East Surrey

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On Wednesday afternoon, Cumnor House School for Boys welcomed Michael Clarke former Australian cricket captain to school for an afternoon of cricket skills and training. Michael who is regarded as one of the best batsman of all time, is in the UK as part of the Sky Sports commentary team for the ICC Cricket World Cup and kindly visited Cumnor House, one of the Top 50 preparatory schools in the UK for cricket to share his knowledge, talk about his career and discuss cricket techniques with boys in Year 2 who are starting their cricket career to those in Year 8 who will continue their cricketing success at some of the leading schools in the country.

Cumnor House Cricket 
“Sport and in particular Cricket runs through the DNA fabric of our school. We are delighted to welcome Michael Clarke to school this afternoon to share his experiences and insights with our pupils, all of whom have shown great skills and developed throughout the cricket season. Cumnor House School has been the leading preparatory school for cricket in Surrey over the past 5 years with exceptional success at Year 6 and 8 level.”
Mr R Brotherton, Director of Sport, Cumnor House School for Boys

“The PE department at Cumnor House School is by far the most dedicated and professional set up I have witnessed at this age range and we are extremely privileged to welcome a sportsman in Michael, who has had not only success on the field, but also with work in the community helping children be the best that they can be, providing guidance, support, motivation and confidence needed to reach their goals; something that is intrinsic to us here at Cumnor House School”
Mr Daniel Cummings, Headmaster, Cumnor House School for Boys

About Cumnor House School
Located in South Croydon, Cumnor House School has a long history of sporting and academic achievements. The school has an outstanding scholarship record to outstanding senior destination schools and is proud of the number of highly successful international sporting alumni it has produced, within multiple sports including cricket, rugby, football and swimming. The school is proud to have a dedicated sports department, an extensive timetable of sporting fixtures, competitions and meets as well as outstanding and varied sporting facilities including onsite swimming pool and 10 acres of sports field.

For more information, click here.

Help your kids step away from the screens! Head to Memorial Park in Redhill (Surrey) to have a go at spotting the birds nesting in 22 new colourfully decorated bird boxes installed around the park by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council.

The uniquely designed boxes and accompanying trail leaflets aim to encourage visitors to the park to spot the colourful boxes and birds nesting in them, while also benefitting the wildlife that inhabits the park. Keep your eyes peeled for blue tits, great tits, robins and thrushes, and even bats!

The trail – which is both wheelchair and pushchair friendly – was installed earlier in spring before bird nesting season began by the Council’s Greenspaces team. The boxes were created by the Men in Sheds Group at Furnistore in Redhill, and decorated by local artists and council staff,

Cllr Alex Horwood, Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “The 22 bird boxes make a wonderful addition to the park. Not only do they show off the skills of our many talented local artists, but they also encourage us to get back to nature and appreciate the bird life that our green spaces bring to us as visitors to the park.

“The trail forms part of our work to encourage healthy lifestyles through making our open spaces more accessible, fun and educational. I would encourage residents to take time to explore the trail, see how many nest boxes you can find and spot what is living in them.”

The new installations follow the success of the Earlswood Lakes Bird Box trail in 2018, where 23 bird boxes can be found in trees around the lake.

Find the trail at Memorial Park, London Road, Redhill RH1 1SZ. Trail leaflets are available to pick up at the Park’s pavilion cafe. To find out more click here.

If you visit the trail be sure to tag us in your pictures on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook on @reigatebanstead using the hashtags #LookUp and #SpotTheBox – we’ll share the best ones.

Santa’s Post Office exists, and it’s in Lapland, Finland! So if you have a word or two to share with him before Christmas, be sure to start writing, and he will read it before taking off with Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Santa Claus’ Main Post Office is situated at Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finland, where Santa opens his doors to the public every day of the year. His Post Office, maintained by the Finnish Posti Group Corporation, is not an ordinary one: every year, around 500 000 letters arrive from every corner of the world addressed to a particular person: Santa Claus himself.
And they arrive every single day!

Most of the letters that Santa receives are written by children, but sending a letter to Santa is definitely not limited to the small and pink-cheeked. Santa’s Post elves have revealed that even politicians and pop stars write to him. So why not you?

If you want to mail your greetings or wishes to him this Christmas, just send your letter to his address:
Santa Claus’ Main Post Office

Tähtikuja 1
Arctic Circle


You can be sure the hard-working elves will get that letter straight to the Big Guy himself!
The Post Office, as well as Santa’s Office, are great places to visit throughout the year too. Every year, half a million people step in to enjoy the genuine Christmas feeling, and maybe send their greetings back home with an authentic Santa’s Post Office stamp on their letters.

So if you plan to go to Rovaniemi, be sure not to miss that exciting opportunity!
More information and instructions of how to receive a reply from Santa Claus, click here.

