Parade with Pride

Karen Neville

surrey

Woking is the venue for the first Pride event to take place in Surrey and Woking couldn’t be prouder to be hosting the celebration.

The colourful vibrant parade will start at HG Wells Conference Centre, when accompanied by the Mayor of Woking it will pass through the town gates and around the centre.

From midday the gates will open in Woking Park where you can enjoy live entertainment on the big stage until 10pm. There will be a large family/youth zone including activities, workshops, face paint and support guidance as well as food and drink stalls and local traders.

The chairman of Pride in Surrey, Stephen Ireland said not only does this year mark the 50th anniversary of Stonewall but also now the first year of an LGBT+ Pride event in Surrey.

He said: “I am thrilled to be working with such a supportive council and Outline Surrey to not only create an amazing event but also raise awareness of the available support to those within the community.”

Mayor of Woking, cllr Will Forster, said they were delighted Woking will host the inaugural Pride in Surrey parade on Saturday, 10th August.

He said: “It is another example of Woking’s growing reputation for hosting colourful and inclusive annual events.

“Pride in Surrey celebrates the inclusion and diversity of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) culture and community within Surrey.”

Want to go?

Tickets are required for the event in Woking Park, they are free to all but organisers need you to register to plan for your health and safety.

For more information

Cheese & Chilli Festival

Karen Neville

surrey

If you want to spice up your Sunday then try out the hottest ticket in town – or in Guildford at least – and get along to the Cheese & Chilli Festival in Guildford.

This will be the festival’s fourth year with a whole host of activities for all ages including free cooking demos, a taste tent, beer festival, street theatre, live music, crazy golf, human-sized table football as well as lots of cheese and chilli.

Taking place in Shalford Park today (21st), you’ll be able to enjoy the man v food challenge and a Ready Steady Cook interactive cooking session as well as the chilli eating competition when things will really be hotting up!

And what could be better after you’ve eaten some good hot chillis than taking part in a game of human-sized table football – strap yourself in and attach yourself to a metal bar and swing.

If you prefer something more sedate there are a variety of stalls, a magic show, Punch & Judy show, balloon modelling and treasure hunts to entertain the kids.

As an extra special treat at the Guildford event, there’s the chance to be a VIP with two special price tickets (£50 and £100) offering you the chance to enjoy cocktails, beers, Mexican or Thai lunch, access to the hot tubs and a bottle of hot sauce and limited edition poster.

Get your tickets

For more information and to buy tickets which cost £8 adults, seniors £6 and under 16s free, visit the Cheese & Chilli Festival website below

Tickets can also be bought at the door or in advance at Guildford’s Tourist Information Centre.

30 Days Wild challenge

Round & About

surrey

Picture credit: Nick Upton

More than 10 million random acts of wildness in month-long challenge

More than 400,000 people carried out in excess of 10 million ‘random acts of wildness’ as part of the 30 Days Wild Challenge in June.

Wildlife enthusiasts were encouraged to do something wild and enjoy nature every day, taking part in the Wildlife Trusts’ initiative which proved to be more popular than ever this year.

As well as the 50,000 households who signed up for their free packs, wall charts, stickers and wildflower seeds, more than 9,000 schools, 1,300 businesses and 570 care homes also took part.

Wildlife Trusts’ head of communications Joanna Richards said: “It’s been an extraordinarily wild month! We’ve loved seeing the creative and inventive activities of people taking part right across the UK – getting up close to bugs, butterflies and birds, rewilding a garden or making a daisy chain.  You don’t need to go far to appreciate wildlife and often the simplest interactions can bring us the most joy.”

Wildlife gardening in homes, care homes and schools was a popular activity, with people creating small ponds, building homes for bugs, sowing wildflowers, noticing the birds and insects that visited and pledging not to mow their lawns, to encourage more variety of wildlife to flourish.

Other Random Acts of Wildness included:

– Waking up early to hear the dawn chorus at its best

– Organising beach cleans and litter picks

– Noticing a rainbow of flowers and trees growing in towns and countryside

– Creating wild works of art from petals, leaves and feathers.

– Care homes residents and carers have enjoyed planting pollinator-friendly blooms, making leaf art and creating wild playlists, with music inspired by nature.

