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On a crisp and cold Saturday evening, fearless folk brought their warmth and bravery to Guildford’s Stoke Park to take part in a walk with a difference – the Shooting Star Chase
Fire Walk.

Over 50 brave ‘soles’ came together to walk over burning embers for the local children’s hospice charity, raising thousands for the babies, children and young people, and their families who are facing the most unimaginable circumstances.

Before the daring walkers put their best foot forward, they were given a full briefing on the challenge ahead by Cliff Mann from Time 4 Change, who explained the history of fire walking, how to mentally prepare and most importantly how to do it correctly!

Cliff and his team then made the final preparations to the fire, including measuring the temperature, before they themselves walked across to show exactly how it’s done. It was then the turn of the fire walkers who stepped forward to take on the heat.

After their triumphant walk, the participants were presented with a bespoke Shooting Star Chase Fire Walk 2018 medal before having a chance to celebrate and enjoy the annual Guildford Lion Fireworks Fiesta with friends and family.

Close friends Ellen and Sarah took on the heat together; Sarah said; “I feel quite emotional. It was amazing, really amazing. I was really nervous before but we did it!”

Ellen agrees, “I purposely didn’t think too much about it beforehand. My daughter Sophie is supported by Shooting Star Chase, as the whole family are, and the amount that Sophie goes through day to day pain wise, procedure wise, surgery wise, it wasn’t a patch on any of that – it was so worth doing and I am very pleased to of done it. From a personal point of view, the amount of support and the use of Christopher’s (the Guildford hospice)…it just makes the world of difference to us to be able to go somewhere we can be as a family without Sophie’s additional needs and medical issues being a problem. So I urge you to do it next year!”

The event has raised £19,507 to date and counting, which will help Shooting Star Chase support and care for families practically and emotionally across London and Surrey.

Emma Edwards, Challenge Events Fundraiser, said, “The Fire Walk has been such a fantastic night and we are beyond proud of everyone who took part and helped on the evening. It’s no mean feat to walk over burning embers and even though some of our walkers were understandably nervous at first, they all conquered their fears and took on the challenge! They were on fire with their fundraising efforts, all of which will go toward making every moment count for the families we support.”

If this has fuelled your fire why not register your interest for Fire Walk 2019 at and if you have a burning desire to take on a challenge in aid of Shooting Star Chase why not visit our Challenge Events page – to find out more!

To hear more about Shooting Star Chase – sign up to enews by visiting

Children’s Activities Week 2019 kicked off in style at the What’s On 4 Kids Awards event last week.  Headline sponsors Morton Michel and the Bears joined ambassadors Dick and Dom and we were treated to uplifting songs from Jonathan Bremner (X factor 2006 finalist in case you wondered!) as we heard more from Caudwell Children about how much we have already helped.  We’re now all set for a fabulous Children’s Activities Week from 13th to 17th May 2019.

Are you a children’s activities provider? Register and get directly involved now or you may also be interested in sponsorship if you want to reach the family and/or SME market?

In brief, we have all this planned:

  • WatchMeFly is back!  This worked so well this year and made a huge visual impact across social media with a 26 million reach on Twitter alone
  • Children will take part in different sponsored challenges during the week
  • There is a big showcase on Friday 17th May 2019 at the brand new Caudwell International Children Centre! And Dick and Dom will be coming along to join in with as many activities as possible too!
  • A big PR and social media campaign will be ramping up and during the week each day will have a theme so Sport and Physical Activity, Arts and Craft, Music and Performing Arts so we can promote the very specific benefits of each of these range of activities.
  • Huge thank you to Morton Michel, ClassBiz, ICON Training, Family Grapevine, What’s On 4 Kids, Nursery World and Learning Resources for coming on board already to help us make the Children’s Activities Week possible again!

Find out more about the week and all the fun we have planned over at


Continuing on his mission to find a cure for Duchenne, a dad of three from Epsom is taking on his fifth fundraising challenge in four years for a charity close to his heart.

Since two of his sons, Theo (7) and Oskar (5), were diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2014, Nick Taussig has been fighting tirelessly to raise money for Harrison’s Fund, so it can continue its work funding research into the disease.

