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Addlestone Victory Park Bowls Club

Picture of Addlestone Victory Park Bowling Green

This week Katy and Angie visited Addlestone Victory Park Bowls Club to find out a little more about the club and their upcoming Open Day. Thanks to Coalition member Richard, who first told us about the open day during one of the virtual cafés.

There has been a huge change at the club moving from the dare we say it, somewhat stuffy and exclusive nature of bowls to a desire to be truly inclusive, accessible and a real asset to the local community. The story is a remarkable one – you can read the full version on their website – Barrie de suys Story Addlestone | Addlestone Bowls, – but here is the brief:

Barrie de Suys has become a bit of a local legend and Addlestone’s very own Captain Tom. During lockdown, aged 86, he decided for everyone’s mental and physical health to draw the local community into the park by walking around the park perimeter to raise money for the RNIB. By October he had walked 2400 laps equivalent to just under 1450 miles and raising over £10,000 for the RNIB. He became well known amongst the local community who would join him or bring water and snacks.

Barrie was still an honorary member of the bowls club; he had served as club Captain back in 2002 when the club had 100 members and he was extremely upset to see the clubs demise. Over the years membership had dwindled to just 4 at the beginning of 2021 and the council were about to stop the club subsidy which would effectively close the club down. The feeling was that the club was not doing anything to attract new members, indeed people were being turned away for not wearing the right clothes. Although Barrie hadn’t played since 2016 due to arthritis, he wanted to do something to help save his club. The boards around the green needed replacing and the council agreed to pay for new boards as Barrie had agreed to creosote them. This he did, twice, working all day for 2 months.

The club sunk its remaining funds into an Open Day in May 2021 and by the end of the day 25 members had signed up. More importantly the club was becoming more outward looking and welcoming with Barrie embodying the new values of accessibility, inclusivity and self-sustainability. He was often at the club giving something back to the community; gardening, umpiring and coaching a new group for adults with learning disabilities that he had helped set up. People came into the club to bring him food and drink still and joined up because of his local reputation. By the end of 2021 the club had 41 members and a community café being run out of the clubhouse. Angie and I can vouch for the quality of their cakes!

Indeed, we had a pleasant meeting in the sunshine with tea and cake and a chat with club secretary Albert Tapper about the plans for the future of the club. Albert spoke enthusiastically about improving accessibility to the clubhouse and was keen to seek our advice. The Art’s and Craft style clubhouse currently does not have step-free access. However, funding applications have been made to add this and accessible changing (including a Changing Places toilet) as well as additional adaptive equipment. In the meantime, food and drinks can be served by the green on the level path and there is a Radar key accessible toilet within 50 yards of the clubhouse.

The upcoming Open Day is an ideal time to pop along and see what it’s all about. The event will be hosted by Gill Platt – Surrey parabowler and member of the Commonwealth Games team for 2022. There are 200 free cream teas available from local supporter the Gingerbread Bakery. They will have two “Bowls Royce” chairs available for use on the green for wheelchair users who are able to transfer. They will also have boccia style ramps available from 2.30pm for playing from outside the green for those who cannot transfer.  Why not give it a try – you might be a champion bowler, you will certainly have a fun social afternoon!

Volunteering at Park Run – Ted Talks!

This week I have been talking to Coalition member Ted who recently started volunteering at his local parkrun event.

Ted has been aware of parkrun for some time as his daughter is a keen runner. She has been parkrunning at her local event for around 5 years. During a visit in the spring of 2020 Ted’s daughter tried to persuade him to volunteer at his local event but Ted wasn’t keen “I’d been putting it off as I didn’t want to do anything that involved getting up early on a Saturday morning!”. Then, of course, parkrun shut down completely during then pandemic.

Two years later and parkrun was back on the radar as we started to talk about it during the Get More Active café chats. Information was shared that it was not just for runners but that you could also walk, push, use your powerchair and be an active and much valued member of the community by volunteering. I remember Ted saying at the end of one of these meetings that it had encouraged him to think again about parkrun. I should say that Ted has unofficially volunteered on many occasions – helping me with information about accessibility of the courses and assisting Jane with her registration!

