Witness appeal following a robbery in Bookham

Surrey Police are appealing for witnesses after a 11-year-old was threatened and had his iPhone stolen in Bookham on Tuesday 19 September in the afternoon.

The victim was in Lower Road Recreation Ground at around 3.55pm when he was approached by a group of older boys. They accused the victim of filming them before grabbing his mobile phone and smashing it. The suspects then ran off across the park in the direction of the Grange Community Centre taking the phone with them.

Officers identified the four suspects, a 12-year-old boy, a 14-year-old boy, a 15-year-old boy, and a 16-year-old boy were arrested on suspicion of robbery.

Hayley Poulton, Police Sergeant for Mole Valley said, “I am sure that this incident will have been distressing both for those involved and for those in the community who have been involved in previous anti-social behaviour reported to us across the summer months. I would like to reassure you that my team are working with appropriate partner agencies to address those issues and are regularly patrolling Bookham. At this time, we do not believe the incidents are linked and would advise against any speculation that may be circulating on social media at this time. I encourage anyone to contact your local officers and myself should you have any information relating to this incident, or if you wish to discuss any of the recent ASB incidents.”

If you witnessed the robbery or saw or heard anything suspicious that could assist with our investigation, please contact us quoting PR/45230105817 via:

If you do not wish to leave your name, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

From Banstead to Athens Local Heroes

To mark this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month (September 2023), Signature at Banstead have set themselves a challenge to cycle over 2,000 miles on a static bike with the goal to raise £1,000 for Alzheimer’s Society. If you like to donate CLICK HERE

Signature at Banstead will be cycling the distance from the care home to Athens Panathenaic Stadium – the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 – and a total of 2,086 kilometres!

With the support of the local community, care home staff, residents, family members and volunteers the team are well on their way of achieving their end destination – and have already cycled over half of the distance, with just over a week left to go.

Tamara Juckes, Activities Manager and Regional Mentor at Signature at Banstead, shares the importance of staying connected to the community, whilst raising awareness of Alzheimer’s:

“World Alzheimer’s Month is always a big date in our diary. We’ve done a couple of other initiatives this month including a talk ‘Inside the World of Dementia’ for prospective residents, professionals, and staff. We also ran an immersion workshop for people to understand what it’s like to live with dementia, which can be quite uncomfortable for some.

We were donated the exercise bike by one of the families who has a relative here, so we started to think about a cycle challenge. We were throwing ideas around when we came up with the idea of cycling to Athens where the first Olympic Games was held. We did the maths and thought, is this do-able?!

The whole community has come together – residents, family members, careers, housekeepers. There’s no judgement in this community – we’ve had people come and do as little as 15 minutes. We’ve all pulled together to try and reach our goal by the end of the month – so far, we’ve made it to Hungary!”

The cycling challenge has sparked excitement across the home and residents have enjoyed watching volunteers take to the bike.

91-year-old Robert, a resident at Signature at Banstead, fondly remembers “I could ride a ‘Fairy Cycle’ before I could walk! I used to go to Germany and hire a bike so I could go on the lovely cycle path around the lake. I’ve not cycled in 50 years, but I have watched the Tour de France on television.”

Robert is proud of his family’s contribution to the challenge and proudly shared It’s been a lovely event to watch, my son has been involved, he cycled 50km on one occasion, and my daughter in law did 25km.”

Jakki Mayes, Activities Assistant at Signature at Banstead has also enjoyed getting involved with the challenge.

Jakki shared: “I would normally only hire the odd bike on holiday! But it felt really rewarding getting on the cycle, it’s a good cause and it motivates you to get on! One time I was on the bike and the residents were laughing and singing along at the same time! I’ll probably hop on again today to do a few kilometres.”

Later Living Marketplace Lottie also got involved, helping to clock up some miles on the bike. Earlier in the week, team members, Louise, Dom, Jordan, and Hannah visited Signature at Banstead and added over 100 miles to the journey!

