News Archive

Natalie’s Marathon (April 2019)

Congratulations and thanks to Natalie Shoham, who ran the Brighton Marathon on Saturday 13 April 2019.  Natalie finished in the amazing time of 3 hours, 55 minutes and 43 seconds and has raised over £400 in support of the Trust.  This continues a family tradition, as Natalie’s brother Luke ran the Great North Run in October 2008 on behalf of the Trust.


Christmas Sale (December 2018)

Thank you to everyone who supported this year’s Christmas coffee morning and sale at Crofton on Saturday 8th December.  In our first year without Clare Taylor’s wreaths, the event still raised over £1,800, thanks to Debbie’s decorations and a mouth-watering array of condiments, pickles, cakes, biscuits and other goodies.  We are also very grateful for some extremely generous donations.

Christmas Sale (December 2017)

Saturday 9th December was the date for the 2017 Christmas Sale. Clare Taylor’s team surpassed themselves this year, making 60 wreaths in some of the coldest conditions on record. Thanks to the team and everyone else involved on the day the event raised £3,600. Over the last 11 years, Clare and her team have made close on 500 wreaths and directly raised £12,500. They have played a key role in our Christmas sales over this period generating over £25,000 for the Trust.

Clare is now taking a well earned retirement, and we would like to give her our very special thanks for her massive contribution.

Marathon Month (April 2017)

April has been a Marathon month for the Trust.

 On 2 April, Ben’s cousins Ellie and Owen ran the Liverpool half marathon in 2 hours 55 minutes and 2 hours 6 minutes respectively, raising over £700 for the Trust.  And on 9 April, Ben’s cousin Sarah completed the Paris marathon in 4 hours 36 minutes raising over £1,500 for the Trust.  Congratulations and thanks to you all!

Christmas Sale (December 2016)

Clare Taylor’s Christmas wreaths were as popular as ever this year, with her and her team making and selling 54 in support of this year’s Christmas sale on 10 December at Crofton.  The event raised  £3,000, and once again we are hugely grateful to Clare, her helpers and everyone who supported the event to help make it such a success.

Lloyd’s Charity Awards (December 2016)

Each year, Lloyd’s of London awards grants to charities in recognition of work that members of the insurance community have done in support of their chosen good causes.  This year, out of nearly 300 applications, one of the twenty awards was to recognise Dawn Herbert for the work that she has done in support of the Trust.  And in addition to the award of £2,000 that Dawn collected at a reception on the underwriting floor, her employer Chaucer has awarded a further £1,000.  A great Christmas bonus for the Trust, and our thanks to Dawn, Lloyd’s of London and Chaucer.

Ben Nevis (July 2016)

Following on from accompanying Gilly and Phil on training for the South Downs challenge, and walking with them on the last leg, Lucy and Jamie climbed Ben Nevis in July to mark Lucy’s 50th birthday, along with Alfie and Megan.  They raised over £600 for the Trust in the process.

Ben’s 25th Birthday – South Downs Challenge (April 2016)

It would have been Ben’s 25th birthday this year, and it is 10 years since the Trust was set up following his death.  To mark the event, Gilly, Jonathan and Phil walked 25 miles along the South Downs Way from Steyning to Cocking on 24 April in 9 1/2 hours, raising £9,000 for the Trust.  They were helped along by refreshments and moral support at the two stops, and a team who accompanied the weary walkers for the last seven miles to make sure they made it home for a celebratory supper.  Many thanks to everyone who helped with transport, catering and their great company.

Christmas Sale (December 15)

Once again, many thanks to everyone who helped make the Christmas sale on 5 December so successful, raising over £3,000.  Special thanks go to Clare Taylor and her team for making a record 55 wreaths.

Dublin Marathon (October 15)

Angel AndersonCongratulations to Angela Anderson, who trained secretly for the Dublin marathon on 26 October 2015 and raised over £350 for the Trust.  The following day, Angela told us: “Yesterday was an incredible day for me. In true Irish style the weather was windy and wet which added further challenge to the runners. Having set a target of sub 5 hours, I managed with great encouragement from Tom, to complete in 4 hours 39 minutes and 11 seconds my Personal Best  for marathons! Baby toes a bit sore!”