Ted’s daughter came to visit again in April. Once again, she suggested that since he was coming along to parkrun to cheer her on, he might as well sign up to volunteer and cheer some other people on as well. This time Ted agreed. They registered Ted on the parkrun website ( and got his barcode printed out. That Saturday morning, they woke up early and headed down to the local park. Ted met the volunteer coordinator who said that an extra body is always helpful and suggested he take the marshal point at the final bend before the finish line since it was his first time volunteering. Usually, volunteers sign up in advance but if you happen to wake up early enough on a Saturday and feel like giving it a go you will always be welcomed and there will always be something you can do.

Since Ted’s local parkrun is a two-lap course, Ted was able to join some of the other volunteers in cheering people off at the start and at the end of their first lap before he needed to take up his position as marshal on the final bend. He was able to give his daughter a cheer and call out encouraging comments to the runners before walking back to his marshal post and directing people to the finish line at the end of their second lap. Ted clearly already knows an important skill for marshalling – how to clap loudly but without making your hands sore! Soon he was cheering his daughter through and then in time, the last walkers and tail walkers came through and it was time to pick up the signage and walk back to the finish area. That afternoon Ted received a thank you email from the parkrun organisers which he said is always nice to have.

Ted’s advice if you are thinking about volunteering at parkrun – If you know someone who is participating, and you are thinking of going along to cheer them on why not sign up to volunteer as well? You can support your friend or family member and the organisation at the same time.

I was so pleased to find out that Ted has since volunteered at parkrun a 2nd time as well as continuing his volunteer role for the National Trust.

Weekly update 11th April 2022

Welcome to the weekly update.  This edition includes:

  1. Coalition Update
  2. Social/Peer Support Coming up
  3. Start-up of Surrey Carers Partnership Board Invitation to be a member
  4. New COVID-19 guidance provides important public health advice
  5. COVID-19 Spring Booster
  6. New BSL COVID-19 vaccination resources for children aged 5 to 11 years
  7. Sight for Surrey announces partnership with Specsavers Epsom & Leatherhead
  8. Warmth Matters
  9. Surrey Faith Links Newsletter
  10. Runnymede Borough Installation Update
  11. Surrey Heath Borough Installation Update March

If you prefer to listen to the update, please click on the link below:

1.  Coalition Update

Weekly Update – Just to let you know there will be no weekly update sent out on Monday 18th April (Easter Monday) due to staff holiday.  The next update will be sent on Monday 25th April.  If you have any items you would like to include in the update please let Yasmin know.

Welcome Charlotte! – We are really pleased to introduce you to Charlotte Payne, our new Involvement Officer.  Charlotte will be working with Yasmin and Angie in the Involvement Team.  I’m sure many of you will meet Charlotte very soon but please click here to find out more!

Direct Payments Strategy – Thank you to all members who have contributed to the work on this so far.  Your input has bee invaluable!  If you receive a Direct Payment and would like to continue the work on this please contact Yasmin.  We have set up a small Direct Payments group to work with Chris Esson (SCC Commissioner) on writing the strategy.  The first meeting will take place on Tuesday 19th April at 10am on Zoom.  If you would like to join this group, please contact Yasmin for the joining link.

Pharmacy Survey – Surrey County Council is conducting a survey to better understand local people’s experience of going to a pharmacy across Surrey. To do a good job, SCC need to regularly review what local people need, and how things might change in the future. This process is called a ‘pharmaceutical needs assessment’ and SCC are preparing this in Surrey at the moment. Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment Public Survey – Surrey County Council – Citizen Space (

2.  Social/Peer support coming up

Good Friday and Easter Monday – Due to staff holiday there will be no virtual cafes on Good Friday (15th April) and Easter Monday (18th April).  Our social programme will start again on Tuesday 19th April.  We hope you all have a restful Easter break.

Reminder Design your own  Easter Egg competition – Our craft group is hosting a design your own Easter Egg Competition. A blank template is attached for you to let your creativity flow.  Please submit your entries to Yasmin or post to Yasmin at Astolat, Coniers way, Burpham, GU4 7HL.  If you are unable to print the template please contact Yasmin and she will arrange for one to be posted to you.  A £10 voucher will be given to the winner!  Join us at 12.00 noon on 12 April for the announcement of the winner and to hear more about our group!

Virtual Trip to Hever Castle Friday 22nd April at 11.30am – A quick reminder that we have a virtual trip to Hever Castle on Friday 22nd April at 11.30am during our virtual café slot.  Please click here to join us.

