Surrey Life Community Heroes 2016 - who really makes a difference to life in your town or village?
PUBLISHED: 07:35 24 February 2016 | UPDATED: 11:52 24 February 2016
Celebrating the inspiring people who are really making a difference in Surrey’s town and village communities, here we bring you the annual Surrey Life Community Heroes lists: the charity volunteers, lifesavers and other proactive people - all recommended via surreylife.co.uk - who you feel make an impression on the quality of life in Surrey
SURREY LIFE COMMUNITY HEROES 2016
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine February 2016
A member of Ash Tennis Club for over 30 years, Alex Bliss picked up the winner’s trophy in the sports category at the recent BBC Surrey Community Heroes Awards 2015. During her time at the club, the 40-year-old has performed various committee roles, as well as taking a lead on social media to promote their activities. She has also played a proactive role in tackling antisocial behaviour at an adjoining skateboard park.
53-year-old Anne Brummer has worked tirelessly for the last 30something years to rescue and rehabilitate British wildlife at Camberley’s Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue. Not only does she volunteer round the clock to hand-rear orphans and rescue animals, but she also attends schools and organisations to educate people. Each year, she successfully releases hundreds of animals back to where they belong, giving them a second chance at life. Her colleagues tell us that “she works 24/7, 356 days a year, trying to make a difference, without wanting anything in return. A true inspiration.”
Clandon Park team
The Clandon Park staff and volunteers are hugely knowledgeable about this National Trust property, which is set to be rebuilt in some form following last year’s devastating fire. Over the years, they have done a great job, enhancing the visitor experience and making a positive contribution to tourism in the county. On the tragic night of the blaze, many of them also assisted with the salvage operation, helping to pack and wrap valuable artefacts to be taken to safety.
A dedicated supporter of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Denise Clarke sadly lost her son to cancer in 1996 and also her husband in 2013. The 69-year-old had previously undertaken a number of successful fundraising initiatives with her husband and now works tirelessly for the charity in her role as an outside events volunteer coordinator. This entails managing the volunteer rota for all the events in the local community. Only recently, she helped raise over £1,000 from a collection and carol singing in the Whitgift Centre, Croydon, even singing with the choir!
The Clink Charity
Sutton and Send
As well as their innovative prison restaurant in Sutton and women’s prison garden scheme in Send, The Clink Charity has since expanded its rehabilitation activities to cover external catering events, too, by teaming up with homeless charity Centrepoint. The vision has proved so successful that the charity won the Services to the Community award at the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards 2015. The sole aim of this innovation is to reduce reoffending rates of ex-offenders. By the end of 2017, they hope to see up to 500 highly-trained and qualified exoffenders being released into employment each year.
71-year-old Marion Dante has raised funds for the Fountain Centre – Guildford’s local cancer charity – since being a cancer patient herself several years ago. Bringing in donations from major stores all over Surrey, her colleagues tell us that “she is impossible to say no to!” In addition, she also gives talks to local groups, which introduces the charity to new audiences, and always finishes up with a collection. As well as running collection days at The Meadows, Sandhurst, and Longacres, Bagshot, each Christmas, she has also trekked sections of the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain for the charity. Her personal contribution to their funds is now more than £10,000.
One of the founding members of The Supercar Event, which over the last nine years has raised an amazing £440,000 for The Children’s Trust in Tadworth, Peter Dietsch, 39, and other members of The Supercar Committee are busily putting exciting new plans in place to celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary. Aside from the event, Peter has also been an enthusiastic supporter of The Children’s Trust for many years, regularly taking his supercar along to Tadworth Court, so that the children can enjoy the thrill of the engine revving. He will also be running in the London Marathon 2016 to raise money for the charity.
In September 2012, George Dixon sadly lost his father following a cycling accident. An experienced cyclist, his dad had gone out for a short ride on a Sunday afternoon when he was knocked off his bike. Since the accident, George and his brother have attended Tommy D, a bereavement counselling group from the The Woking & Sam Beare Hospices. The group receives funding from BBC Children in Need and George was selected to take part in last year’s Rickshaw Challenge. The 17-year-old joined the group for their much televised efforts on the 470mile journey from Land’s End to the East End with Matt Baker and co. To date, they’ve raised over £4,000,000.
Treasury curator at Guildford Cathedral since 2011, 76-year-old Roger HeathBullock works on an entirely voluntary basis. From his career, he has had a lifetime’s experience in the area of antiquities and for the cathedral he looks after and manages the Guildford Diocesan Treasury. This includes exhibitions, as well as liaising with churches throughout the Diocese. Roger recently organised an exhibition at the cathedral on Magna Carta, which featured a facsimile of the Magna Carta document loaned from Salisbury Cathedral. He also made arrangements for the 150th anniversary celebrations of St Mary’s Church, Shackleford. At the cathedral, they love him for his wisdom, quiet humour and vast experience.
Having completed a 13km charity walk last year, you wouldn’t guess that Bob Hutchings is 79 – and his determination to raise over £1,000 for Compton’s Mane Chance Horse Sanctuary has inspired many. His loyalty and enthusiasm for the charity is said to be unwavering and they tell us it would be a lesser place without him onsite five days a week performing DIY tasks – all of which enables them to welcome poorly and special needs children to spend time with the horses.
Steve Kempton and Don Hamilton
Hurst Green and Limpsfield Chart
Good friends Steve Kempton, 55, and Don Hamilton, 56, recently flew to America for a coast-to-coast cycling challenge to raise money for Tadworth’s The Children’s Trust. The aim was to set off from Miami and cycle through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before finishing in San Diego, California – some 3,400 miles in just six weeks! While Don completed over 2,500 miles, he had to return home when his mother sadly passed away. Steve continued on his own, but found it tough without his friend alongside him. Their cycling challenge was all selffunded, meaning that the £4,000 they have raised so far will directly benefit The Children’s Trust.
The Good Neighbour award at the BBC Surrey Community Heroes Awards 2015 went to Gilbert Kenward, who risked his own life, saving that of a neighbour, who was disabled and lived alone, after a fire broke out. At the grand age of 77, Gilbert lifted up his trapped neighbour and carried him out of the burning building in Beare Green village, near Dorking.
Nearly 70, Laurie McKeague has made a major impact in his three years volunteering for Sight for Surrey. Not content with only one role for the Fetcham charity, Laurie helps those who are blind or who have a vision impairment in a variety of ways. As well as being a driver, he visits people in their home and helps them gain confidence in getting out and about. Laurie also assists at the charity’s weekly Guildford Communication Class. He’s been described as “happiness on legs”.
Gerry and Alma Murch
Two of the longest-serving ‘husband-and-wife’ volunteers at The Children’s Trust, Gerry and Alma Murch have been supporting the charity for over 15 years. While Alma, 79, has been a volunteer at The Children’s Trust’s special school, which provides education for children with profound learning difficulties, Gerry, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, volunteers one day a week as a driver,
taking donations of clothing and merchandise to the Surrey-based charity shops. In addition to that, Gerry has also been vice-chair of The Friends of The Children’s Trust for the past 15 years.
Mark Saunders is the founder and musical director of the Sandhurst & District Corps of Drums based at the Royal Military Academy in Camberley. The main aim of the band is to offer children and young adults in the area an alternative activity – a military-style marching band – and to develop their confidence by way of performance. Those who have nominated him say that Mark, 54, is an excellent leader and treats all his members the same, regardless of background. Mark (and his volunteers) have little resources to assist them, and tirelessly adjust and sew uniforms themselves, applying for grants and fundraising to keep the band going. The group has also been nominated for the Queen’s Award for their voluntary service, and took an active part in last year’s emotional World War One centenary commemorations.
Fundraiser of the Year at the BBC Surrey Community Heroes Awards 2015, Alex Smith is the father of a little boy from Cobham called Harrison, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The 40-year-old set up a charity in his son’s name and has taken on several epic physical challenges to help pay for research into the condition. The charity has already raised over one million pounds.
Back in 2006, Paul Studholme discovered a derelict Victorian walled garden. He fell in love with it and had a vision to create a place where people could relax, unwind and take home a piece of ‘good medicine’. After four years of backbreaking work, clearing and rebuilding, that vision became The Medicine Garden, free to enter and open year-round. Paul, 44, has been nominated as a community hero because he has created provision of green space, which supports 17 independent businesses/traders, gives local artists/musicians a platform via annual events and creates employment opportunities via onsite businesses.
• If you’d like to nominate someone to feature in Surrey Life’s Community Heroes, please e-mail their name, hometown, age and the reason for your recommendation to email@example.com with SLCH in the subject line.
SURREY LIFE COMMUNITY HEROES 2015
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2015
Barry Arminson, Abinger Hammer
Farming in our county has changed dramatically in recent years, and the fact that Surrey still produces watercress at all is down to the determination of Barry Arminson who grows the popular salad staple at Abinger Hammer and sells it in the Kingfisher Farm Shop next door. The family watercress business began in 1854, but the farm shop owes its existence to the postal strike of 1971. Villagers would ask him to bring back fresh produce and the idea of a farm shop was born. It remains at the heart of the community today and that’s why the “70-something-year-old” received the Pride of Surrey Award at the 2014 Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards.
Dean Beckett, Walton-on-Thames
In 2014, Dean Beckett undertook a fund-raising cycle ride from London to Barcelona on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support. The challenge was in honour of his father, Ron Beckett, who died of cancer, and Dean and his team raised a staggering £48,500. Now, in 2015, the 37-year-old and Team RRR (Ronnie Remembrance Ride) are taking to the road again – raising funds for the East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre that is to be built at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill. Dean and Team RRR will be cycling from John o’Groats to Land’s End with the unique addition of a detour via Surrey! Their aim is to raise £30,000. Dean is also encouraging cyclists from across the UK to join the team at any point through the journey and raise funds for their local service. Follow his fund-raising efforts at justgiving.com/RRRDean.
Dorothy Beeson, Shepperton
Founder of The Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton, Dorothy Beeson, 67, was appointed MBE for services to the rescue and rehabilitation of swans in this year’s New Year honours list. Having started out initially from her back garden in the 1980s, when she outgrew the space, she sold her house to help finance the cost of setting up the first national swan sanctuary on a two-acre site in Egham, where she lived in a caravan with her partner, Stephen Knight. Today, she runs the largest self-contained, veterinary-registered swan hospital in the country, and is credited with helping to keep our rivers “majestic”.
Simon Cowell, Leatherhead
Wildlife champion Simon Cowell, 60, co-founded Leatherhead’s Wildlife Aid around 35 years ago and received an MBE in 2005 for his services to wildlife. The chances are that if you’ve found an injured, orphaned or sick wild animal in Surrey, you’ll have probably been in touch with this man and his team of volunteers. Every year, they hold an open day during the summer that helps to raise funds towards the charity’s operations. In addition, Simon is also the managing director of Wild Productions Ltd, the company that produces the TV series Wildlife SOS, shown internationally on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet, and which also produced the hit BBC TV series The Bionic Vet (read all about Surrey’s supervet!).
June Davey, West Horsley
Having volunteered for the National Trust for more than a decade, West Horsley resident June Davey was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to heritage in this year’s New Year honours. She has helped out voluntarily at the National Trust property Clandon Park, near Guildford, since 2003. Originally a room steward, she was soon asked to start giving talks, which she has since done in Surrey, Hampshire and London.
Gwyneth Fookes, Caterham
With her commitment to voluntary work spanning 35 years, Gwyneth Fookes works tirelessly to keep historical and environmental aspects of Caterham in the public eye. As well as being a vice president of local history group The Bourne Society, which has over 2,000 members, the 80-year-old edits the quarterly publication Local History Records and instigated the Village History series of books, for which she was editor-in-chief. In addition, Gwyneth also raised funds to restore the grave of William Garland Soper (‘father’ of modern Caterham) and to relocate the Asprey fountain to a prominent site in Caterham. Her most recent initiative is the organisation of an historic march to commemorate Recruitment Day, 1915.
Jane Formby, Thames Ditton
Having featured in this list in 2013, Jane Formby, one of the founding trustees of Esher’s Princess Alice Hospice, was appointed MBE for her services to end-of-life care in the latest New Year honours list. The 78-year-old has lived in Thames Ditton for around 40 years and been involved with the hospice since it began in 1983. Previously, Jane represented Elmbridge Borough Council on the Community Health Council for five years, where she was involved with maternal care, mental health and hospital visiting. During these hospital visits, Jane became aware of people dying with hardly any support, so became interested in the idea of hospice care.