Louise Donnelly, Product Manager at Lottie shared “It’s great to be able to take part in an initiative like this, to get out into the care homes we work with, meet the residents and staff and pull together for a challenger like this, all for a cause close to our hearts!”

This year’s World Alzheimer’s Month, Lottie has been working to dispel common Alzheimer’s myths and misconceptions. Lottie’s new research has revealed over the last 12 months more people have been searching for Alzheimer’s care and support, with online searches surging:

400% increase in online searches for ‘Alzheimer’s carers’*
67% increase in online searches for ‘Alzheimer’s family support’
23% increase in online searches for ‘Alzheimer’s support’


Hannah Karim, Care Expert Manager at Later Living Marketplace Lottie, shared, “As we continue into World Alzheimer’s Month and beyond, it’s so important to dispel the biggest myths, stereotypes and misconceptions about living with Alzheimer’s and caring for those with this condition. Negative assumptions can lead to those with Alzheimer’s feeling diminished or isolated, impacting their self-esteem and sense of identity.

With an ageing population it is expected that 1.6 million people in the UK will be living with Alzheimer’s by 2040. So, It’s important we continue to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and to champion those caring for a loved one living with the condition in the following weeks, months and years.

It’s been amazing to be part of the cycling challenge at Signature at Banstead, it’s so rewarding to see a community come together to raise awareness of an important cause, whilst also bringing so much joy to the residents each day!”, concludes Karim.

New digital guide to Nonsuch Park Gardens

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council launches new digital guide to showcase Nonsuch Park’s beautiful gardens

Nonsuch Park has joined more than 250 cultural institutions around the globe in providing a new digital guide to the formal gardens on Bloomberg Connects, the free arts and culture app created by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

This is the first digital tour of its kind for Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, and is packed full of information, interesting facts, photos, history and more. It is the perfect accompaniment to enhance the experience of those visiting the park, and also makes Nonsuch Park accessible to people anytime, anywhere. Content will be updated throughout the year, adapting to the changing seasons at Nonsuch Park.

The tour is an important part of the council’s Cultural Strategy, which is currently in development. One of the key aims of the Strategy is to increase access to culture and heritage in Epsom & Ewell and to allow people to engage with its colourful and varied cultural past in new and engaging ways.

The Bloomberg Connects app, which also features sites such as Central Park Conservancy, London’s National Portrait Gallery and Anne Frank House, is available to download free of charge from Google Play or the App Store.

Councillor Clive Woodbridge, Chair of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s Community and Wellbeing Committee, said,

“I am delighted to support this new venture which will allow our residents and visitors to access so much more in our wonderful Nonsuch Park. It is exciting that it puts us on the global map of stunning and historic cultural locations and allows people to see a much-loved part of our borough in a new way.”

Councillor Julian Freeman, Chair of the Joint Management Committee of Nonsuch Park, added,

“It’s a pleasure to not only be able to showcase some of the most beautiful areas of the formal gardens to people both in and outside the borough, but also to be able to do this in a format which allows people to journey around the area at their own pace.”

Bloomberg Connects offers free digital guides to cultural organizations around the world. The app platform is part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ longstanding commitment to supporting digital innovation in the arts. Bloomberg Connects makes it easy to access and engage with arts and culture from mobile devices when visiting in person, or anytime from anywhere. With dynamic content exclusive to each partner organization, the app provides a range of features including video, audio, text, images with alt text to assist the visually impaired; expert commentary; and way-finding maps.

The digital tour has been developed with support from the council’s Arts, Heritage and Culture team, Friends of Nonsuch, Nonsuch Voles, the council’s Operational Services team and Bourne Hall Museum.

Scan QR Code to download the App Today 

Still Time to Apply for Funding Support

Still Time to Apply for Funding Support Ahead of End of September Deadline. Mole Valley’s community and voluntary groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations have just under a month to apply for funding support of up to £25,000 to help boost an existing project, or help kick-start a new activity.  