The Big Ben Walk (Spring 2015)

Andrew Robinson undertook an incredible walk around the UK, raising nearly £1,000 for the Trust along the way.  Said Andrew: “When I was younger, Ben Williams, both someone I looked up to and a friend, died due to arrhythmia.  To raise money to help people like Ben, I’m setting off to walk over 700 miles around the UK over the course of several months, surviving, for the most part, off of the hospitality of others.”

During the course of his travels, Andrew came across the best and worst of human nature, receiving acts of kindness both in the form of donations and a place to sleep the night, but also suffering the trauma of being mugged and having his money and phone stolen after being approached in his tent  by three men wielding a knife and screwdriver, Andrew bravely continued with his walk before eventually having to retire with crippling tendonitis.

Edinburgh Marathon (May 15)

Edinburgh Marathon 1 cropCongratulations to Pete Reilly who completed the Edinburgh marathon in 3 hours, 38 minutes and 55 seconds and raised over £750.   Back in 2011, after suffering from a form of heart arrhythmia for several years, Pete underwent surgery to cure it.   Before the run Pete said: “Although my health is now “A O.K”, I understand how hard it can be to deal with so I want to continue to raise money and awareness for the trust and the work it does by running the Edinburgh marathon.  Anyone who knows me also knows my enthusiasm for exercise and I shy away from no challenge. This is not only an opportunity to raise money and awareness for the trust but also just me setting myself a challenge and hopefully enjoying the different kind of training.”  And after completing the run in a very impressive time, despite a stress fracture, he added: “Even having suffered from supra ventricular tachycardia as a young teenager, I have always loved sports and I couldn’t think of a better way to use a love for something than to raise money and awareness for a great cause that is so close to my heart”.

Christmas Sale (December 14)

Many thanks to everyone who helped make the Christmas Sale on Saturday 6 December such a success!  Special thanks again are due to Clare Taylor and her team for making a record numbers of wreaths.  The event has raised a record total of over £3,300, every penny of which will go to our supported causes.

Blackdown Round (July 14)


Over 60 friends and family of all ages gathered on Saturday 12 July to walk a variety of routes up to 15 miles over Blackdown to Lurgashall and back through the glorious West Sussex and Surrey countryside.  The weather was kind, the chips at the Noah’s Ark good, and aching limbs will have been soothed by the knowledge that over £6,100 was been raised on the day.  We are hugely grateful to everyone who walked on the day, sponsored a walker, or formed part of the magnificent ground crew that ensured that we were all fed and watered so well during the day and evening.

Christmas Sale (December 13)

The annual Christmas Sale took place on 7 December.  Once again, the centre piece of the day was Clare Taylor’s festive wreaths, supported by table decorations from Debbie Grimwood, Jane Farley, Emily Rackstraw and Gemma Moore, with Debbie’s Indian bazaar providing a taste of the East.  Thanks to them,  all the bakers and makers and those who supported the event, a total of £2,500 was raised, a record for this event.

Sarah Webb’s Great South Run (October 2013)

Sarah Webb completed the Great South Run, Europe’s leading 10 mile road race in 1 hour 27 minutes and 14 seconds.  Sarah remained undistracted by the sights of Portsmouth’s naval heritage, including HMS Victory and the Mary Rose, to finish in the top quarter of the 21,000 runners and raise over £600 for the Trust.

London Edinburgh London Cycling (August 13)


Paul Marshall completed the 1,400km cycle ride from London to Edinburgh and back in early August.  He has written about his experience and you can find at more about his ups and downs by following this link.  It gives a very good flavour of how gruelling the challenge proved to be – definitely not for the fainthearted!

South Harting Book Day (March 13)

The Book Day on Saturday 9 March at Harting Primary School was a great success.  In addition to a book swap for both children and adults, there was a range of activities including local authors reading from their books, poetry and fun story workshops for children.  First prize in the “Tiny Tales” of a family ticket courtesy of London Duck Tours was won by 8 year old Max Paravicini, and the event raised over £600.  Special thanks to Johnny Culley and Harting Primary School, the authors, Will and Caroline Sutton, the extended Prosser family, Emily Rackstraw, London Duck Tours and everyone who helped on the day.

Other 2013 Fundraising

 I’Anson League

To celebrate winning the 2012 I’Anson cricket league, Grayswood Cricket Club hosted a festival match against the President Keith Mayson’s XI.  We are honoured to have been chosen to receive £365 that was raised on the day.

