time was right to think about the school’s future and its long-term sustainability. The Sexton family have all contributed to its success over the years and wanted to see the school continue to flourish for future generations.

The inspired Learning Group was founded by Mr Amit Mehta in 2014 and has grown into a family of highly successful Preparatory Schools and Nurseries around London and the South East. The Inspired Learning Group are also a small family run organisation who are dedicated to ensuring that their schools retain their individual and unique ethos, identity and values. The news was received very positively by both parents and staff and Mr Mehta has held meetings with both groups to explain the advantages and opportunities now available to Warlingham Park School’s staff and pupils through the Inspired Learning Group.

These include: interschool events, networking, sharing of outstanding practice across the group and professional development opportunities; all of which will combine to further enhance the children’s education and breadth of opportunities.

Mr Sexton said, “This is an exciting opportunity for current pupils and staff and I am happy that The Inspired Learning Group will continue to build on our strengths of developing children into happy, rounded and articulate individuals who are ready to meet the challenges of secondary education”. Headteacher, Sarah Buist, commented, “This is fantastic news and we look forward to building on our current strengths such as our family friendly ethos, high academic achievement and outstanding pastoral care. Being a part of a bigger family will bring its own benefits and secure the school’s future! The ILG ethos is very much in line with our own; such as traditional values, forward thinking and ensuring that all children reach their potential”.

Banstead Prep School pupils are celebrating their success at the inaugural Banstead Young Artist of the Year competition last month.

The competition, launched at the Banstead Art Group Annual Exhibition, invited local school children to submit their own works of art to be exhibited at Banstead Community Hall between 24 and 26 October.

Banstead Art Group members were then encouraged to vote for the pieces that they felt showed the greatest maturity and understanding of artistic techniques. Visitors from the public were also able to vote for their favourite works.

In what was nearly a clean sweep for Banstead Prep School, a number of pupils achieved awards across the age categories. The children all received a certificate, prize ribbon and generous prizes of artist materials provided by local business Pullinger’s Art Supplies as sponsors of the competition.
Prizes in the Age 8-11 category were all awarded to Banstead Prep’s talented young artists; with Plant by Olivia receiving the first prize ribbon, Sunset Bay by Shreya awarded second prize and Kingfisher by Georgie taking third place. Georgie also celebrated particular acclaim from the public vote – which saw 786 votes cast in total – recognising her pastel rendition of one of the nation’s favourite birds.

For more information about Banstead Prep School, click here or call 01737 3636300.

All Warlingham Park School pupils have been learning about Remembrance Day and the significance of the poppy.

Each child made a poppy using a range of different art techniques from finger painting to sticking on various materials and then they created a special large poppy on display in the school.

Cornerways Fostering has come up with some answers to dispel common myths!

Fostering Myth 1: I’d love to foster but I can’t afford to
You do not have to be well off to foster children. Fostering is an amazing thing to do for young people, but it is not charity. As an approved foster carer you will be paid a fostering allowance, which covers the extra household and general costs of having a young person living with you, any special expenses involved in their care and rewards your work as a professional foster carer.

Fostering Myth 2: I’d love to foster but I’m too old (or too young)
If you’ve got enough energy to foster lively children, then you are not too old to foster! Legally there are no upper age limits on fostering, and many people come to fostering a little later in life, after their children have left home for example. On the other hand, if you’re under 30 but can demonstrate you have the experience, commitment and dedication to foster young people then you’re not too young to foster!

Fostering Myth 3: I’d love to foster but I don’t own my own home
Foster carers do not need to own their own home. Whether you have a mortgage, or are a private or council tenant makes no difference to your ability to give a young person a safe, secure and loving place to call home.

Fostering Myth 4: I’d love to foster but I’m single or gay or male
You don’t have to be married to foster. You don’t even have to be part of a couple! You may be male or female, gay, heterosexual, bisexual or asexual. It’s not your couple status, gender or sexuality that is important but your ability to meet a young person’s needs.

Fostering Myth 5: I’d love to foster but I’m not a parent
You don’t need to have had your own children to foster. You may have gained experience through caring for your own children, through caring for young people in your extended family or friend’s network, or through working with young people as part of your job.

Fostering Myth 6: I’d love to foster but I don’t want to give up work
Depending on your circumstances you can sometimes foster and continue to work. Many people manage to successfully combine a job with their responsibilities as a foster carer, and if this is what you want to do you should not let it prevent you from applying to foster.

Fostering Myth 7: I would love to foster but I can’t do it all the time
Fostering can be respite care for children, either to cover a holiday period for the main carer or regular weekend/overnight respite. You can also help a vulnerable parent to learn to parent their young baby (parent and baby placed together in the foster home) and these are usually short placements for assessment of the parenting skills.