Harrison’s Fund

Karen Neville

surrey

Join Box Hill brunch walk and raise money for Harrison’s Fund

Two mums from Surrey are organising a walk to raise money for a charity that funds research into a life-limiting condition for children.

Klara Cecmanova, 41, and Vicky Lush, 49, from Epsom have organised The Box Hill Walk as part of local charity, Harrison’s Fund’s Harrison’s Brunch campaign. The walk starts at 9.45am on Sunday, 30th June at Box Hill Viewpoint and sees walkers walk down the hill and back up the steps to the top, followed by a bring your own picnic.

Klara has been a big supporter of the charity since two of her boys Theo (7) and Oskar (5) were diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2014.

She said: “Due to their condition, both Theo and Oskar would struggle to walk up Box Hill, their muscles just aren’t strong enough.
“We would love to see as many people as possible at the top of Box Hill ready to help our little warriors down the steep slope, over the stepping stones, and back up the stairs to the top – a tough walk for those that are fully fit but almost impossible for our boys.

“We’ll be able to see the area we live in from the viewpoint so they’ll get a real kick out of this and once back at the top we’ll be relaxing with rugs and a picnic so bring your own and get to know us and your local community.”

We would love to see as many people as possible at the top of Box Hill

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

Klara and Vicky have been raising money for the charity since 2015 when she was part of a local team of women to put on a big community event. Since then it has become an annual event organised by parents with children of the same age who have seen the boys grow from active little boys to becoming increasingly wheelchair bound. The walk is part of the charity’s Harrison’s Brunch campaign which encourages everyone to host a brunch during the month of June to raise money.

Luci Roberts, campaigns executive at Harrison’s Fund said: “Theo and Oskar, like all boys with Duchenne, are an inspiration to us all. Even though their little bodies are slowly failing them, inside, they are just still, little boys who love an adventure, so we hope the local community will join them on their own adventure this June.”

All the proceeds from Harrison’s Brunch will go directly to fund the purchase of a “high throughput analyser” which enables scientists to compare different gene medicines when working in a lab. By using computer automation, the analyser can screen different models and evaluate them in a fraction of the time it would take a team of scientists.

Support the walk or join them

Artists open studios

Round & About

surrey

Art lovers in Surrey are in for a real treat over the next few days when 297 artists open their studios as part of the largest Surrey Artists’ Open Studios to date.

Running until 16th June, it’s a chance to meet and talk to artists in their place of work, view demonstrations, buy artwork and get involved in creative workshops.

SAOS co-ordinator Caitlin Heffernan said it offers a unique opportunity to meet artists and makers in Surrey, “Many are offering the public the chance to get hands on and discover their own creativity through the many workshops and taster sessions.

“Whatever your interest, painting, printmaking, glass, ceramics, textiles, jewelry or sculpture, SAOS is a brilliant opportunity to discover the county through the vast network of creative people who live and work here.”

One of those exhibiting is Liphook artist Orlanda Broom who takes her inspiration from nature to create landscapes which represent fantastical and re-imagined places.

After graduating with an MA Fine Art, Barcelona in 1997, Orlanda has been exhibiting and selling her work for the past 15 years and having moved out of London to the Hampshire countryside she has been further inspired.

A recent piece took inspiration from somewhere very different – a 4x4m work for the Four Seasons in New York makes reference to the city and Orlanda decided to use water, reflections and bridge-like shapes to mirror the island of Manhattan. Entitled Manna Hata it is now a favourite selfie spot!

Working on such a large scale, Orlanda’s work benefits from the big open space she works in with a wealth of natural light which helps with the composition of her landscapes which are very full and alive with colour and must be seen in full to be completely appreciated.

Her work will be exhibited at her studio at The Workshop in Iron Hill, Hollycombe, Liphook, on 7th, 8th and 9th June from 11am-5pm and on 6th from 6pm-8.30pm.

For more information about Orlanda’s work visit her website and for more on the open studios event at venues across the county, visit Surrey Open Studios

Orlanda

“I take inspiration from nature. I love botanical art and if I can, I go to botanical gardens to take photos and sketch. I’ve been lucky to have travelled a bit to places like Belize and Tobago, so I have strong memories of those trips and lots of photos.”