Dominique Frazer, Guildford
Having tirelessly managed music and creative arts venue, The Boileroom in Guildford, for almost nine years, Dominique Frazer would view their efforts as collective – but her team say that without her, the whole concept simply wouldn’t exist. As well as the venue’s regular support of the local arts community, from an amateur level right the way through to the professionals, they also organise various events ‘at large’ such as vintage fairs, craft clubs and charity nights. And that’s not to mention their collaborations with local businesses Andertons, Guildford Beer Festival, Redfest, Little Beer Corporation and many more. There is no doubt that the Surrey arts scene has been much enriched by the 37-year-old’s relentless hard work.
Christine Howard, Shamley Green
As the chairman of the Surrey Hills Society, Surrey Life columnist Christine Howard likes nothing better than getting outdoors to enjoy the spectacular countryside of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The 52-year-old also does her utmost to ensure the rest of us get that chance too. Part of a team of volunteers who set up the Surrey Hills Society seven years ago, she received the government’s Points of Light Award in 2014, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers. She was also instrumental in the Surrey showcase that headed to Parliament, and got the thumbs-up from Prime Minister David Cameron, at the end of 2014.
Perdita Hunt, Compton
Since 2014, Perdita Hunt has been director at Compton’s Watts Gallery. During that time, she has led the successful £10million Watts Gallery Hope Project to save the gallery and its collection and is now leading the rescue of the Watts house and studio, Limnerslease. To say she’s a hands-on director would be an under-statement: she’s even gone as far as swimming the Solent as part of a team to help in the fund-raising efforts! During her time in Compton, she has helped to put the village firmly back on the nation’s arts map.
Robin Hutchinson, Surbiton
From suburban skiing to giant board games and cheese art, there’s definitely been something in the water in Surbiton in recent years – and you’ll inevitably find Robin Hutchinson at the heart of it. Having appeared in the first Surrey Life Community Heroes list back in 2011, the irrepressible creator was named MBE for his services to the arts and to the community in this year’s New Year honours. The 56-year-old is also the originator and founding trustee of the Rose Theatre in Kingston and chair of the International Youth Arts Festival that encourages young people to realise their potential through the arts.
Ted Jackson, Ewhurst
A housemaster at Hurtwood House School in Dorking, Ted Jackson overcame an unhealthy fondness for alcohol, cigarettes and kebabs to take on some of the world’s toughest sporting events, including the North Pole Marathon, the Marathon des Sables across the Sahara Desert and cycling the entire Tour de France route. But in 2010, he was brought crashing down to earth with the news that his childhood sweetheart and wife Sophie had Multiple Sclerosis. Determined to do something positive, however, the 42-year -old took on and conquered his biggest challenge to date, as part of a bid to raise £777,000 to support the pioneering work of Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis. At the start of this year, Ted completed the World Marathon Challenge (seven marathons in seven days across seven continents!) and has so far raised over £165,000 towards his target! Contribute to his incredible efforts online at justgiving.com/ted777.
Dick Jones, Ashtead
A local graphic designer with a business on Bridge Street in Leatherhead (Jones’ Creative Services Limited), this 60-year-old uses his skills on a regular basis to help organisations and communities in the town to make a success of their events. For the past 12 years, Dick Jones has designed all of the posters, flyers and brochures for the Leatherhead Drama Festival and has been instrumental in helping to run the festival in many other ways. Throughout the actual festival, he attends almost every evening performance with commitment that is unfaltering. He also puts a great deal of time into the Mole Valley Arts Alive Festival; behind the scenes, there is a lot of organisation – producing the programme alone is a mammoth task and, as always, he uses his networking skills to help make it work. He has also been involved with many other events and organisations in the area, including the Ashtead Scouts, and is a board member of the Leatherhead & District Chamber of Commerce. Dick is always ready to jump in and help where he can and cares deeply about his community.
Peter Lee, Reigate
Peter Lee found it quite the eye-opener when he was nominated for High Sheriff of Surrey. During his year in office, however, the 49-year-old well and truly grabbed the bull by the horns and has done his bit to shine a spotlight on the real need that exists in Surrey, especially in the east of the county. Having attended around 250 events in 2014-2015, he’s not only looking forward to reflecting on what he’s achieved during the year (read on for a piece on the rise of boxing in Surrey, for example) but also hopes to continue the good work alongside his day job.
Nigel Lewis-Baker, Effingham
Now 69, Nigel Lewis-Baker was diagnosed with prostate cancer in May 2004 but was able to continue working through his treatment for three years before having to admit defeat and take early retirement. That led on to him volunteering for the Cancer Research UK Relay for Life at Ascot, where he was able to share his experiences with other cancer sufferers. This, in turn, gave him the idea of setting up a support group here in Surrey, and after recruiting friend and neighbour, John Blackburn, to help, Topic of Cancer was born in 2009. Still going strong today, they have also encouraged the forming of new groups nationwide. By this stage, however, treatments for Nigel’s cancer, which had become advanced, were starting to fail and he was offered a clinical trial under Prof Hardev Pandha and his research team attached to the University of Surrey in Guildford. As they rely on donations, Nigel started fund-raising with a walk from Tunbridge Wells to Guildford followed by other events including a skydive and a ball, culminating in the John O’Groats to Land’s End walk in 2012. Topic Of Cancer has now raised over £150,000, and Nigel’s remarkable efforts were rewarded when he received an MBE in the Queen’s 2014 Birthday Honours.
The Lightbox Volunteer Team, Woking
The Lightbox art gallery and museum relies on the dedication of its 120-strong volunteer team. Having already won the Big Society Award in 2012, they are proud to say that their team of volunteers – who range from teenagers to 80-somethings – have continued to go from strength to strength in bringing the community together and creating excitement about the arts locally. The gallery say they are incredibly grateful for the time and effort their volunteers give to the charity, as the face of The Lightbox, and that they really couldn’t ask for a better team. Some of their volunteers have been with them for over 15 years, which considering the gallery has only been open for seven years is quite an achievement!
Ann Lovelace, Tatsfield
Having volunteered at the Orpheus Centre in Godstone for 15 years, Ann Lovelace has made an enormous contribution to the young disabled adults that attend the college: from supporting learning sessions to tackling Mount Snowdon at the age of 77! Now 79, Ann still helps students to write poems and plays, one of which has been performed in a London theatre. Ultimately, Ann always finds time and the charity say they have been extremely fortunate to have her commitment and energy and that hundreds of students, staff and volunteers have benefitted from her dedication. They add that the impact of her involvement is “immeasurable”.
Brian May, West End
He may be best-known as the wild-haired guitarist with seminal rock band Queen, but away from the stage Brian May is also a passionate wildlife campaigner. As well as setting up the non-profit organisation Save Me to champion British wildlife, the 67-year-old West End resident has been a leading inspiration in the fight against fox hunting and the ongoing battle against the proposed UK badger cull. Prior to that, in 2005, he was appointed CBE for services to the music industry and for his charity work. He is also a vice-president of the RSPCA, hosts (and usually plays at) the annual Wildlife Rocks event at Guildford Cathedral and supports Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue in Camberley.
Stu Plumbley, Caterham
During a five-year tour of duty with the always-on-call Kent, Surrey & Sussex
Air Ambulance, critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley has worked tirelessly to help save many lives in and around Surrey. Just some of these stories include a cyclist hit by a car in Milford, another cyclist who collided with a car in Headley, a 23-year-old who suffered a cardiac arrest in Godstone, a stablegroom trampled by a horse in Chiddingfold and a schoolboy critically injured in a playground accident. The list goes on. The 51-year-old has recently completed his secondment with the life-saving charity, which flies from Redhill Aerodrome, and has now returned to duties as a clinical supervisor at South East Coast Ambulance Service. All at the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance wish him well for the future.
Jean Price, Old Malden
Jean Price has been a volunteer for Esher’s Princess Alice Hospice for over 10 years. She heads into the Retail Distribution Centre that supports the charity shops every week without fail and at her own expense. In her 60s or 70s (no one is telling!), Jean reconciles the 39 shops’ banking receipts, which is no easy task as the amount of paperwork that needs to be checked against bank statements and till reports is vast. The hospice needs to generate over £9million each year to provide its vital services and the shops contribute over £1million. This would not be possible without the selflessness and dedication of people like Jean.
Bruce Reed, Bletchingley
During his 29-year tenure as chairman/manager of The Oxted and Limpsfield Barn Theatre Co Ltd (a limited company with charitable status), Bruce Reed has grown the variety of performances at the theatre significantly, including plays, musicals, operas, dance shows, festivals and concerts of all types, and audience numbers have increased from 6,000 to 15,000+ annually. The 68-year-old has also overseen an ambitious programme of expansion and renewal of the theatre facilities, including building a Green Room with bar, dressing room, car park and wider stage wing. In addition to providing a theatre that the community can enjoy, he has also encouraged the theatre to “give something back” by providing a tea tent for Oxted Carnival, helping to revitalise the event – which is now one of the annual highlights in the town. Productions also raise money for local charities, including £11,000 for Help for Heroes on one single night.
Lynne Sinclair, Thames Ditton
A volunteer at Esher’s Princess Alice Hospice since 1985, 73-year-old Lynne Sinclair has done chaplaincy and bereavement work throughout. She is a part of a team who every month make contact with eight to 12 bereaved family members to see how they are managing. Lynne does this in her own time and from her own home. With her chaplaincy hat on, Lynne provides spiritual and religious care and support to patients, their carers and families and she does this with great warmth. The hospice say they simply could not continue to deliver these vital services without people like Lynne.
David Smith, Leatherhead
Station manager at the recently formed Surrey Hills Radio, based in Leatherhead, 59-year-old David Smith is well known in the area having been involved in various organisations, including the Chamber of Commerce and the local Residents’ Association. A father of three who has lived in the town for more than 30 years, David has invested much of his time since retiring in projects within the community before becoming involved with the Surrey Hills Radio station in the very early stages. As well as being responsible for programming and overseeing the general running of the station, he has also written and presented shows and trained new presenters to do the same. This is an entirely voluntary project with many benefits to the community, local schools and charities. The station was launched in June 2014 after a period of training and building the studio and it has since become more than a full-time occupation for David, who has seen people of all ages achieve their dreams of presenting shows and watched their confidence grow. Despite the difficulties in funding such a big project, the station has grown to include over 30 presenters and is becoming a popular facet of the Surrey Hills community.
Joy Smith, Tadworth
A retired banker, Joy Smith is the lead collection box income counter for The Children’s Trust in Tadworth and has volunteered every Tuesday for the last 10 years. She also coordinates five other volunteers and helps count over £70,000 of income for The Children’s Trust each year, as well as sorting foreign coins.
Joy and the team play a vital role in supporting the collection box team as well as helping to count income from the charity’s events, such as The Supercar Event, and the various fairs. The collection boxes are also an important awareness- raiser – many people were first made aware of the charity by seeing one of the collection boxes in a shop, pub or office.
Nick Smith, Leatherhead
Dubbed ‘the world’s most beautiful marathon,’ the views will be the last thing on Nick Smith’s mind when he competes in an ultra-marathon over the Easter weekend. The 46-year-old is taking on the Two Oceans Marathon, which is 35 miles long and takes in both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, starting from Cape Town. Director of Music at St John’s School in Leatherhead, Nick set himself the challenge to raise money for the charity founded by his former colleague, Andrew Hall. Andrew and his wife Sally set up Blue Skye Thinking last year in response to their four-year-old son Skye being diagnosed with medulloblastoma, an aggressive and cancerous brain tumour. Sadly, on August 29, 2014, Skye died peacefully at home aged just five years old. The goal of Blue Skye Thinking is to get as much money as possible into the hands of the world’s best researchers, so that all children diagnosed with brain tumours will have a better chance of survival and a better quality of life post-treatment.
