It’s a kind of magic

Children’s ward appeal flies high with Theo the Magician

Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity is delighted to announce that award-winning Theo the Magician will be hosting a fun interactive online magic show to raise money for the dedicated children’s ward at Epsom Hospital.

Theo the Magician’s magical event will support Casey Ward’s appeal to fund a ‘magic carpet’ for the young patients on the ward. With a mobile projector, motion sensor and interactive mat and lots of preinstalled games and apps, the Magic Carpet provides children with a range of activities for physical, mental or sensory simulation, from being transported to a virtual seaside, to taking part in a dance off or completing a puzzle.

And even more importantly for these times, play can be touchless while the mat is easy to clean and sanitise between users.

Well know Sutton resident and member of the prestigious Magic Circle and Equity, Theo Theodoris, normally performs shows all over Surrey and South London, but is currently delighting young audiences using the magic of zoom to bring abracadabra into the room!

His show, exclusively for the Magic Carpet Appeal, will be at 10am on Saturday 10 April. Bookings will remain open until midday on Friday 9 April. The show will last around an hour and will contain tricks, illusions, and games to suit children of all ages.

For your invitation and more information, the Charity and Theo kindly request a minimum donation of £10 for every child who watches the show. Every penny will go towards the appeal.

This won’t be the first time Theo has chosen to support his local hospitals. Back in 2003 he raised a staggering £17,000 for St Helier’s neonatal unit who saved the life of his daughter Elena who was born 10 weeks early and weighed just 2lbs. Since then, he has continued to hold numerous fundraising events for the unit bringing the total, so far, up to £25,000! This includes his Magic Sunflower Competitions and during last year’s lockdown he also chose to donate some of the fundraising to the Charity’s Covid Appeal.

Theo said: “I’m delighted to be able to help entertain the kids with my fun interactive magic show while at the same time helping Casey Ward get this exciting piece of equipment, powered by digital magic! Unfortunately, I know all too well the anguish of having a child who is very poorly and needs hospital care. But I also know that the children’s team at Epsom always know what’s best for their young patients and are fully committed to them. I have no doubt that this magic carpet will make a real difference to the kids on Casey Ward.”

To book your ticket for Theo’s magic show, please make your donation at (you can do this as a guest).  Then email [email protected] with your contact details and the number of children participating, and their ages. Alternatively, you can donate over the phone by calling the Charity on 01372 735 262.

The Charity always welcomes support from local people and businesses – if you would like to make a donation to this or any other project, please contact the team by email at [email protected] or call 01372 735 262.

For more information about Theo the Magician please visit:

Epsom RDA Volunteer Receives RDA Presidents’ Award

Epsom RDA is very proud that long standing volunteer, Jo Lee, is a recipient of this years’ Riding for the Disabled Association Presidents’ Award. This is the most prestigious volunteer award presented by the National Riding for the Disabled Association and is awarded for exceptional dedication.

Jo, who lives in Epsom, has been volunteering at Epsom RDA for 31 years. In the three decades travelling from teenage volunteer to Trustee and Group Coach Jo has made an outstanding contribution to the Group and is very much at its’ heart. As well as coaching disabled riders on her regular Wednesday evening riding sessions, Jo has responsibility for overseeing the care of the charities’ herd of 10 horses. In addition she is always prepared to step up and led on a myriad of other activities to help the Group including: organising the in-house riders championships, tackling the logistics of volunteers, riders and ponies travelling to Regional Championships and National Championships as well as fundraising and making sure the yard is kept in an orderly fashion. Most recently she has bought the experience from her professional life as a School Business Leader at a large local primary school to contribute to the processes to make Epsom RDA Covid safe for its’ volunteers and riders.

Jo said “When I first arrived at Epsom RDA as a teenager I never for one moment imagined that I would still be volunteering there over 30 years later and that Epsom RDA would become such an important part of mine and my family’s life. I am delighted to have been recognised in this way, but I am mindful that I am one individual representing the wider Epsom RDA community. It is a community that I am very proud to be part off especially so in the challenging circumstances of the last year.”

