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Step on the gas and get to the big screen as London’s original drive in, Drive In Film Club, opens at Sandown

  •  Drive In Film Club opens at Sandown Racecourse on Thursday 15th April
  • Get off the sofa for the ultimate socially distanced big screen movie night out, with a first look at top rated new releases, feel good films, a throwback to the 80s, a celebration of the UK’s capital and pet-friendly screenings complete with doggy popcorn
  • Tickets are on sale and available at


ROALD & BEATRIX: THE TAIL OF THE CURIOUS MOUSE, will air on Sky One at 8.15pm on Christmas Eve and will be available on streaming service NOW TV Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse is based on the true story of an unlikely meeting between two of Britain’s most beloved children’s authors, one dealing with the pressures of success and aging, the other a child learning to navigate grief and loss in a confusing adult world. When we meet Beatrix Potter she is an established author whose books have made her a household name, but recognition and fame sit awkwardly with her, and she seems happier working on her farm than on the new hit book that her publishers are demanding in time for the lucrative Christmas market. Meanwhile, she stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that her eyesight isn’t all it was, much to the frustration of husband William. Meanwhile a six-year old Roald Dahl is reeling from the loss of his sister and father in the same year, and is horrified by the thought of being “sent away” from his fun, loving mother to the boarding school that his late dad was determined he should attend. An avid reader with a vivid imagination, he seeks refuge in the world of stories – especially those of a certain Ms. B Potter. When everything gets too much for Roald, it’s only natural that the fantasy world of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck is where he attempts to flee away to, striking out for the idyllic farm shown in Beatrix’s illustrations. Roald doesn’t get too far before his mum catches up with him, but she wisely recognises that he needs an adventure more than a telling-off, and the two of them set out together to find Beatrix Potter – or Mrs. Healiss, as she loudly insists that everyone calls her. Meanwhile, having finally succumbed to an eye test, Beatrix looks like losing the battle with her publisher as well, who is demanding that her new book have a happy ending – meaning the Three Blind Mice will make friends with the farmer’s wife, instead of having their tales chopped off by her! Roald and Beatrix’s meeting changes them both, giving them the confidence to move through their sadness and frustration – and it helps set Roald on the path to follow in his idol’s footsteps. It turns out that Beatrix is not quite as fierce as she pretends, and that Roald is braver than he thought. Roald and Beatrix will entertain and amuse, but it also gives families and individuals the chance to reflect – on the power of stories to help us grow, and on the relationships and encounters that help us move through the hardest parts of our life, when we feel deeply sad or irreversibly ‘stuck’. As a uniquely difficult year draws to a close, this charming story might just open a door for you to rediscover some hope of your own.

 Surrey family support charity, Home-Start, to benefit from major Christmas campaign.

 Waitrose and John Lewis have unveiled this year’s Christmas advertising campaign, which – inspired by the kindness shown by the British public during the pandemic – encourages viewers to ‘Give A Little Love’ to others and support leading family support charity Home-Start, and UK’s largest food redistribution charity, FareShare.

Home-Start Surrey is one of over 180 local, independent charities that make up the Home-Start network across the UK.

The advertising is one element of a major campaign by the two retailers, which launched on 13th November, National Kindness Day, under the strapline ‘Give A Little Love’. The campaign aims to make a lasting difference to some of those hit hardest during 2020.

Since the pandemic started over one third of local Home-Starts – local community networks of trained volunteers and expert support who help families with young children through their challenging times – have seen an increase in demand for its services and FareShare has had to double the amount of food it distributes to meet the rising demand.

Home-Start Surrey have been there for families when they’ve needed support most. As part of a network of 180 Home-Starts across the country Home-Start Surrey have moved essential support services on-line to stay connected with families through their team of volunteers– staying connected with families, providing emotional and practical support, and linking families into other community services such as their local foodbanks. We have seen social distancing and isolation placing enormous strain on families. This support from Waitrose and John Lewis and their customers will allow Home-Start and FareShare to help more families in Surrey.

The pandemic has been toughest on those already struggling, but across the country communities have come together to support those in need. In that spirit of generosity, Home-Start is encouraging people to support Give A Little Love this Christmas by giving their time, money and voice to the campaign.

Waitrose and John Lewis customers will be encouraged to give a little love in five different ways; making a charity donation, buying campaign products with 100% of profit donated to the charities, using their loyalty card to increase the Partnership’s donation, giving a little love to someone they know who needs it and helping in their local community.