3.  Start-up of Surrey Carers Partnership Board Invitation to be a member – Following the setting of the Surrey Carers Strategy in 2021, a new Surrey Carers Partnership Board will begin meeting from May 2022. Its remit is to promote, champion and deliver the improvements to carers lives set out in the strategy, working across the whole of the health and social care system in Surrey and the wider determinants of health and social care (for example education and housing) as they impact carers. The Board will lead the delivery and future development of the Joint Surrey Carers Programme and hold to account the Joint Surrey Carers Commissioning Group in the delivery of carer support services to be delivered from 1 April 2022.

It is based on strong carer involvement and representation, being led by two Carer Co-chairs, with half of the membership from carers/ carer led organisations. Carers voices and lived experience are to be at the heart of its activities with carers involved in scrutiny and  co-design and co-production of carer support services.

Representation is sought from carers with a range of experience and viewpoint:

  • One representative for disabled carers – those with a disability, perhaps for adults or young people with disabilities
  • One representative for carers of those with sensory disability
  • One representative  for carers of those with physical disability
  • One representative for carers of  those with mental health

Is this something you would like to do? It would mean attending, either virtual or perhaps face to face 2 hour meetings on 4-6 occasions over a year, reading the Board papers circulated ahead of the meeting, listening to service providers, commissioners or carer representatives talking about aspects of the health and care system, asking questions about what you have heard and giving feedback from your own experience and taking part in decision making as how to go forward on that topic. The initial term of membership would likely be for two years

This is an opportunity to make the carers voice heard and improve carers lives. If this appeals to you please contact Yasmin.

4. New COVID-19 guidance provides important public health advice  – for people with symptoms of respiratory infections including COVID-19 and advice for everyone on safer behaviours that can help to reduce the spread of infections and protect those around them

5. COVID-19 Spring Booster – You are eligible for a Spring Booster if you are:

  • Aged 75 years old or over
  • Aged 12 years old or over with a weakened immune system

People are advised to wait 6 months since their previous dose to get maximum protection from a spring booster.

You’ll be contacted by the NHS, inviting you to book an appointment. Dates you’ll be offered start from 3 months (91 days) after your previous dose, but booking an appointment around 6 months after your previous dose is preferable.

6. New BSL COVID-19 vaccination resources for children aged 5 to 11 years – The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) updated the British Sign Language (BSL) resources and the resources for children aged 5 to 11 years on COVID-19 vaccination.

A BSL video guide for parents of children aged 5 to 11 years has been added to the COVID-19 vaccination website.


7. Sight for Surrey announces partnership with Specsavers Epsom & Leatherhead – Please see the attached press release for more details.

8. Warmth Matters – We know that rising energy prices is causing our members a lot of concern. Surrey Community Action have a Warmth Matters project which can provide advice and guidance to those potentially worried about the current rising gas and electricity bills. Surrey Community Action can provide advice about the Warm Home Discount and let you know how to register for the Priority Services Register if you haven’t already done so.  Please see the attached document or contact David Carter directly on

9. Surrey Faith Links Newsletter – Please find attached the latest Surrey Faith Links newsletter, also available online here

10. Runnymede Borough Installation Update – Please see attached document

11. Surrey Heath Borough Installation Update March – Please see attached document

Meet Charlotte

Charlotte in an old red phone box on the phone

Hi everyone! My name is Charlotte and I have recently joined Surrey Coalition as part of the Involvement team.

Last summer, I graduated from Durham University where I worked with several individuals with learning disabilities and Autism, alongside disabled peoples’ organisations, on various projects focused on physical activity and co-production. I strongly believe that disabled people are best placed to make decisions which affect their lives and am therefore extremely excited to work with the disabled community of Surrey to create meaningful change.

Having re-located to Guildford, I am looking forward to exploring Surreys beautiful landscapes on my motorbike now that the weather is getting better. My favourite place to be is gazing at the countryside from the seat of my motorbike. When not on the bike, I can be found listening to live music in town or cooking a tasty plant-based meal at home.

