Local News week of 8th December 2022

To listen to this week’s audio news click the Play button

The Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper audio local news for the two weeks ending 8th December 2022, includes planning news, stories on the Epsom Wells Centre, Epsom Foodbank and Epsom Hub, a Christmas Appeal and much more. We finish with the audio version of EETN News Editor Jan Collier’s piece “Three Cheers for Our Long Serving Volunteers”, as printed in full below.

Local Plan

Epsom and Ewell Borough council approve a Local Development Scheme with a delayed timeframe, later than any other Surrey County Council (SCC) council, for the development of it’s new Local Plan with some debate over building on greenbelt land.

Epsom Wells Centre

The Epsom Wells Community Association registered charity is facing a funding challenge to realise their ambition to reopen the Epsom Wells community center and are appealing for funds to enable them to employ the experts needed to apply to SCC and the Lottery for adequate funding so they can fulfil their ambition to run the centre for the community.

Ewell Village

Surrey County Council‘s Ewell project team work closely with residents to plan revitalising Ewell village to make it more pedestrian friendly, safer and attractive with new retail outlets. Epsom and Ewell Borough council is supporting the development, collaborating with SCC and residents.

Kingswood House School

Hundreds of residents in Epsom are opposing plans to evict Kingswood House School from its site and replace it with a small school and housing estate. They are is asking local people to join them.

Christmas Toy Appeal

Epsom and St Hellier University hospitals have launched a Christmas Appeal for Toy donations suitable for children 0-18 years old, with a particular need for babies and teeenagers. Donations can be made at both Epsom and Queen Mary Hospital Carlshalton. Toys need to be brand new and unwrapped. For more details visit Epsom and St Helier University hospitals Christmas Toy appeal.

Epsom and Ewell Foodbank End Poverty Pledge

Epsom and Ewell Foodbank, part of the Good Company (Surrey) charity, held a gala fundraising dinner to mark the 10 years it has been open and launches the End Poverty Pledge.

Three Cheers for Our Long Serving Volunteers


‘In recognition of long service and invaluable contribution to volunteering for the Epsom & Ewell Talking Newspaper and the visually impaired community within the Borough of Epsom & Ewell.’

Time flies when you are enjoying what you do in life and it has certainly flown, say many of the wonderful people who have volunteered their services to help produce the Epsom & Ewell Talking Newspaper for a decade or more – even up to an incredible 25 years!

Mayor Clive Woodbridge with Mayoress and EETN Chair Judy Sarssam with award recipients
Award recipients with the Mayor and Mayoress of Epsom and Ewell, EETN Chairman Judy Sarssam, herself visually impaired, and husband Amer, whose vital contribution to EETN was also warmly recognised for the invaluable support he has given Judy in her role as Chairman for the last 11 years.

On Thursday 1st December EETN’s Chairman Judy was delighted to welcome the Mayor of Epsom & Ewell, Councillor Clive Woodbridge and the Mayoress, Mrs. Mary Woodbridge, to Bradbury Lodge in the grounds of Swail House, for a very special Long Service Award Presentation, organised by volunteers including News Editors Tricia and Julie and EETN Office Manager Heather.

Click Play button to listen to Judy Sarssam, EETN Chairman’s Presentation opening:

“We are giving long overdue recognition to the fifteen volunteers who have been committed to this special charity for ten years or more,” Judy began “ Two of those wonderful people, Gabrielle and Heather, have been with us for over 21 years and Penny has given 25 years of service.”

Judy raised much laughter when she explained that in the early days of EETN, which started in 1974, cassette recordings were done in a corridor outside a kitchen in Swail House. One of the long- serving volunteers, she said, still remembered the smell of cabbage as she was recording.

“The recording ‘venues’ changed several times over the years, but in 1997 our current bespoke studio here at Swail House was opened –and here we are 2341 issues of EETN later,” she said.

In a brief resume of how the Talking Newspaper operates, Judy explained that many skill sets were required to deliver a quality service to the Listeners.  These, she said, included Sound Recordists, News , Magazine and Supplement Editors,  Readers with clear voices and the all-important backroom team and to spread the word about our fantastic service, we have our essential Social Media Manager.

“Without the whole team of Volunteers, EETN would not exist. Everyone plays an integral role in delivering this Free service to visually impaired people.”

Among the invited guests and volunteers were Robert Lahai, Swail House Manager, who set up the room for us, Eamonn McNamee, Manager for Central Surrey Voluntary Action, who kindly read the citations and Serena Powis, from EEBC Community and Voluntary Sector Liaison Officer. 

Mayor Clive Woodbridge with Robert Lahai, Swail House Manager

The Mayor, Councillor Clive Woodbridge welcomed the background history to EETN, saying

“The fact that the 15 volunteers we have honoured today have amassed a staggering total of over 200 years of volunteering is truly humbling. I am tremendously honoured to be the President of the organisation, continuing a tradition going back to 1991.”

Click Play to listen to Mayor, Clive Woodbridge’s Presentation speech

After each citation, which gave a brief insight into the role each volunteer had played over the years, the Mayor presented the recipient with a signed certificate.  Those who were unfortunately unable to attend will receive a recording of their citation and their Award certificate.

With formalities successfully completed, Judy then invited all the guests and Volunteers to enjoy some light refreshments while having a catch-up with each other and a jolly get-together.

As well as the five volunteers already mentioned you will know doubt recognise most of the following names who were honoured for long service Editors Julie Baker and Jan Collier, Sound Recordist Richard Wheeler, Geoff Trickey, Roger Stockwell and Jo Larking; readers Veronica Wheeler and Jean Roberts; Podcast Editor Jane Wheeler and Sue Hoyle who manages the EETN website and social media.

Listen to our audio news for full details of these and other stories and please remember to share with anyone you know who is blind or has a visually impairment.

The local news is just one of three sections of the Epsom and Ewell as described on the About Us page.

If you have any local stories or information that you think will be of interest to our listeners, please Contact Us


This week’s news articles come from the Epsom and Ewell Times and BBC Local Democracy Reporting Service and the Surrey Comet and Surrey Live.

the featured poster is from Epsom Jazz Club