Surbiton Hockey Club

We are also privileged to be the recipients of a donation of £300 Surbiton Hockey Club following their annual Charity Day in honour of the late Tony Smith.

Crickhowell School

Our thanks also go to the staff of Crickhowell High School, who raised £100 at a coffee morning organised by Jane Haslegrave.

2012 Fundraising

The congregation of All Saints, Grayswood made a donation of £115 in who lieu of sending Christmas cards.  We are grateful to everybody who supported us.

The Christmas sale and coffee morning was held at Crofton on Saturday 8 December and once again raised over £2,000.  Many thanks to Clare Taylor and all those who helped make the day such a success.

Grayshott Angling Club held its annual open fishing day at Waggoner’s Wells.  Attendees were asked to make donations to be disbursed between local charities supporting young people, and we are delighted to have been granted £100 from the funds raised.

Alasdair Mackenzie’s men’s breakfast group held a BBQ for Ben, and on one of the few sunny mornings in July raised £300 for the Trust.

Each year, Surbiton Hockey Club holds a charity day in honour of the late Tony Smith, who gave Ben wicketkeeping coaching, and died of a heart attack shortly after him.  We are privileged to have received £250 from the funds raised on the day, which had an added poignancy as one of the Club’s young lady members, a junior hockey international, had recently died following a cardiac arrest.

Congratulations to Martin (Ben) and Jane Bowe on celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary in June.  In lieu of presents, Ben and Jane asked for donations to the Trust, and we were delighted to be presented with a cheque for £700.

Yorkshire Three Peaks (April 12)

Yorkshire Three PeaksApril 24 2012 would have been Ben’s 21st birthday.  To mark the day Gilly, Phil and Jonathan completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge of 5,250 feet of ascent over 24 miles, raising over £10,000 for the Trust (click here for the story and pictures).  By sponsoring them on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, you have directly contributed to the development of a service that saves young lives and helps families to understand and work through the many psychological and practical problems that follow a positive diagnosis.

Coffee Morning (December 11)

The 2011 Christmas coffee morning and bring and buy sale took place on Saturday 10 December at Crofton.  In addition to Clare Taylor’s festive wreaths, there were other Christmas gifts and decorations for sale, bring and buy cakes, jams and pickles and a second hand book sale.  Thanks to Clare and her helpers particularly and to everybody who helped us raise over £2,000.

Everest Base Camp (October 11)

Jenny Hinton is seen here at Everest Base Camp.  Jenny says ”Well, I’m back in one piece from the Himalayas and what a marvellous time its been! It is truly the hardest but most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life. Turns out that, despite all my training, it doesn’t count for anything at altitude and I struggled with even the slightest hills. With support from my guides and the other group members (and a little bit of medicinal help from the altitude drug, diamox!), I was able to continue on the journey at my own pace and experience the wonders that the trip had to offer…I saw the majestic Everest and walked in the surrounding beautiful mountain range containing the highest mountains on the planet. We had snowfall which, despite making walking conditions harder, just made the whole experience more magical and even more spectacular. I loved experiencing life in Nepal and finding out all about their customs and culture, meeting some fantastic people along the way.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me as I have fulfilled my dream…it has been a privilege to be able to raise money for such a worthwhile cause along the way.

Blackdown Round (September 11)

75 walkers of all ages joined the Blackdown Round, a 25km ramble over Blackdown and through glorious West Sussex countryside on 3rd September.  The lunch spot was the quintessentially English setting of Lurgashall village green, complete with cricket and local wedding party.  The weather was kind, and thanks to the great efforts of everyone involved, the event has raised over £9,000.

Charity Fun Day (July 11)

On Sunday 24 July, the staff of Eden Hair and Beauty in Haslemere held a charity fun day in aid of the Trust.  In addition to hair cuts, manicures and face painting, there was a barbeque donated by Branksome Place, car washing by Muscle Inc. and a cake and plant stall.  The day had a 70s theme, with the team looking great in Haslemere Wardrobe outfits.  Many thanks to everyone for their support, especially Angie and Kelly for raising almost £1,400 for the Trust.

Great North Swim (June 11)

Ben’s godmother Fi Marshall was amongst the 10,000 swimmers braving the icy waters of Lake Windermere in June.  She completed the mile course in a very creditable 35 minutes and 27 seconds.  In addition to her training, Fi was also very active on the fundraising front, and her efforts resulted in a magnificent £1,300 boost for the Trust.