Douglas Waine, Addlestone
This year, 90-year-old Douglas Waine will have completed 10 years as a volunteer class assistant with Sight for Surrey’s Addlestone Communication Class. Since taking over the role from his late wife in 2005, Douglas has walked to the Community Centre every Monday morning, set out tables and chairs and made refreshments for all the class members. Douglas also provides sighted assistance at outings and lunches, assists at car boot sales and local fêtes and has helped out with collection boxes. In addition to volunteering for the class, Douglas continues to support the local scout group in Ottershaw by helping at jumble sales and running a ‘Smash the Crockery’ stall at the May Day fête. Douglas’ huge contribution to the Addlestone Communication Class is “greatly appreciated” by class members. The charity says that his continuing level of commitment to voluntary work at the age of 90 is something that deserves special recognition.
Jacqueline Ward-Reel, Horley
Last November, Surrey’s Animal Protection Trust, a charity formed in 1984 to help unwanted, abandoned and ill-treated animals, celebrated its 30th anniversary. Over the last 30 years, Jacqueline Ward- Reel, chairman and co-ordinator of the Horley-based charity, together with a handful of loyal volunteers, has not only helped to save and re-home thousands of domestic pets, but has also provided advice and support to Surrey pet-owners who have found themselves in difficult circumstances where they can no longer look after their animals. All the work carried out by the charity is voluntary – no-one is paid – and the Animal Protection Trust doesn’t charge for its services either, relying on the support of public donations. It is a huge testament to Jacqueline that the Animal Protection Trust has continued its work over so many years, with the support of a great team of volunteers, in ‘helping pets and helping people’.
Simon Whalley, Bramley
Simon Whalley has two great passions – care for the elderly and conservation. As chairman of Birtley House Nursing Home, owned by his family over four generations, Simon promotes better care, in Surrey and nationally. He is a director of the Leatherhead-based Surrey Care Association; a trustee of the Community Foundation for Surrey; and supports many local organisations including Gosden House, Oakleaf Enterprise and Sight for Surrey. Simon is also chairman of Surrey Hills Enterprises and the Surrey Countryside and Rural Enterprise Forum, promoting rural business and conservation. For over 40 years, the 69-year-old has worked to encourage better environmental management and has helped raise well over £15million for conservation work throughout the UK.
Phil Wilcox, New Malden
Despite thinking he’d left his writing days behind him when he retired, “Fab Phil”, as he is affectionately known, has barely stopped since first volunteering for the Marketing & Communications team at The Children’s Trust, Tadworth, some four years ago. As well as being a roving reporter, he is also a blogger for the charity’s staff intranet, and further afield too. In addition, Phil can often be found helping out at various fund-raising events, enlisting the help of his wife Jane as well. A man of many talents, he’s also a key member of the charity’s workplace choir.
Nick Wyschna, Guildford
The man in charge of the Guildford Fringe Festival and the Guildford Fringe Theatre Company, 30-year-old Nick Wyschna’s first Fringe Festival in 2013 centred around The Star Inn in Guildford, which has a small theatre at the back. By 2014, the event had grown to nine venues – running throughout July, with several events each day. A real tour de force on the local arts scene, Nick also puts on plays, such as the recent Concrete Boots starring Steven Arnold (Coronation Street’s Ashley Peacock) and the Adult Panto in December, and is involved with many local events such as Guildford in Bloom and the Christmas Lights Switch-On. Very hard-working and a consummate networker, the result of his efforts has helped to raise the profile of Guildford, provide employment for actors and front-of-house staff, bring revenue into the night-time economy of the town and give all those who attend the shows an exceptionally good time!
• If you’d like to nominate someone to feature in Surrey Life’s Community Heroes, please e-mail their name, hometown, age and the reason for your recommendation to firstname.lastname@example.org with SLCH in the subject line.
SURREY LIFE COMMUNITY HEROES 2014
Sonia Ashworth, Newlands Corner
Among the great and the good to be honoured in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list this year was Surrey County Show organiser Sonia Ashworth, who was made an MBE. Having joined the Surrey County Agricultural Society in November 1999 after working for the National Trust, Sonia, who lives near Newlands Corner, has been running our county’s biggest agricultural event since the millennium. Sonia, 60, has had to cope with difficult times for farming, including two outbreaks of Foot and Mouth, but the one-day agricultural show at Stoke Park, Guildford, on May bank holiday remains an important opportunity for our countryside communities to showcase top quality livestock right in the heart of our county town.
Sarah Bain, Haslemere
As chairman of the Black Down & Hindhead Supporters of the National Trust since 2005, Sarah Bain, 60, has spearheaded support for important projects such as a major heathland restoration at Black Down, re-uniting the Hindhead landscape after the A3 road tunnel opened and raising funds for a pioneering eco-building extension at Swan Barn Farm, Haslemere. During her time as chairman, the supporters have contributed over £40,000 to National Trust conservation projects: from bird hides to beehives, hedging plants to major archaeology surveys. Sarah also undertook local research into the life of National Trust co-founder and Surrey resident, Sir Robert Hunter. She steps down as chairman in May, having served a maximum term, but has now become a trustee of Haslemere Educational Museum.
Lisa Cadman, Cranleigh
When Lisa Cadman approached Surrey Air Ambulance in October 2012, she said to them that she wanted to raise £2,500 for the charity as a sign of her gratitude after they came to the rescue of a friend’s son. It was Lisa’s intention to raise enough money to fund at least one potentially life-saving call-out by the charity’s helicopter. To this end, she organised a sponsored slim, a “toddle” walk, therapy days, an auction night, a school mufti day, collection tins and a climb over the spectacular O2 Arena in London. In the end, Lisa, 42, exceeded her target four-fold by raising a grand total of £11,248. Needless to say, the Air Ambulance, which is now based at Redhill, is “extremely grateful” to her for raising such a phenomenal sum of money.
Debbie Conibere, Weybridge
Debbie Conibere has worked tirelessly for the past three years leading a group attempting to raise £50,000 for the renovation of the 1st Weybridge [Brookland’s Own] Scout Headquarters in Springfield Lane, Weybridge. Through various fund-raising efforts and lots of volunteer hours, they achieved their target and undertook the work with the support of other local groups and businesses. In September 2013, they were able to reopen the refurbished building and, what is more, the building is also available for use by other local community groups in the Weybridge area. It was Debbie’s hard work, tenacity and determination that was a key driver and she is regarded as “a credit to the group”. In her 40s, Debbie is a parent with three boys, who attend the beavers, cubs and scouts, as well as running her own businesses.
Trevor Crowhurst, Lingfield
So involved is he in the village of Lingfield that Trevor Crowhurst was described to us in the research for this feature as “Lingfield through and through”. Regarded by many as a pillar of his local community, this has come about partly through his work with Lingfield Running Club, a small and friendly club of around 100 members, where he has helped fledgling runners gain in confidence for several decades. He is, they tell us, “a stalwart of the club in his support and encouragement for all.” If that wasn’t enough, the “70-something-year-old” also helps deliver meals to the elderly and infirm in the area, providing an invaluable lifeline for them, as well as being involved with bell-ringing, church activities and the local cricket club.
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Tom Drake, Kingswood
A member of Ewell Rotary Club for 37 years and twice its president, Tom Drake was awarded the MBE for his charity work in this year’s New Year’s Honours. Locally, the 76-year-old’s charity work has included raising £10,000 through musical concerts at Bourne Hall and the Epsom Playhouse, which he organised with his wife, Primrose, who is a musical soprano. Also committed to raising awareness of the need for safe water and sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, he and his wife were honoured in 2012 by HRH Prince of Wales, president of WaterAid, with an award for Outstanding Voluntary Contribution. This award came in recognition of their dedication in fund-raising and campaigning for WaterAid over 15 years.
Nicky Donbavand & Alan Burrows, Ashtead
Owners of the Ashtead-based running business Run to Live, Nicky, 41, and “50-something” Alan have been offering their time and expertise completely free of charge to Tadworth’s The Children’s Trust for several years in the lead-up to running and sports events. They get up at the crack of dawn to take would-be marathon runners out on training days and keep up morale, answering last-minute questions and offering nutritional advice. Last year, they thought nothing of getting up before sunrise on a February morning as the snow was falling to coach the charity’s runners. And all the time with beaming smiles. This year, the business is also supporting the Princess Alice Hospice; First Touch Neonatal Unit at St George’s Hospital; the National Trust; Surrey Wildlife Trust; Down’s Syndrome; Girl-Guiding Surrey East; and the British Red Cross.
Charlotte Drinkwater, Caterham
Set to undertake her very first marathon, Charlotte Drinkwater is aiming to raise much-needed funds for local charity, Jigsaw (South East), as a tribute to her friend who died from cancer last year. The 38-year-old was motivated to sign up to the Virgin Money London Marathon, the world’s largest annual fund-raising event, after witnessing her late friend Annette Boyle’s two-year battle with lung cancer. Annette was just 38 when she finally succumbed to the illness, leaving behind her husband Simon and their nine-year-old son. During her illness, she had sought help and guidance from Jigsaw (South East), which offered support and counselling for her family and continues to help them through their grief.
The Friends of East Surrey Hospital, Redhill
Over the past 30 years, the Friends of East Surrey Hospital – a team of 330 supporters – has raised a whopping £3million. The money, which helps Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust improve its patient facilities, has largely come through the Friends’ coffee shops. Last year, they donated £150,000 for wi-fi across the Redhill hospital, so that now all visitors can get internet access for free when they visit. Donations have also paid for heated baby mattresses, extra televisions, and earphones so patients can listen to the hospital radio station, Radio Redhill.
Flood heroes, Surrey
A whole separate ‘heroes feature’ could have stemmed from the amazing stories to develop during the Surrey floods of early 2014. Pubs such as The Wheatsheaf and Pigeon in Staines-upon-Thames became safe havens for communities battling the elements. St Paul’s church hall in Egham Hythe was crammed with food, clothes, baby items, toilet rolls and pet food while hundreds of volunteers loaded vans with deliveries. Off-duty fire and rescue officer Matt Broomby and volunteer Claire Armstrong created a ‘control centre’ with a team of volunteers in the Magna Carta School, using a Facebook page and phone line in Staines. Volunteers from Surrey Search and Rescue were among those joining the emergency services in helping to rescue stranded residents... and that’s just the start. A huge thank you to them all.
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Theresa Fuoco, Knaphill
Involved with Surrey Dolphins, who provide access to swimming for people who have restricted mobility, ever since their formation 11 years ago, Theresa Fuoco received a British Empire Medal for voluntary service to swimming and the community in the New Year’s Honours. The 49-year-old is happy to drop in on her ‘extended family’ at their homes if they miss one of the two weekly sessions and currently sits on the board as vice-chairman, swim co-ordinator and is also a trustee. Since quitting her job as an estate agent, Theresa is said to have gone far beyond the call of duty to help and support the charity in many ways.
Bob Hogan, Epsom
Over the last 14 years, Epsom resident Bob Hogan has helped to raise over £175,000 for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, which has bases in London and Sutton, following the death of his friend from the disease. It’s all thanks to the 58-year-old’s team of cycling postmen and women, The Leatherhead Spinners, who have cycled thousands of miles between them for the hospital. One of the group’s recent ventures was their annual sponsored cycle ride from Leatherhead to Littlehampton, a torturous journey of 44 hard miles. They show no signs of slowing down yet despite, as they say, “getting older, and the cycle rides getting tougher.”
Pauline Hedges, West Byfleet
An enthusiastic and energetic early riser, Pauline Hedges heads off every Saturday morning around 4am to manage a selection of farmers’ markets in different Surrey towns. An active Rotarian of Shepperton Aurora, the 68-year-old has previously worked for the British Lung Foundation and Surrey Chamber of Commerce, and her proudest role was as a founder and deputy director of Childline with Esther Rantzen. Pauline was honoured for her outstanding contribution at the third BBC Surrey & Sussex Community Heroes Awards in December. Turn to page 110 for the launch of the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards 2014...
Gloria Holmes, Horsell
A Horsell resident who played the keyboard for people with Alzheimer’s for more than 20 years, Gloria Holmes was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community of Woking in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. The 88-year-old started out by playing her keyboard in old people’s homes and then, from 1990, she went on to perform every Tuesday for the Woking Alzheimer’s Group, bringing joy to many over the years. As well as her music, Gloria’s voluntary work has also included reading for the blind, visits to both care homes and prisons, as well as working with the Women’s Institute.