In her over three decades of service to Epsom RDA Jo has led by example frequently going the extra mile for the benefit of the charities’ riders, volunteers and ponies. It is hoped that Jo will be able to receive her award in person from the RDA President, HRH Princess Anne, at a prestigious event as soon as circumstances allow.

Epsom Riding for the Disabled Association (Epsom RDA) provides disabled people with the opportunity to ride to benefit their health and well-being.

Epsom RDA provides over 3,000 riding lessons for 350 disabled adults and children. Epsom RDA is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) Charity Number 1180061) and a member group of the national Riding For The Disabled Association.

Epsom RDA is entirely funded by donations and our own fundraising efforts. For more information CLICK HERE or contact them via email at  [email protected]

Can You Help Children at Epsom’s Casey Ward?

Virtual Magic Carpet Appeal takes flight to enchant children at Epsom’s Casey Ward!

A new charity appeal to fund an interactive, digital ‘magic carpet’ for the young patients in Casey Ward at Epsom Hospital has just launched, with the soaring aim of bringing a ‘whole new world’ to the hospital’s dedicated childrens’ ward.

With a mobile projector, motion sensor and interactive mat, the magic carpet experience allows moving graphics and games to appear on the ground and reacts to movements – meaning patients can be transported to virtual seasides, or take part in a dance-off challenge!

And even more importantly, play can be touchless while the mat is easy to clean and sanitise between users. It comes with lots of pre-installed dancing and competitive games as well as educational themes to encourage physical activity, mental and sensory stimulation.

Jessica Start, Play Specialist at Epsom Hospital, said: “In the current environment, this would be a game changer for our lovely young patients. We know that children of all ages will enjoy its virtual technology – a toddler can pretend to splash around in the sea while a teenager can have a virtual kick-about. That’s why we’ve launched an appeal to try and get one for Casey Ward this year. We do know that times continue to be tough for people but if you are someone who can make a small donation, we would be immensely grateful.”

The Magic Carpet Appeal aims to raise the £8,000 needed to purchase and install the equipment. If you would like to make a donation and are able to spare some money at this time of year, you can do so at

People are also very welcome to take on a sponsored challenge to fundraise for this appeal (or any other service at Epsom and St Helier) – please email the Charity Team at [email protected] for more information and support.

Images courtesy of Sensory Guru Ltd

Help put the ‘ho-ho-ho’ into hospital this Christmas for young patients

Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity are holding a festive toy appeal and, with the generous support of local people, hope to spread a little Christmas cheer to the young patients being cared for at Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children and Casey Ward at Epsom.

Spending the festive season in hospital, or visiting for treatment, is not much fun for children and can be difficult for worried parents, guardians and loved ones. And while staff will always do their upmost to keep young patients entertained and relaxed, this year’s Covid-19 restrictions are making that a bit more challenging.

Yet staff are determined to spread a sprinkle of Christmas cheer and are asking for a helping hand from local people who can afford to spare an additional gift this year. Play Specialists have carefully selected a wish list of toys and craft activities via an Amazon Wish List and are inviting local people to donate to the cause. Some items, like colouring books, pencils, and small toys, will make up individual ‘playtime packs’ to provide a welcome distraction for a child (and their siblings) waiting for care and treatment in our dedicated paediatric outpatient or A&E departments. Other arts and crafts items can be allocated to young patients staying on the wards, while all plastic toys will be deep-cleaned and sanitised before use by another child.

Sarah Montgomery, Play Specialist said: “We know that coming into hospital can be quite daunting for our young patients but when we give them one of our ‘playtime packs’ it normally results in a big smile!

“In fact, there will be a need for the packs well beyond the twelve days of Christmas! So, if you are able to help us create the packs by purchasing one or two small items from the Amazon Wish List, it would be much appreciated and could make a big difference! We are still so grateful for the immense generosity the community has already shown for their local hospitals throughout the pandemic. We also know Covid-19 meant financial difficulty for many so of course we’re inviting people to support the appeal only if they have something to spare.”

