Aid To Ukraine

The news and the images coming out of Ukraine is heartbreaking and we have been asked by several followers of What’s On How can we help? Where do we donate?

The situation in Ukraine is fast moving but one thing for sure hundreds of thousands of people including children, the elderly and the sick need aid. Be it in Ukraine or the sounding countries taking in refugees. So we have put together a list of charities who have set up special collections for the crisis. 

British Red Cross has launched an appeal to raise funds for food, medical supplies, shelter and water. More Info

Save The Children has launched an urgent fundraising push for their Emergency Fund. 7.5million people in Ukraine are under 18. This special reserve of money ensures they have the funds ready to help the children More Info

UNICEF has been working around the clock to keep children safe since the conflict began. They are helping to make sure that child health and protection services are sustained and families have clean water and nutritious food. More Info

Doctors Without Borders, whose base in Ukraine provides treatments for a range of regional diseases and medical problems. As hostilities continue, assuring people’s access to health care and medicines will be critical. More Info

International Rescue Committee is on the ground in Poland, working with our local partners in Poland and Ukraine, to quickly mobilise resources that will provide life-saving support to civilians forced to flee their homes. More Info

The UN Refugee Agency has stepped up their operations and capacity in Ukraine and neighbouring countries – your support can help them ensure that Ukrainians forced to flee their homes are sheltered and safe.. More Info 

We understand with increasing energy bills and the cost of living going up their are families in the UK struggling to survive. So please only donate if you can afford to. Remember your family must always come first. 

Let’s just hope and pray this will all be over soon.

Disclaimer : We have not been approached by any of these charities to promote them or have any connection with them. The list is not in any order of preference, just how we found them on website search. 

THE WORD ON THE STREET is there’s a brand-new store set to open

This Saturday, 26 February 2022, marks a new chapter for Ashtead High Street and small businesses, as a brand-new independent bookshop opens its doors. Established by local Ashtead residents it provides the village with its first bookstore in living memory.

Word on the Street Bookshop is a general bookshop offering beautiful books from the latest best sellers and new releases, to dedicated sections on fiction, crime & thriller, biography, memories, science fiction, art & culture, history & politics, nature, travel, humour, sport, poetry, food & drink and mind, body & spirit.

Based at 60 The Street, Ashtead, the store will also have an impressive children’s section, with a mixture of children’s fiction and non-fiction. There will also be a selection of teenage/young adult titles available.

The store aims to sell a broad, diverse and inclusive selection of titles and welcomes all to provide reviews on books they have read.

The idea for the bookshop has developed over a number of years where a small group of local people have contemplated the prospect of a bookshop in Ashtead Village and the opportunity arose during the recent lockdown when the property at 60 The Street became available.

Dawn Brewer

One of the Directors, Dawn Brewer, who has been an Ashtead resident for 29 years, has subsequently worked closely with a group of like-minded local ‘bookworms’ to design and build the bookshop, with the aim of making it a community asset that will encourage reading and provide immediate access to a range of fiction and non-fiction books.

Dawn has worked as an Oncology Nurse Specialist for 38 years. Over the lockdown period, she decided to take the brave step and launch a new career.One of three directors of the new store, Dawn, who formally retired from the NHS just this week, said:

“After a demanding and rewarding medical career, the time now feels right for a change – and so the idea of our village bookshop came to fruition. With the support of a fantastic team of local people it has been amazing that the right skillset has come together and the premises became available at just the right time in an excellent position in the heart of the village.So here we are, launching Word on the Street Bookshop.

“We can’t wait to open and welcome Ashtead residents and visitors – there is something for everyone.

To mark the launch, the new store has been working with local schools to engage pupils and encourage their reading – primary school children are designing bookmarks for a competition and secondary aged children are encouraged to share reviews of their favourite books. Winners will be announced in early March, and materials displayed in store.

As well as an extensive range of books, the store will also provide greeting cards, notebooks and wrapping paper.

Dawn describes her love of books: “I studied English throughout school and followed all the set texts, but then my husband Jon bought me Lord of the Rings and I devoured it! That was the start of my love of reading for my own pleasure. I’ve not put books down ever since!

“Some of my favourites are Small Island by Andrea Levy, anything by Anne Tyler – and more recently Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.I can’t wait to hear what our customers’ favourites are too!”