Customer donations up to the value of £2m will be match funded by a donation from the John Lewis Partnership. A further £1m will be donated by the retailers’ shops who are actively partnering with FareShare and Home-Start and a range of local family charities in the communities they serve.

Peter Grigg, Chief Executive at Home-Start, said: “Families are running on empty. The pandemic has been hard for all families, but it’s been toughest on those already facing challenges around mental health, low incomes, and other challenges in their lives. I have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown in our communities during the pandemic, but I know there is so much more to do. That is why I am so proud that John Lewis and Waitrose are supporting Home-Start with this amazing campaign. With the help of John Lewis and Waitrose Partners and customers we will be able to work with more families when they need us most.”

James Bailey, Executive Director of Waitrose, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the growing inequalities across the country, with those who are already most vulnerable disproportionately impacted. Through our partnerships with FareShare and HomeStart we’re aiming to make a big difference to the lives of 100,000 families in the UK.

“Each year festive adverts come and go – and some are remembered more vividly than others. But our advertising this year will leave a lasting legacy – and in that way, we hope it won’t just be for Christmas.”

“We did consider whether it was right to produce an ad this year at all. However, FareShare and Home-Start told us how much of a difference this campaign could make, both on a financial level and in raising awareness of the incredibly important work they do with families across the UK.”

Pippa Wicks, Executive Director of John Lewis, said: “We recently set out our ambition for our business to be a force for good – so we decided that this year was the year to break the mould and do something different.

“We have a long tradition of helping support the communities which we serve, so as we launch one of the best loved assets, our Christmas ad, it’s fitting to take this one step further by working hand in hand with two incredible charities supporting families in need.

“We were humbled by the kindness shown by the British public during the pandemic. We want this campaign to be uplifting and to inspire everyone to give some kindness in their own way this Christmas, especially to those who need it most. The pandemic has proved that it’s our small acts of love and kindness, particularly in challenging times, that captures what it is to be human; and when one small act of kindness multiplies it can have a lasting impact

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive at FareShare, said: “This year has been incredibly tough for so many and FareShare has seen the need for our food skyrocket. The number of charities and community groups applying to receive food through FareShare has more than doubled and 90% of the organisations we work with expect demand to remain the same as at peak crisis levels, or even increase through the winter.

“We continue to provide over two million meals per week to vulnerable communities across the UK, and more than two thirds of the food we distribute goes to children and families, so we know that there is a real need for our work at this time.

“We are so thrilled to be partnering with Waitrose and John Lewis, which will help raise awareness of the work FareShare does in supporting thousands of families every day. The extensive nature of this joint partnership is remarkable and will enable us to have a big impact on the lives of so many during the tough months ahead.”

Quotes from local Home Start leaders include:

“Home-Starts in Surrey are so pleased to be part of this campaign because…. it will make a real difference local families…”, says Stephnie Waight, Manager of Home-Start Surrey Heath.

 “We are really excited to be working with Waitrose. They have been a huge support in the past and this campaign will make such a difference to helping us support families in the future.” says Dawn Murphy from Home-Start in Waverley

The adverts – which went live on social media channels at 7am on 13th November – were first broadcast on TV on the 14th November during ‘The Voice’ on ITV.

A new programme has been launched across the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) region to support local people progress to job search readiness or move into paid employment.

The Making a Difference Programme is a three-year European Social Fund match funded programme delivering support to people living in the Coast to Capital region, which includes East Surrey, Sussex, and Croydon.

The programme, which will be delivered by Education Development Trust, has seen the first participants join. Each participant in the programme will receive support from their Making a Difference Employment Coach at regular intervals for up to four months, with the frequency of the intervention and the type of activities undertaken to be determined by agreement with their Employment Coach, tailored to their individual needs.

There are many different activities designed specifically to benefit the participant, from workshops covering CV’s and interview skills, through to taster days with local employers. In addition, there will be regular employment events, such as jobs fairs and roadshows showcasing different sectors, run across the region and open to all.

If you are interested in finding out more about the programme, please contact the Making a Difference team on 01329 559177, or email [email protected]

You can also follow the Making a Difference programme via Twitter at @employ_support and via Facebook @EmploySupport

Like events up and down the country The Royal Kent School Summer Fete unfortunately had to be cancelled this year. However, the school is fundraising in a safe and responsible way and we have an exciting way for you to get involved and support the school.