Weekly update 4th April 2022

Welcome to the weekly update.  This edition includes:

  1. Coalition Update
  2. Social/Peer Support coming up
  3. Covid-19 Public Inquiry Consultation
  4. Healthwatch Survey
  5. Spelthorne Health and Wellbeing survey
  6. First Community’s new Patient Safety Partner role

If you prefer to listen to the weekly update, the link is below

1.  Coalition Update

Jonathan’s Blog on taking a Lateral Flow Test – We know that Covid cases are rising again and a few of our members have tested positive recently.  Jonathan, our Chair, who is visually impaired, wanted to share his experience of taking a Lateral Flow test without any sight.  If you would like to read Jonathan’s blog please click here.

We are recruiting! – We are looking for two Trainee Peer Researchers, please take a look.  The job description is available in easy read  and Standard print: Trainee-peer-researcher-JD-and-PS-v2.pdf (   

If you would like to apply for the role please complete our application form Please let us know if you would like the information in any other format.   Please note the closing date is Monday 18th April at 5.00 pm. 

If Peer Research is not your thing we also have a selection of other vacancies which can be found here!

2.  Social/Peer support coming up

Design your own  Easter Egg competition – Our craft group is hosting a design your own Easter Egg Competition. A blank template is attached for you to let your creativity flow.  Please submit your entries to Yasmin or post to Yasmin at Astolat, Coniers way, Burpham, GU4 7HL.  If you are unable to print the template please contact Yasmin and she will arrange for one to be posted to you.

A £10 voucher will be given to the winner!

Join us at 12.00 noon on 12 April for the announcement of the winner and to hear more about our group!

Nothing is ever as it seems Murder Mystery Event – Join us for our Murder mystery Event which is part of our celebrations for this years World Book Night!  Everyone is welcome and we encourage you to bring your own refreshments such as a cream tea of your choice!  Please see the attached short read to set the scene for the event which will take place on Wednesday 20 April 2022 at 2.30 pm – 3.30 pm

Get More Active update – New Walking Football at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford. Surrey FA and the NHS have a free walking football session for people with long term health conditions. Please see attached document for details.

The Westway in Caterham (formerly the Douglas Brunton Centre) has had it’s official opening on the 4th April and has a full programme of activities and social events each week. Please see the attached programme for all the information.

3. Covid-19 Public Inquiry Consultation – The government has published draft terms of reference for the forthcoming public inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic.  The independent public inquiry will examine the UK’s preparedness and response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and to learn lessons for the future.

The inquiry is holding a public online consultation on its draft terms of reference to ensure that everyone can have their say on how the inquiry should go about its work. Anyone in the UK can take part in the online consultation, which is open until 7 April 2022 at 23:59. You can take part in the consultation here.

If you need the consultation in another format or language, please contact or write to: FREEPOST, UK Covid-19 Inquiry

4. Healthwatch Survey – Are you or your loved ones waiting for hospital care?  Millions of people have had their treatment delayed by the pandemic – are you one of them?  Healthwatch surrey want to know if you’re getting the advice, information and support while you wait?

The survey is for

  • People who are currently waiting for a hospital appointment, diagnostic test at hospital or hospital treatment?
  • People who have had a planned hospital appointment, planned diagnostic tests or planned hospital treatment since January 2021 (i.e not emergency treatment). 

The questionnaire will take 10-15 minutes to complete.  To complete this survey please visit

If you would like a paper copy of this survey posted to you, or would like other support to complete the survey, please get in touch with Healthwatch Surrey

5. Spelthorne Health and Wellbeing survey – Today, North West Surrey Health and Care Alliance of which Spelthorne Borough Council is a partner, have launched a public survey to ask people of the Spelthorne Borough to share their views about what is important to them when it comes to health and wellbeing. The survey will be live from Monday 28th March until Thursday 28th April.

Please see details of how you can complete the survey below and for more information. If you need the survey in an alternative format please call 01784 446432 or email

The survey link is

6. First Community’s new Patient Safety Partner role – First Community has developed a new and exciting Patient Safety Partner role that is open to members of the public to work as an advisor to help us deliver safe healthcare across the organisation.  This is a new and innovative position which stems from a growing body of work both nationally and within First Community focusing on involving patients across all levels of healthcare with particular focus on improving safety.

First Community are seeking to recruit two Patient Safety Partners to each attend one meeting or committee a month that focuses on safety and quality. Membership of the group will be for a fixed period of 18 months and successful applicants will receive payment for involvement for attendance at the meeting. Reasonable expenses will also be covered for training required for the role and any preparation time prior to the meeting.  To find out more please click here for a news article or see the poster attached