Epsom-born Celebrity Mel Giedroyc – actress, comedian, TV presenter and author – will officially open the store at a launch event on Wednesday 2 March, when guests will have the opportunity to meet her as she signs her first novel The Best Things.

Word on the Street will be open Monday-Saturday, 9am to 5pm.

To find out more please visit the store at 60 The Street, call 01372 273932 or email [email protected]

You can also follow the store on Instagram: @wordonthestreetbookshop

Word On The Street Bookshop (l-r) Mick Lowe - Catherine Swan - Anne Bailey - Dawn Brewer

Residents Fight Goes On Over Chalk Pit Decision

Residents living in the Epsom College area vowed to continue the fight to stop planning for a Change of Use to a waste recycling facility in the Chalk Pit  following a narrow 6-4 vote to Approve with Conditions by Councillors on the SCC Planning and Regulatory Committee, held in Reigate on Wednesday 23rd February.

The recommendation now has, by law, to be referred to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for a final decision.

If given clearance, the proposal would permit the Change of Use of an existing Waste Transfer Station to a Materials Recycling Facility and extension of the site to incorporate a new Waste Transfer Station. This involves the erection of 2,000 sqm of industrial buildings, ten times larger than the present structure, to house an industrial trommel and screen picker to process 26,000 tonnes of waste a year on this Green Belt site.

Epsom & Ewell MP Rt Hon Chris Grayling, who supported residents in person at the hearing said  “I am really disappointed by this decision. It does not give confidence that the County wants to put its residents first, given the huge issues around the application and the fact that it has endorsed an application for what it admits is an inappropriate development in the Green Belt from an operator who had clearly been breaking the law.”

A residents’ spokesperson said. “The Committee’s decision went narrowly against us today, but we believe that the ‘very special considerations’ necessary to override the acknowledged harm to this Green Belt site were subjective and not sufficiently proven to pass the very high hurdle required. There were certainly a number of planning issues that continue to cause concern. The fight goes on “

Simplified Parking Permits Coming Soon to Mole Valley

Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) are introducing a new, simplified structure for off-street parking permits across the district, reducing 14 available options to 4. Residents can choose from Gold, Silver, Bronze and Concessionary permits.

The new scheme is being introduced to create a transparent and equitable approach. It will remove anomalies that meant near neighbours had vastly different off-street permit prices and it will reduce the range of permits available from 14 to 4.  At the same time, the new scheme will reduce the overall cost of a parking permit for the majority of Mole Valley residents and small businesses.

Depending on individual needs and preferences, residents and businesses have a choice of:

      • Gold permits: allowing all residents and businesses to park in any Mole Valley
        long stay car park – £1075 per annum 

      • Silver permits: for Mole Valley residents and small businesses – £675 per annum

      • Bronze permits: for off-peak customers and low paid workers – £175 per annum

      • Concessionary permits: for school and nursery drop-off and collection – £50 for 5 years

All permits can be purchased quarterly, monthly, or pro-rata (for certain days of the week) at no additional cost, and it’ll be quick and easy to apply. The permits will be available from the end of March 2022 at molevalley.gov.uk/permits

Councillor Clayton Wellman, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Economy and Security said, “I’m really pleased with the new parking permits scheme that offers the very best value possible. Permits will be hundreds of pounds cheaper for the majority of residents and local businesses, and the system will be fair, transparent and easier to understand. The permits will also offer a new flexible approach, delivering further options and savings for those who want to pay in increments that suit them, or who only need a permit for certain days of the week to suit their working arrangements.

“The system will also be much easier to use, with a new interface and the ability to self-serve coming soon. We’ll be introducing ‘virtual permits’, using less paper and resources, and allowing easier administration.”

ATM distraction theft is on the rise in Surrey

Surrey Police are reminding people to be vigilant when using cash machines and to tell police immediately if they see anything unusual or anyone acting suspiciously.
 
If possible they should not leave the scene if their card is retained but call for help and inform their bank as soon as possible to prevent cash being stolen.
 

Surrey Police takes any theft or credit card fraud matters seriously and offers the following advice:

Check the machine to see if there is anything stuck to it or anything looks unusual about it. If there is, do not use the machine – report it to the police or bank immediately.

