Letter from the Editor – August 2020

Welcome to the August edition of The Caterham & District Independent.

There’s been a lot going on this month as we have eased out of lockdown and I have to start this month’s letter with the exciting news of our new venture: The Caterham Independent News Hour on Ridge Radio! I took to the airwaves for my first show and was pleasantly surprised to receive so many messages of sAupport and encouragement. By the time you read this I will have had another few shows under my belt and I’d Alove you to tune in and listen! Simply visit ridgeradio.com and click the ‘Listen Live’ button between 9 and 10am, to hear me discussing local news stories, topics and ideas and if you would like a specific local issue addressed please email me at caterham@ridgeradio.com.

You may have noticed our exclusive on this month’s front page; The Caterham Rotary Group has sponsored a ‘Blood Bike’. This vehicle, ridden by volunteers, carries urgent deliveries of blood products and breast milk for premature babies, to hospitals within the area. Our front page this month focuses on this vital service and the generous donation made.
The Caterham Festival is an annual event that always brings the town to life, and the pandemic was not going to stop it this year. Hats off to the organisers, who went to tremendous lengths to replicate the Festival’s community spirit online. Kicking off on 18th July, it featured online activities for all ages, including storytelling, baby yoga and a book fair and The Miller Centre Theatre screened recorded Zoom readings of selected scenes from the play ‘Pressure’, by David Hague. The first Saturday of the Festival also hosted a donation station set up by Caterham Food Bank outside the Sacred Heart Church.

We took a recent trip to Whyteleafe FC and Caterham Pumas to discover how lockdown has affected two of our local community teams. The recent news that The FA has given the go-ahead to competitive grassroots football will have come as a great relief to many, I’m sure.

We also talk to England & GB hockey player Zach Wallace, a former prep pupil of Caterham School, and hear of his disappointment at the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
In June we brought you the story of Liam Scott, the 4-year old fighting neuroblastoma. His family were facing the huge task of trying to raise £232,000 for further treatment in New York – no easy feat during a lockdown. We’ve been in touch to find out how the fundraising is going, and you can find out their current total on page….
If 2020 has taught us anything so far, it’s that it’s pretty hard to predict what life is going to throw at you, but for anybody who follows astrology, Sarah from Sarandipity has turned over 3 tarot cards and will be giving us a fun insight into what the future holds this month for all you Leos out there!

As well as all that, we’ve got our regular columns on gardening, finance and education, and we say ‘welcome back’ to our work experience writers. I’m really keen to encourage the next generation of journalists, and this month we have a fabulous article about music from Shaily, who is 10 years old and lives in the borough.

After months of having to remain at home, I’m now looking forward to escaping for a few days to the depths of Suffolk to catch up with family. A change of environment from my four walls is definitely needed! My previous Editor’s Letters have mentioned how lockdown has made me appreciate the UK more than ever before, and it’s probably the same for many of you. I’d love to hear from you if you’re taking a ‘staycation’ in the UK this year, rather than travelling abroad.Where are you going? If you are one of the many opting for a ‘staycation’ this summer we’ve got a little challenge for you! Pack an edition of ‘The Caterham & District Independent’ in your suitcase and when you reach your destination send us a picture of yourself holding it. We’ve got a Caterham and District Independent mug for the reader who takes it, not to the furthest, but to the most unusual reaches within the UK. Send your pictures to newsdesk@caterhamindependent.com by Friday 28th August.

Don’t forget that we’re continually updating our website (www.caterhamindependent.com) with items of local interest, so please make sure you visit us there and if you’ve got a story that you think we should be covering please get in touch.

Well that’s it for now! It’s been lovely seeing more of our businesses, organisations and groups opening up again in Tandridge, and it reminds me of this quote by Frederick Koenig.
“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
Have a lovely month everyone!

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