Guildford Samaritans, Guildford
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK for outstanding work done in the local communities for the benefit of others. In 2013, the Guildford Samaritans received the award, which is seen as the equivalent of an MBE and was created by The Queen in 2002 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of her coronation. Nominated for the award by a local supporter, Guildford Samaritans was recognised for its commitment to supporting local people over the past 50 years and the branch’s outreach work, including a missing person referral scheme with Surrey Police.
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Stephen Luff, Ewell
In November 2013, Stephen Luff was on duty as head of swimming at Parkside School in Stoke d’Abernon when a seven-year-old boy got into difficulty during a lesson in the school’s indoor pool. The 39-year-old father-of-three dived in and successfully managed to resuscitate the pupil before Surrey Air Ambulance arrived. The helicopter’s doctor and critical care paramedic have nominated Stephen for his life-saving actions and vital first aid. The boy was taken to the major trauma centre at St George’s Hospital in London but has since made a full recovery. The school is now fund-raising for the charity helicopter.
Dame Penelope Keith, Milford
Actress Penelope Keith, best-known for her role in Seventies sitcom The Good Life, has lived in Milford for more than 20 years and has long taken a hands-on approach to life in Surrey. A former High Sheriff of Surrey and keen supporter of many local charities, the 73-year-old was made a dame for her services to the arts and to charity in the New Year’s Honours list. A patron of the Surrey Hills, she also supports Oakleaf, a mental health charity in Guildford; Brooklands Museum in Weybridge; Transform Housing & Support in Leatherhead; the Therapy Garden in Normandy; and the Surrey Gardens Trust; among many others.
Neil Maltby, Leith Hill
A selfless servant of our local country-side, Neil Maltby is a long-term resident of the Dorking area and is perhaps best-known for his passionate support for the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Originally chairman of the Surrey Board, he became the first chairman of the Surrey Hills Society, which was formed in 2009 and has continued to grow in membership throughout the recession. In 2005, he did a journey across the entire length of the Surrey Hills to raise awareness and to fund-raise for several local charities and in his 60s currently serves as the society’s president. A chartered surveyor by trade, Neil is also a long serving parish and district councillor as well as a former chairman of Mole Valley District Council. In addition, he was the lead figure behind the campaign for the Dorking Cockerel that now stands on the roundabout at the entrance to the town coming in from Leatherhead and Reigate. Neil managed to create a high profile campaign that raised £13,000 towards the cost of the now famous 10-feet high sculpture.
Jan Maybury & Debbie Bishop, Holmwood & Westcott
Despite the sad loss of Jan Maybury’s son, Mark, shortly before the event, these two friends ran the Virgin London Marathon in 2013 and raised well over £4,000 for The Children’s Trust in Tadworth. The women (45 and 44 respectively) had been in training for the marathon and holding fund-raisers for the charity, where Mark – who had complex health needs – was a residential learner at its on-site school. The 18-year-old passed away unexpectedly two months before the event, due to health complications. However, Jan was even more determined to run and raise as much money as possible for the charity that had cared for her son since he was seven. And with the constant support of Debbie, they managed to complete it triumphantly in memory of Mark. The ladies have since supported The Children’s Trust by encouraging their family and friends to run this year’s marathon, and also helped open its new charity shop in Dorking.
Maxine McArthur, Hambledon
One of the founding parents of the halow project in Guildford, which was set up to support young people with a learning disability, Maxine McArthur has helped steer the charity along its path to success at the same time as raising a young family – including her daughter who was one of the inspirations for the charity’s foundation. As well as all this, she cycled 250 miles in 48 hours last year on the halow250, the annual cycle ride that goes through Surrey and Hampshire, over to France and back to Guildford – all raising crucial funds for the charity. The 46-year-old has plans to do the ride again in 2014. Now, with another co-founder, Lynne Day, Maxine has also started a new service for halow – Parent 2 Parent. While the objective of the charity is to support the young people themselves, Maxine and Lynne were very aware of the problems faced by a parent of a young person with a learning disability. They now volunteer regularly to support such parents and offer advice as well as listening when the going gets tough.
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Men In Sheds, Caterham
A community scheme that started life as a way to help men through the bereavement process, Men in Sheds is an exciting new venture in Caterham. The project encourages older males to indulge in a spot of DIY at a workshop at the Douglas Brunton Centre. Participants in the project can make the likes of garden containers
and coffee tables whilst enjoying a social setting. The project has seen an extremely positive response with tools being donated by local residents. One initiative aims to construct 30 wacky miniature homes for a new attraction at Godstone Farm.
Peter Moxley, Horley
As the treasurer of Horley Cricket Club, chairman of the local youth club, a member of Horley Lions and an organiser of the town’s carnival, it’s hard to think of anyone more deserving than Peter Moxley to receive the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Horley. It is three decades since the 65-year-old first got involved with the Horley community, and during that time he has helped out countless individuals in all sorts of ways. In fact, receiving the British Empire Medal in the latest New Year’s Honours was not the first time Peter has been recognised for his extraordinary contribution to the town – he had previously received an award from Horley town council. In addition to all his community work in Horley, Peter is also a fund-raiser for Lingfield’s Young Epilepsy.
Eileen Palmer, Fetcham
Despite breaking her hip last year, “70-something” Eileen Palmer returned to volunteering at Guildford’s halow project as soon as humanly possible and her unstinting good cheer and determination are said to be an inspiration to all. Having worked tirelessly for the charity, which helps young people with a learning disability to live the life they choose as independently as possible, for many years she has designed and implemented a valuable and hugely successful peer-to-peer mentoring programme. As a result, many of the charity’s young people have gained the confidence to go on to either volunteering or to community or paid work themselves, or to living more independently, which is the charity’s overarching objective.
Jenny Seagrove, Compton
Based in Compton, actress Jenny Seagrove, 56, and her dedicated team at the Mane Chance Sanctuary have been rescuing mistreated horses since 2011. The star of TV series Judge John Deed decided to set up the sanctuary after discovering that a friend who looked after abused or abandoned horses and other animals in Kent could no longer do so. Mane Chance also works within the local community, inviting disabled children from Disability Challengers and Shooting Star Chase to visit the sanctuary and meet the more gentle horses – mainly the Shetlands. They have also had huge success in getting children who rarely interact with others to reach out to these gentle creatures.
Carol Sullivan, Stanwell
Despite spending almost all of her time helping others, Stanwell resident Carol Sullivan was still modest enough to say she was not entirely sure why she had been singled out when receiving a British Empire Medal for services to her local community in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. The 67-year-old is involved with the Stanwell Women’s Institute and other voluntary groups, including Walking for Health with Spelthorne Borough Council, and runs the Stanwell Village Hall as well as the flowers at St Mary’s Church.
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Jane Turner, Compton
A vital part of the Watts Gallery community since she first began volunteering there more than a decade ago now, Jane Turner has played a pivotal role in encouraging local support for the Hope Project, which has resulted in the gallery undergoing a major restoration. The 70-year-old’s energy and motivation has seen her take on many roles at the gallery – she not only volunteers as a steward but also plays a key role in leading the tour guides and taking tours of the gallery, chapel and ‘Limnerslease’, GF Watts’ former home and studio. Her knowledge and passion for the artist and his wife Mary, who was also a painter, mean her tours never fail to enthrall visitors. In addition, Jane also writes a monthly newsletter, The Compton News, which is read by local residents of the village.
Susan Thomas, Warlingham
Warlingham resident Susan Thomas, a police inspector for the Metropolitan Police, received a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours list for services to policing and voluntary service to the community in Croydon. The 48-year-old mother-of-two was responsible for establishing the Croydon Borough Volunteer Police Cadets, and over a period of nine years she has worked tirelessly with approximately 1,000 cadets, with local schools benefitting. She has also worked hard to tackle the negative image of youths in the area.
Laura Treadaway, Lower Kingswood
An energetic mum-of-two, Laura Treadaway has been hitting the pavements for four years to raise money for the Tadworth-based Children’s Trust, completing the London and New York Marathons and taking part in various local sporting events. The 35-year-old has raised well over £4,000 in this time. After consistent correspondence with the fund-raising team, Laura became a member of staff herself last year. However, she is still volunteering and gets her son, daughter and husband Richard involved at events for The Children’s Trust. This year, she is running the London Marathon again and has also been supporting a mother of a child who
is receiving rehabilitation for a brain injury and who is also running the marathon for The Children’s Trust.
Lyz Warren, Epsom
As the 30th anniversary of The Children’s Trust approaches this April, the charity was keen to thank Lyz Warren, a former nurse at Tadworth Court. An invaluable support, the 67-year-old has archived all the history and essentially captured memories and the journey of the charity thus far. Previously a member of staff, Lyz arrived at The Hospital for Sick Children, now The Children’s Trust, in Tadworth in 1968 and retired in 2008. However, she has remained a steadfast volunteer and is known as the Trust’s “go-to historian”. When the charity celebrated its 25th anniversary, Lyz spent hours of her own time to help create a history book to commemorate the occasion.
If you’d like to nominate someone to feature in a future edition of Surrey Life’s Community Heroes, please e-mail their name, hometown, age and the reason for your recommendation to email@example.com with SLCH in the subject line.
SURREY LIFE COMMUNITY HEROES 2013
With grateful thanks to our sponsor St John’s School, Leatherhead
Chris Campbell, Long Ditton
Having recently embarked on his third fundraising event for Auditory Verbal UK, who have helped his daughter Alice, 6, and son Oliver, 10 months, both of whom have a rare genetic form of deafness called auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder, Chris Campbell’s efforts are truly appreciated by the charity. Most recently he joined six other runners for the Silverstone Half Marathon but previously he has also taken part in a 91 mile rowing challenge from Oxford to Kingston in two days.
Jeanette Steeden, Leatherhead
A volunteer Guide Dog puppy walker, puppy walking mentor and volunteer voices group member, ‘J’ takes young pups from six weeks of age until a year old, training them ready for their future owners. In her mentor role, she supports new puppy walkers and helps them deal with the demands of a six-week-old puppy as well as helping recruit new volunteers. Nominators say J has really gone above and beyond the call of duty in her role on the volunteer voices group panel – helping to convey the hopes, fears and concerns of over 50 volunteers back into the organisation. J manages all these roles alongside being a busy mum and the owner of two of her own dogs.
Ken Purssey, Cobham
Appointed MBE for his services to policing and to the community in this year’s New Year Honours, 84-year-old Ken has been volunteering for more than 30 years. Having started volunteering as a youth worker in 1978, while also holding down a full-time job, he eventually retired 25 years ago but has since been involved in the Cobham Chamber of Commerce, Surrey Police and also co-ordinated the Cobham Christmas Extravaganza for 13 years. Some call him Mr Cobham.
Anne Gray, Weybridge
A fitness instructor at David Lloyd in Weybridge, Anne Gray is a huge supporter of Sam Beare Hospice in Weybridge. Her determination as she battles secondary breast cancer has been inspirational to those around her. They say she is always positive and has even personally raised thousands of pounds for the Hospice. She was also very proud to be part of the Olympic torch procession last year after being nominated by her husband. She is an ambassador for Sam Beare and has inspired many others to take part in fundraising events and raise money.
Dr Margaret Guy, Camberley
A long-serving doctor at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, Farnham, Margaret Guy received an MBE from Prince Charles earlier this year. She was recognised for services to palliative health care in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List last June. She has been a doctor at the Hospice for 20 years and also chaired the charity’s Hospice Home Support from its creation in 1993.
Stu Plumbley, Caterham
Cycling home from work, Barry Hammond suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision with a car in Milford. Surrey Air Ambulance critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley, 48, and the helicopter doctor gave Barry emergency treatment at the road-side. They sedated him and administered an emergency anaesthetic before carrying out thoracostomies to reinflate his collapsed lungs – advanced medical procedures usually performed only in hospital. Barry, from Godalming, was flown to a trauma centre in London. He was allowed home after six weeks and has since made an almost complete recovery.
Alma Murch, Tadworth
Since 1999, Alma, 76, has been volunteering at the School for Profound Education in Tadworth. In her role she arranges activities for the children who have profound and multiple learning difficulties. Not only does she help at the school, which is part of the Children’s Trust, but each year she invites the children and staff to a garden party and barbecue at her home. They say Alma is adored by the children and staff; she always remembers every child or staff members’ birthday and bakes cakes for everyone to enjoy. Alma also volunteers at the stalls during the Trust open day and offers her time during Heritage day.