• Do not let anyone see you input your PIN. Use your free hand to cover the PIN pad to prevent anyone seeing your PIN as you key it in.

• If you are interrupted or distracted by anyone when using an ATM, cancel the transaction and try to recover the card.

• If the machine does not return your card, report it immediately to your card issuer.

• Tell your bank immediately if you notice anything unusual on your statements.
 
 

Painshill’s Platinum Planting

A stately new tree has been planted at Painshill in Surrey to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Mayor of Elmbridge Councillor Tony Popham, and the Mayoress, Mrs Jo Wright, were invited to plant a Cedar of Lebanon at the historic landscape garden in Cobham as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.

The QGC is inviting people and organisations across the UK to plant a tree for the jubilee and mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.

Everyone is invited to play a part in helping the environment and enhancing our landscape for future generations.

The Cedar of Lebanon is a stately, slow-growing evergreen conifer that has been known to live for more than 600 years and can reach a height of over 100ft.

Designed in the 18th century by The Hon Charles Hamilton, Painshill fell into ruins until it was saved by the Painshill Trust in the 1980s. Hamilton designed the garden as a walk through a work of art, taking the viewer past theatrically placed follies and a series of stunning views.

Painshill director Paul Griffiths said: “We chose a Cedar of Lebanon because of the rich history of that species in the historic landscape.

“Painshill already boasts many long-standing specimens including The Great Cedar, a tree planted by Charles Hamilton in the 18th century that has become the largest multi-stemmed cedar in Europe.

“Hamilton was described as ‘painting with plants’ and he used them to create atmosphere and beauty. He planted a cedar in particular places to draw the eye of the visitor and create a dramatic moment in a view.

“We very much hope that this new Cedar will have a long future ahead of it and stand in celebration of Her Majesty’s 70 years of service for generations to come.”

To find out more visit www.painshill.co.uk

Don’t Accept Offers On Your Doorstep

Unfortunately after storms you always find someone out to make money legally or illegally. Its quite common for a knock on the door with the usual conversation started I’m driving past” “I’m working up the road” and “I’ve noticed you’ve got damage to your” roof, guttering, brickwork, drive, tree, window, shed, fence,etc. and its is always followed by “I can fix it for you”

Now according to Buckingham & Surrey Trading Standards this is not illegal but, the law states that a trader who ignores a resident’s request to leave and not return commits a criminal offence under the provisions of The Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

Any trader that puts you under pressure by falsely implying that you have to make a decision there and then, or that the “special price” is only available for a limited period in order to make you sign up, is committing a criminal offence.

According to Action Fraud, around £18.7m was lost to doorstep scammers in 2020, but it also believes that many of these offences go unreported.

So how does the scam work?

The scam: a trader will come to your home and offer to do some work for you at a special rate – this might be new paving or a new driveway. Another common tactic is to claim that you have a hole in your roof or your damage to your guttering – usually something that you can’t easily check yourself. They’ll say that it’s very urgent and put pressure on you to get the work done immediately.

The reality: it’s highly likely that they’ve made up the problem. They might pretend to fix it or do a shoddy job. They’ll then charge you an extortionate amount for the ‘work’.

With the weather we have been having these are common scams. According to Action Fraud, around £18.7m was lost to doorstep scammers in 2020, but it also believes that many of these offences go unreported.

Scammers often target older people for doorstep scams as they are more likely to be at home during the day, and scammers might find it easier to intimidate or confuse them. In fact, 85% of victims of doorstep scams are aged 65 and over, according to National Trading Standards.

Our advice is to always say “No thank you – please leave” and then immediately close the door. If the trader won’t go away, tell them that you will call Trading Standards. If you feel under real threat or in danger, you should contact the Police on 101 or if it is an emergency dial 999.

If you need to get hold of a tradesperson to do some work just follow some simple tips.

      • Use a reputable website like Checkatrade or MyBuilder.com
      • Make sure you get 3 quotes
      • Ask friends or family for recommendations, word of mouth is great way to find someone
      • Check they are insured 
      • Never pay in full

 

 

How To Make Sourdough American Pancakes

How to make a sourdough American pancakes by Laura Scott

I always like to make use of the excess sourdough starter I have, especially as I seem to have so much left over after making big batches of sourdough loaves and focaccias for my supper club. I have already written about using my excess starter for making sourdough raspberry, white chocolate and banana muffins . I also thought how good it would be to use the surplus starter to make some sourdough American pancakes. Pancake day is on the horizon after all…

If you haven’t ever made your own sourdough starter before, I have a simple guide telling you how to go about making it AND another post telling you how to maintain your starter.