The charity was set up in 2012 and funds research into Duchenne – a rare genetic condition which affects all the muscles in the body, causing them to waste away.  Harrison’s Fund’s goal is to get as much money as possible into the hands of the world’s best researchers, who are working to find a cure for Duchenne. The charity is currently funding 16 research projects in the US and the UK.

Since 2014 Nick has raised more than £100,000 by running marathons and organising cycling events. The latest challenge will see Nick take part in the Phoenix Riverside Marathon on Sunday 18 November.

Nick, 45, said: “Theo and Oskar are happy boys, but as their condition progresses, both of them are now part reliant on wheelchairs. Theo is due to participate in a clinical trial this year, and we hope to have Oskar on a different trial by the of next year, as Duchenne research studies, and the search for a significant treatment and/or cure, steadily gain in number and momentum I am keen to continue to do all I can to raise awareness and money for Harrison’s Fund.”

Phoenix Riverside Marathon sees participants run along the River Thames from Walton on Thames to Hampton Court and back. Runners complete four identical laps for the full marathon distance.  Nick is hoping to raise £2,750.

Laura Morgan, Events Fundraiser at Harrison’s Fund said: “Nick is such an inspirational person, he just never stops with his ideas of how to raise money and awareness of the charity. The amount he has raised over the years is just incredible and like any parent would, Nick won’t rest until he finds a cure.”

To support Nick please visit :


New research has revealed that the number of young carers in England is significantly higher than
previously estimated at 800,000. Research commissioned by the BBC and carried out by Nottingham University shows that there are a staggering six young carers in every secondary school class. This means that in Surrey, we have over 13,000 secondary school age children working to support parents, siblings and other family members.
The young carers have always been there, but are often undetected, meaning children are left to manage on their own, often struggling, isolated and failing to thrive. Being a young carer can affect a child’s school attendance, educational achievement, mental and physical health, and future life chances.
In Surrey, Surrey Young Carers, part of Action for Carers, works to support these children.
We offer free, impartial information and support to young carers and their families on minimising the
impact of their caring role. We also provide workshops, forums, fun activities and groups. We give young carers time out from caring and help them to achieve their full potential. We also offer training to health, social care and educational professionals. Young carers can get in touch on 01483 568269, or visit our website

“Now I’m at uni I’m heading into my third year studying costume design and making, which
is very fun! And I’m really, really glad that I was a part of Surrey Young Carers because if it
wasn’t for them, no way would I be at university now. More than likely I would be homeless
or would have been homeless 100% at one point. And I would definitely be struggling a lot
more with mental health and wellbeing issues.” Young Carer, Surrey

“As soon as I joined Surrey Young Carers, things started to get easier. Finally I met other
people in the same boat as me, who I could talk through my experiences with, and I have a
better social life too. It’s made such a difference.” Young Carer, Surrey

Free resource for Surrey schools – ‘People Like Us’
We also have a resource for schools to help teachers and pupils identify and support the young carers in their midst. ‘People Like Us’ was launched earlier this year, and is being given free to all Surrey’s schools.
Research from Carers Trust has shown 68% of young carers are bullied in school – and miss an average of 48 school days because of their caring role. Often teachers are not aware of the young carers in their class – 39% of young carers said that nobody in their school knew about their caring role.

Barbara Cormie, Marketing and Communications Manager, Action for Carers Surrey
Tel 01483 302748 | Mobile 07966 396217 | Email [email protected]
Amanda Yarker, Assistant Manager, Surrey Young Carers, Action for Carers Surrey
Tel 01483 568269 x208 | Mobile 07714 076263 | Email [email protected]

Starlight Children’s Foundation hosted a series of summer events for seriously ill children and their families across the UK. The children’s charity, which provides support to families through extensive hospital entertainment and wish granting, held a total of five Starlight Escapes to give children and young people with serious and lifelong conditions some much-needed time away from their hospital beds and treatment.

The Escape season kicked off in June with two boating parties at Sonning and Hampton Court. Here children got dressed up in pirate gear and enjoyed a host of pirate themed games, including walking the plank, before families set off on a real pirate adventure down the River Thames.

The next memorable day out was the charity’s Sky-High event at Preston Capes in Northamptonshire. Both children and their families from the surrounding areas, enjoyed the thrill of helicopter rides, plus rides on a vintage bus, fire engine and tractors when back on the ground.

