East Surrey

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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.

The eagerly awaited opening of YMCA East Surrey’s Merstham Hub Pre-School took place on Thursday 28 March.

Reigate and Banstead Borough Councillor, Mark Brunt, who has been instrumental in the development of the project, cut the ribbon.

The YMCA Merstham Hub Pre-School, based at Portland Drive, will offer high quality and affordable childcare for up to 40 children aged 2-5 years. It is YMCA East Surrey’s second Pre-School in Surrey, with the first one opening in 2016 at the Sovereign Centre in Reigate. Ten children have been enrolled so far and will start at the Pre-School on Monday 1 April.

Pre-School Manager, Teri Morris, said: “There has previously been a lack of Pre-School provision in the Merstham area. We will have the highest expectation of care and aspiration for each child who joins us. Our staff will be supportive of parents, as well as the children in our care, working holistically with both adults and children. We will aim to develop the children’s emotional and physical wellbeing in order to foster a lifelong love of learning.”

Anyone wishing to enquire about a Pre-School place can email Teri at [email protected] or telephone 07732 602999.

This June Barnardo’s Big Toddle returns to raise money for vulnerable children.

Children, families and nurseries are being called on to put their best foot forward for Barnardo’s, as the charity announces 2018’s Big Toddle raised an incredible £231,512.

Last year’s Barnardo’s annual Big Toddle fundraiser saw thousands of under-fives take part in short, sponsored “toddles” to raise money for the UK’s largest children’s charity, which supports more than 301,000 children, young people, parents and carers across the UK.

The charity is now once again calling for children, families and nurseries to join in the fun this summer as Big Toddle Week returns with an animal theme from 24-30 June.

With lots of opportunities for creative dressing up and exclusive animal-themed early years learning resources available to those who register, this year’s Big Toddles are sure to be roar-some!
Parents, carers and nurseries are encouraged to hold their very own Big Toddles to help raise money for Barnardo’s; this could involve a community Big Toddle, one for families and friends or one organised by nurseries or primary schools.

Those who register by May 20 will receive a Big Toddle pack containing information and fundraising ideas. To register to hold your own Big Toddle or for further information, click here or call 0800 008 7005.

Stacey Cann, owner of Daisy First Aid Redhill & Croydon, has won Franchisee of the Year at The Family Network Awards 2019. Her winning combination of passion and business experience drive the business whilst juggling 3 children aged 5 and under, managing health issues and helping provide support for the other Daisy First Aid franchisees.

Stacey started her business in 2015 to work around her young family (which expanded in 2016 when her twins were born). As Daisy First Aid Redhill & Croydon, she has trained over 5000 parents, grandparents and childcare professionals, offering family friendly paediatric first aid classes. The classes aim to give confidence as well as life saving skills to the people that need them most.

The Family Network is a national, award winning company. Founded by Laura Morris, they believed there was a gap in the Market which enabled mums in business to meet with like minded mums for support, confidence and help. They now have branches nationwide, including East Surrey, that provide local business support and friendship. The 2019 awards were held on Sat 23rd March at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in London Docklands. The awards were judged by an expert panel, including Steven Smith, founder of Poundland.

Harry Potter, the Tiger who came to tea, Alice in Wonderland, Wally, Princess Elsa, Spiderman and many, many more characters dropped in at Warlingham Park School today!

Children aged 7-16 who live or go to school in the borough of Reigate & Banstead can sign up to learn a new sport for free, and train to compete in the Surrey-wide competition this summer.
The Specsavers Surrey Youth Games are the perfect opportunity to get active, learn a new skill and make some friends along the way. Children will be offered up to eight weeks free training in a sport of their choice. Sports on offer include judo, hockey, badminton and much more. They’ll then compete against other borough squads in June.

Councillor Rod Ashford, Executive Member for Leisure & Wellbeing, said: “We’re really looking forward to this year’s Specsavers Surrey Youth Games. I’d especially like to encourage those children who don’t currently take part in sports to take a good look at the wide range of activities that are on offer. I’m sure there’s lots of new sporting talent out there in our borough just waiting to be discovered!”

Whether your child already takes part in sports or is looking for a new hobby, we’d love to hear from them. Training is tailored to complete beginners so the sport is new to all. Parents can take a look at the full list of sports by searching for ‘Surrey Youth Games’ on our website. Training starts from 23 April with the competition taking place 15 – 16 June. All the training takes place outside of school hours and at various locations across the borough.

Those wanting to know more can email Emma Eaton from our Leisure and Wellbeing team: [email protected] or click here.

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council has installed ‘Little Free Libraries’ into five community green spaces to help make literature available to residents as they go about their everyday lives.
The colourful miniature libraries, the size of dolls’ houses, hold about 20 books each. They feature in five locations across the borough: Redhill Memorial Park; Lady Neville Park, Banstead; Earlswood Lakes; New Pond Farm Allotment, Reigate; and Priory Park, Reigate.

Their purpose is to encourage residents to borrow and exchange books from the libraries, share a love of reading with one another, and spark conversations about literature. The new libraries will also encourage people to stay longer in the park, helping to support positive health and wellbeing.

All five libraries hold a variety of books suitable for all ages, from board books for young children to adult literature across all genres, including crime thrillers and works by Shakespeare. The Council will also celebrate a variety of fun literary themes and anniversaries across the year.

The books currently occupying the new little libraries have been donated by borough residents and Redhill-based charity Stripey Stork. These can all be borrowed and exchanged for different titles, keeping up the choice of books as the reading communities grow.

The current locations of the Little Free Libraries are close to cafés to ensure footfall and enable monitoring. The Greenspaces team are considering the potential to introduce them in other locations across the borough in the future.

Each of the libraries has been designed, created and painted by local crafts people, Paul Ritchie, Clare Ritchie, Kirstin Wood and Daniel Balcombe. The Surrey Care Trust will oversee the painting of the New Pond Farm library as part of its Gateway Community Allotment project.

The winner of the British Wildlife Centre’s Photo of the Year 2018 has been awarded to Dave Burden, for his wonderful shot of Molly the weasel.

The photo was selected by professional photographer, Sean Weekly, from twelve Photo of the Month 2018 shots.

Dave wins a Photography Day voucher so he can spend an exclusive day at the Centre taking more fabulous wildlife shots.

About Photo of the Month
The Centre uses Photo of the Month to showcase the photographic talents of their visitors, displaying the pick of photos taken at the Centre through the year. Head Keeper, Matt Binstead selects his favourite photo each month from the many sees, whether they are emailed in, on Flickr, Instagram or other social media sites.

All twelve Photos of the Month 2018 can be viewed here.


Becoming a parent can be challenging! The NSPCC has put together some advice to help you bond with your baby, cope with tantrums and help them sleep.

Crying is how your baby communicates. It might mean they’re too hot or cold, hungry, windy, have a full nappy or just need some attention.

If you don’t know the cause try and calm them by:
•  Singing
•  Baby massage
•  Going for a walk.

This is how toddlers test their boundaries. If you can’t find a reason, such as being hungry or tired, try:
•  Distracting them with an activity
•  Drawing their attention to something else
•  Telling them you know how they feel if they’re angry.

By three months babies are responsive to sleep cues so introduce them early with a short routine so your baby knows it’s time to sleep:
•  Run a bath
•  Read them a story
•  Try separating the bedtime feed from your routine
•  Put your baby to bed drowsy but not fully asleep – falling asleep on their own means they’re more likely to settle themselves in the night
•  Keep daytime naps regular but from nine months avoid them late afternoon.