Launched today, 12th Nov, The Royal Kent School 200th Anniversary Auction will run until the 29th Nov 2020 at 9pm. The auction has over 70 prizes which were kindly donated by supportive local businesses and individuals in our community.

Bid on many exclusive money can’t buy items and experiences, and get a head start on your Christmas shopping. Funds raised from this event will contribute towards resources that will benefit the pupils daily. You also have the opportunity to donate towards different projects using the site. Site is now LIVE!

Thousands of children seeking help from Childline over mental health, body image, gender and sexuality
• Nearly 43,000 Childline counselling sessions about mental and emotional health since lockdown was first enforced
• Young people share that they don’t fit in or feel ‘normal’
• Childline launches Nobody is Normal campaign to let children know they aren’t alone

Since lockdown measures were first introduced Childline has delivered nearly 43,000 counselling sessions about mental and emotional health, with children reaching out for help with issues including loneliness and low self-esteem.

The NSPCC, which runs Childline, can also reveal that the number of contacts about body image, gender and sexuality increased since the first national lockdown began at the end of March.

Childline’s volunteer counsellors have heard from many children who, after being cut off from important support networks, shared that they were feeling isolated, anxious and insecure.

Now with a second national lockdown in England underway, Childline is launching a new campaign called Nobody is Normal. It aims to help children understand that lacking confidence, feeling not good enough or that you don’t fit in, is a shared experience. Childline is encouraging them not to suffer in silence.

Developed with young people, the campaign features a bold new animation of a young boy who is struggling with anxiety while desperately trying to appear ‘normal’. Backed by Radiohead’s hit song Creep, it reminds young people that no matter how isolated they feel, they are not alone and Childline is here.

Childline has delivered higher monthly numbers of counselling sessions about a range of mental health-related issues since March, including low self-esteem, loneliness and worries about the world. Mental health remains the top reason young people get in touch with Childline, making up over a third of all counselling sessions delivered.

Since lockdown measures were first introduced in March, the monthly average number of Childline counselling sessions about eating and body image disorders increased by almost a third (32%) on the pre-lockdown average. Similarly, the monthly average number of sessions about sexuality and gender identity increased by 16% compared with the pre-lockdown average.

Counsellors have heard that some children have developed unhealthy eating behaviours for the first time such as binge eating and bulimia nervosa, and those with existing eating disorders have experienced worsened symptoms, or a relapse.

While the service has heard that lockdown gave some LGBTQ+ children the confidence to come out to their friends and family, others expressed fears about coming out and some young people were left unable to cope after receiving a negative response.

A 14-year-old child told Childline:
“I think I’m transgender and I have no one to talk to. I have always been a tomboy and never fitted in with the girls. I was fine with it for a while, but recently I have become very uncomfortable with my gender and I’m really struggling. I feel stuck, I wish someone can help me.”
A young girl told Childline:

“I don’t know if it’s just me being sad because of lockdown, but I’ve been feeling really disgusting in my own body lately. All my friends have clear and beautiful skin with even tones, but mine is spotty and red and covered in freckles. I just feel like I’m always the odd one out”
Throughout the pandemic, Childline counsellors have heard from children who have shared that the crisis has affected their mental and emotional health.

Childline Founder, Dame Esther Rantzen said:
“The pandemic has cut children off from the reassurance many of them need. When young people are facing mental health issues such as anxiety or depression or are struggling with eating disorders or self-harm, they often hide it from their parents and families. A lockdown intensifies stress in all our lives, and the Childline team know from past experience that it has made many children feel especially isolated.
“The Nobody is Normal campaign encourages any children feeling unable to discuss their anxiety and distress to reach out to Childline for support. Many young people are under immense pressure from social media to look and behave like everyone else, but the campaign recognises that we are all individuals, special and unique. If these tough times have caused children to feel an extra level of anxiety, we want them to feel confident to express their fears and share their worries, and know that Childline is still here for them.”

Stride it out with Sight for Surrey’s Sensory Steps Challenge today. Support our ‘2020 Year of Vision’ and look after your mental health and wellbeing by setting yourself a steps challenge today and raise money for Sight for Surrey.