Sam Hines, mum to Starlight wish child Brandon who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy said ‘It was the most enjoyable day we’ve ever had, the lads absolutely loved it, especially the helicopter ride.

It was amazing from start to finish. We struggle to get both boys out and about due to them both being in wheelchairs, but everyone was so helpful. It was so refreshing for us all to get out as a family and make memories. It will definitely be a day we won’t forget”.

Starlight then held their annual Summer Party at Belmont Farm in London on one of the hottest days of the year at the end of July. The outdoor fete-style party has become a much-loved day out for Starlight wish children and their families, as well as families from local hospitals and hospices.

The jam-packed day included clay pigeon shooting, an animal petting area and pony and trap rides to arts and crafts, a bouncy castle and fete games.

The charity then rounded off their summer of fun with their biggest event of the year at Popham Airfield in Winchester. The event, which was attended by almost 700 people, included helicopter and aeroplane rides at what was an unforgettable day of adrenaline fuelled action!

The fun didn’t stop back on solid ground, with pony rides, magicians, entertainers, face-painters and rides on some very special motorbikes and supercars. The day also finished with Starlight’s first ever ‘Floss off’ with children, families, volunteers and staff all taking to the dance floor to show off their best moves!

Starlight’s Escapes are supported by volunteers, who offer their time, expertise and vehicles to create a truly special day for the families. The events have become crucial days out for families with seriously ill children, as they provide them with the opportunity to spend memorable days together at a time when they need it the most.

Roberto’s mum, who attended the boating escape at The Upper Thames Yacht Club at Hampton Court, sums up the Starlight Escape experience as;

“Days like today are a great moment to pause and remember the gift of being a family, to have

time together that isn’t about trips to hospital, needles or bad stuff. They really are ‘respite days’ – a way in which to escape and feel a million miles away from the normal stuff”.

For more information and to find out how you can help Starlight provide more days out for seriously ill children and their families visit

Parents, carers and grandparents across Surrey will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of their child’s behaviour and development as new, free online guides are launched by Children and Family Health Surrey and Surrey County Council.

The guides normally cost £39, but Surrey residents can register for free access through their computer, tablet or smartphone by visiting or After registering online, they will have unlimited access.

Pauline Bigwood, Professional Lead for Health Visiting at Children and Family Health Surrey, says: “Anyone living in Surrey who cares for a child – mums, dads, carers and grandparents – will find these excellent, free guides really helpful in understanding their children. I really do encourage everyone to try the guides out and tell your family and friends in Surrey about this really wonderful opportunity.

“We are really pleased to be working in partnership with Surrey County Council to make these high quality guides available for all families living in Surrey.”

Clare Curran, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Children says: “These online guides are packed with insights into how children grow and develop as well as practical advice and have been helping families around the country cope with the challenges that life throws at all of us. I’d encourage all families in Surrey to take advantage of this great opportunity to access them for free.”

There are three guides to choose from:

  • Understanding Pregnancy, Birth and Your Baby
  • Understanding Your Baby
  • Understanding Your Child 0-19 years.

There are between 9 and 11 modules in each guide as well as interactive activities, quizzes and video clips. Each module takes around 20 minutes.

The online guides were put together by the Solihull Approach, an accredited, evidence-based approach to childcare established 20 years ago by psychologists, health visitors and other health professionals.

In 2010, Zayne & the family were blessed with a beautiful and very special baby girl who was born with very complex respiratory and gastro medical issues making her number 7 in the world with her rare genetic condition called “Duplication 22q12q13”.

Little did they know that the tiniest things we normally take for granted in life such as eating orally and swallowing saliva was actually life threatening for their baby girl.

After spending months on end at Great Ormand Street Hospital and undergoing treatments and investigations, a year on, the family proudly started a new journey and became tubie parents. This meant that their daughter Karma had to be fed via a tube that was surgically placed directly in to her stomach.

Finding fashionable tube friendly clothing was proving to be pretty difficult.  At feeding times, the family would have to fully undress her to get to Karma’s feeding tube.

Their solution at the time was to cut holes in her clothing to access her feeding button or thread the feeding tube through bodysuit popper openings. This worked for a while until she started to outgrow the traditional baby onesies available in the high street shops.