Norah Bethell, Cobham
As a key volunteer for the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust, 75-year-old Norah Bethell works hard organising teams of volunteers to support the group. With a membership in and around Cobham of over 1,100 members, Norah has persuaded over a 100 of these of all ages to volunteer to support various events from newsletter distribution to Heritage Day support. No one, they say, gets past Norah and once they have been ‘collared’ by her to assist they are said, affectionately, to have been ‘Norahed’. She is also known as 007 due to the last three digits of her mobile phone.
Jim Blackmore, Salfords
A councillor on Salfords and Sidlow Parish Council, Jim has been instrumental over the past four years in founding and operating the Salfords & NV Youth Club. He found a suitable venue, sourced the funding and arranged for a qualified member of staff to run the club. The club has a regular attendance of about 30 youngsters who enjoy a range of activities every week during term time, from rock climbing to music. The club gives young people a safe and fun place to go to mix with their peers. Without Jim’s dedication, supporters say this club would never have happened.
Sir Richard Stilgoe, Oxted
Singer, songwriter and wit, Sir Richard Stilgoe was knighted last autumn in recognition of his tireless charitable work. In 1998, he founded the Orpheus Centre in Godstone, a residential care home that helps young, disabled adults learn life skills through the performing arts. He recently stood down as chair of YouthMusic, which offers music-making opportunities to disadvantaged young people, and is a patron of Milford’s Surrey Care Trust, which provides education, training and opportunities to those who need a second chance in life.
Paul Mitchell, Guildford
Chief executive of Transform Housing and Support for 20 years, Paul Mitchell, 58, has steered the organisation to become the largest provider of supported housing for vulnerable people in Surrey. Transform performs a vital role in supporting and housing people with mental health and drug and alcohol issues, ex-offenders, people with learning difficulties and homeless young people. Paul is extremely well regarded by all those in the support sector and is well known for his caring attitude and commitment. He is also involved in many other organisations in Surrey.
Howard Potter, Shere
Treasurer for Shere Village Hall for more than 30 years, a governor at the village school and treasurer for the parish, Howard Potter, 69, was honoured with a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours for services to the community. With wife Judy, he originally moved to Shere back in 1978.
James Rothwell, Walton-on-Thames
While the summer of 2012 saw sporting triumph for Team GB with a host of medals and Olympic records being collected, 2012 also saw James undertaking his own series of challenges in aid of Princess Alice Hospice, Esher. James ran nine marathons in 2012 to raise money for PAH in memory of his late mother Jackie, who had battled cancer for a number of years and received support from the Hospice. His 2012 efforts included a trip to Dorking for an extremely hot and hilly wine tasting marathon up and down the North Downs!
Colin Sutherland, Banstead
Having volunteered with 3rd Banstead Scouts for 45 years and worked as a governor at Banstead Junior School since 1993, the retired 78-year-old Colin Sutherland was appointed MBE in the New Year Honours list for services to his local community. He and his wife of nearly 60 years, Jean, hold an annual fundraising open garden event for charity, making more than £15,000 for Homestart.
Peter Hutley, Bramley
The man behind the Wintershall Nativity, which has entertained thousands over the years, Peter Hutley, 85, was appointed an OBE in the New Year Honours. Once a humble family affair, the theatrical event now attracts over 6,000 visitors every winter. Peter also puts on an annual performance of the Christ’s Passion in Trafalgar Square on Good Friday. The OBE recognises his service to Christian understanding and work as founder of the Heart and Stroke Trust Endeavor, which last year began a three year joint project with University of Surrey and The Royal Surrey County, Ashford and St Peter’s and Frimley Park Hospitals.
Surrey Air Ambulance. Redhill
Life-saving charity Surrey Air Ambulance currently flies during daylight hours only, 365 days a year. Later this year, it plans to start night flying from its base at Redhill Aerodrome, allowing the doctor and paramedic to potentially treat a further 300 to 400 patients a year. In another major development of the service, the charity launched a blood transfusion service in February. The highly-skilled medics can now carry out transfusions at the scene of an accident or emergency rather than later on in hospital and it is estimated that the move will benefit up to 100 patients a year.
Monica Trevitt, Effingham
Having volunteered at Polesden Lacey for more than 10 years selling raffle tickets, Monica took over as team leader in 2006. Over the years, she has helped raise well over £100,000 for this historic National Trust property at Great Bookham, near Dorking. Projects funded by the raffle include a mobility vehicle, which transports hundreds of visitors with mobility problems every week; the restoration of the beautiful rose and rock gardens; and the opening up of new rooms in the house, including the private apartments of Mrs Greville (the Edwardian hostess who used to own Polesden – read more in this month’s A View from the Trust column), and also the re-interpretation of the Dining Room, setting it out as it would have been when King Edward VII visited back in 1909.
Terry Richardson, Tadworth
When he was made redundant as a technical assistant in 2008, Terry, 55, decided to give his time and skills to a good cause and started volunteering at the Children’s Trust. The proud grandfather and artist joined the charity’s IT team, and works incessantly to keep the computer system ticking over. Terry has been known to come in before normal working hours on the day of an important conference to ensure that all issues are in hand – all because he found out that the member of staff organising the event was worried. Terry takes the pressure off the IT team by stepping in wherever he can.
Shirley West, Guildford
Recognised for her services to charity, specifically for her work with the British Heart Foundation, Shirley, 67, was another to receive recognition in the New Year Honours list, being awarded a British Empire Medal. Chairman of the Guildford and Godalming branch of the charity, she also supports Macmillan Cancer Support and Project Peru, as well as fundraising for Pond Meadow School in Guildford and her own charity Precious Friends.
Douglas Craik, Teddington
Joining volunteer centre Go Kingston Volunteering in 2005, Douglas, 65, has also managed the organisation’s Crisis Response Team (CRT) during this time. Should there be a major incident in the borough, Douglas is responsible for mobilising the 50 trained volunteers he has recruited to do such things such as setting up a rest centre etc. In addition, he also helps the National Trust, where he is known as “Dougie the Buggy” (he enables those who find it difficult to walk to get around) and volunteers with SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Air force and Army), the national charity which helps serving and ex-service men and their families as the regional secretary.
Heather Armstrong, Ockley
Director of the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust, Heather has dedicated the last ten years of her life to improving the lives of working equines in The Gambia, and reducing the poverty of the animals’ owners. She has achieved some amazing things over the past ten years and does it voluntarily, mainly from a small wooden shed in her garden. Heather works tirelessly to improve the lives of both people and animals and was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Royal Veterinary College in London.
Jane Formby, Thames Ditton
In her 70s, Jane is Princess Alice Hospice’s longest serving Trustee, joining the board in 1983. Previously, Jane represented Elmbridge Borough Council on the Community Health Council for five years, where she was involved with maternal care, mental health and hospital visiting. During these hospital visits Jane became aware of people dying with hardly any support, so became interested in the idea of hospice care. She became vice-chairman of the charity’s appeal committee, set up in the 1980s to raise funds for the Hospice.
Sue Weaver, Farnham
Named volunteer of the year as part of BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey’s community heroes awards in December, Sue runs Change of Scene, a charity that has been offering educational and leisure activities for disadvantaged children every week for the last five years. The children are often floundering in a classroom environment. The experience is tailored to produce self-confidence and belief in a promising future so that they can create positive outcomes for themselves, and make positive contributions to society.
Christa and Tim Tuohy, Walton-on-the-Hill
Having volunteered for the Children’s Trust since their son Justin received care there, Christa, 41, and Tim Tuohy, 49, have raised thousands. Justin had complex health needs and sadly passed away just over five years ago but since then the Tuohy’s have completed the London Marathon and arranged Justin’s Jog, a commemorative run, which got the community together and raised over £4,000 for the charity. Despite having three children to look after, they both consistently support Trust events.
Danny Rogers, Sutton
A father of two, Danny is a well-known face at The Children’s Trust. Despite being a busy businessman, the 40-year-old insists on helping out at all Trust events and is usually the first to arrive and last to leave (often spending most of the day in the cold and rain). He helps the gardeners to maintain the grounds, carries out essential driving duties, and has even changed a flat tyre on the car of one of the Trust’s visitors. Danny not only volunteers but has also taken part in challenges and treks for the Trust, raising well over £7,700. He even brings in chocolates to the staff when he visits the offices.
Pam Keeble, Sussex
While she may live over the border, Pam has been part of the team at the Surrey-based wildlife charity, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, since 1993. Retiring from her charity duties in March at 74, she was originally one of a small team based at David Shepherd’s home in Hascombe and has been part of the charity’s expansion ever since. She ran its popular adoption programme, giving thousands of hours to save endangered wildlife and volunteering at DSWF events in the UK and projects in Africa too. “We could not run the Foundation without the support of our volunteers and I am proud to say that we have the best in the business,” says wildlife artist and the charity’s founder, David Shepherd. “Pam’s dedication has been extraordinary and she will be sorely missed.”
Fran Hall, Frimley
A campaign to honour long serving lollipop lady Fran, who has been seeing children and their parents safely across the road as they make their daily trek to Knaphill Lower and Junior Schools for over thirty years, is gathering pace. The local residents’ website, The Knaphillian, and a petition at Fransfans.com both shared their concerns that her position could be downgraded or withdrawn by Surrey County Council last summer. It has since been confirmed that their calls for Fran to be honoured via the Queen’s honours list are being taken up with constituent MP Jonathan Lord.
Wendy Gathercole, East Horsley
Caring for four teenage sons can be hectic and tiring, so imagine also adding training for the London Marathon and climbing Kilimanjaro into the mix. This is exactly what Wendy Gathercole, 50, from East Horsley, has done and in addition she has the challenge of raising funds for Esher’s Princess Alice Hospice. Wendy is supporting the charity following the care and support her husband Clive received. Clive was diagnosed with a brain tumour in May 2011 and soon after was referred to PAH, who looked after him through his final days.
Roger Brooks, Esher
Esher resident, Roger Brooks, is a runner who does not do things by halves; he has set himself the aim of running seven marathons, in four months, culminating with him travelling to South African to complete the Comrades Marathon in June. This is a 54 mile up run from Durban on the coast inland to Pietermaritzburg – a town close to where Roger grew up. His excursions will be in aid of Princess Alice Hospice. This is not the first extreme physical and fundraising challenge that Roger has put himself through. Last year he set himself the challenge of running 1,000km in four months, collecting over £4,600 of sponsorship for a spinal injury charity.
Colin Burgess, Cobham
93-year-old Colin celebrated his last day of volunteering with the Elmbridge countryside team on Esher Commons at the end of 2012. His team organised a special send off for their oldest volunteer to thank him for all his efforts over the last 10 years. Colin had been volunteering since the group was established and senior countryside ranger Simon Bailey said that Colin would be greatly missed by all.
• If you’d like to nominate someone to feature in Surrey Life’s Community Heroes, please e-mail their name, hometown, age and the reason for your recommendation to firstname.lastname@example.org with SLCH in the subject line.
SURREY LIFE COMMUNITY HEROES 2012
With grateful thanks to our sponsor, CHK Mountford Lettings Agent
Peter Almond, Hinchley Wood
One man and his dog, Peter Almond, 65, and seven-year-old Henry, raised around £10,000 for Hounds for Heroes by walking 1,250 miles across the country this autumn. Hounds for Heroes is a new charity that provides assistance dogs for forces and emergency service personnel. The former defence correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and the Washington Times finished his walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats after four stints taking a total of 131 days.
George Kerr, Chertsey
For the past 50 years, George Kerr has been an inspirational leader for the Scouting movement. He started out as a cub leader with the 1st / 4th Addlestone Scout Group and, now in his late 60s, he still maintains links with his group and also coordinates events for young people across Runnymede. Once every three years, he is part of a team that organises a fun day for over 2,500 eight to 11-year-olds from across Surrey at Cranleigh Showground.
Peggy Bedwell, Ewell
Active in local history and archaeology since the 1960s, Peggy Bedwell has long been a member and officer of the local history society and helped to save the museum when it was to be closed. At just over 90, she is still hard at work in the local history centre, which she helped to found, and has hosted and worked with the local Roman pottery cataloguing group for the last six years. She is also a member of the local history committee for Surrey Archaeological Society, and worked hard to save Old St Mary’s Church Tower, raising money to restore it, and remains a trustee.
