Pound the pavements for Sight for Surrey

Did you miss out on a place for this year’s London marathon again? If so, do not fear, Sight for Surrey has 4 places up for grabs at this year’s virtual race on Sunday 3rd October 2021, when 50,000 runners will have the chance to be part of the biggest marathon ever staged anywhere in the world!

Anthony Roake running the virtual London marathon for Sight for Surrey in 2020.

Runners have 24 hours to complete the virtual race at their pace, wherever and whenever they want on Sunday 3rd October. A special Virgin Money London Marathon app records your run every step of the way shouting words of encouragement to keep you motivated and on track. To be part of record breaking history and secure your
place in this life changing race, email fundraising@sightforsurrey.org.uk All you need to do is commit to raising a minimum of £200 and pay a £28 entry fee to secure your place (+ £10 if you live outside the UK).

All registered participants to the 2021 virtual race will receive their Virgin Money London Marathon running number to proudly display whilst pounding the pavements. Whilst all official finishers will receive their coveted finisher medal and T-shirt post event. Runners in the virtual event will join a record 50,000 participants who will run the traditional marathon event from Blackheath to The Mall.

The Virgin Money London Marathon fundraising pages are integrated with Strava, music to a runner’s ears, and YouTube, and will contain many new features.

Sight for Surrey support people across Surrey who are blind, vision impaired, Deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind and the virtual London Marathon is an opportunity for the charity to raise much needed funds for the charity after the loss of all their fundraising events due to the Coronavirus. Money raised will help support more people with a sensory loss, empowering them to lead independent lives.

The first virtual Virgin Money London Marathon last year was phenomenally successful when 37,966 runners took part from all corners of the globe, earning it the Guinness World Record Breaker title of ‘The most users to run a remote marathon in 24 hours’.


A good news story during Covid-19

Biddles of Guildford, the stationery shop, has traded in Guildford since 1885, but after the first lockdown their main investor had gone bust, the shop was forced to close and all staff were made redundant. Neal and David, the managers of the store, decided to rescue the business.

They started a Crowdfunder (crowdfunder.co.uk) campaign, and within two days the initial target had been smashed – helped by the amazing support of customers who wanted to do what they could to help. They would open again. Following this, achievement they set a new target with the goal of reinstating all the staff.

In July, Neal & David opened the doors once more and by November their final member of staff returned.

Through lockdown, Biddles of Guildford have adapted, providing a limited order & collect service plus a local delivery service for their customers who are working from home, home schooling, those shielding, local care providers, and schools & local businesses. Supplying printer ink, office furniture and stationery.

Recently they have been helping the local community, including stationery donations to local schools and recently assisting the Guildford Lions, by helping them supply creativity kits for disadvantaged children.

They are the local alternative to the well known online stores and larger national chains, if you need stationery or printer ink, get in touch with Biddles of Guildford by calling 01483 576660 or via email at shop@biddlesofguildford.co.uk or, when lockdown restrictions allow, visit the shop in Guildford: 1 Ward St, Guildford GU1 4LH.

The newly opened store in Guildford.

How Surrey’s arts organisations impact the social and economic health of the county

If you’ve ever been to the theatre or a gallery, you will know how the arts can transform our mood or our outlook. Life in lockdown has shown us how powerful creativity can be, and why many people are so desperate to get out and enjoy these activities again.

An audience fills out the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre auditorium back before the lockdown.

Thanks to a recent study by the School of Hospitality at the University of Surrey, in partnership with the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, The Lightbox gallery and museum and Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, the direct impact of these three local arts organisations on the social and economic health of the county can
be seen clearly.

The research reveals that besides the economic benefits to the three organisations, for every £10 of visitors’ on-site spending, up to £13.28 is likely to be spent in the local area. The retail, and food and drink sectors are likely to benefit the most. According to the post-visit survey, nearly 70% of the visitors surveyed would not have come to the area if they weren’t attending the theatre or galleries.

Life in lockdown has shown us how powerful creativity can be, and why many people are so desperate to get out and enjoy these activities again.

The research also highlights the ways through which the arts organisations provide opportunities for vital community engagement. These initiatives include health and wellbeing, education and skills development, social inclusion, and social justice, as well as activities that increase community engagement with the arts. They instigate projects which connect with the needs of vulnerable groups and those who might otherwise remain physically distanced from the venues. Covid-19 has challenged each venue differently, but they have all responded positively with socially distanced theatre and music, where possible, as well as numerous digital workshops and performances.