The clothing situation as a whole was not ideal especially when “out and about” in cold weather with respiratory issues. Let alone from a dignity point of view!

Zayne, Karma’s mum, stated that “Our children become fashion conscious and like to look and be the same as other children. Colours and style is a way of saying who they are without having to speak”.

Karma is non verbal, has a bubbly and cheeky personality and they wanted tube friendly clothing that reflected that. This inspired the family and the brand “Tubie Kids” was born in April 2018.

Their  fashion line is fresh, vibrant, full of colours and personality which the market lacked.

The adaptations in designs are so discreet you would not even tell the difference. This allows tube fed children, also refered to as tubie kids to be kids in their own right and express their own personalities through colours and designs without having to compromise dignity, comfort or functionality of the garments.

Their sizes currently start from 3 yrs to 12 yrs old. However, they will introduce larger sizes in the future if they receive requests for them.

Zayne pointed out that “All the items are sensory friendly”. They have been designed to incorporate flat seams and no labels throughout. The fabrics used are soft to feel and 100% high quality cotton for long lasting durability. They have also selected dual sizing so the children don’t outgrow them fast.

Leanne (a Tubie kids customer) said “ The quality and design are flawless, so glad I stumbled across their facebook  page by complete accident they are exactly what we’ve needed for a long time”

Nicola (another Tubie Kids customer) stated “I’m absolutely in love with these new tubefeeding t shirts! They are very well made and of very high quality material. I love the fact that they actually look like a t shirt, they have another hidden vest underneath with a large hole to access the peg/button. Highly recommended them!”

 Prices range from £14.50 to £16.50 and can be purchased from their online store

For more info:

Contact Zayne on [email protected] or via their fb page @tubiekids

School children across Surrey are invited to get involved in a new wild activity day to raise funds and awareness to help save endangered species around the globe this autumn. The ‘Running Wild’ event is organised by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) and will take place on October 4, to mark World Animal Day. Schools can sign up to take part in the fun fundraiser, which gives children an opportunity to play, learn about conservation and raise money for the Shalford-based charity.

Running Wild is a great fun way of getting children interested in our environment and to learn new and exciting lessons about iconic endangered species such as elephants, tigers and rhinos – while raising money to help protect them at the same time,” said DSWF’s Education Manager Jo Elphick.

Schools can choose to do whatever wild activity they like on Running Wild day such as a:

  • Tumble through the jungle – a sponsored race across an obstacle course!
  • Non-uniform day – dress up as an endangered wild animal!
  • Wild bake sale – make animal themed treats and have a cake stall!
  • Wild tiger jump – see how many you can do in a minute!
  • Wild sponsored run – cover the distance an animal travels in a day (primary and junior options available).

 DSWF can provide schools taking part in Running Wild with sponsorship forms perfect for fundraising. PLUS each school with a minimum of 30 students taking part will receive a FREE DSWF animal adoption – including a fantastic animal toy hand made by a women’s group in Zambia. A perfect classroom mascot!

All the money raised by schools from the Running Wild event will go to projects funded by DSWF, that are working to conserve endangered animals across Africa and Asia – including snow leopards, chimpanzees and pangolins.

More than 50 elephants are killed by poachers in Africa alone EVERY day. Rhinos are being hunted for their horn at alarming levels and tigers are quickly heading for extinction – with only around 3,500 left in the wild.

DSWF works to FIGHT wildlife crime, PROTECT endangered animals and their wild spaces and ENGAGE with communities both in the UK and overseas, to help them understand the value of wildlife. The charity also campaigns for stronger laws to protect wildlife and supports investigations into wildlife crime.

The Running Wild event is a great warm-up for DSWF’s annual Global Canvas collaborative children’s art competition – the theme for 2019 is ‘Habitats of the World’.

For more information about the wildlife that DSWF supports, as well as FREE printable fact sheets and posters for use in habitats lessons in the autumn term, visit the education section of DSWF’s website:

DSWF firmly believes that the future health of our planet and of all living things rests with today’s children and we hope children, teachers and schools will sign up and get involved in our brilliant wild educational events,” added Jo.

“If we can help develop, inspire and encourage an interest in the natural world, specifically by bringing conservation issues into schools, then we will have achieved our aim.”

