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volunteers week

Volunteers Week 2018

A big thank you from us to all North Surrey's dedicated volunteers during national volunteers week.

This is the time of year that we recognise and thank volunteers for the great work they do in the local community. We would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to all those who have given up their time over the past year to improve someone else's life.

Volunteers make a huge contribution to many organisations who would not be able to do their valuable work without them. On behalf of these organisations, we want to thank you.


Dementia Carers Support in Runnymede

This Dementia Action Week we’re celebrating the remarkable fundraising efforts of Frances Dyble-Goode, who runs the Dementia Carers Support group in Runnymede. Frances estimates that in the past 8 years DCS have raised £150,000 which has enabled the 3 groups to operate every week and fund all their extra activities and outings. To date there have been Christmas Parties, Cream Teas, Cinema trips, River Boat trips, Ole Time Music Hall, Kew Gardens, Saturday lunch clubs, Art Club, manicures, weekends away and a garden party once a year squeezed into Frances’ garden!

Here in Frances’ own words are her reasons for starting the group:

‘I decided what I missed more than anything with this terrible illness was a social life with my husband John who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at age 53. You cannot take your loved one to public places because of the nature of the illness, so I decided to start up a small evening 'Supper Club' for carers to bring along their loved ones and have a lovely evening together. This quickly grew to a very large group of people and since there was nowhere for them to be able to go together in the daytime, I again decided to find a venue that we could start up a 'Drop in Club' for them and the Dementia Carers Support Club was born.’

The first club was held in 2010, once a week at the Village Centre in Englefield Green, funded by Cllr. Marisa Heath. The group become a charity in April 2012 and a BBC2 television appearance led to £20,000 in public donations which enabled Frances to set up 2 more support groups in Woodham Day Centre, New Haw. The original Tuesday Club has been relocated to St. Paul’s Church Annex in Egham Hythe.

Frances has taken ‘Action for Dementia’ to a whole new level and was rightly awarded the ‘Unsung Hero Award’ on Friday 18/5/18. Well done Frances, we’re enormously proud of you and we’ll let you have the last word!

‘We have now about 70 people, Carers their loved ones, also Past Carers, as this is very important, after taking care of a loved one for over 5 to 10 years, they are left totally alone, so they keep coming to us, we are their extended family.’




For more information about Dementia Carers Support please visit their website

Mental health word cloud

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

It is estimated that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health condition in the course of a year with an estimated 70 million working days lost every year in the UK due to mental ill health.  1 in 5 people take a day off work due to stress, of which 90% feel they are unable to be honest about the reason with  9 out of 10 people with mental health issues feeling that they will experience stigma and discrimination if they are honest about the cause of their ill health. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health issues experienced, with a cost to the economy as a whole of somewhere between £74bn – £99bn.  Suicide remains the leading cause of death for both men and women aged 20-34 years old in the UK and it is estimated that people with severe mental illness die between 10-20 years earlier than the general population.

With the right support, most people with mental health problems will get better.  Charities that support people with mental ill health in Surrey come under the umbrella Community Connections ( with Catalyst’s The Welcome Project being the leading provider of support in North West Surrey, Guildford and Waverley and Surrey Heath.  The Welcome Project works in partnership with Cornerhouse, Sunbury Accord, Voluntary Action South West Surrey, Oakleaf, Guildford Action and Camberley District Open Mind Association.  The charities offer support groups, walking groups, drop in services, art groups, mindfulness sessions, confidence building sessions and social events to help people who need help with their mental health.  Anyone (of working adult age) can approach these charities if they need help to improve their mental health and wellbeing.  

VSNS specifically run the Amigo Project (which is funded by Catalyst).  The project is designed to help people who are on their recovery path from mental ill health.  Our volunteers support people who need encouragement to move forward on their journey of recovery from mental ill health.  They help people to make connections within the local community and enable them to take up interesting activities to help boost confidence and increase motivation.  The project covers Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, West Elmbridge and Woking and is open to anyone from 18 years and upwards who can either self-refer or who is eligible for referral from a statutory organisation.  For further information please contact either Lynnette or Laura on 01276 707565 or email:

surrey heath ccg

Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group Public Meeting – Tuesday 15th May 2018

The next public meeting for the Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group will take place on 15th May between 1.30 and 4.30 pm at Camberley Theatre.  Take the opportunity to hear from key leaders, including the Chief Office of Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group and meeting the newly appointed Chief Executive for Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.  Visit the website to see the agenda and to register.

Surrey Heath Show 2018

Surrey Heath Show – Saturday 19th May from 10 am to 4 pm

The Surrey Heath Show has made a huge impact on the local community over the past 11 years.  As well as putting on a fantastic community event each year, the Surrey Heath Show supports local charities and community groups by inviting funding applications after the show. 

This year the Surrey Heath Show will have a BBQ, a Classic Car Show, a Miniature Railway, a Companion Dog Show and many more activities.  For more detail visit the Surrey Heath Show website.

Group photo launch

Amigo Launch Event

Thank you to everyone who attended the Amigo launch and contributed to making this event a success.

Amigo volunteers support people who need encouragement to move forward on their journey of recovery from mental ill health.  They help people to make connections within the local community and enable them to take up interesting activities to boost confidence and increase motivation.

If you'd like to hear more about Amigo either as a volunteer or as someone who might benefit from the project then please contact either Lynnette or Laura on 01276 707565 for more information.

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