Making a sourdough starter is really easy, so even if you don’t go on to create your own sourdough loaves you can simply use the starter to make a whole range of delicious treats.

These pancakes are ridiculously easy to bake and all you need is a mixing bowl, scales, a whisk and a frying pan. You could make the pancake batter the night before you want to eat them and then cook them off to order the next morning. I like to serve mine with Greek yoghurt, honey and fruit.

You could also serve the pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup or sliced bananas and toasted pecan nuts. Sometimes just a simple topping of Nutella will do!

By Laura Scott
howtocookgoodfood.co.uk

Recipe 

 Prep Time 10 minutes
 Cook Time 15 minutes
 Servings 4
Author Laura Scott

Ingredients
      • 200 g sourdough starter
      • 2 large eggs
      • 100 ml milk
      • 100 g plain flour
      • 1 tsp baking powder
      • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
      • 1/4 tsp sea salt
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 25 g caster sugar
      • 2 tbsp neutral oil for frying the pancakes. Add more if needed.
Instructions
      1. Measure the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt into a mixing bowl.

      2. Pour in the sourdough starter.

      3. Whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla together. Pour into the mixing bowl.

      4. Whisk the mixture together until well combined.

      5. Leave the mixture to rest for 30 minutes.

      6. Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan. Using a ladel, pour in enough batter for two separate pancakes and cook until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the surface is light golden brown.

      7. Place the cooked pancakes on an oven tray and cover with foil. Keep them warm in the oven. Continue this process until you have used up all of your pancake batter.

      8. Serve immediately with a selection of toppings.

Recipe Notes:

You can make the pancake batter the day before you want to use it. Keep it refrigerated for up to 12 hours before using.

The pancakes are best eaten on the day they are made.

Laura Scott is a Private chef, supper club host, cake maker and cookery tutor. She loves cooking, always have.

Her goal is to share that passion with you, through my recipes, leading cookery classes, or creating the most delicious food for your event.

Please visit Laura’s website howtocookgoodfood.co.uk 

for more wonderful Recipes, Catering and Cookery Lessons.

Are you a local Surrey Chef and would like us to promote your business in return for some simple recipes our followers can make at home? If the answer is yes CLICK HERE

Code Ninjas Epsom to open on Feb 28th

Epsom’s Code Ninjas can start their coding journeys from February 28th. Centre Director, Lee Richards, told us: ‘Everything is now in place to provide parents in Epsom, Ewell and Nork with a premium, extra-curricular coding club for their kids’.

Coding

But just what is coding? According to Lee, “Coding is a creative activity that lets us talk to computers and get them to do practically anything we can imagine.”

With coding coming to be seen as an essential literacy in the digital age, Code Ninjas is a welcome arrival for the parents of Epsom.

Programs

In the Junior program, 5 to 7 year olds develop the fundamental skills and understanding of coding concepts during one hourly session per week. With the fundamentals in place ninjas then progress to the main ‘Create’ program. ‘Create’ provides ninjas with two hourly sessions per weeks. Moving from White Belt to Black Belt, the ninjas build increasingly complex video games to demonstrate their growing understanding of coding. As well as coding video games the ninjas also get the opportunity to program devices such as drones, robots and 3D printers. Inevitably ninjas learn a number of coding languages, such as Java Script, Lua and C# along the way.  The development of computational thinking gained by completing projects at Code Ninjas is increasingly desirable to employers as the process builds confidence, creativity and resilience.

Creativity

In a recent interview with UK Tech News the Code Ninjas VP of Education, Grant Smith said: “Fundamentally, Code Ninjas is a place for children to be inspired through technology and to let their creativity flourish. It’s important, therefore, that we deliver on giving children the feeling of being a part of something bigger than themselves, which can only be achieved through introducing them to how technology impacts our society and cultures.”