Sarah Benton, Weybridge
While she may have been blind for eight-and-a-half years due to insulin dependant diabetes, Sarah Benton hasn’t let that get in the way of her charity fund-raising efforts. Back in September, the 33-year-old dived with a large number of sharks at an aquarium in Ellesmere Port, raising more than £22,000 for the Surrey Association for Visual Impairment (SAVI) through her brave challenge.
Manuela Gosling-Gleissberg, Kingswood
For the last ten years, Manuela Gosling-Gleissberg, 45, has volunteered at the School for Profound Education in Tadworth, The Children’s Trusts school for learners with profound and multiple learning difficulties and complex health needs. Manuela is also a governor of the school and a member of a number of working parties and groups. Importantly for the school, she also developed links with Chinthurst boys’ school. Students from there now visit for work experience, and have invited learners from the School for Profound Education to attend drama and art sessions, which they have specially designed for them back at their own school.
John Buckoke, Tadworth
A volunteer at The Children’s Trust, Tadworth, for over 14 years in a variety of different guises (and costumes!), John Buckoke, 76, manages the recruitment and placement of work experience students. He does this for both the School for Profound Education, for students with multiple learning difficulties, and the charity’s shops. He reached the milestone of 1,000 work experience students last year. Anyone who has attended Heritage Open Days may well have met John - or Lord Russell as he would be better known! With his wife Doreen, John explains the fascinating history of the Trust’s mansion building, in full period dress.
Ann Meadows, Brockham
Involved with the Dorking branch of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) for the last 12 years, Ann Meadows, 69, helps to organise their annual Big Brew-Up, a tea, coffee and cake morning where they sell Christmas cards, with the help of Brockham Flower Club. The SSAFA is a national welfare charity that helps current and former servicemen, women and their families. Another cause that has benefitted from Ann’s efforts is the Sidney Michael Poland Trust, a Brockham-based charity that helps people in need and also funds Poland House, a small sheltered housing scheme in the village.
Andy Honey, Westcott
This Westcott gardener had his moment in the headlines when he captured the hearts of the nation after the airing of Channel 4’s Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder, the story of another local resident who had filled a four-bedroom bungalow and garages from floor to ceiling with items he had kept over the years. Andy Honey, 39, showed great patience and persistence to help Richard Wallace, whose hoarding habits had taken over his life.
Sheila Boniface, Farnborough
A dedicated fund-raiser for many years after being treated at St Luke’s Cancer Centre nearly 14 years ago, Sheila Boniface, 48, has been an inspiration, having climbed Kilimanjaro and Snowdon to help raise funds for the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford and other charities that supported her during her treatment. More recently, she and her daughter have worked tremendously hard in developing an event called Dusk to Dawn, a night walk from Farnborough to the Royal Surrey County Hospital, which was a huge success last year and raised over £5,000. She plans to do it again this year and hopes to double that sum.
Craig Chitty, Effingham
The Co-operative Group honoured one of Surrey’s community stars at the inaugural South East Community Awards last November. Craig Chitty, 29, from Effingham, was crowned Community Hero for his work founding the St John Ambulance Effingham and District Community First Responders, ensuring that local residents have access to emergency medical assistance despite living many miles from the nearest hospital’s accident and emergency unit.
Gerald Cole, Addlestone
A feisty 60-plus civil engineering consultant, Gerald Cole has been dedicated to raising money for charity for a number of years. In 2009, he took part in the London to Brighton cycle ride in aid of the British Heart Foundation and the London to Paris ride in aid of Children with Cancer. Feeling spurred on by his success, he signed up for a Paris to Geneva charity cycle ride, which he again completed. Gerald is not a cycling fanatic but, in 2011, again signed up for the London to Paris ride. He has raised many thousands of pounds for these and other charities along the way.
Christopher Firth, Brockham
Having started with the Surrey Association for Visual Impairment (SAVI) last March, Christopher Firth, 60, came to the rescue just a couple of months later when the charity’s annual outing was to be cancelled due to the lack of a driver. Volunteering his services, he took the short driving test and then led the tour from Bletchingley. In January, he took over the responsibility of treasurer for the charity from Sandra Cotton.
Alec Garnham, Great Bookham
A loyal and dedicated volunteer, Alec Garnham has helped raise £23,000 for Surrey Air Ambulance since he joined the life-saving charity. The 77-year-old retired project manager has raised vital funds by selling merchandise at countless events; placing and emptying collection boxes; and representing the charity at cheque presentations. He got involved with the charity back in 2008, after his son-in-law was airlifted to hospital after a road traffic collision, and hasn’t looked back since.
Shenal Patel, Kingston upon Thames
This 25-year-old from Coombe Wood Golf Club was named Young Golf Volunteer of the Year at the England Golf Partnerships annual Volunteer Awards. In two years, Shenal Patel has journeyed from golf novice to competent player and a volunteer contributing hundreds of hours to supporting other newcomers to the game. When her degree course required volunteer work, she returned to World of Golf, where she learned from Jon Woodroffe, a PGA fellow professional, before taking her PGA Level 1 coaching qualification to help the PGA professionals with their beginner group classes.
Princess Alice Hospice Champions
Recently appointed, the Princess Alice Hospice Champions are a group who act as representatives for all the charity’s 1,400 volunteers and were nominated by their peers and staff. Some have given several decades of service to the Hospice; others have been involved for only a short period. The Champions are from all aspects of the Hospice from care services such as the day hospice or bereavement support to events support, fund-raising and retail. The champions for 2012 are Karen Bone and Mark Holland, West Molesey; Andrew Coni, Fetcham; Vivianne Pallister, New Malden; Chelsea Parsons, Bournemouth formally Staines; Susan Taylor, Whiteley; Linda Park, Thames Ditton; Jean Deane, Cobham; and Bridget Chawner, Epsom.
Alan Woodiwiss, Cheam
The founder of Sutton High FC, Alan Woodiwiss has been recognised for nearly 60 years of dedication with an MBE for his services to amateur football. In 1954, Alan left Sutton High School for Boys and decided to get all his school friends together to start a football team. The club was known as Sutton High School Old Boys FC - however, after the school closed down, it became known as Sutton High FC. Despite a recent heart bypass, the 78-year-old refuses to let health problems get in the way of his passion for football and he remains at the forefront of Sutton High FC. Alan is still the secretary and now among the longest serving secretaries in the UK.
Lee Godfrey, Oatlands
Even though neither of his local libraries, Walton or Weybridge, are under threat and he has only lived in the area for a couple of years, Lee Godfrey, 43, has been working tirelessly with the Surrey Libraries Action Movement (SLAM). The group, which launched legal action in January against Surrey County Council over their plans to replace staff with volunteers at ten libraries across Surrey, from Bagshot to Warlingham, has even gained the support of celeb brain Stephen Fry, who urged his four million followers to take a look at the SLAM campaign.
Michael More-Molyneux, Guildford
Loseley Park, near Guildford, has long been established as a haven of charitable support, and owner Michael More-Molyneux, 60, has been at the heart of that. His family have owned Loseley House since it was built in 1562 for Queen Elizabeth I - the monarch stayed there four times. He and wife, Sarah, donated the two-acre site that Shooting Star Chase’s Guildford hospice is based on and the hospice is named after their third child, Christopher, who tragically lost his life in a quad biking accident. Over the years, Michael and Sarah have run many marathons to raise money for the charities they support.
Leatherhead Community Garden, Leatherhead
Originally launched in September 2009 on a scout hut site in Woodbridge Grove, Leatherhead Community Garden was forced to close after two lots of sewage flooded the site. Not to be deterred, however, the members took full advantage of the local West Hill School’s plans to extend their horticulture provision for students. The first meeting at the new site was in February 2011 and they haven’t looked back since. The group continues to promote and encourage gardening in the area using organic and environmentally sustainable methods.
James Price from Kingswood, Ben Cuttle from Pyrford and Rob Bruce from Cobham
These three friends from across Surrey took part in a gruelling desert marathon challenge in 2011, raising over £26,000 for The Children’s Trust, Tadworth, with their efforts. James Price, Ben Cuttle and Rob Bruce took part in the toughest foot race on earth the Marathon Des Sables. The hardy trio, all in their 30s, not only successfully completed the ultimate test of endurance, but finished as the fastest British team; running a total of 151 miles in just six days in the extreme temperatures and terrain of the mighty Sahara Desert.
Limpsfield Memorial Store, Limpsfield
In 1998, the Memorial Stores and Post Office, which had been part of Limpsfield Village for many years, was in danger of closing. Local people wanted to continue to have a local shop and Post Office and decided to save it. Over £40,000 was raised through gifts and loans to buy and re-launch the business for the benefit of the local community. Up to 50 village volunteers help run the business, each signing up for taking a two-hour slot every week.
Sally Jones, Cranleigh
As an activities volunteer, Sally Jones interest in the residents at Cedar Court Nursing Home in Cranleigh always comes first and her enthusiasm for helping others is said to be endless. The 67-year-old was named volunteer of the year at the Surrey Care Awards in November, which were held at Epsom Downs racecourse, with her Glee club, life histories and brain training groups warmly praised.
Gwendolyn Allsopp, Reigate
A volunteer for the St Catherine’s Hospice shop in Reigate, which relies on such support, for 14 years; an active volunteer for the Reigate Priory Museum Society, who help run the museum; and a helper at East Surrey Hospital café, its no surprise that Gwendolyn Allsopp, 83, won an individual award at the Reigate and Banstead Mayor’s Volunteer Awards last year.
Kate Sherman, Headley
A physiotherapist at Headley Court, Kate Sherman was one of this year’s winners of an award previously picked up by Tina Turner, Sara Payne and other famous women. Kate Sherman was one of six Barclays Women of the Year winners for 2011, and she was presented with her award at the rehabilitation centre for injured soldiers, based near Epsom. Lancashire-born Kate, 35, moved to Headley Court in December 2002 and she has been helping to develop the complex trauma service for six years. Her specialist areas include traumatic amputee rehabilitation, spinal cord injuries, aquatic therapy and using sport as part of rehabilitation.
Jill Popham, Epsom
Involved in Girlguiding UK, the largest voluntary organisation for girls and young women in the country, for many years, Jill Popham, 55, makes a huge difference to hundreds of local girls’ lives. Not only does she run one Brownie and two Rainbow units, she is also the Epsom Division Commissioner. An inspiration to all those around her, Jill’s calm but enthusiastic attitude encourages others to be the best they can be and to push themselves further in all aspects of life. She selflessly gives an enormous amount of time to Girlguiding UK locally and is a caring and popular member of the team. She sees the good in everyone and gives people her unfailing support and the belief that they can move mountains.
Sue Thomas, Farnham
Recently presented with the prestigious Badge of Honour for Distinguished Service in recognition of her exceptional service to the Red Cross, Sue Thomas enthusiastically sacrifices her own time as a volunteer to maintain and expand the charity’s services to the local community. The award is the highest that can be awarded in the Red Cross. The 59-year-old also spent more than ten years as the Surrey home from hospital service coordinator, from its inception until her retirement.
Paul Studholme, Cobham
Having spent the last six years restoring the Victorian kitchen garden that has become The Medicine Garden, Paul Studholme has helped transform a derelict site into a wonderful community space, which also provides small business units to around 15 different businesses (not easy to find in Cobham at a reasonable price!). He and a small band of volunteers have been running community events that have grown hugely since the site opened to the public 18 months ago. It has become an informal meeting place for several local community groups, including the local WI. The 38-year-old recently won the South East Enterprise category in the Countryside Alliance Awards for his work regenerating the site.
Jo Pritchard and Tricia McGregor, West Byfleet and Epsom
Managing directors of Central Surrey Health, Jo Pritchard, 51, and Tricia McGregor, 49, received MBEs for services to social enterprise from Princess Anne at Windsor Castle recently. The pair were recognised in last June’s Queen’s birthday honours list for setting up the employee-owned, not-for-profit social enterprise. The organisation was formed in 2006 after more than 750 nurses and therapists left the NHS to set up the health service.
Penny Lympany, Weybridge
While holding down a full-time job, Penny Lympany still finds most nights of the week to run or organise events for eight to 11-year-olds and is responsible for one of Runnymede Scouts most successful groups, the 1st / 4th Addlestone Scout Group, with over 142 young people. She also ensures that adults receive suitable training to keep the standards of scouting in Runnymede high. In her early 40s, Penny recently received a long service award, having been involved in the group for 25 years.