South Downs Marathon (June 11)

Jenny Hinton is setting herself the challenge of a lifetime, heading for Everest Base Camp at a height of 5,360m on a trip trekking two challenging high passes around the Everest region, crossing a glacier and summiting two peaks near Everest whilst trying to cope with the altitude.  It includes 18 consecutive days of trekking with up to 9 hours walking a day.  To prepare for this, she will be running a marathon and completing ”The Three Peaks Challenge” of the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours.

Stage one was successfully completed on 11 June as Jenny ran the South Downs Marathon, billed as “Britain’s toughest marathon, in five hours and one minute.  WIth the Three Peaks also successfully behind her, Everest looms on October 14.

Jenny will be using her challenge to raise funds for the Trust – to sponsor this amazing effort visit her Just Giving page.

Coffee Morning (December 10)

The Trust’s annual Christmas sales and coffee morning held on Saturday 11 December raised £2,000.  Many thanks to Clare Taylor and her team of helpers and to everyone who contributed gifts to sell, donated raffle prizes, helped on the day or came to the event.

Rosie’s Parachute Jump (December 10)

Rosie Beck conquered her fear of heights to leap from a plane over the Franz Joseph glacier in New Zealand.  Her parachute jump was the first to raise funds for the Trust and a great personal challenge.

Royal Parks Half Marathon (October 10)

Jane White completed the Royal Parks half marathon, her first, in 2 hours 12 minutes and 12 seconds on 10 October  Said Jane; “The day of the run was really warm but it was so lovely to see so many people all bunched together trundling towards the start line.  I ran alongside Big Ben as it chimed 10.00 which was so lovely to hear I will remember that for ever.  The encouragement we got from the spectators was brilliant.  I had been advised to write my name on my number so that people would call for me which someone did near Horseguards Parade and I said to the lady I was running next to “that’s me!”  It gave me such a lift, a wonderful feeling.  I will also remember crossing that line for a very long time to come, I couldn’t believe I had actually done it, I was absolutely shattered but it was an amazing feeling and I am so touched that so many people have helped me raise money for the Trust.  Ben was very very special and it was worth every single step.”

Neil’s 62 Mile Challenge (October 10)

Since our last update in May, Neil has completed the remainder of his eight races in aid of the Trust.  He completed his challenge with the Great South Run, Europe’s leading 10 mile road race, in 1 hour 8 minutes and 16 seconds, making a total of 7 hours, 17 minutes and 7 seconds for the 62 miles.

Neil said: “I was inspired by my brother to get fit once more after watching him compete in a couple of triathlons last year and so I took up running again.  I set myself this challenge to keep me motivated and to raise funds at the same time.  I chose to support the Ben Williams Trust not only because I work with his mum Gilly but also because it’s such a worthwhile cause, and a fitting way to remember that Ben lived life to the full.

After running more than 700 miles in total this year, I am very pleased to have completed my challenge and am delighted to have helped raise so much for such a fantastic cause”.  With money still coming in Neil has reached his fundraising target of £850.

Greasewood (October 10)

Grease was the word as Kate Orr and her band of helpers transformed Grayswood Village Hall into Rydell High for a fifties evening on Saturday 16 October.  The fifties menu was provided by Dwayne Bartram of Perfect Pickles, and despite the chocolate brownies 80 guests danced the night away to the sounds of the Ian James Band and the RG Roadshow Disco.

Our thanks go to our sponsors the Alan Baker Flooring Company and to everyone who helped make the night so enjoyable and raise over £1,900.  Follow this link for Josh Taylor’s video of the event.

Memorial Cricket Match (July 10)

Despite a lapse in the glorious weather, there was a good turnout again for the annual cricket match.  Many thanks to all those who helped make the day so enjoyable, if a little severe on the waistline.  As always, our Special Correspondent was following the match with great interest – follow this link for his report.  The day itself raised nearly £900, before taking into account Rupert Maude’s donation from “Little Lumpy” – see below.

Little Lumpy Sportif (May 10)

On Sunday 16 May, Rupert Maude organised “Little Lumpy”, a cycling event starting from Haslemere.  530 riders of all abilities were attracted by the three courses of 32 miles, 65 miles and the incredibly demanding Epic of 108 miles with almost 7,000 feet of ascent.  The route took the riders out to South Harting and the surrounding countryside.  The day was a huge logistical effort and Rupert donated the proceeds of £3,000 to the Trust.  He is seen here presenting the cheque to Trust Chair Phil Williams at the Memorial Cricket Match.

