Community work earns award for Barnett Wood Pre-School

A visit to Barnett Wood Pre-School in Ashtead gave Dr Llewelyn a golden opportunity to present a High Sheriff Award recognising the school’s work in the community.

Even when times were tough during the pandemic, the school “stood strong”, said one parent, supporting both children and parents “in style with beaming smiles”.

Barnett Wood Pre-School’s dedicated team put children and their families front and centre in all they do. The school is independently run as a limited company with charitable status by directors who give their time voluntarily.

When she arrived, Dr Llewelyn introduced herself to the children, who are between two and four years old and live within the Ashtead KT21 postcode area. She explained the High Sheriff’s role and read them a story.

Dr Llewelyn is pictured with some of the children at Barnett Wood Pre-School and presenting the highly deserved award to manager Louise Pruthi.

Supporting the lifesaving work of KSS

As an NHS doctor, Dr Llewelyn was fascinated to hear about the work of Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS) Air Ambulance during a visit to the base at Redhill Aerodrome.

KSS is an independent charity with close links to the emergency services and raises 88% of the £15 million it costs to run the service through donations and fundraising. Its medical emergency responders have attended a total of 35,000 accidents.

Dr Llewelyn was particularly impressed with the pioneering medical advances made by this world-class emergency medical care service. These include checklists for emergency procedures, such as intubation (when patients need the portable ventilator carried onboard). The checklists help make the process as safe as possible.

The fast-responding crews now also carry blood products, so they can give transfusions on-site if necessary. And the service has a fleet of road vehicles, which they position in strategic sites around the county, ready to attend emergencies during bad weather when the helicopter can’t fly.

Dr Llewelyn said: “The set-up is hugely impressive and very professional. Surrey is fortunate to be able to call upon the service.”

Dr Llewelyn is pictured above with some of the crew and below, with two doctors demonstrating what happens to a patient and the helicopter’s medical equipment.

SMEF healthy eating and healthy living in Surrey communities

A visit to a community event at the Maybury Centre in Woking about healthy living and eating organised by Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum (SMEF) gave the High Sheriff plenty to contemplate.

Dr Llewelyn met several of the outstanding SMEF team at the event, which included talks, specialist stalls and the opportunity to socialise while trying delicious healthy foods.

She gave a short speech about how, in her role as an NHS doctor working with people who live with diabetes, she is aware of the importance of combining a well-balanced, healthy diet with frequent moderate exercise and incorporating both of these into everyday life.

Dr Llewelyn said: “It is good to get into the habit of three sensible meals a day, with no grazing or snacking on biscuits and sweets, and combine this with walking whenever possible. I always like to say, ‘everything in moderation’.”  

During the three-hour forum, Dr Llewelyn also spoke to Dr Negin Sarafraz-Shekary from Surrey County Council, Councillors Tahir Aziz and Muhammad Ali, and Daman Barma from Dee’s Kitchen.

Dr Llewelyn is pictured with the councillors and younger community members who enjoyed the organiser’s fun activities for the whole family, including sampling kitchen samosas and Biryani from Dee’s Kitchen.

High Sheriff visits Gosden House School

The children and staff at Gosden House School in Bramley went the whole hog in their efforts to make Dr Llewelyn welcome during her ‘tea under the trees’ visit on 16 September.

Children come from across Surrey to attend the school, which celebrates its centenary this year. It provides an outstanding education for young people with learning and additional educational needs from 4-16 years of age, and embodies the High Sheriff’s ethos of ‘Every child included’.

The school offers extensive outside learning activities such as gardening, animal care and exploration.

Dr Llewelyn is pictured with Melissa and Ellie and local Parish Councillor Alison Burrows visiting the school’s resident pigs who live along with chickens in the beautifully maintained 42 acres of grounds.

During the visit, Dr Llewelyn also thanked the volunteers who build and maintain the beautiful flower and vegetable garden at the school. She was especially impressed by the huge pumpkins, which will be ready for Halloween fun.

Summit to write home about

A team of 12 residents from supported housing at YMCA Hillbrook House in Redhill celebrate after climbing to the summit of Snowdon on 3 August with three staff from YMCA East Surrey.

The High Sheriff Youth Awards helped to fund the trip for the young people who were mostly under 18 and involved in the Y Focus programme, which helps them gain employability and life skills to equip them for independence.

Dr Llewelyn said: “I am delighted to see the impact of the High Sheriff Youth Awards in helping the young people of Surrey achieve their goals.”

Big Leaf Foundation Summer School

The High Sheriff recently had the great pleasure of visiting the The Big Leaf Foundation. The Big Leaf Foundation is a small charity that works with displaced young people living in Surrey. The charity provides a nurturing programme of activities, projects and events that focus on combating social isolation.

Concerted effort for Afghanistan refugees

In a great example of ‘joining the dots’, Surrey’s High Sheriff has helped bring together relevant people from local authorities and the third sector, so that services are coordinated in supporting Afghan refugees.

Dr Llewelyn was speaking to the Chief Executive of Elmbridge Council, Robert Moran, about the High Sheriff Youth Awards when he mentioned how hard it is finding support for the refugees who are starting to arrive in Surrey.

She called the Big Leaf Foundation who put the word out to other organisations like Dorking Refugee Support, Elmbridge CAN, Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum (SMEF) and Epsom Refugee Network. A coordinated effort is now under way, with the Community Foundation for Surrey as the coordinator.

Surrey County Council said the immediate need is to find accommodation for people once they have completed their stay in Managed Quarantine Service Hotels.

It asks Surrey residents to make a financial donation for operational, logistical, and Covid-control reasons.

Two organisations with emergency funds in place and which are taking donations are the Community Foundation for Surrey and the Red Cross. You can also find out about broader local support, including food banks, at Surrey Information Point.

Treehouse retreat opens for patients

Patients at Holy Cross Hospital in Haslemere now have a tranquil space where they can connect with nature following the opening of a wheelchair-accessible treehouse on 11 August.

The patient whose former passion for outdoor activities had sparked the idea was the first to enter the beautiful new structure after Dr Llewelyn cut the ribbon at the official launch event.

Dr Llewelyn, an NHS doctor, was also given a tour of the hospital, which is home to 40 patients with severe neurological disabilities and long-term conditions.

She’s pictured, below learning about the hospital’s latest physio tools and sensory equipment.

Project MindWaves

Community radio station Kane FM invited Dr Llewelyn to the studio to learn about its MindWaves project on 4 August.

The project teaches actual broadcasting and digital music skills to young people who are not in education, employment or training or who have special needs.

Visited Guildford Nursery School and Family Centre

Dr Llewelyn visited Guildford Nursery School and Family Centre to recognise its extraordinary work.

Dr Llewelyn also received a lovely thank you treat from one of the nursery’s children.

School governors have played an essential part in helping Surrey’s schools throughout the pandemic. Dr Llewelyn presented one of them, Sam, with an award for the governing body’s excellent work at Guildford Nursery School and Family Centre.