BAFTA award winning impressionist, comedian and actor Alistair McGowan is set to perform as pianist at The Children’s Trust Christmas Concert at Cadogan Hall, London, on Monday 10 December, raising funds to support children with brain injury.

Set in the heart of Chelsea, The Children’s Trust Christmas Concert will delight audiences with classical Christmas music and celebrity guest readings, hosted by journalist and broadcaster Nicholas Owen. Conductor Crispin Ward will lead performers such as soprano Ana-Maria Rincon and the Amici Ensemble, and special guest, reigning recorder virtuoso, Piers Adams of Red Priest promises guests a unique musical experience.

Katie Roberts, Head of Voluntary Fundraising at The Children’s Trust says: “Cadogan Hall will provide the perfect backdrop for our annual Christmas Concert. It promises to be a magical evening to get everyone into the Christmas spirit”.

Tickets start from £25, click here to book. Gala tickets offer post-concert drinks and canapés with performers.

The Children’s Trust was honoured with a top award at the prestigious BMA Patient Information Awards this week (25 September). The charity, which supports children with brain injury across the UK, had two of its resources, a short film and a handbook, recognised as exceptional and powerful information sources at the ceremony which took place at BMA House, London.

The Awards encourage excellence in the production and dissemination of accessible, well-designed and clinically balanced patient information.  This is something The Children’s Trust is also passionate about when producing information that will help young people and families affected by brain injury

The charity’s short film ‘From Me to You’ won the User Engagement Award, with judges noting it as ‘powerful’ and ‘heart-warming’. The film was created with three families telling their experiences honestly and openly to help future children and families going to the centre for neuro-rehabilitation with what they can expect while they are there. The film can be viewed here.

Also recognised at the awards was The Children’s Trust book, ‘Me and My Brain’. This book, which gives advice and guidance to teenagers affected by brain injury, was awarded Runner Up in the Information for Young Adults Award, and shortlisted for the User Engagement Award. Judges noted that it was an ‘exceptional resource’ and that ‘the advice given is practical, sensible and non-judgemental’. Copies of the book can be ordered here.

Almost 3 in 5 parents believe lunches prepared at home are a healthier option for their children than school dinners, with 6.6million UK school children tucking in to them each day. However, new analysis from Aviva reveals that many packed lunches may contain significant amounts of hidden sugar and unhealthy treats.

For example:

  • Yoghurt has a typical number of 5 sugar cubes per serving
  • Fruit juice also has 5
  • A cereal bar has 2
  • A typical chocolate bar has 5

Aviva’s Medical Director has come up with four top tips for packing a healthier lunchbox:

  • Sneak in the vegetables – Adding vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumber to your child’s sandwich can be a quick and easy way to up your child’s vegetable intake throughout the day.
  • Make it wholemeal – White bread can be packed with added sugar, while wholemeal bread comes with nutritional benefits and can keep them fuller for longer. If your child is reluctant to swap to wholemeal, why not make the swap gradual, changing just one of their sandwiches to wholemeal a week as a first step.
  • Mix it up – While every child has their favourite fruit or sandwich filling, mixing up the contents of their lunchbox can ensure your child has a varied diet, benefiting from a wide range of vitamins and nutrients. Remember that seasonal and locally sourced produce can often retain more nutrients.
  • Count the sugar – Snacks that on the surface may seem healthy and harmless such as fruit juice, smoothies, cereal bars and dried fruits, can be hiding a significant amount of sugar. Keep your child’s sugar intake in check by counting up their sugar consumption throughout the day. The NHS suggests a daily maximum amount of five cubes for four to six year olds, six cubes for seven to 10 year olds and seven cubes for those aged 11+.5

The top ten ways that parents survive long car journeys with their children include playing classic car games such as iSpy (48%), followed by being forced to listen to their children’s favourite song on repeat (32%).

  1. I spy with my little eye! Nearly half (48%) of parents said that they used classic car games, like iSpy and 20 Questions, to entertain their children.
  2. Can we listen to it again, and again, and again? Nearly a third (32%) have listened to their children’s favourite song on repeat.
  3. More sweets? One in four (24%) parents admitted to bribing their children to be well behaved with treats and sweets.
  4. I stayed awake until 10pm! Nearly a quarter (23%) admitted to allowing their children to stay awake in the car later than their usual bed time.
  5. Look at the state of this car! Nearly a quarter (23%) said that on long car journeys they are more relaxed about the mess being made by their children.
  6. First person to see the Golden Arches! One in five (21%) have bribed their children to behave with the promise of a visit to a fast food outlet.
  7. Can I use the iPad? One in five (20%) admitted that they allowed electronic devices to be used for longer than they would normally allow at home.
  8. Don’t forget your headphones! To promote a tranquil car: one in five (18%) provide headphones for electronic devices so they don’t have to listen to the game, YouTube video or film.
  9. Get the beer and wine on ice! 11% of parents have survived a long car journey by visualising their first pint or glass of wine on arrival.
  10. “I think we have another ‘H’ ‘O’ ‘U’ ‘R’ to go” 10% have spoken in code about distance to destination and possible rest stops so children don’t pick up on the conversation.