In the same article, adding to Grant’s comments, Code Ninjas Epsom’s Centre Director Lee Richards said: “Society is enriched through the development of responsible technologies. Technological advancement has made human life longer, it’s opening ways of meeting our needs that don’t damage our natural environment, as well as providing astounding forms of entertainment. The more kids that appreciate this, the better chance we have for healthier, cleaner, and more enjoyable lives.”

Camps

‘Founding Families’ discounts are currently available. However these discounts, which are available for both the Junior and the Create programs can only be grabbed by enrolling during the next ten days.

With the launch date confirmed, Centre Director Lee Richards has now set his sights on school holiday coding camps. There are camps to code robots in Minecraft, learn how to be a Youtuber and 3D printing. Only a few of the potential Camps can run.

For More Info on Code Ninjas Epsom CLICK HERE

Want to influence the decision? Be sure to add your comments and your ‘Likes’ to the videos on the Code Ninjas Epsom Facebook page.

Police warning after rise in Covid-19 Omicron vaccine scam

Surrey and Sussex Police are warning residents to stay alert to rising scams relating to the Covid-19 vaccine and more recently, scams related to the omicron variant.

Fraudsters are sending phishing emails and texts, making cold calls and directly door stepping people with offers of a Covid-19 vaccine. Often, they claim to be from the NHS and direct victims to an authentic looking website where they’re asked for their personal details.

They will typically take money from the victim by charging for the vaccine or by harvesting their personal and financial details which they will use to sell or take money from their bank account.

In just one week, three separate incidents have been reported to Surrey and Sussex Police.

 A 74-year-old female from Brighton was initially contacted by text stating that the sender was a representative of the NHS and that she had come into contact with someone who had the Omicron variant of Covid-19. She was asked via text to follow a link, where she would have to pay £1.34 for packaging fees for an Omicron test, she input her bank details to order the test. Shortly after she was contact by a male on the phone who claimed to be a staff member of Santander and stated that her bank account has been subject to fraudulent activity. As such she was told by this male that a new account had been set up for her. The male went onto say that she would need to transfer £4,500 from her current account into the new one.  At this point she became suspicious, terminated the call, and then contacted the police.

A 68-year-old female from West Sussex had transferred approximately £25,000.00 to a bank account following a text message she received initially stating she had been in contact with someone with COVID. She received a text on 11 February stating that she had been in contact with someone with COVID and the message gave a link to order a test at a cost of £1.43. The victim clicked into the link and entered her bank details to pay the rest. The next morning, she received a call from a male called stating he was from the HSBC fraud team and the number he called from was the same number that appears on the back of her HSBC bank card.  She therefore believed this call to be legitimate due to this, however it is believed the number had been spoofed. He told her they could see her accounts had been compromised and therefore wanted to move her money to a safe account. She transferred over £25,000 in total into the fraudsters bank account.

An 84-year-old man from Epsom received a text message from someone who has stated that the he had been in touch with someone who had COVID and he had to pay £1.30 to get a COVID test kit. Luckily the victim realised it was a scam before any money had been paid out.

Bernadette Lawrie BEM the Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer for Sussex and Surrey Police said: “We continue to see heartless fraudsters exploiting the pandemic to target individuals when they are at their most vulnerable.  We would urge the public to be aware of the tactics being used including spoofing telephone numbers so they appear legitimate and remind people that the Covid-19 vaccines and NHS testing services are free and will not request your bank card details.”

All incidents of fraud should be reported to Action Fraud which is the UK’s national fraud reporting centre. You can also report by calling 0300 123 2040 Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm.

If a victim of fraud is elderly or vulnerable, reports can be made directly to Surrey Police in order for a Safeguarding intervention to take place.

Scams often operate across geographic boundaries and we work together with a number of national partners to build a bigger picture of how and where scams are operating. Your information can help. If you have you received a suspicious phishing email, text, or phone call you can help tackle these types of scams by informing our partner agencies:

What to do if you receive a suspicious email?

Email: forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) via [email protected]phishing.gov.uk

What to do if you receive a suspicious text message?

Text message: forward to 7726. This free-of-charge short code enables your provider to investigate the origin of the text and take action, if found to be malicious.

What to do if you receive a suspicious phone call?

Phone calls / Social media: report these to Action Fraud via their website: actionfraud.police.uk/report-phishing