The research reveals that besides the economic benefits to the three organisations, for every £10 of visitors’ on-site spending, up to £13.28 is likely to be spent in the local area.

The study finds that opportunities for interaction and meeting at the theatre become vital for many. One participant commented, activities at the theatre ‘engage drama skills to boost their confidence and communication skills as well as self-expression’ and another felt ‘fulfilled through their engagement’.

We hope it won’t be too long before the full impacts of these three organisations will be felt again.

If you would like to read the Executive Summary of the ‘The Economic and Social Impact of Arts in Surrey’ study you can download it here.

Weyside Urban Village: What will it mean for us?

The urban village is a brownfield development of 1550 houses with some space for retail, business and a surgery. It will stretch along the north bank of the River Wey, with the current lock at its mid point. If you like to visit the riverside park, it will be your new view across the river.

Illustration showing the approximate area of the proposed development.

Unlike the proposed Gosden Hill development to our north, this one has had very few objections so far, except from gardeners who have allotments earmarked for closure on part of the site. Supporters have gained support from the Secretary of State to preserve at least some of them. The rest of the site is currently used for council amenities – the depot, the tip, the sewage works – and most of these will be moved further north beside the industrial estate, and therefore closer to us.

If you like to visit the riverside park, Weyside Urban Village will be your new view across the river.

We can be pleased that a site has been found where housing will be welcome because there is still pressure for homes on this side of Guildford.

However, the spared allotments mean there is less land for developers, who may now look to protect their potential profits by cutting out the so-called ‘affordable housing’. But what does ‘affordable housing’ mean when the measure is calibrated against an area of high-cost housing? These might not be dwellings that our children or young families can afford. Possibly they will appeal to affluent Londoners looking to leave the city.

Less appealing for Burpham is the traffic it could generate. New access roads will enter and exit from Jacobs Well and Woking Road, so people heading into town will go that way. But 1550 houses will create a lot of traffic and some of it will inevitably head for the A3. Picture yourself on that side of the river wondering which route to take to the A3: through the clogged interchange at Stoke Rd (to go north) and on to Wooden Bridge (to go south) or a quick trip through to Burpham and Send?

The planning documents (see Transport Assessment 1) are enthusiastic about linking the estate loop road into the so-called Sustainable Movement Corridor which will run from east to west across Guildford to keep traffic moving. It is shown leaving the development onto Park Way then continues up the London Road to the hairpin adjacent to the slip road, and then down Merrow Lane to a fictitious railway station called West Clandon at the top of New Inn Lane.

How much bigger and how much busier can London Road be when commuters take that route, when shoppers park and ride there, and when Gosden Hill estate is added? What fate awaits New Inn Lane when people realise it’s a perfect rat run? And is this it for ancient Merrow Lane? Residents thought they had dealt with this traffic trauma when they saw the plans for Gosden Hill, but here it is, back again.

I will leave it to more knowledgeable colleagues to explain the knock-on effects of building on a flood plain, but I know that it is going to need very particular attention. After the extensive floods in recent years, I understood that flood plains were meant to be left to do their job?

When estates are built, it’s the retail and social facilities that come last, when there are enough residents to make shops and surgeries viable. Before that, newcomers look to existing services nearby. That means they’ll come to our supermarkets, surgeries, parks and other facilities. I am guessing that families might well look to our wonderful high-achieving primary school for their children. There will be pressure on our services for a few years until they
get their own.

Traffic aside, though, it’s not bad for us. The artist’s illustrations look great to me. Life on the river will be good, and I’m genuinely glad to see more homes in Guildford. But I do wish planners would look with honesty at the impact outside the building zone, and consult more specifically on major changes to roads. We need an honest discussion about the Sustainable Movement Corridor because it has the potential to ruin Burpham.

Sue Hackman

Sometime’s it’s tough being a parent

Your help could make all the difference.

Celebrating our amazing volunteers!

Home-Start Guildford is a family support charity covering the Borough of Guildford. Our trained, home-visiting volunteers with parenting experience, support families struggling to cope with post-natal depression, mental health, illness/disability of parent or child, multiple births, family breakdown and financial worries.

Due to current restrictions, we are supporting families via remote means as well as socially distanced outdoor visits. As soon as government guidance allows, we’ll be back to providing emotional and practical support to parents and young children in the family home. Could you be one of our fantastic volunteers making a huge difference to local families?