Annie the musical

Round & About

surrey

Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood stars as ‘baddie’ Miss Hannigan in Annie at the New Victoria Woking

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood is used to being booed so he’ll be used to it when audiences at Annie turn on him.
The star audiences love to hate is playing Miss Hannigan in the much-loved tale of orphan Annie which starts at Woking’s Victoria Theatre next week.

He’s reviving a role he took on in the West End in the 2015/16 tour and is delighted to be reprising it in Woking.

He said: “I couldn’t believe that they wanted me to play Miss Hannigan at first, but I thought it would be great and a real challenge for me. I play her for real – she’s not a pantomime dame, there’s no mucking about or breaking the fourth wall, she’s a very real character in a beautifully written show.”

The musical features some of the most well-known songs and you’re sure to join in with Tomorrow and It’s A Hard Knock Life. In case you don’t know the story of Annie, the youngster is forced to live a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. But is determined to find her real parents. Her luck changes when she spends Christmas with famous billionaire Oliver Warbucks. Miss Hannigan has other ideas and sets about spoiling Annie’s plan.

Playing Miss Hannigan presents Craig with lots of fun, he explained: “Body language has a lot to do with that, the placement of the voice and the accent of course – which I spent six months perfecting.

“As Annie is set in 1930s New York, it’s really nice to play a part who speaks differently than almost anyone does these days. It was a really enjoyable challenge.”

Craig’s love of musical theatre started in Sydney in the 1970s when he went to see Jesus Christ Superstar. He started training at 14 and when he saw Cats in London around that time he says he just knew that was the path for him.

He went on to do several musicals in Australia before joining the Lido de Paris and the Moulin Rouge which then led him into West End shows and after appearing in Crazy For You in 1993 he then switched track.

He said: “I had a really fun year that year. I then left to become a director and choreographer and subsequently a judge on Strictly.
“My first hoorah back onto the boards was when I was asked to do panto ten years ago and the reignited my passion for performing again.

“When I was then asked to do Annie a few years ago I couldn’t believe it, but it’s such a talented cast, I couldn’t say no.”

And what about future roles? Craig admits he likes to create them and enjoyed doing a movie, Nativity Rocks, last year, which had an improvised script with the character being created from scratch. But he admitted: “I wouldn’t mind playing a boy at some stage. I tend to get lots of female roles which is great because I love playing women but it would be nice to play a bloke so I will aim high and say I’m aiming for the next Bond!”

But something he definitely wouldn’t need as the next Bond are his ‘must-have’ items he takes with him – eyelashes and eyelash glue.
Away from the theatre and TV studio, Craig loves to cook in his down time. He said: “I like sleeping in my own bed and cooking in my own home. There’s nothing better to pass the time – whether to test and make up some new recipes or really to get stuck into cooking something. I love it, I could cook for days on end.”

Fans of Craig’s acerbic comments won’t have to wait that long until he’s back on our TV screens as Strictly is set to return in September but this year minus judge Dame Darcey Bussell, so who does he think should step into her sparkly shoes?

“I think it’s got to be someone who knows about dance and comes from a dance world. I’m certainly going to miss Darcey a lot, she’s a class act.

“There are a lot of people who could do it and I want them to choose someone who is right for the job and has an opinion which is the most important thing.”

See Craig Revel Horwood in Annie at Victoria Theatre, Woking from Monday 10th to Saturday, 15th June. Tickets from £19.50. To book, call the box office on 0844 871 7645 or online at
ATG Tickets

Photos: Craig Revel Horwood as Miss Hannigan in Annie  Credit: Paul Coltas

Surrey County Show

Round & About

surrey

Celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Surrey County Show

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the Surrey County Show and the fantastic family fun day out shows no signs of slowing down.

The annual show brings the country and rural life together in the heart of Guildford with animals, entertainment, rural crafts, food and drink and competitions to guarantee a day with something for everything.

Surrey County Show welcomes around 40,000 visitors to the 66-acre site at Stoke Park and this year they can expect the usual variety of attractions that makes it such a great day out.

At the centre of the show on bank holiday Monday (27th) are the animals and livestock that ensure this truly is a country show – cows, sheep, pigs, goats, horses and donkeys will fill the fields.

Competitions will put beef bulls alongside dairy heifers with rare sheep breeds on show too. Two of what will be the most popular competitions promise to be the ‘Grumpiest pig’ and the fascinatingly named Pig most like its owner!