Happy days!

Grit and determination earned young people from Reigate & Banstead nine medal positions at the Specsavers Surrey Youth Games (23-24 June), despite the sweltering heat.

Speaking about the games, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s Executive Member for Leisure and Wellbeing, Cllr Rod Ashford said: “The Specsavers Surrey Youth Games is a fantastic event bringing together young people from all 11 Surrey boroughs. This year, over 200 young people across our borough took up the offer of eight weeks of free training in a sport of their choice. From those, 147 made it through to the 18 teams which represented Reigate & Banstead at the Youth Games. The day was hot and sunny with great sport and a great atmosphere of camaraderie and sportsmanship from all the teams involved. My sincere thanks go to all the amazing people who made these games happen: from the volunteers and coaches to the parents and players.”

The Specsavers Surrey Youth Games is the largest multi-sports young people’s competition in Surrey and involves around 2,000 of children in school years 3 and over from all 11 boroughs and districts across the county.

Each year, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council brings together clubs, coaches and volunteers to provide free training for local young people to try out a new sport over the spring and early summer.
Teams are then selected for the final competition which takes place at the prestigious Surrey Sports Park in Guildford and Woking Leisure Centre.

This year, TeamRBBC entered teams to sports including badminton, girls’ football, hockey, judo, girls’ rugby, girls’ netball, squash, tennis and boccia. The team received medal placings in nine events.

Reigate & Banstead medals table

  • Gold
    Girls’ Judo
    Girls’ football under 9s (joint with Woking)
    Girls’ football under 11s (joint with Tandridge)
    Netball U13
  • Silver

    Tennis under 8s
    Badminton under 14s
    Boccia under 18s (joint with Elmbridge)
    Girls’ hockey under 11s
  • Bronze

    Badminton under 11s

Shoppers at the Belfry Shopping Centre have been helping to provide loos overseas while they spend a penny.

Since last year, the Centre has been encouraging customers to help it ‘twin’ its toilets with latrines in developing countries through the charity campaign, Toilet Twinning, bringing clean water and safe sanitation to the world’s poorest people. In just three months, Belfry shoppers had donated £380 which built a whole block of toilets in Guatemala. Since then another £345 has been raised which will build a toilet block in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a toilet in Uganda. The Belfry Shopping Centre’s management team have also twinned three further toilets themselves in Bangladesh, Guatemala and Uganda.

One in three people worldwide does not have a safe, decent toilet. Every two minutes a child under the age of five dies due to poor sanitation or dirty water. It was statistics such as these – and a visit to Uganda during her stepson’s Voluntary Service Overseas there – that persuaded the Belfry’s Operations Manager Helen Smith to take on the Toilet Twinning challenge.

“Toilets are a basic human right and everyone should have one, for their safety and privacy as much as their health,” said Helen. “I was horrified by stories of women without toilets having to go into the bush at night and being attacked. We’re proud of the toilets we provide in the Belfry and we’re delighted our customers have really come on board with the campaign.”

Lesley Quirk, Specialist Relationship Manager for Toilet Twinning, said: “Toilets protect families from disease and death, so they have more time and energy for work and farming, can earn more and start to work their way out of poverty. It’s true to say that in the very poor communities where we work, even the most basic latrine can transform a family’s life.”

Find out more here.

Reigate fitness instructor Pip Skinner was voted Coach of the Year at a national awards ceremony last week.

Pip, whose women-only outdoor HIIT classes are popular with Reigate mums, saw off competition from more than 200 other instructors across the country to win the prestigious Women’s Wellness Coach of the Year award at the Women on Fire conference in Brighton.

Pip runs classes on Reigate Hill and in the town’s Castle Grounds and specialises in women’s health and offers tailored training for pregnancy and post-natal fitness: “Winning the award means so much to me, I love my job and I find it so rewarding to help women feel fitter, stronger and happier.

Starting the Fit Mummy Club I hoped to create a community of support for local mums and the comments I have received since winning the award make me very proud to think this is exactly what I’ve created.”

A former surveyor, Pip retrained as a personal trainer seven years ago after having children, and provides group and one-to-one fitness training sessions for women in all stages of life.

“The Women on Fire conference built on my knowledge as a Holistic core restore coach so there were presentations from physios on strategies for prolapse and hysterectomy repair as well as fitness ideas for women from pregnancy to menopause,” Pip explained.

“Whether you’re pregnant for the first time or an experienced mum to many children going through the life changes, I can help you get fitter and stronger with tailored mum-friendly exercises that will leave you feeling more able to tackle the demands of daily life. My classes are very sociable too so hopefully you’ll also get to meet lots of new friends along the way.”

For more information, click here or call 07780 600005.