Lunch for Life celebrates with love, laughter, and enjoyment

Philanthropy and fun joined forces at Lunch4Life’s recent charity ball held at the Wentworth Club in Virginia Water.

Images courtesy PixeleroAileen Kean, Andrea Grima, Zara Redhead, Lorna Ponti, Jane Gales, Marian Reynolds, Helen Salmon, Mary Mitchell

The evening, celebrating Lunch4Life’s tenth anniversary, was a resounding success and raised in excess of £35,000 for the Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals Charitable Fund and the Fight Breast Cancer Charity.

After a lively drinks reception, Lunch4Life Committee Chair Lorna Ponti welcomed the 200 guests into the Ballroom. She spoke eloquently about the aims of the charities, and the need for state-of-the-art equipment to improve the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Beginning the fun with a Heads & Tails game, the evening’s MC Duncan Newton presented the prizewinner with a voucher for a gourmet French meal for two at the 3 AA Rosette La Belle Epoch restaurant. Later, a raffle winner at every table collected a fabulous basket filled with Michel Roux champagne, chocolates, and other delights.

Ed Rising enthusiastically presided over a live auction that included something for everyone, from two dozen decorated cupcakes to an eleven-night stay in the Caribbean. Bidders also vied for an impressive range of silent auction prizes.

Justine Balmer entertained the guests during dinner, singing beautifully from inside a globe that was reminiscent of the bubble employed by Glinda in the Wizard of Oz. The night concluded as DJ Alton Edwards took to the stage, and the crowd filled the dance floor into the wee hours.

Lorna Ponti expressed her gratitude: "It’s always a fun evening full of love, laughter, and enjoyment. We are indebted to our generous donors and guests, who come up trumps year after year, making it possible for us to support these wonderful charities."

The Lunch4Life committee is made up of Lorna Ponti, Jane Gales, Andrea Grima, Aileen Kean, Mary Mitchell, Zara Redhead, Marian Reynolds, and Helen Salmon. Anyone wishing to make a donation or wanting more information can contact the committee through

Murder investigation team make significant discovery during search of Oxshott lake

Divers searching an Oxshott lake have recovered an item which could prove significant to the Surrey Police murder investigation into the death of West Molesey antiques dealer Robyn Mercer.

Photo courtesy: Surrey PoliceLooking for evidence: Divers at Littleheath Pond in Oxshott

The item was retrieved from Littleheath Pond by one of the team from Specialist Group International (SGI) which has been working with police at the water since Tuesday 18 October.

A diver made the discovery whilst scouring the bed of the lake Wednesday 19 October during the ongoing search for evidence in support of the inquiry into the 50-year-old mother’s brutal murder.

Other items of potential interest have been found.

Detective Inspector Paddy Mayers investigating said: "The items recovered are all potentially significant but clearly one of the recovered items may be crucial to the investigation. It is too early to say of how much importance they may prove to be and there remains a sizeable section of the pond still to be searched.

"Any retrieved objects will be thoroughly examined forensically to assess how or what importance they could have to the operation.

"Officers continue to work relentlessly to bring those responsible for Robyn’s horrific murder to justice. I’m again urging anyone who has information which has not already been shared with police to come forward.

"Please think of Robyn’s two children and the distress that they continue to face."

Anyone with information surrounding the death of Robyn, whose body was discovered outside a residential property in Walton Road, West Molesey just after 8.00am on Monday, 14 March, is asked to call 101 quoting Operation Zebu. If you do not want to leave your name the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111.

Black tie events in aid of Household Cavalry Foundation

Cllr Sayonara Luxton, this year’s Mayor of the Royal Borough Of Windsor and Maidenhead, is organising special fundraising events for the Household Cavalry Foundation.

The foundation was set up to care for the soldiers, casualties, veterans, heritage and horses of the Household Cavalry which is based at Combermere Barracks in Windsor.

Two forthcoming black tie occasions:


• A three-course meal and book signing by Hollywood producer Dr Paul Hitchcock at Windsor Guildhall on Saturday 3 December at 7pm. Paul has worked on over 100 films including The Italian Job, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, the first two Mission: Impossible films, The Man in the Iron Mask and Phantom of the Opera. £50 per ticket


• Mayor’s Annual Charity Ball at Beaumont House, Old Windsor, on Saturday 6 May 2017 starting 7pm. Drinks reception, entertainment and dancing. £100 per ticket.

Cllr Luxton said: "Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so generously to the foundation so far. I greatly appreciate all the support we have been receiving and welcome the continued support as it will all go to help our servicemen and women who look after our country so well.

"I’m really excited about these upcoming events and would like to invite residents to buy a ticket, enjoy a fun occasion and at the same time help support our brave soldiers and their horses in their time of need.

"We are also on the lookout for donations of auction/raffle items and sponsorship, so if there is anything you can do to help please do get in contact."

To buy tickets, offer donations or sponsorship, or for further information email or call 01628 796223.

Further information about the Household Cavalry Foundation can be found at

Three charged in connection with theft of puppy in Claygate Christmas burglary

Three men have been charged following a burglary last December where a beloved cocker spaniel puppy was stolen from a family home in Claygate.