Neil’s 62 Mile Challenge (May 10)

Neil Smith is running 62 miles in eight races this year, including the Great South Run, Europe’s leading 10 mile road race, five 10km races and his first half marathon, to raise money for the Trust.  He is just over halfway through his challenge, having  finished the BUPA 10k on 31 May and said: “with a sprint from the ‘400m to go’ sign I achieved a new personal best of 40.52 and finished 231st out of over 13,000 entries so was delighted overall.  That’s 32.8 miles down – only 30 to go so more than half way … It’s my first ever half marathon next so really looking forward to that.”  Neil’s last three races are:

Seaford                             half marathon      (15.8.10)

Dunsfold                                   10k                 (22.8.10)

Great South Run                10 miles            (24.10.10)

London Marathon (April 10)

Jenny Hinton (Wilk) completed the London Marathon, despite having her training cut short due to illness.  This is her second London Marathon, and adds to the Shakespeare marathon that she ran to raise funds for us two years ago. It’s the first time that anyone has run London for the Trust – but hopefully not the last!  After the run Jenny said “I did it!  Completed the London Marathon in 4 hours and 27 minutes!  It was hard work but the crowd support was amazing and really kept me going.  It was an honour to be running for such a worthwhile cause- thank you all for your donations.”

Brighton Marathon (April 10)

Tom Palmer and Justin Futers both ran the Brighton Marathon on 18 April in aid of the Trust.

Tom was running as the child of one of his close friend, Elliot Bower (pictured here) is receiving out patient support from Ben’s Nurse and has raised nearly £1,300.

For Justin, this was his sixth marathon.  Justin said “having lived in Grayswood for twelve years, I decided to show support to a local charity and learnt of the Ben Williams Trust as the family live in my village.”

Coffee Morning (December 09)

Haslemere Mayor Melanie Odell was amongst those who supported the Christmas sale and coffee morning in Grayswood on Saturday 12 December.  Particularly popular were the fresh festive wreaths that Clare Taylor and her team of helpers made for the occasion and which helped the charity to raise nearly £1,700.

Many thanks to Claire and everyone who helped with and attended the event.

Seventies Night Fever (October 09)

Kate Orr and her band of helpers transformed Grayswood Village Hall into glittering Studio Grayswood for the evening on Saturday 17 October.  100 guests arrived in a wide range of costumes spanning the decade, from hippy to punk, and after Paul Robinson’s traditional 70s three-course meal of prawn cocktail, chicken chasseur and black forest gateau danced the night away to the sounds of the Ian James Band and the RG Roadshow Disco.

The evening was particularly special for the Trust, as the proceeds of £2,700 pushed the overall funds raised by the charity to over a quarter of a million pounds.

Our thanks go to everyone who helped make the night so enjoyable, and to Sue Griffiths Jewellery, the Inn on the Hill and Mandy and John Simpson for the raffle prizes.  Click here for more photos and please send us any you’d like us to include.

Michael Burgess (August 09)

One of the recipients of our Surrey development programme, Michael Burgess, was awarded the Graham Kersey prize for the best ‘keeper in the 2009 Bunbury Festival at Charterhouse, together with one of the four David English scholarships which will see him spending a week with the full England squad at Loughborough in 2010.  He has also been selected for the England U15 squad.

Michael is seen here collecting his award from David English.

Memorial Cricket Match (July 09)

Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the cricket match such fun.  It looks as if we have raised over £1,000!  Fortunately our special correspondent was at the ground to cover the drama of the afternoon’s events– follow this link for his Match Report.

Jazz Concert (May 09)

On Tuesday 5 May, 5 May 2009, Luke Shoham and Timian Brierley organised “Concert for Ben” at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, which raised over £500.  The band, was under the baton (for the most difficult bits) of Barney Lowe, and included members of the Surrey County Youth Jazz Orchestra.  The audience was treated to a wonderful selection of jazz numbers, with enchanting vocals provided by Laura McDonald.  Thanks to all who contributed to such an enjoyable and successful evening.

Book Swap (March 09)

Lucy Prosser’s book swap on Saturday 21 March was a great success, raising over £320 for the Trust.  Many thanks to Lucy and everyone who supported the event.  If you would like to organise something similar, please let us know.