We all seem to love monitoring our steps, how far we’ve walked, run or cycled and the Sensory Steps Challenge spans all modes of foot transport, whether you’ve skipped, scampered or sprinted, it all counts towards your steps target.

So what should your steps target be? Could you manage 2020 steps a day or could you reach the staggering sum of 4million steps (2020miles) by the end of the year?

Whatever your target, it is very important in the current health pandemic to remain healthy and active whilst keeping a 2metre social distance from those around you, so set yourself a steps challenge today.

Simply set up a fundraising page and ask friends and family to sponsor you and help reach your personal steps or fundraising target. The challenge is not just for individuals. You can get your family, local sports club, work colleagues, friends and any other groups involved.

Set your steps challenge?

1km = 1,250 steps. 1mile = 2,000 steps

220 miles = 440,000 steps

4,000 steps = 30 minutes walking

10,000 steps = 8km or 5 miles

20,200 steps = 10.2 miles OR 2020 miles = 4,040,000 million steps!

It doesn’t matter if you march or meander your steps, what is important is that you are being active and healthy and raising money to enable Sight for Surrey to continue helping and supporting thousands of people in Surrey who are blind, vision impaired, Deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind to lead active and independent lives.

Lisa Fletcher, Head of Fundraising at Sight for Surrey said, “as a charity that relies on public fundraising we are urging Surrey residents to set themselves a steps challenge today and help us support all the people in Surrey with a sensory loss”.

This is your chance to share your love for a local charity so dust off those running trainers and get stepping!

For further information please contact: Lucinda Lighting, 07989 562 776 Email: [email protected]

While some Halloween activities will have to be paused this year, there are ways you and your family can enjoy spooky fun while staying safe from exposure to COVID-19.

Six spooktacular low risk activities:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them in your window or outside
  • Getting the Bake Off vibe and gather the household around to make ghoulish and tasty Halloween cakes and biscuits
  • Celebrating with a household movie night with the people you live with and dress as your favourite characters
  • Taking part in a ‘spot the pumpkin’ trail, where people display pumpkin or Halloween pictures in their windows and you have to try and find them all with your family (a good walk around the neighbourhood remembering to socially distance)
  • Organising a Halloween scavenger hunt by hiding Halloween treats (and tricks) in and around your home for your children to find
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume competition using a video chat app

Higher risk activities to avoid this Halloween:

  • Traditional trick-or-treating, where sweets are handed to children who go door to door
  • Attending a party where there are more than six people from different households
  • Going to any event where people may be crowded together and screaming

Councillor Barry Nash, Chairman Community & Wellbeing Committee, said: “This year, we need all the fun we can get. Many of the Halloween traditions we have adopted over the last few years, such as trick or treating, carry a risk. The challenge is how to still have fun but to have it safely and consider how to make fun, Covid safe”.

If you are pumpkin carving, be careful to avoid pumpkin carving injuries. Children can draw a face with markers and then an adult can do the cutting. Consider putting a battery-operated light rather than an open-flame candle inside your carved masterpiece.

By Kirsty Lilley, Mental Health Specialist at CABA, the wellbeing charity

The majority of children and young people have been away from their schools since lockdown, therefore it is unsurprisingly that they may be feeling anxious or worried about returning to ‘normality’. There are many reasons why returning to school may feel difficult right now and young people may experience a range of emotions including anxiety, worry, sadness, irritability and fear.

As a parent, how can you work to support your children in the most productive way as they navigate this change? Whether they’ve been back a few days or are facing a staggered return to the classroom, this will be a huge change for your children, who will need to be supported throughout this transition.

Talk to your child about how they’re feeling

Ask them how they are feeling about going back to school and remember to try not to make assumptions. Ask them if they are worried or feel scared about anything, but also if they are excited or looking forward to something. No matter how your child feels, let them know that it is completely normal to feel a mixture of emotions and that everyone will be feeling slightly similar. Validate their feelings and reassure them it’s normal and ok to be worried. Use positive affirmations and focus on their strengths and the resources they have to help them through this time.

Reassure your child

During the lockdown we have been told to stay at home, remain socially distant from others and wash our hands regularly. This means children may find it difficult to go back to school because it will be a huge change from what they have been asked to do during the pandemic. Talk with your child about ways they can stay safe at school, such as washing their hands before and after eating, and reassure them that the school are putting measures in place to keep them safe.