  • Can you spare a few hours each week to help a family with young children?
  • Are you interested in learning new skills on our friendly, free volunteer training course?

Our next Volunteer Preparation Course starts in Spring 2021 and we are inviting applications now!
Please call Lelani on 01483 511181 or email office@hsguildford.org.uk for more information.


Registered Charity 1154609

Burpham Bowling Club redevelopment

The bowling green and Burpham Bowling Club clubhouse in Sutherland Memorial Park.

If you are a regular user of Sutherland Memorial Park, you may have noticed that M J Pryce builders have set up in the car park by the tennis courts. They are there to start work on a long planned refurbishment of the bowling clubhouse.

It is likely to take about three months and is the reason why the path along the front of the bowling club is now not accessible. Sorry about that!

The refurbishment is planned to make better use of the internal space of the clubhouse and provide a new, and more accessible, entrance. Burpham is a popular club with a good level of membership. In estate agents’ parlance the clubhouse is ‘compact’ so this project is intended to improve its internal space and accessibility.

We intend to make the clubhouse available for hire as a space more suited to local community groups looking for a cosier space, complementing the larger premises of the Memorial Hall close by.

The changes will enhance the clubhouse facilities, particularly for the club’s social side which continues throughout the winter. We intend to make the clubhouse available for hire as a space more suited to local community groups looking for a cosier space, complementing the larger premises of the Memorial Hall close by.

The club has very recently signed a new lease with Guildford Borough Council and the Council has agreed to provide a generous contribution to the costs of the refurbishment. We lost a number of grants when the fund raising activities of grant giving organisations were cancelled because of the Covid19 pandemic. Despite that setback the members rallied round and raised the (considerable) funds through their hard work and generosity, and the support of some local business sponsors.

The work is scheduled to finish in time for the start of the 2021 season in April.

The work is scheduled to finish in time for the start of the 2021 season in April. We will be arranging an official ‘re-opening’ of the club house and some celebratory events. We hope people will come and see the refurbished premises, relax by the green and try their hand at bowls. Great fun but, and like so many sports, more challenging than it looks. You’re never to young to start – Ed Morris, the current English men’s singles champion is just 32 – and we provide free coaching. You’ve just about got time to qualify for the 2022 Commonwealth Games!

Geoff Sheldon
Burpham Bowling Club Vice President

Sainsbury’s application to extend loading bay with the loss of over 60 trees and potential noise increase.

Woodland between Devoil Close and Sainsbury’s looking from The Copse.

For the most part, Sainsbury’s Supermarket is a good neighbour: convenient, friendly and community-minded. But in the small hours, this changes. Freight comes in and out of the loading bay as goods are unpacked. Reversing beeps and the clank of pallets are at their most disruptive between one and three o’clock in the morning, weekdays
and weekends.

Sainsbury’s is now planning to expand their loading and delivery van parking bay into the green area which buffers the supermarket from the Weybrook Estate, and just across the road from the long-suffering residents of London Road. The new parking spaces for delivery vehicles may bode ill for traffic density, but unloading is an immediate threat to residents’ sleep.

Burpham Community Association took the unusual step of posting an alert to adjacent householders to view the plans before the consultation expired
on 14th October. Respondents have complained about the threat of night-time noise and also about the loss of precious green space which backs on to houses. One reply contains an authoritative account of the wildlife threatened by the development.

The Burpham Neighbourhood Plan specifically rejects the erosion of its remaining patches of green, and those of us who live nearby think of the woods as protection against traffic fumes and a pleasant back-route for shopping and dog-walking.

Supermarkets have teams of planners and lawyers whose job it is to win expansion for their stores. One small gain becomes the springboard for the next. How long before an application goes in to route heavy goods vehicles on and off the London Road? And after that, how long before they are joined by the traffic from the Gosden Hill development and the re-routing of Slyfield traffic? Our traffic infrastructure is already overloaded.

Piecemeal planning has not been helpful to Burpham – the Aldi traffic jam is evidence of that – so we should not be surprised if there is vigorous opposition to the plan.
Sue Hackman (BCA)

Burpham Community Support Update

A joint initiative between Burpham Church and Burpham Community Association to provide support to anyone who needs it in Burpham.

How can we help?