Horses, ponies and donkeys will be on parade in the equine rings and why not bring your dog along and for the chance to win a prize in the fun dog show – there’s a class for everyone as well as dog agility and terrier racing among others.

Younger children will be able to handle smaller animals at Miller’s Ark petting farm as well as enjoy entertainment from Punch and Judy, a sheep show and donkey rides.

Rural life is a major feature of Surrey County Show too with birds of prey, a milking parlour, Dorset Axeman, vintage tractors and a whole host of rural crafts.

Over in the Grand Arena, big beasts of a very different kind will star when the monster trucks – 7.5ton Big Pete and The Grim Reaper – leap 15ft into the air, crushing anything in their path and will pull a car in a monster tug-of-war.

The heavy horse musical drive and marching band will add to the colour and spectacle of the day with more theatrics coming tricks and stunts from the BMX show.

Guildford Fringe Theatre Company will perform all day and there’ll be Maypole and Morris dancing to entertain you too.

You’ll no doubt need some sustenance to help get you through the day and there are plenty of food and drink choices to keep you going. The Food Theatre will feature a British cheese talk and tasting while Crumbs Brewery will show how they brew beer from left-over bread.
Food and drink from all over the world will rub shoulders with local delicacies on offer at Surrey Farmers’ Market.

If you like to shop ‘til you drop there’s plenty to choose from with hundreds of stalls offering everything from clothing to gifts and homeware to furniture and even luxury cars!

Stoke Park is easy to reach by road or rail, with on-site and nearby parking, four Park and Ride sites and a special train station shuttle bus at £1 each way. Don’t miss it – with so much to see and do, the biggest challenge will be fitting it all in to one day!

Surrey County Show is on Monday, 27th May, from 8am to 6pm.

For tickets please visit Surrey County Show

Go wild in Guildford

Round & About

surrey

Watch out for the giant badger on 1st and 2nd June and take on the 30 Days Wild challenge

Could you go wild for 30 days in June? That’s the challenge being issued by Countryfile’s Matt Baker.

The UK’s biggest nature challenge, 30 Days Wild, is encouraging people to do something wild every day of the month and get closer to nature.

Matt was inspired by the work of Surrey Wildlife Trust when filming in the county in April and is urging Surrey residents to join in in their thousands.

The challenge is proven to make people healthier, happier and more likely to do something to help the wildlife in their gardens and enjoy nature on their doorstep.

And the choice is yours when it comes to what you do to ‘go wild’ – you could just lie in the grass and gaze up at the clouds, spend some time by the river, admire the dragonflies, create a bucket pond at home or listen to birdsong instead of putting your headphones in on the way to school or work.

The Trust has plenty of ideas on its website and there’s an app which will generate daily ideas.

If you’re in Guildford on Saturday 1st and Sunday, 2nd June don’t be surprised to see a giant badger in High Street – he’ll be celebrating as part of a weekend of activities to mark the wildlife trust’s 60th anniversary. Be inspired by the large pop-up wildlife garden and gardening experts. Get up close to wildlife, take part in fun wildlife themed activities, face painting and trails and much more. There’s also free entry to the Wild Surrey Art and Photography Exhibition at Guildford House Gallery which runs until 16th June.

Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Charlotte Magowan said: “30 Wild Days is the perfect excuse to just get out there every day and enjoy nature where we live.

“Surrey’s countryside is incredible and it’s just too easy to get stuck in the hamster wheel of life and miss the beauty of the natural world.

“Whether you decide to watch the sun go down, listen to a dawn chorus, take a meeting outside, feed the birds or take a video of a minibeast, we want everyone to get closer to nature. It is only by experiencing nature that we recognise its value and realise how important it is to protect it.”

There are a wide range of events, walks and talks taking place as part of SWT’s diamond anniversary, to find out how to get involved and inspiration for ideas visit Surrey Wildlife Trust

Surrey Day

Round & About

surrey

Celebrate Surrey Day with some fantastic fun for the whole family!

Surrey is celebrating just how special it is with one big day of events and activities on Saturday, 4th May.

Around 26 million people visit the county each year to enjoy the theatres, art galleries, restaurants, hotels and countless attractions and stunning countryside that make up Surrey.

There are a whole host of events planned for the day to celebrate just how great Surrey is with something for everyone, with many of the venues and events boasting special offers and discounts.