Re-establish a routine to help ease into school life

During lockdown it is understandable that your family’s routine changed. To help them adapt to this strange new routine of early mornings and school lunches, make sure they know what’s coming each day. Tell them who is collecting them from school at the end of the day and discuss with them what they’re having for dinner. Having just a few certain aspects will make their day that little bit easier to understand.

Think ahead

As well as reflecting on what has happened during the past few weeks, it is important to help children develop hope and a sense of excitement for the future. At a time like this, it can be hard to feel positive, but identifying the things that they can look forward to will help them to realise that the current situation won’t last forever and their feelings will change. Perhaps arrange a playdate or catch up with friends so they can talk through their feelings with their peer group.

Don’t put pressure on yourself

The transition back into school is likely to take some time. Lots of children will experience ups and downs. Try your best to support, reassure and comfort them, without putting pressure on yourself to make sure their homework is done or they settle into a new routine straightaway. Create a safe and loving environment at home where children and young people can talk freely about their concerns and feel confident that you will listen and provide a safe container for any big emotions they may be experiencing. It’s important that you look after yourself as a parent so you can remain available, calm and responsive to your child’s needs. Find ways to support yourself and take time out to manage your own stress levels.

Seek support if you need it

Transitioning back to school after being in lockdown is no easy task. You may find that your child struggles to get back into school or experiences difficulties while they’re at school. If this is the case, reach out to your child’s school as soon as you can so that you can make them aware of the challenges and work together to support your child. If you are concerned about your child’s mental health and you think they need professional support, speak to the school and your GP about the best next step. Successfully returning children and young people to school will be a collaboration between parents and carers, school communities and the wider community. You’re not alone and reassure your child that there is a whole community of adults making things as safe as possible for them to return to school.

This is going to be a huge adjustment for both you and your children, so take it at a pace that suits your family. Being supportive and present will go a long way in ensuring your children transition back into school is as smooth as possible.

As lockdown continues to ease and new challenges emerge, we want to help you maintain a sense of balance and control in your lives. That’s why CABA has launched a new campaign site called ‘Keeping Yourself Well’, which will feature a collection of self-help articles on topics such as returning to work, socialising, and managing increased workloads, along with information on all of our support services. Our content will cover all areas of wellbeing – mental, physical, career, financial, care and relationships – and we’ll continue to add more useful resources in line with what’s happening in the world.

Do you know a family, NHS or frontline worker in your area that has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and needs a break?

As part of the nation’s emotional and wellbeing recovery from the pandemic, the national charity YHA (England & Wales) wants to give away free holidays to families in your area.

The breaks have been funded from donations from members of the public to YHA’s Project90 appeal which was launched as part of the youth hostelling charity’s 90th anniversary celebrations.

Donations to date will enable YHA to fund a total of 400 much-needed family breaks across England and Wales.

Conscious that fewer people can now afford a break because of the pandemic, YHA particularly wants to hear from families that have been financially impacted in the crisis and are in need of some quality family time together.

Family time together on holiday is more important than ever. In a survey* conducted by the 90 year old charity, it was found that more than three quarters (77%) of parents believe that an annual family holiday is important in order to spend more time with their family (78%), however 12% of survey respondents had not been able to take a family holiday at all in the last three years.

While the free breaks are being rolled out, fundraising for YHA’s Project90 campaign continues. YHA hopes to raise a further £120,000 to give breaks to 500 more families in need of rest, recuperation or spending quality time away together.

The breaks are available at YHA’s network of youth hostels in England and Wales in both coastal and rural locations.

The 153-strong network of youth hostels, which were closed during lockdown, re-opened on the 17 July with a pledge from the charity to play a key role in the recovery of society by helping people reconnect with each other, the outdoors, nature, culture and heritage.

James Blake, Chief Executive of YHA (England & Wales) explained: “The pandemic has put enormous financial and emotional strain on many people and has left a number of NHS and frontline workers and families suffering hardship. A break away together can make all the difference to these families and be an important part of their wellbeing recovery. It will give them valuable time together to reconnect in the outdoors as well as have fun in the process.

“I very much hope that people will get in touch with us and either put themselves forward for a break or nominate a family that they feel would benefit from spending some quality time together.”

If you know of a family that would benefit from a short break away, let YHA know at

To donate to YHA’s Project90 campaign and help it reach even more families, please visit