Marjorie Williams, Guildford
Back in 1982, Surrey historian Matthew Alexander’s History of Guildford classes produced the first Guildford Town Guides, and since then thousands of people have been taken on guided walks around the town. The group was founded by Marjorie Williams, 82, who is still involved today. She was awarded an MBE in 2008 for services to heritage and the community of Guildford. Though Marjorie officially retired in 2006, the walks continue for free from Tunsgate Arch in the High Street and are still led by knowledgeable volunteers. She is also a founder member of the Friends of Guildford Museum.
Karoll Frost, Old Woking
Last year, volunteer fund-raiser Karoll Frost from Old Woking was honoured by receiving the Eric Theobald award, which was set up in 2006 in memory of a community police officer and is awarded to someone who has gone above the call of duty. Karoll received the award in recognition of selling Woking & Sam Beare Hospices raffle tickets and also for volunteering in their shops. Karoll, who is in her 40s, has been volunteering for the Hospice for the last 15 years, raising £200,000 along the way.
Bianca Effemey, Kingston
In 2004, Bianca Effemey, 51, was working in the Paediatric Department at Kingston Hospital and co-founded the charity Momentum with the aim of helping children (up to the age of 17) undergoing treatment for cancer in Surrey and South West London. Such has been the impression the charity has made that among their patrons they include author Dame Jacqueline Wilson, the actor Philip Glenister and ex-Australian rugby captain, Michael Lynagh.
Dave Wright, Reigate
Surrey Air Ambulance critical care paramedic Dave Wright, 48, helped save the life of a teenager involved in a road traffic collision in Ripley. Joe Wilson, 15, sustained a serious head injury and a fractured collarbone in the collision on the final day of his GCSE exams last June. Paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and a passing GP were first at the scene and began treating Joe before the helicopter crew arrived. David Wright and his colleague Dr John O’Neill then stabilised Joe at the roadside and gave him an emergency anaesthetic a skill usually performed in hospital.
Sue Sheward, Effingham
Supporters of Orangutan Appeal UK recently joined the charity’s founder Sue Sheward, 66, at a reception in Effingham to mark its 10th anniversary. It was in fact a double celebration as BBC World’s Chris Rogers, a patron of the charity since 2004, announced that Sue’s work in protecting the endangered species across Asia had earned her recognition from the Queen with an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list. Sue set up Orangutan Appeal UK in 2000 after volunteering at an orang-utan centre during a holiday in Borneo.
Hamish Donaldson, Haslemere
Founder chairman of Surrey Churches Preservation, which has raised over £250,000 for church preservation since its foundation, Hamish Donaldson is also the founder chairman and treasurer of the Haslemere Festival. In his early 70s, he has run four festivals in the town, each one larger than the last. As a governor of the Royal School, Haslemere, for over 15 years, he has steered the school through busy times following a merger in 1995. As if that wasn’t enough, he has also been chairman and president of the Haslemere Players and directed 11 productions, winning four awards for excellence from the National Operatic & Dramatic Association. He was invited to become Lay Canon of Guildford Cathedral in 2011.
John and Gina Redpath, Guildford
A pair of heritage heroes, John and Gina Redpath were instrumental in helping the local community in raising £1.6 million over a period of six years towards the restoration and opening to the public of the Guildford Union Workhouse as a heritage and community centre in 2008. These days, the pair who are both in their 50s are still heavily involved, organising the Guildford Pancake Race, quiz nights and delicious fish and chip suppers to create a social and a supportive spirit in the Guildford community.
Clive Smee, East Horsley
Most notably involved in the campaign to save Horsley Library after Surrey County Council announced that several would be turned into volunteer-run community sites, Clive Smee was handed a newly-created volunteer award by his parish council in January. The 69-year-old was rewarded for years of work for the community and was the inaugural winner of a prize that will now be presented annually as the parish council seeks to recognise the contribution of local volunteers. He has been chairman of the Friends of Horsley Library group for over ten years.
Linda Sourris, Reigate
Founded in Reigate four years ago by Linda Sourris, Loveworks.org is a positive, proactive charity carrying out projects for local people in need. They inspire volunteers to put something back into their community with simple and effective projects such as their Christmas Bag Scheme, which encourages shoppers to buy goodies that they then bag up and distribute to local families. Linda, 51, is at the heart of the charity’s amazing work and, on Sunday June 3, is helping to host Jubilation, a free community party in Reigate’s Priory Park.
Lorraine Thompson, Croydon
Police community support officer Lorraine Thompson has devoted her time to helping homeless people get back on their feet in Croydon since she joined the force two years ago. With the help of two like-minded partners, she set up the Octopus community enterprise at the end of last year in a bid to train out-of-work people and help recovering alcoholics and drug addicts to stay clean and sober. The 51-year-old continues to help organise a range of projects including regular litter picks, gardening and cooking schemes. As well as being the face of the police, the beloved PCSO has been immortalised in a mural of the town’s favourite faces in the Whitgift Centre.
Lucinda Colucci, Guildford
Lucinda Colucci has been a huge support to the Royal Surrey County Hospital over the last year. The 50-year-old was inspired to help raise funds for a new piece of equipment to provide stereotactic radiotherapy, a precise way of treating secondary brain tumours, after a very good friend received this treatment in London and is now in remission. Between balancing several jobs, children and the occasional lodger, she has managed to raise well over £5,000 in less than a year for the appeal by visiting endless school fetes, car boots and gaining sponsorship for trekking and kayaking across Brazil.
SURREY LIFE COMMUNITY HEROES 2011
With grateful thanks to our sponsor, One Kew Road in Richmond
Maria Angel, Normandy
The driving force behind the N-Factor youth club and the Normandy Day Centre Internet Cafe in her village, over the last three years Maria Angel, 45, has raised over £18,500. As well as sourcing suitably equipped premises and recruiting volunteers, her work at the former with rural-based youngsters has helped to relieve boredom-related youth crime. Meanwhile, the internet cafe has provided a social meeting place for older residents who could otherwise suffer from feelings of isolation. She was recently named as the national Community Mum of the Year by Tesco magazine.
Ian Bird, Woking
Stroke survivor Ian Bird, 54, was only 23 when he had a stroke, believed to be the result of a car accident, which left him in a coma. As a result, Ian has aphasia, meaning that although his intelligence has not been affected his ability to communicate using language has been impaired. Despite his disability, he is constantly on the search for new ways to raise money for The Stroke Association and awareness for the Full Circle stroke club in Camberley, and has recently completed two sponsored trike rides.
David Brown, Weybridge
Having recently passed the 100,000-mile mark, keen cyclist David Brown, 68, has raised over £2,000 for the Sam Beare Hospice, Weybridge, and leukaemia research. In 1996, he was himself diagnosed with hairy cell leukaemia, a chronic form of the disease, and one year later, after treatment, he decided to start recording every mile he cycled around the roads of Surrey as part of his recovery programme. He hopes added sponsorship will take his total to £5,000.
CHASE cyclists, Guildford
Instead of taking a well earned rest after their GCSEs, four 16-year-old boys from Guildford decided to cycle the full length of Britain and raise money for CHASE children’s charity. Last year, James Boyle, Nick Graham, Charles Butler and Sam Lucas, all pupils at George Abbot School, Guildford, cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats covering around 1,000 miles in 17 days. They were inspired by their schoolmates, Tom Mansfield and Mitch Smith, who both sadly lost their lives to leukaemia and lymphoma. So far they have raised over £4,000.
Charlie Cooper, Walton-on-Thames
The irrepressible Charlie Cooper runs the Walton-on-Thames detachment of the Surrey Army Cadets, often getting his charges involved in community projects. Last year, Surrey Army Cadets scooped the Revision Trophy for the most money raised for the Army Benevolent Fund. Of the £13,000 raised by the 26 Surrey Army Cadets detachments, Walton raised a whopping £12,000 of that. The unit also came second in the Connaught Cup, for raising £8,195 for this year’s Poppy Appeal, an award they have previously won three years in a row.
Darren Cooper, Woking
After Surrey Air Ambulance saved his life following a car accident four years ago, Darren Cooper joined the charity as a volunteer. Since then, he has raised more than £20,000 from his annual North Downs Walk and by running the Brighton Marathon. A true champion of the cause, he also helps out with store collections during Air Ambulance Week in September. His mother Diane, brother Philip, and a horse rider who was also rescued by the Surrey Air Ambulance following a fall, all joined him on the last walk in October.
Simon Cowell, Leatherhead
Wildlife champion Simon Cowell co-founded Leatherhead’s Wildlife Aid over 30 years ago and received an MBE in 2005 for his services to wildlife. As well as hosting his own TV series, Wildlife SOS, the chances are that if you’ve found an injured, orphaned or sick wild animal in Surrey you’ll have probably been in touch with the man and his team of vets. Every year, they hold an open day that helps to raise funds towards the charity’s operations.
Sheila Dobson, Compton
If you head down to Watts Gallery in Compton, you’ll not only find a famous gallery moving closer to reopening, but you’ll also find Sheila Dobson, who has diligently managed the stewards since 2005. This has involved her recruiting volunteers, inducting new recruits and supporting stewards through difficult times, while always retaining their loyalty and support. With her husband John, Sheila can often be found filling in a gap either in the gallery or information point, usually on a Bank Holiday afternoon or a Sunday. Thanks to Sheila, there are now over 170 volunteers and Watts director Perdita Hunt says that the gallery could not have been saved without her.
Dunsfold Community Shop Association, Dunsfold
Following an urgent plea by owners and long-serving managers Sue and Tony Bowden to save Dunsfold Village Stores and Post Office, parish council chairman Alan Ground went into action and the Dunsfold Community Shop Association was born last July. More than 150 people packed into a public meeting to support the scheme last November. They responded so enthusiastically that when the community buyout shares went on sale, the required sum of £200,000 was raised in just over one month!
Terry Eckersley, Woking
Last year, Woking YMCA chief executive Terry Eckersley, along with his wife and the centre’s staff, slept out for one night in minus five temperatures to raise awareness and finance for homeless young people. They followed it up this year by persuading their friends it was a good idea, too, and in January slept rough with 30 others in an almost tropical minus four! The event took place on the Wheatsheaf field in Horsell, Woking, and has so far raised over £2,000, with ambitions of reaching the £5,000 mark.
Seni Glaister, Godalming
Despite a busy career as chief executive of Godalming’s The Book People, Seni Glaister still found time for some amazing charity work in 2010. Not content with climbing Kilimanjaro in February, she then turned her attention to organising an 11-mile walk through the Surrey countryside in memory of publisher Peter Bowron, whose daughter is supported by CHASE. The first Peter Bowron Catteshall Stroll took place in September and nearly 200 people took part. The climb and walk have raised over £60,000 for the Guildford-based children’s charity and there will be another Catteshall Stroll in September. Seni will also be climbing Aconcagua in the Andes in 2012.
Margaret Godwin, Molesey
Almost 900 walkers registered for Princess Alice Hospice’s annual Towpath Trundle last May, as the event founded by Margaret Godwin came of age after 18 years. A dedicated and successful fund-raiser for almost two decades, she, along with the Thames Ditton and Walton and Weybridge Friends of Princess Alice Hospice committees, has helped to generate over £180,000 from the event. The next four or eight-mile sponsored trundle is taking place on Sunday May 15 and Margaret will officially start the race.
Julia Grant, Guildford
Chairman of Cool2Care, a social enterprise registered in Shamley Green that supports families with disabled children and young people, Julia Grant was also recently appointed a director at the national philanthropist organisation, the Impetus Trust. A former chief executive of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), a charitable trust based at Hatchlands Park in East Clandon, which has a £3.5 million turnover thanks to its annual garden openings, her new line of work will continue to support a portfolio of charities around the county.
Frank Guy, Burgh Heath
A dedicated volunteer at The Children’s Trust in Tadworth for over 14 years, 90-year-old Frank Guy has worked on a weekly basis undertaking a variety of administrative tasks during his time in the fund-raising department, including hand-writing over 60,000 receipts for the charity’s collection boxes! In 2006, he received a special award from the Trust for his voluntary work. He is unfailingly helpful and friendly, responds cheerfully to any task asked of him and is said to be an inspiration to everyone he meets.