For the Amazon Wish List go to:  Please remember to write a message with your order or contact the Charity Team at [email protected] or 0132 735 262 to let them know about your donation otherwise you will indeed be a Secret Santa!

Please also contact the Charity Team if you would like to donate but use a different retailer or drop off your donation.

Christmas Comes Early at Racing Welfare

In normal times, this time of year would see Racing Welfare holding Christmas lunches for many of the retired racing staff in our local area.  The Christmas lunches are an important part of the festive period for the retired community and when it became clear that they wouldn’t be able to go ahead due to Covid-19 restrictions the team at Racing Welfare came up with the idea of sending out Christmas gift boxes to let the retired community know that they were still very much in everyone’s thoughts.

It is thanks to the generosity of The John Pearce Foundation, who have funded the boxes, and the support of Darren Townsend and the team at Jockey Club Catering that the idea became a reality.  Racing Welfare joined with Jockey Club Catering to coordinate not only what would be in the boxes but how they would be packed and shipped and a team of volunteers from both Racing Welfare and Jockey Club Catering packed the gift boxes full with delicious festive treats including chutneys, chocolate Florentines and handmade flaked truffles.

The feedback from those who have received a gift box has been fantastic and has shown the importance of the community work done by Racing Welfare, particularly at this time of year. David Eaton sent the following message on behalf of his father, Peter Eaton from Epsom: “My father has received his Christmas hamper and is absolutely thrilled, he feels very special! Thank you so much to Racing Welfare, you have made an old stable lad very, very happy!”

Finding ways of bringing the racing community together during the pandemic has been a key part of the charity’s work to combat loneliness and isolation during 2020.  Projects such as check in calls and the Facebook group, Racing Conversation, have provided lifelines to many over what has been a tough time.

This week has also seen Racing Welfare saying thank you to the racing industry as they have announced that their Covid-19 Emergency Appeal has hit its £500k target.  The appeal was launched when the pandemic hit to make up for the huge income deficit that the charity faced as COVID meant the cancellation of their usual fundraising events.  It is testament to the generosity of the racing industry that the £500k target has been reached before the end of the year.

The kindness and generosity shown by donors from across the racing industry has been astounding and Racing Welfare is keen to say a huge thank you to each and every person who has donated to their Emergency Appeal over the last few months.  From big racing organisations to individual donors, every penny contributed has helped the charity to adapt quickly to the changes this year has brought and enabled them to continue to provide crucial services to racing’s workforce. 

Racing Welfare Chief Executive, Dawn Goodfellow said: “I can honestly say that we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the racing community.  The news that we have hit our target is a great boost as we head towards the end of 2020 and is a wonderful reflection of the unwavering support we have received this year.  I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who has donated during what has been a tough time for so many. 

I very much hope everyone in the industry is able to enjoy the festive period and remind anyone who needs support that Racing Welfare remains available 24/7 throughout this time.”

Racing Welfare

Racing Welfare is the only charity that supports all of racing’s people – including stud, stable and racecourse staff, alongside those working in associated professions – from their recruitment right through into retirement. The charity provides a wide range of advice and guidance services, all of which are completely confidential and non-judgmental.  Support is available for a wide range of life’s challenges, including physical health, mental health, bereavement, careers advice, housing, money advice, illness, addiction, relationships and retirement. Racing Welfare’s services are nationally accessible with offices in all of the main racing centres and roving Welfare Officers covering the whole of the country. 

The charity owns 164 units of accommodation across the UK, with a focus on providing housing for young people working in racing and those who have retired from the industry which are managed by its housing arm, Racing Homes.

Racing’s Support Line, a multi-channel support platform, allows people to contact the charity online as well as through a 24hr telephone line.  


