Posts by Louise Elliott
Funding Telephone Counselling Service During COVID-19

We are delighted to be able to offer a Community Grant of £4,000 to Surrey Drug and Alcohol Care to support their telephone helpline and counselling services.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people struggling to cope. Surrey Drug and Alcohol Care has been reaching out to encourage anyone feeling isolated, depressed or fearful to call their 24 hour freephone helpline. There is always someone available to listen and to support people struggling with their mental well-being, whether or not as a result of drug or alcohol misuse. They can refer callers into a telephone counselling treatment programme or on to other services as appropriate for them.

This grant will fund the cost of counsellors’ fees and expenses for around 8 people to have an individually tailored programme of 12 one-hour counselling sessions and follow up checks.

Wendy Coad, Telephone Counselling Service Team Leader says, “A huge thank you to the Walton on Thames Charity. Grants like yours enable us to offer more counselling sessions to those who so badly need our help with their mental wellbeing. We have experienced a significant increase in demand for our services in recent weeks; for a great many people, anxiety and depression have been brought on or exacerbated by the current crisis. They are suffering with social isolation and loneliness, abusive relationships, past traumas resurfacing, financial worries, compulsive disorders or the stress of working for the NHS. We work with them to support their recovery and improve their life quality.”

For further information contact:


Contact for 24/7 confidential helpline: 0808 802 5000 (free from landlines and mobiles)

SMS 07537 432411(for those with hearing difficulties Mon – Fri 9am –2pm

A Commemorative Project for our Community Allotment
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Our Community Allotment Manager, Karen Heynike, has been busy organising another project during lockdown for our volunteers. It’s a commemorative ceramic project which she hopes will provide a reflective reminder of the very strange times we are all experiencing living through the COVID-19 pandemic but also be a lot of fun.

All our volunteers have been provided with a ceramic kit which contains everything needed for the budding artist - a ceramic star, paint brushes, paint and instructions. Whilst the community Allotment is still open to limited numbers of volunteers, some of our volunteers are self-isolating at home, so Karen has been busy making home deliveries of the kits.

Once the stars are all brightly painted, they will be fired and then proudly displayed at the Community Allotment – a great visual reminder of these unusual times during lockdown.

Sharing our Veg with our Neighbours!

What to do when you’ve grown too many runner beans, or your courgettes are turning into marrows as you can’t harvest them or eat them quickly enough?


We’ve all seen the boxes people put outside their gates with windfall apples and we’ve had lots of request from our allotment tenants to do something similar.

Fortunately, during lockdown, an allotment tenant with unexpected time on his hands, made not just one but two shelving/storage units. These are located at the gates of our Terrace Road site (opposite Grovelands Primary School & Walton Family Centre) and our Rydens Road site (opposite a care home). Tenants leave surplus crops, so that care staff, families and neighbours can enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables free of charge.

Marmot Review

It is ten years since the publication of Marmot Review which looked at health inequalities across the UK (read more here Institute of Health Equity)

A new report shows that for the first time in more than 100 years life expectancy has failed to increase across the country, and for the poorest 10% of women it has declined. Over the last decade health inequalities have widened overall, and the amount of time people spend in poor health has increased since 2010.

The key points of the report are:

The more deprived the area, the shorter the life expectancy. This social gradient has become steeper over the last decade, and it is women in the most deprived 10% of areas for whom life expectancy fell from 2010-12 and 2016-18.

There are marked regional differences in life expectancy, particularly among people living in more deprived areas.

Mortality rates are increasing for men and women aged 45-49 – perhaps related to so-called ‘deaths of despair’ (suicide, drugs and alcohol abuse) as seen in the USA.

Child poverty has increased (22% compared to Europe’s lowest of 10% in Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands); children’s and youth centres have closed; funding for education is down.

There is a housing crisis and a rise in homelessness; people have insufficient money to lead a healthy life; and there are more ignored communities with poor conditions and little reason for hope.

Louise ElliottComment