Race Night Fundraiser for Bletchingley Skills Centre

On Saturday 29th September, a Race Night was held at Bletchingley Village Hall to raise funds for Bletchingley Skills Centre. The event was very well attended with over 80 guests coming along to enjoy a thrilling and entertaining evening, hosted by professional race night compere, Big Al. There were several groups from local organisations plus regular supporters and friends of the Centre as well as students and volunteers. Staff from the Redhill branch of Santander kindly volunteered to help the evening run smoothly, taking charge of the raffle and generally helping out. Guests received a welcome drink on arrival and a fish and chip supper was enjoyed by all half way through the evening. Big Al kept everyone entertained with his jokes and good humoured banter between the excitement of the races. A raffle was held during the evening with many of the prizes donated by local shops and businesses. We are very grateful to all those who donated raffle prizes and to everyone who came along to support the evening and raise funds for the Skills Centre. The whole event raised the magnificent sum of £2,695 which will go towards the running costs of the Centre, in Stychens Lane, Bletchingley, which runs courses and activities for disabled adults.


The raffle prizes included T shirts donated by Santander, shown here being modelled by some of the Santander staff and raffle prize winners!

15:27, 04 Oct 2018 by Gillian Lammas

Quelle surprise!


We received a very unusual email recently from our friend, Annie Winch, who lives in France. Annie is the daughter of Maggie, our craft tutor and back in October she had decided to hold a fundraising coffee morning with all her friends. They also decided to collect bras to send to a charity in Africa - which accounts for the attire worn by the ladies in the photograph.

Annie was very pleased to be able to tell us that as a result of a very succcessful morning, they would be sending a donation of £250 to the Skills Centre.

A very big "merci!" to Annie and all her friends, who we have given the honorary title of the European Section of the Bletchingley Skills Centre Supporters Club.


15:12, 08 Jan 2018 by Gillian Lammas

(Click above to view photos)


Centre’s Retirement Tribute to a Special Lady

On Sunday 5th November Bletchingley Skills Centre celebrated the retirement of Wendy Cope, the Centre Co-Ordinator for over 25 years.

Nearly 100 people gathered together at Nutfield Masonic Lodge to celebrate the career of a very special lady.  Ex-colleagues, ex-students, P.H.A.B. members, family, friends and supporters of the Centre enjoyed sharing memories of past times. Wendy, who had only been advised of the date and time of the event but not the guest list, was amazed to see so many people and had a wonderful time reminiscing with them all.

The hall had been decorated with bunting, made by some of the current students, and a personalised post box and vintage travelling case were available for guests to ‘post’ their cards.


A delicious selection of cakes and a continuous supply of tea complemented the spirit of the afternoon.  The tables, decorated with beautiful hand-made flower arrangements, added the final touch.

In a speech given by Peter Drysdale, Chairman of the B. S. C. Management Committee, he recalled his own personal experiences of accompanying Wendy on several overseas trips for physically disabled students, despite the many challenges they presented. The hard work involved was rewarded by seeing the enjoyment they brought to disadvantaged young people.  Peter also highlighted the effort and dedication that Wendy had shown throughout her career to provide help, education and support to so many people.  A former student, Sarah Henley, then gave a brief speech of her own, recounting some of the funnier occasions she had experienced with Wendy. Sarah then presented Wendy with a large bouquet of flowers on behalf of the Skills Centre Management Committee. 

Wendy started her speech by explaining how she first became involved with physically disabled people. In 1986 she worked with P.H.A.B., a social club who met fortnightly at a school in Oxted. A position became available at the Centre in 1991 which is where and when her long career started.   Wendy talked about the fantastic trips she had been on with students, particularly to Hong Kong. She said that over the years she had met and worked with many amazing people and had some wonderful times.  Wendy finished by thanking everyone for coming and joining in her celebration.   




11:21, 15 Nov 2017 by Anthony Cock