Racing’s Support Line: 0800 6300 443

Online self-help resources:

Donate to Racing Welfare here:

Epsom Rotary Club Help In The Fight Against The Pandemic

After the fantastic news that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved, Epsom Rotary Club has yet more good news for residents in the Epsom area. They are pleased to announce that following an approach from The Integrated Care Partnership group GP practice in Epsom, they have been able, at very short notice, to make available funding for the purchase of a low temperature Labcold RLDG 1019A fridge for the storage of vaccines. 

The extra storage provided by the fridge will enable the Practice to vaccinate the considerable number of additional patients who are now eligible for the flu jab and this will clear the way for a smooth implementation of the Covid 19 vaccination programme.

Clive Richardson, Epsom Rotary Club President, said he was delighted that the Club could provide further help towards the fight against Covid-19. Enabling The Integrated Care Partnership to buy the fridge is only the latest in a long list of help Epsom Rotary Club has been able to offer in the fight against Covid-19 in the Epsom area during the pandemic. He thanked everyone for their generosity throughout 2020 in supporting good causes and local charities in the Epsom area. Clive also thanked Rotary South who fund matched our donation.”

Brew up support for your local hospitals with a virtual Christmas Cuppa

This festive season, Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity are encouraging you to hold a ‘Care for a Christmas Cuppa’ virtual tea party. 

As COVID continues to keep loved ones apart and has put paid to the traditional Christmas party, the dedicated charity supporting Epsom and St Helier hospitals and community services is giving local people the perfect excuse for a virtual catch up with friends and colleagues over a hot drink and a festive treat – while raising vital funds for your local health services.  

Hosting a Care for a Christmas Cuppa event is as simple as one-two-tea! Just pick a virtual meeting platform that you know everyone can use – like Zoom or Microsoft Teams – and set up a fundraising page to collect the donations. Invite your friends, family and colleagues and either suggest a donation simply for the joy of joining in, or stir it up a bit, and turn it into a small entry fee to take part in the Christmas Cuppa quiz or even a bake-off style challenge. The quiz, along with other ideas and top tips, bunting and invites, are all available to download from the Epsom and St Helier Hospitals website at

Fundraising Manager, Sasha Phillips said: “This year, support your local hospitals and community services with Care for a Christmas Cuppa. Whether it’s a small coffee morning or a big par-tea, every penny raised can help the ward or department of your choice.  

“Don your Santa hat and Christmas jumper, warm up a mince pie or indulge with a slice of yule log, put the carols on, and ease your guests into the festive spirit with our quiz. Forget big office blow-outs, this is the year for a new tradition. 

“Care for a Christmas Cuppa is a way to help support our hospitals and community services during a time when it’s needed most. Winter is traditionally a critical time for hospitals and with the added challenges of the pandemic, any extra funds are much appreciated.” 

If you’d like to host your own Care for a Christmas Cuppa event please visit for more information including our virtual party tips. Alternatively, call 01372 735262 or email [email protected]. Let us know how your party goes, as well as sharing pictures, on Twitter at @esthcharity. 

Video Chat with Santa

Keep this Christmas as magical as ever for your loved ones with a unique personal chat with Santa! The Ashley Centre has been in touch with Father Christmas himself and is offering this unique opportunity for 2020 which will support much needed local charities.

Santa will video call you from his magical grotto in the North Pole at a pre-arranged booked time to have a chat with your little one about Christmas, what they want this year, what good things have they been doing, all personalised using the information you provide him with.

The Santa call costs £5 and all money raised will be donated to Hope Into Action, Epsom Medical Equipment Fund, Love Me Love My Mind and Girlguiding Epsom Division.

All children who have this magical call with Father Christmas will be given a very special present. Details of how to receive their gift will be given with the booking confirmation.

Keep this Christmas as magical as ever for your loved ones with a unique personal chat with Santa!

Up to three children can be included on any one call for an additional cost.

Calls will be available on Thursdays, Fridays (3-6pm) and Saturdays (10am-6pm) in the run up to Christmas and extra calls will be available on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 December (10am-6pm). Santa will be available from Thursday 26 November.

