The Westway Community and Wellbeing Centre 

This Centre is in Caterham on the Hill in a 1985 building which has large and flexible accommodation and an attractive garden area for outside events such as barbecues. Previously known as the Douglas Brunson Centre, the Westway Charity was founded in October 2019 to revitalise it. Attendance at the premises had been dropping, costs were rising and it looked like the centre might have to be closed. Then, a group approached Tandridge Council and asked to run it. 

Shortly after lockdown, the group, working with others formed the Four Parish Response. Over 350 volunteers joined in shopping, collecting medication and phoning/checking in with hundreds of people of all ages. An outreach programme supports those who live in the North Tandridge area and services are developed to meet their needs. People can go to the centre to meet others, to chat, to dine or to learn new skills or act as volunteers. There is, among others, music, flower arranging, exercise and Boccia. The centre has developed many contacts, including the Salvation Army, Citizens Advice, Your Voice, the Foodbank, The Hygiene Bank, schools and Rotary. Its membership has grown. It operates Meals on Wheels and has supported Ukrainians recently.

Today, there are many regular activities and a very busy programme of events, including Learning Events. Men in the Shed share skills and knowledge and pursue practical interests. The Outreach Team of volunteers has helped hundreds of people over the last two years. 

East Surrey Dial-a-Ride is a charitable organisation operating from the Centre and is a key partner with The Westway. It provides a not for profit door-to-door transport service during weekdays for those who have difficulty using public transport due to disability or age. 
It currently has five mini buses adapted with tail lifts for wheelchair capability and also offers summer excursions. It’s a vital service for many local people. Run by a voluntary Board of Trustees and ably managed by Liz and her team, they are dedicated to minimising loneliness and isolation for its members.

The team is plainly giving dynamic leadership and the Centre is thriving under it. The High Sheriff thanks Pat Cannon for inviting him to visit the Centre and have the pleasure of learning about the great work Claire and the small number of full or part-time staff including Angela G, Jackie, Pam, Angela S, Nick and Mary are doing, along with the large number of volunteers. The Westway Centre is plainly a lifeline for so many.