The 22-week-old puppy called Maximus was stolen after thieves broke into the family home in Red Lane at around 1pm on 19 December 2015. Thankfully he was later located and reunited with his family just in time for Christmas.

Mathew White, 21, of no fixed abode, has been charged with burglary dwelling and aggravated vehicle taking.

Rabbi Luaka, 18, of Hereford Way, Chessington, has been charged with burglary dwelling and aggravate vehicle taking.

Mark Caleb Flitton, 24, from Horley, has been charged with aggravated vehicle taking and handling stolen goods.

They are due to appear at Staines Magistrates Court on 9 November 2016.

Unique Rolex watch stolen in brutal Egham Burglary

Photo courtesy: Surrey PoliceStolen: Silver and green Hulk Rolex

The police are appealing for the public's help in finding a limited edition Rolex watch reported stolen following a burglary in Egham.

The watch is a very distinctive green and silver Hulk Rolex watch worth around £6,000 and has a birthday message engraved on the back.

It was reported stolen following a burglary at an address in Hummer Road in Egham on Thursday 29 September.

At around 6.50am the victim, a man in his 20s, woke to find two men in his bedroom with a knife demanding him to hand over his watch.

Following a struggle the men made off with the watch leaving the victim with injuries to his hands and head.

Detective Constable, Hannah Clarke, from North Surrey Criminal Investigation Department, said: "This was a terrifying incident which has left the victim understandably traumatised and we are determined to trace those responsible.

"The stolen watch was of great sentimental value to the owner and I am urging anybody who has seen the watch or knows of its whereabouts to get in touch with us.

"Alternately if you have any information in relation to the burglary or witnessed anything suspicious that morning please contact us immediately."

A 24-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident and released on bail until 2 November

Sunninghill man charged with fraud offences

A 28-year-old man has been charged with fraud offences following an incident in Sunninghill, Ascot.

Jimmy Chuter was charged with three counts of fraud by false representation.

The charges are in connection with three incidents in Ascot where elderly victims were targeted by a man claiming to have done work on their homes, which had not been done and demanded cash for this work.


Hinchley Wood School Autistic Society Cullum CentreSpecialist autism centre opens at Surrey school
Around 50 students, staff and parents recently gathered at Hinchley Wood School to mark the formal opening of the latest National Autistic Society Cullum Centre.

It’s the third of four purpose-built specialist centres the charity and Surrey County Council are opening in the area, thanks to generous financial support from the Cullum Family Trust. Two centres are already open at Salesian School and Rodborough School.

The aim of the centre is to help students on the autism spectrum to thrive in mainstream lessons, by providing them with specialist support from trained staff and a calm setting to retreat to if they become overwhelmed. It is run by four school staff who’ve had training from our charity, using our 50 plus years of experience educating children on the autism spectrum.

The staff currently support four students but the centre will eventually cater for up to 20. Through the centre, students can access additional academic support and a range of other services, including occupational and speech and language therapies and life skills lessons.

The centre was built on top of the main building of Hinchley Wood School, which teaches children and young people from Year 7 right through to sixth form and is rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. It was designed with the needs of children on the autism spectrum in mind, taking into account how some children can be highly sensitive to light and sound. The colour scheme is low-arousal to provide a sense of calm throughout the centre. There are different teaching spaces and a chill out room, break out area and roof garden for students to go to when things get too much.

The NAS Cullum Centres are a response to a local need, identified by our charity and Surrey County Council, for specialist support for students on the autism spectrum who have good academic potential but find it difficult to learn in busy school environments. The centres will improve Surrey's capacity to offer support and education tailor-made for students on the autism spectrum, meaning fewer students have to go out of county to get the right education, making savings of up to £1.7m a year.

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of The National Autistic Society, said: "It’s a huge pleasure to be part of such an innovative project, which is going to make a real difference to children on the autism spectrum.

"Autism affects everyone differently and some children need more specialist support to thrive in mainstream school because, for instance, they are extremely sensitive to light or sound or face difficulty communicating. So when Peter and Simon Cullum outlined their vision to improve specialist support in Surrey, we were keen to get involved and share the expertise we’ve built up over the past 50 years. But it’s only been possible thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment of the schools involved, including the outstanding team at Hinchley Wood School.

"With the right education and support, children on the autism spectrum can achieve great things and live full and happy lives."

Ben Bartlett, Head Teacher at Hinchley Wood School, said: "We are delighted to have been able to work so closely with The National Autistic Society and the Cullum Family Trust to create an environment in which youngsters on the autism spectrum are able to flourish and fulfil their potential.

"It has given staff and Governors at the school great pleasure to see our first four NAS Centre students settle so well and bring so much to the Hinchley Wood School community."

Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton, helped open the centre and gave a speech. He said: "The NAS Cullum Centre is an amazing opportunity to integrate autistic children into one of the very best secondary schools in Surrey, by creating the space and facilities for specialist support. I know first-hand from my own constituency casework just how valuable this centre will be.

"It is fantastic to see Hinchley Wood School, The National Autistic Society and Surrey County Council working so closely together to make the Cullum Family Trust’s vision a reality. It just shows how we can do better at integrating special needs children into mainstream education."