To book please go to:

Charity Online Auction 2020

Former Mayor of Epsom & Ewell John Beckett, who’s fundraising events were cancelled due to Covid-19 has launched an Grand Draw and an Online Auction to raise much needed funds for his 3 charities Epsom & Ewell Phab, Motor Neurone Disease Association  and the Alzheimer’s Society

Among the items up for auction are

As for the Prize draw tickets are just £2 each and the draw will be made by Councillor Beckett and his wife Alison live on Facebook at 6.00pm on Saturday 28th November. Closing date/time for purchase of tickets: 11.59pm on Friday 27th November.

Over 50 fantastic prizes to be won, including:

  • Meal for two with bottle of house wine – donated by Topo Gigio, Ewell
  • Sunday lunch for four – donated by the Barley Mow, Epsom
  • £45 voucher – donated by Tiley Hair Salon, Epsom
  • £35 voucher – donated by Eden Hair Salon, Stoneleigh
  • £25 voucher – donated by Stoneleigh Brasserie
  • £25 voucher – donated by B Radford, Butcher
  • £20 voucher – donated by Bibbidi Bobbidi Balloons / Village Ceramics
  • Brooklands family ticket – donated by Brooklands Motor Museum
  • Four weeks paracise class – donated by Surrey Active Pilates
  • Two pilates or yoga classes – donated by Liz Daffen Yoga & Pilates
  • Voucher for garden plants etc – donated by Tania, the Lady Gardener
  • Horton Country Park 2021 calendar – donated by Doggy Day Tours
  • Two Odeon cinema tickets – donated by Galatai Web Design
  • Two toddler dance and music sessions – donated by Moojangles, Carshalton
  • Skincare / Makeup consultation – donated by Tracy, Tropic Skincare
  • Special edition bottles of Hendricks gin and Jaguar vodka
  • Prosecco gift baskets
  • Champneys gift box

    …and many, many more!

    Prize-winners will be notified as soon as possible after the draw and, where possible, prizes will be delivered or posted directly to winners.

For The Auction CLICK HERE

For The Grand Prize Draw CLICK HERE

Good Luck and Thank You for supporting these great charities….

Donation of Buckets & Soaps to schools in Malawi

Grace Makandawire, a primary school teacher in Malawi, made an appeal to her friend, Epsom Rotarian Ruthie Markus, for buckets and soaps for primary schools in Malawi. Ruthie is currently working in Malawi and is CEO of The AMECA Trust, (

Although numbers of Covid cases and deaths from Covid have remained relatively low in Malawi, the re-opening of Malawi’s schools in late September, brought new challenges. Primary schools routinely have very high numbers of pupils, sometimes in excess of 3000 and few schools have adequate washing facilities; many schools have no mains water, especially in rural areas.

Grace was sent for training on COVID 19 prevention in order to train staff in schools about the importance of handwashing. Following an appeal by Epsom Rotary Club, Ruthie was able to purchase 4,320 bars of soap and 500 20-litre buckets with taps, from local suppliers in Blantyre, southern Malawi.

Grace and Ruthie distributed the buckets and soaps over 3 long very hot days!! The terrain covered ranged from urban tar roads to challenging uneven mud rural roads, through tea estates and remote border villages. Priority was given to the more remote rural schools and those with high pupil numbers. The reception at all the recipient schools was nothing short of ecstatic, with touching ceremonies, much singing and huge gratitude.
Profound gratitude to the Rotary Club of Epsom, to all the donors and to The AMECA Trust was expressed by The District Education Manager, The Schools Inspector and from all the recipient schools. Epsom Rotary Club would also like to send their thanks to all donors. Your help has made a real difference to those less fortunate than us in these extraordinary times.

For more details about Epsom Rotary Club please visit

These photographs show Ruthie, staff and pupils of recipient schools preparing to make good use of the buckets and soap in the fight against covid-19.