To find out more about Running Wild on World Animal Day on October 4 and 2019’s Global Canvas art competition, visit DSWF’s website at, email [email protected] or call 01483 272 323. Click here to download the Running Wild leaflet and sign-up form – with special thanks to Pim-Pam creative studio for their amazing design support!

Five-year-old Shakeerah from Banstead helped to officially open The Children’s Trust’s newest charity shop in Hinchley Wood, Esher this week (28 August). Shakeerah, who was supported by the charity following a brain tumour, was joined by the shop’s team and a crowd of local people to celebrate the opening of the new store.

The shop on Manor Road will be a central part of the Hinchley Wood community, offering both new and donated goods. The range of products in the store will vary from clothing to books, bric-a-brac to kitchenware and toys to shoes. Small electrical items will also be accepted and sold in store, all of which can be dropped off at the shop during trading hours. The team are also offering a number of volunteering opportunities to local people, both in the store and behind the scenes.

All money raised in the shop will go to The Children’s Trust, which supports children like Shakeerah who have a brain injury or neurodisability. When she was just one year old Shakeerah was diagnosed with a brain tumour. As a result of multiple operations to remove it, Shakeerah acquired a brain injury. She received rehabilitation at The Children’s Trust national specialist centre in Surrey and still attends the charity’s holiday camps and clubs. Shakeerah is now at school full-time and is still making progress on the skills she developed during her time at The Children’s Trust.

Yasmeen, Shakeerah’s mum, from Banstead said: “Shakeerah was so excited to come along and cut the ribbon today so it was a memorable morning for us all. The Children’s Trust has done so much for our family so we understand how important the charity shops are to help raise the money needed for the specialist work they do. We are not too far away from this store so look forward to popping in and seeing what we might find – I’ve already got my eye on some bits!”

Julie Beames, Head of Retail at The Children’s Trust said: “We are so pleased to officially open our Hinchley Wood store with the support from local residents and traders. It was a pleasure to meet our local community, which we hope to very much become a part of and to tell them about the charity shop and The Children’s Trust. We look forward to meeting more local people in the future, and helping them to bag a bargain!”

The store is accepting donations and is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join its friendly team in the store. Anyone who would like to hear more about opportunities to get involved with the store is encouraged to go in and talk to manager Lisa, or call 0208  398 1952.

Harrison Smith from Cobham is calling on runners to join ‘Team Harrison’ for next year’s Mercer Surrey Half Marathon and raise funds for Harrison’s Fund, which funds research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The 12 year old is the inspiration behind the charity’s work into the life limiting condition which affects him and thousands of boys like him. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a rare genetic condition that affects all the muscles in the body, causing them to waste away.

The charity, which is the Local Title Charity Partner for 2019, is offering an early bird special price of £15 pp or a team of four is £45 and if you buy three places you get a fourth one free. And for those who don’t want to fundraise, they can buy a non-fundraising place for £100 from the charity.

Harrison’s Fund will provide each runner with a ‘Team Harrison’ running vest and there will be cheering squads at the event along with the band from Greenfield School, playing music to egg the runners on. Runners will also enjoy a post-race reception.

The Mercer Surrey Half Marathon takes place at Woking Leisure Centre on Sunday 10th March. It is a friendly and local event, which promises a high-quality experience for every runner. It is set in the glorious countryside surrounding Woking and Guildford and follows a fully-closed and professionally marked and measured route out from Woking town into the rural delights of the nearby quaint villages. This picturesque race is made even more enjoyable by live music and communities of local supporters. There is also a 5km route and kids race.

Harrison’s Fund works to fund research into Duchenne. Its goal is to get as much money as possible into the hands of the world’s best researchers, who are working to find a cure for Duchenne. The charity is currently funding 12 research projects in the US and the UK.

Laura Morgan, Events Fundraiser at Harrison’s Fund said: “The Mercer Surrey Half Marathon is one of our biggest events of the year and money raised from the event will enable us to continue our work. Harrison’s Fund is here to change the landscape of Duchenne. We only put money into research which we believe will see the fastest results and the biggest impact. Everyone who runs with us will be part of the team that helps children with Duchenne have a life past childhood, so what more motivation do you need?”

To sign up, please visit or email [email protected]