Among the highlights are The Sculpture Park near Farnham where you can enjoy exhibits from national and international artists on display in the arboretum and water gardens. Walk the two-mile trail that winds through 10 acres of natural beauty with art all along the way.

From art to vines and Denbies Vineyard in Dorking is offering free 45-minute tours (10am and 11am) for Surrey residents. Wander among the vines while listening to a recorded commentary. If you go into the Hogs Back Brewery Shop and say ‘Happy Surrey Day’ when you buy their draught golden ale Surrey Nirvana you can enjoy 10 per cent off.

National Trust property Clandon Park is offering free entry to Surrey folk on proof of residency. There’s the chance to explore the ruins and gardens and meet members of the team behind Clandon’s restoration who will give an insight into the work going on behind the scenes to restore it to its former glory after the fire in 2015.

There’s also a Surrey Day BBQ to enjoy at StanHill Court Hotel, Charlwood, bring the whole family along and enjoy entertainment and activities to celebrate how fab Surrey is.

If you’re celebrating it should involve some fizz and cake so pop along to Greyfriars Vineyard in Puttenham and stop by the Cellar Door Shop and sample some sparkle. Sales from cakes on the day will be given to charity.

There’s more food and drink to celebrate with on Surrey Day with a street party at The Silent Pool in Albury where a cluster of artisan producers will come together so you can sample gin and cocktails, award-winning English wine, locally brewed beer, cheese, Indian nibbles and ice cream all while enjoying live music. Take a stroll up to the vineyard to experience the views over the Surrey Hills and bring your children along to join in the vineyard toy trail.

For the more active among you, how about becoming a skywalker at the Skywalk Adventure in Esher – try out the 22 obstacles and 4 zip wires or go underground and climb down into the caves under Dorking to see where secret meetings were held and people went from pub to pub without going above ground.

There are a whole host of activities and events to enjoy, you’re sure to find something for you to get out and celebrate Surrey!

  For more details head to Visit Surrey

Local giving for local need

Round & About

surrey

The Community Foundation for Surrey is making a difference through its family of donors.

Local people who want to give back to their local community and make a difference. That’s the simple premise behind the Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation for Surrey is dedicated to enabling local philanthropy across the county, connecting people with charitable projects.

Foundation donors are individuals, families, businesses and charitable trusts which support the community by awarding grants to meet identified local needs.

The Community Foundation model was first established in the USA in 1914 and is now a global movement operating in more than 1,800 communities worldwide, with 46 in the UK. Since setting up in the UK, Community Foundations have collectively awarded more than £1billion in grants to support local charities and voluntary organisations in need.

You may be surprised to discover that there is such a need right here in Surrey which is consistently rated as among the best places to live in the UK. However, even here there are pockets of deprivation and people who face multiple challenges, from mental health to domestic abuse.

The foundation’s research, Surrey Uncovered, has exposed the real need that exists in the county, the needs which motivate the foundation to raise awareness of the importance of philanthropy and encourage local people to be part of the solution.

Last year the Community Foundation for Surrey awarded more than £1.4million in grants, the highest amount awarded in a single year since the charity was set up in 2005.

The foundation’s work to inspire philanthropy in Surrey has generated a total of £23million for causes in the community, helping them both on a day-to-day basis and in perpetuity.

Laura Thurlow, chief executive of the foundation, said: “While we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved, there is still much more work to be done. Sadly, last year, we were unable to support over £1.5million of requests from community groups working to make our county a better place.

“Our aim is to encourage and inspire more local people to join our growing family of donors. We offer a range of giving options and enable donors to give to the areas of importance to them and causes close to their heart.

“Whether you’re a local group looking for funding, or someone wanting to support the local community, we would love to hear from you, so please do get in touch!”

Top photo: CFS Staff Team – Rebecca Clay, Nicola Bartlett, Victoria Kear, Joe Crome, Laura Thurlow, Kate Peters, Louise Wickham, Deepa Craig

Did you know...

some 22,640 children live in poverty in Surrey

10,600 of Surrey children aged five to15 have a mental health disorder

24,000 girls and women in Surrey aged between 16 and 59 have been the victim of domestic abuse

30,000 carers are over the age of 65

  For more information about the foundation, please visit www.cfsurrey.org.uk