Hambledon Village Shop, Hambledon
In 2009, Hambledon enjoyed a visit from Princess Alexandra after winning the Surrey Village of the Year competition and her first stop was the shop and post office. Rescued by Philip Underwood, the parish councillor and retired village vet, and other active members of the Hambledon community in the Nineties, the store is now run by more than 50 volunteers with Philip still at the helm. With many lessons learned over 20 years, the shop operates successfully by delivering more than just products and a post office it is an informal centre of the community.
Amy Hughes, Godalming
Surrey Air Ambulance’s Dr Amy Hughes helped save the life of a three-year-old girl critically injured after falling through a window. Within 13 minutes of the 999 call, the crew had taken off and landed in a field before sprinting the remaining 500 metres. Molly had cut a blood vessel and needed an intra-osseous needle, pressure dressing and oxygen before being airlifted to a major trauma centre but has since made a full recovery.
Sheila Hurton, Claygate
A former Princess Alice Hospice trustee, Sheila Hurton also founded Voice for Hospices, an international fund-raising event that sees choirs all over the world holding concerts at the same time to raise awareness of hospice care. The Surrey-based events with which she has been involved have raised tens of thousands of pounds for the Princess Alice Hospice and globally the figures are likely to run into millions. Sheila also arranges singers and musicians to entertain patients at the hospice on a regular basis and plays piano at the concerts and at other hospice fund-raisers.
Robin Hutchinson, Surbiton
Showing that anything is possible when you really put your mind to it, Robin Hutchinson is the man behind the State of Seething, a creative force in Surbiton that has raised over £35,000 for charity in just over 15 months through various madcap projects. These have included Surbiton Ski Sunday (where people skied down St Mark’s Hill on blocks of ice); building giant versions of children’s games such as Mousetrap; the Homage de Fromage Cheese Club; and The Seething Talcum Colliery Brass Band. In 2010, he introduced the Legend of Lefi Ganderson to the area - a fictional figurehead to focus the areas community spirit. He is also the originator and founding trustee of the Rose Theatre in Kingston and chair of the International Youth Arts Festival that encourages young people to realise their potential through the arts.
Chris Jefferies, Woking
An exemplary volunteer for the British Red Cross, Chris Jefferies joined as a youth volunteer at the Guildford centre in 2007, moving to Woking in 2008. During 2010, he volunteered for no less than six services spanning the length and breadth of Surrey, and even travelled to Kenya as a youth delegate. At 18, Chris was the youngest volunteer in Surrey to achieve the highest award of Ambulance Attendant, which means that he is able to work in the ambulances treating casualties at events and in support of the local ambulance service. Chris was a joint winner of the youth award at the Surrey Inspiration Awards.
Su Johnston, East Horsley
It was Su Johnston who first had the idea to find a piece of land within Horsley and turn it into a community vegetable and fruit growing project. Over 80 villagers from both East and West Horsley have now worked the land for what is now known as Grace and Flavour. Ten per cent of the vegetables are gifted to local people and the project hopes that it won’t be too long before it will be generating enough to be self-supporting. Su has continued to make an astounding contribution in terms of ideas, inspiration and sheer hard work and was recently rewarded with the inspiration award at the Surrey Inspiration Awards.
Amanda Jones, Camberley
When her youngest child, Becs, died of breast cancer at 33, only 11 months after being diagnosed, Amanda Jones, 68, was inspired by her heartbreak to become a £1,000 Challenger for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Since that moment, she has personally raised over £150,000. Last year, she was the face of Piccadilly Circus and an ambassador for Samsung’s More than Talk Campaign during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She has also been interviewed about Breakthrough’s work on local radio stations and during a programme on bereavement on Woman’s Hour.
Julia Lever, Thames Ditton
Twenty years ago, Julia Lever founded the CHASE children’s hospice, prompted by an article in a national newspaper describing the plight of a family with a life-limited child. Many regular Surrey Life readers will already be well aware of the charity through our work with them and annual carol concert partnership. In January, she was rewarded with an MBE for her efforts in the New Year Honours List. CHASE is based at Christopher’s Hospice in Artington, near Guildford, and is set to merge with the Hampton-based Shooting Star Hospice, which serves north Surrey and parts of Greater London.
The Lightbox Volunteers, Woking
The Lightbox gallery and museum would not be able to function without the support of its 150 volunteers, who were nominated as a whole. On a daily basis, they get involved with a range of tasks from welcoming visitors to looking after the actual works of art. The concept of The Lightbox was developed by a group of local art and heritage volunteers in 1993 and it was their vision and determination that has given the Surrey community such a unique venue.
Elaine Lush, Mid Holmwood
First volunteering 35 years ago, Elaine Lush is now the driving force, secretary and fund-raiser in chief of Leatherhead Swans, one of the biggest multi-agency organisations for disabled people in the south east. When Elaine took over as secretary over 20 years ago, she expanded the club’s horizons with day trips, activity holidays and competitive sporting events with similar clubs in Surrey. Elaine also works for The Children’s Trust, is a Poppy Appeal organiser and treasurer of the Dorking Royal British Legion. She also founded and runs the Residents’ Association for Norfolk Lane, the 28-home community where she lives. Elaine recently won the lifetime achievement award at the Surrey Inspiration awards.
Chris Major, Banstead
A volunteer for The Children’s Trust in Tadworth since 1997, Chris Major, 62, plays a key role at the Trust, devoting many hours every week to the transport needs of the children be it a hospital appointment or a days outing. Regardless of the time of day, or length of journey, Chris is always on hand to help wherever and whenever he can. Over the last six years, Chris has also been an active board member at the Trust and ambassador.
Dennis Malone, Purley
Dedicated Dennis Malone is a much-valued member of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity Team. He has helped in the office almost daily since his wife passed away from cancer 11 years ago. Nothing is too much effort for the 83-year-old who can always be counted on to step in at a moments notice. He works on their fund-raising stall, located in the hospital reception, counts money, picks up collection boxes from pubs, shops and companies, and helps out at fairs and shopping centre collections. Everyone at The Royal Marsden in Sutton knows Dennis and if he ever has a rare day off staff are inundated with people asking where he is.
Margaret Manly, Ashtead
A volunteer, trustee, supporter, founder member and general star for CHASE since the charity began, Margaret Manly has dedicated hours of time to raise funds for the Guildford-based hospice. She also helps out in other ways, too, whether it’s showing people around, giving talks about their work or encouraging new fund-raising ideas as the charity develops.
Debbie Middleton, Claygate
Last year, Debbie Middleton arranged and participated in the successful world record attempt to hold the longest ever netball match, playing for three days straight at the Guildford Spectrum. Held in aid of the Royal Marsden Hospital, in celebration of Debbie’s victory over cancer, the Claygate and New Malden netball clubs played for 60 hours and scored nearly 5,000 goals between them. Their efforts have so far raised £60,000, almost twice the original target.
Hilary Naylor, Bramley
Tirelessly donating all her free time to help GRACE, a local charity that supports Surrey women with gynaecological cancers by funding research and vital surgical equipment, Hilary Naylor, 56, moved to Bramley just three years ago but has thrown herself into supporting her local community. From stocktaking, wrapping gifts, running stalls and making chutneys and jams to sell, she does anything she can to help raise much-needed funds. Her efforts this year are helping to fund groundbreaking research into the cause, progression and treatment of ovarian cancer.
Neil Painter, Haslemere
Bleeding from a head injury, a fractured skull, a traumatic brain injury, a fractured sternum, collapsed lungs and with multiple rib fractures: these were the catalogue of injuries Rob Horne had sustained and the land crews were writing out a death certificate when the Surrey Air Ambulance arrived. Neil Painter and Dr Zane Perkins had to resuscitate Rob between 12 and 15 times and, after six days on life support, six weeks in a coma and six months of rehabilitation, he has now recovered. Neil, from Haslemere, has flown on the Dunsfold-based helicopter since it was launched in 2007.
Jacqui Reid, Shepperton
Having supported young people at the local charity Sunbury and Walton Sea Cadets for over 25 years in a variety of roles, including mentoring young people, running the snack bar, cooking at fund-raising events and acting as secretary to the management team, 60-year-old Jacqui Reid even managed to fit in the London Marathon last year to raise money for her favourite charities. Additionally, she has raised funds for the Shooting Star Hospice by growing plants on an allotment and then selling them for the benefit of the hospice.
Tim Rowsell, Compton
Chairman of Surrey Search and Rescue, a team of highly trained volunteers who search for lost and missing vulnerable people alongside Surrey Police, Tim Rowsell set up the team early last year after noticing that all surrounding counties had specialist search teams but Surrey did not. Involved in every aspect of the team from recruitment and training, right the way through to operational searches and fund-raising, Tim has also been a special constable for the last three years.
John Sandy, Godalming
Governor of Rodborough College of Technology in Milford and a former Mayor of Waverley, John Sandy was awarded an MBE for his community work. A long-serving president of the League of Friends of Milford Hospital, he was also chairman of the Clockhouse day centre for eight years. His other roles have included being a past chairman of Go Godalming, a former trustee of Witley Charitable Trust, a founder president of Godalming Woolsack Rotary Club and a founder member and former chairman of Surrey Job Match, a charity that finds work for ex-prisoners.
The Shop at Strood Green
Recently picking up the 2010 Rural Retail Award for Best Village Shop in the South East, managers Jane Holmes and Christine Nolan will be going to the grand final at the House of Lords, when the national winner is announced. The project has had a roller-coaster history, starting in 2005 when the then shop-owners closed the sub-post office. Despite raising over £60,000, the community’s offer to purchase it was turned down. Eventually, the creases were ironed out, and the new shop opened in March 2009.
Street Angels, various towns across the county
Street Angels are volunteers who believe that people deserve care and love in their time of need. Those needs could be as a result of homelessness, intoxication, drug abuse, assault or any other issue that has caused personal distress or the potential for physical harm. The Staines branch were awarded the chief constables local heroes award at the Surrey Inspiration Awards and Guildford’s version recently won £1,000 through the Community Empowerment Awards.
Andrea Thomas, Stoughton
Mum to Isabel, Lauren, Eloise and Brandon, who was diagnosed with autism at four, Andrea Thomas has campaigned tirelessly to ensure play opportunities are open to all disabled children locally since then. Aside from being mother to four children, she finds time to volunteer at Disability Challengers in Guildford and recently took up running, raising £1,000 by taking part in Kellys miles for smiles in October and is currently training for 2011’s London Marathon.
Jacqueline Ward-Reel, Horley
For over 26 years, Jacqueline Ward-Reel, founder, chairman and co-ordinator of Horley’s Animal Protection Trust, an animal rescue charity formed in 1984 to help unwanted, abandoned and ill-treated animals, has been on hand to help Surrey pet owners who have found themselves in desperate domestic or financial circumstances. All the work carried out by the Trust is voluntary; no-one is paid. It is a huge testament to Jacqueline that the Animal Protection Trust, with its loyal band of volunteers, has continued its work of helping pets and helping people.
Gerald White, Staines
In 1990, Gerald White was diagnosed with cancer but after successful treatment was able to return to work for Air Canada at Heathrow until retirement in 2005. Having heard an advert on the radio about Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s aim of raising £15 million in aid of the UK’s first dedicated research centre, the 56-year-old became one of the charity’s £1,000 Challengers. He had noticed that passengers coming through the airport lounge wanted to dispose of their loose foreign change and put a collection point up for them to donate. As the scheme took hold, it became Change 4 Change and has since raised over £100,000.
Colin Whitear, Guildford
Involved with the Sea Cadets for 15 years, mostly as commanding officer of the Guildford Unit, Colin Whitear devotes many hours each week to the organisation, which is based on the traditions and heritage of the Royal Navy and aims to develop youngsters into responsible adults using a maritime curriculum. The Cadets meet twice a week for parades as well as often at the weekend for both sporting activities and competitions.
Pauline Woods, Kingston
Founder of the charity Born Too Soon, Pauline Woods has helped save the lives of thousands of premature babies and given hope, support and advice to parents. She set up the charity after losing two children and since the start, 26 years ago, she has raised over £3million to help Kingston Hospital’s neo-natal unit. Over the years, Pauline has helped comfort countless parents by giving endless compassion and enthusiasm. Nothing is too much for Pauline and she always goes above and beyond the call of duty to help out.