For more detailed information, click here or call 01293 826830.

Wacky Kingdom is opening on SATURDAY 17 AUGUST 2019!!

And they are giving away free entrance to the first 100 kids to come and play!

Head down to our soft play centre for the launch. There will be face painting, arts & crafts, and free give aways. Let us know if you have any other ideas for activities you would like to get involved with at Wacky Kingdom this weekend!

For more information, click here.

Priory Park’s exciting nautical-themed playground has reopened on Friday 19 July in time for the start of the summer holidays. It follows a six-week refurbishment project to replace the 12 year old deteriorating equipment.

The popular Reigate play space is packed full of fun and challenging equipment, with something for children of all ages and abilities.

The centrepiece is the impressive new ‘The Grey Lady’ ship, complete with sails and a ship’s wheel. The vessel features a tube slide, balance bars, ladders, a climbing net, hammocks and sensory play panels, all set over two decks.

‘Priory Castle’, a four-tower climbing frame, features two types of slide, a bridge, climbing net and a spiral ‘curly climber’ designed for children aged 4 to 12. The smaller two-tier ‘Priory Gatehouse’, aimed at 2 to 6 year olds, includes a slide, climbing net, firemans’ pole and sensory play panels.

An exhilarating 25-metre double zip wire offers twice the fun as before, along with nine swings for a variety of ages, two types of climbing nets, a multi-seesaw with back supports, a wheelchair accessible roundabout, horse springers and spinners. The popular climbing wall and summer splash play remain and the overall layout and planting has not changed.

The design is multifunctional, with bold colours and a 360 degree design (accessible from all angles), which offers diverse play opportunities. It also has a greater sense of openness to make it easier for parents and carers to keep an eye on children of different ages using different parts of the playground, something users said they wanted.

The Priory Park playground refurbishment is part of the Council’s rolling programme of investment in its parks and greenspaces around the borough. It saw play areas in Chipstead and Kingswood upgraded last year, with plans being developed to upgrade Merstham Recreation Ground in future.

6th Form Centre

A-level pupils from Dunottar School in Reigate have moved into their newly built Sixth Form Centre.

The £2.2 million building provides a modern working space that aims to look and feel like being at university and the world of work. Students also enjoy the benefits of silent study areas, collaborative study areas and social spaces, such as a patio, a cafeteria and a ‘rec room’.

The energy efficient building, designed to integrate perfectly with the school’s beautiful Grade II listed buildings, has lots of natural light, an LED lighting system and an environmentally considered heating system.

New plants and trees, sympathetic to the historical gardens, maintain the ecology of the existing landscaping.

The Sixth Form Centre is the first of two building projects that aim to improve the educational experiences of the increasing number of pupils attending the Reigate-based school—since Dunottar became co-educational and joined the United Learning group in March 2014, pupil numbers have risen rapidly. Work has begun on a second project, a £4.5 initiative to build an assembly hall and classrooms.

Headmaster, Mark Tottman, said: “The new Sixth Form Centre has been a big hit with our pupils. They love the feeling of independence that the new facilities allow, and it has also brought them even closer together as a group. On seeing the building for the first time, many parents and staff have commented that they would like to be sixth-formers again!”

For information about studying A levels at Dunottar, contact [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gangs, grooming and growing up – supporting vulnerable young carers in Surrey

Young carers are recognised as a vulnerable group. On top of coping with modern life as a typical young person, they face huge amounts of responsibilities and pressures because of their caring role. That’s why we ran a special event for 100 of them: Your Life, Your Choice.

Held on 30 March, at Surrey Police HQ, the workshop aimed to give our young carers the confidence and knowledge of how to deal with online safety, how to build resilience and wellbeing, and the potential dangers of street gangs and criminal exploitation in relation to their caring role. All are serious risks for young carers and their families.

Talking to our Juniors in the morning (up to 11) and Seniors (11+) in the afternoon, our speakers included Dean Coady OBE, MD of Urban Pure Solutions, Liz Stanton MBE, and Mental Health Therapist Rebecca Kinnear, from Eden Therapy. The speakers were excellent. In particular, Dean Coady had his audience rapt with tales of his background (the army, police and time in Africa and South America), his gritty portrayal of the potential scenarios young people might find themselves in, and his practical and realistic guidance to them on how to handle such situations.

The children also enjoyed sessions from representatives from Chelsea Football Club over the lunch break – buoyed up by an excellent lunch (sourced from generous local corporate donors). Huge thanks to Chelsea FC, to Surrey Police for the venue and to Family Building Society for a generous gift towards the day.

For more information about Action for Carers Surrey, please click here.