Community and voluntary groups in Mole Valley can apply for a share of £50,838 via the UKSPF* Community Capacity Building and Infrastructure Support Grant (CCBISGS) with applications supporting projects that, for example, help increase volunteering, improve town and village centres, increase participation in community activities and reduce crime, being particularly welcomed by Mole Valley District Council (MVDC). More information is available by emailing [email protected].

One of the beneficiaries of the 2022/23 round of MVDC’s funding was Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey. Trusts and Grants Fundraiser, Helen Hopkins, comments: “Sensory Services by Sight for Surrey were delighted to receive a grant for £1,000 to support our volunteer and community engagement work in Mole Valley. It’s so important to have local funding for local events, so a big thank you to MVDC and the UKSPF programme. We would recommend organisations within the voluntary and community sector working in the district to apply for funding.”

Sight For Surrey - Coffee and cake morning Fetcham

Applications up to £25,000 are also being welcomed by MVDC for the other two funding opportunities it offers; the Capital Fund and the Thomas Flack Grant schemes. Email [email protected] for further information on either of these funding avenues.

The Capital Fund is available to community and voluntary organisations in the district for capital projects such as community building improvements, new playground equipment and sports equipment. The Thomas Flack Fund offers funding support – for both capital and revenue projects – for projects specifically benefiting residents of Ashtead, Bookham, Fetcham and Leatherhead. Revenue costs could include activities, events and running costs, while capital costs might include community and sports building refurbishment, and large equipment costs for community benefit, such as play equipment.

MVDC is inviting organisations interested in any of the three funding opportunities submit an online Expression of Interestform by Saturday 16 September and check their eligibility. Once received, MVDC will then guide the prospective applicant through the funding options available to them. Formal applications for any one of the available grants will need to be registered by 30 September 2023.

Councillor Bridget Kendrick, Cabinet Member for Finance and Deputy Leader of MVDC, said: “Whilst there is still time for us to hear from community groups and voluntary organisations in Mole Valley, that window is slowly closing. It is therefore very important if you are involved in one of these groups and have an existing project in need of a funding boost – or you have an idea for a new initiative that needs some money to get off the ground – that you get in touch with us as soon as possible. Alternatively, if you are someone who benefits from the support or facilities an organisation provides and you think they might not be aware of the funding opportunities available, this is the time to let them know!”

Unwrap your Creativity with Heritage Open Days 2023

From Friday 8th to Sunday 17th September 2023, Mole Valley will be celebrating Heritage Open Days by opening the doors of its most fascinating buildings and offering talks on many intriguing, local subjects – all available free of charge.

The theme for this year is ‘Creativity Unwrapped’ and Dorking Halls will be holding the launch event on 8 September. There will be a talk from award-winning artist Mary Branson as she tells all about her art installations, including ‘Harvest’ a huge site-specific installation at Box Hill in collaboration with Surrey Hills Arts and the National Trust, highlighting the plight of farmers facing climate change.

Dorking Museum are hosting a variety of heritage walks including the ‘Historic Pub Walk’ and ‘Betchworth Castle Walk’, providing the chance to stroll through Dorking’s past as told around its many hostelries pubs and inns – both past and present – as well as walk around the picturesque ruins of Betchworth Castle.

Grade II listed property Fetcham Park will also be opening its grounds. The House is one of Surrey’s hidden gems, boasting elaborate plasterwork, decorative gold leaf and breath-taking murals by the eminent 17th-century artist, Louis Laguerre.

There are more than 40 in-person and online events for all ages happening across Mole Valley, including talks, walks, tours and more. All Heritage Open Days events are free of charge.  Supported by Mole Valley District Council (MVCDC), the festival is now in its twenty-ninth year.

Councillor Nick Wright, MVDC’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said: “The variety of events put on for Heritage Open Days in Mole Valley is a reflection of all the hard work and dedication of the volunteers involved. There are many events that uncover everyone’s creative side and plenty that explores the richness of our local heritage, including some fascinating walking tours around a castle, wetland, graveyard and more.”

Check out our Mole Valley’s Heritage Open Days digital booklet to find out more.