Six months on and we are still here to provide Burpham with a safety net of support and we do not want anyone to struggle or suffer in silence in our own community. We’re here to help all ages, including younger people far from home or those new to the area who may not know anyone, particularly if they suddenly have to self-isolate. We have provided a valuable shopping service for those unable to go shopping, a prescription collection service when pharmacies were not routinely delivering medication and we have really enjoyed chatting as we have taken calls and delivered to people. Sadly, for many of our volunteers, we were not required to walk many dogs!

There is a great feeling of uncertainty about what the winter months will bring and we therefore want to continue to offer a volunteer run support service to our own community. There is a core group of volunteers available and a large reserve pool we can draw on if the need arises. Shopping seems less of a problem now with increased online opportunities or family and neighbour’s help but if someone suddenly has to isolate or is too vulnerable to get out, we can do an emergency shop. Many chemists now offer delivery services but again at short notice we can help with collection and delivery of prescriptions.

We really enjoyed our chats with people and our volunteers valued getting to know their neighbours, on the doorsteps.

Our mobile is monitored Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and during these hours we will respond to messages within three hours. Our email address is monitored every day support@burphamca.org.uk If you just want a friendly chat do phone our number 07880 586455.

Christmas support

Our thoughts are now turning to Christmas and we are keen to ensure nobody is lonely or isolated. We are exploring various ideas to bring ‘comfort and joy’ to Burpham so please let us know if you, or anyone you know, is likely to need a bit of friendly support. This could be older people but also younger people far from home or those new to the area who may not know anyone. Just drop us an email or call our number.

We are looking for volunteers who can knit or crochet during November for one project. Simple patterns provided so let us know if this is for you.

We are working jointly with Burpham Community Association and Burpham Church around Christmas and if you have any ideas about how Christmas can be made brighter in Burpham do let us know.

Examples of other local support available

Age UK Surrey provides a range of services to prevent loneliness and isolation and help people over 50 to remain independent and informed. Call Age UK Surrey 01483 503414 or email enquiries@ageuksurrey.org.uk. Age UK offers Information and advice on a range of issues, including money, housing and care. Expert advisors can assist over the telephone with benefit entitlement claims and signpost to other organisations as required.

Specific help offered by Age UK Surrey:

  • Volunteer Shopping – for essential items.
  • Check-in and Chat – a regular friendly chat.
  • Help at Home – a paid for service providing cleaning, laundry, light meal preparation, companionship and gardening.
  • Get Online Digital Telephone support. Help with getting online, understanding Zoom and other virtual meeting website, social media or advice on your computer or mobile device.
  • Virtual Coffee Mornings with our Information and Advice Manager. An opportunity to ask questions and have a sociable chat.

Voluntary Action South West Surrey

01483 504626 or www.vasws.org.uk Provides lists of activities, help to enable people to join in and they have an extensive directory of volunteering opportunities.

Peer Talk

07719 562617 or www.peertalk.org.uk Guildford peer support group for those living with depression, anxiety and related distress for those facing depression.

Don’t suffer in silence in Burpham…contact us for help 07880 586455 or email support@burphamca.org.uk

Can you donate to The Hygiene Bank?

The Hygiene Bank is a grass roots charity that was founded two years ago to combat hygiene poverty. We believe that being clean is not a luxury but a basic human right.

Hygiene poverty is not being able to afford the everyday hygiene and personal grooming products most of us take for granted. The reality of low income is that it restricts people’s options, leaving them caught between being able to heat their home, pay their rent, eat or being clean. Hygiene poverty strips people of their dignity.

The Guildford branch of the Hygiene Bank has been able to support local people in need via Community Partners including the Guildford Family Centre, local infant, primary and secondary schools, local churches, food banks, shelters for the homeless and womens’ refuges. We ask people to donate unused, unopened hygiene products via our collection points which are located in Waitrose in York Road, Boots in the High Street and Epsom Road.

Covid-19 has increased the demand on our project. To help us continue to support local families we need your help – please consider buying an extra item each week to donate, or you can donate via our website: www.thehygienebank.com

For further information contact the Guildford Project Coordinator:

Guildford City Football Club first team home fixtures

Subject to COVID-19 regulations at the time of the game.

November 2020

4th19.30Hanworth VillaLeague
7th15.00Ascot UnitedLeague

December 2020

5th15.00Banstead Ath.League
19th15.00Badshot LeaLeague

To find out more about Guildford City check out the clubs new YouTube channel, as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages. Please visit
www.guildfordcityfc.co.uk for a full list of fixtures and results, the latest news, history of the club, online shop and much more.