Hampshire Wicket Keeping Programme (March 09)

The Trust has agreed to fund a programme which aims to standardise the approach to wicketkeeping development across Hampshire, and provide specialist coaching for up to forty young keepers.  The Hampshire Cricket Board proposal is spearheaded by Hampshire’s specialist wicketkeeping coach Bobby Parks and covers both District and County levels across all age groups.  Initially Bobby will work with the head coaches from each District and the County squads, and he will then visit each District and County squad in turn to run wicketkeeping clinics directly with the players involved.  There are further details on our cricket page.

Coffee Morning (December 08)

Many thanks to all who contributed to making the coffee morning on Saturday 6 December such a success, whether through providing Christmas gifts or cakes, or for supporting us on the day.  Particular thanks go to Clare Taylor and her team for the beautiful Christmas wreaths that again were a sell out and helped us to raise over £1,600.

Burdett Trust for Nursing (November 08)

A major contribution to the funding of Ben’s Nurse has been received from the Burdett Trust for Nursing.  This is tremendous news as the grant covers almost half of the cost of the post for three years, and offers real security for its establishment and development.  The Burdett Trust for Nursing makes grants to support the nursing contribution to healthcare, and aims to encourage nurses and other healthcare professionals in a wide range of innovative projects.

Kilimanjaro (October 08)

Rob Metcalf reached the summit of Kilimanjaro at dawn on Friday 31 October.  Uhuru peak is at 5,895m (19,340ft) and the amount of oxygen in atmosphere is less than half that at sea level.  Talking about the final push to the top, Rob’s text read “The most challenging and exhausting 24 hours I’ve had.  Shattered, but mission complete.  Hit the summit for sunrise at 6.30am.”  Rob has raised £3,000 to be shared between the Trust and the Cri du Chat Syndrome Support Group.

Jig for Victory (October 08)

On Saturday 11 October, Grayswood Village Hall was transformed back in time to the 1940s for a VE night celebration.  The evening celebrations included a three course meal with Corporal Jones’ bangers and mash, followed by dancing to the amazing Ian James Orchestra.  Thanks to everyone who came, and in particular to India, Kate, Nick and all those who helped make the evening such great fun and raised £1,600 towards the war effort.  Click here for more photos.

Luke’s Great North Run (October 08)

Congratulations to Luke Shoham for completing the Great North Run on 5 October in a time of 1 hour 33 minutes and 42 seconds – a magnificent achievement putting him well within the fastest 5% of the field!  Luke has raised over £1,100 for the Trust.

Jon Batty becomes a Trust Patron (September 08)

We are delighted that Jon Batty has agreed to become a Patron of the Trust.  Jon has been wicket-keeper at Surrey since 1997, during which time he has scored over 7,500 first class runs, including 17 centuries at an average of 35, taken 433 catches and completed 60 stumpings.  He equaled the world record for most catches in an innings, with eight against Kent at The Oval in 2004.  Jon is involved with taking cricket into the local youth community as the Community Ambassador from the Surrey playing staff.   A large proportion of his role will be taken up with the Playing for Success initiative, which is an after school scheme run in partnership with Lambeth Council and the Department for Education and Skills.  Jon has also played a very active role in the wicketkeeping development programme.

Music for a Summer’s Evening (August 08)

By kind permission of Mike and Sarah More-Molyneux, the Great Hall at Loseley Park was the wonderful setting for an evening of opera arias and songs from the American shows on Saturday 16 August.  After a champagne reception in the walled garden, Peter Bording, Renata Ahrends, and Jennifer Akhurst treated us to a magical performance, accompanied by Frances Hills and Daniel Beach.  We hope to publish more pictures of the concert soon.

The programme, which had been specially chosen by the performers, included music by Mozart, Bellini, Donizetti, Lehar, Gershwin, Kern, Porter, Mancini and Sondheim.

The evening raised over £3,800, and we would like to give our thanks to Mike and Sarah for welcoming us into their home, to the performers and particularly to Jenny, who devised and co-ordinated the concert. (Photo by John Pheasant)

Charity Sale (August 08)

Well done to Heather, Ellena, Callum, Alasdair and Jasmine who raised £40 for the Trust at a Charity Sale on Thursday 14 August.

Sponsored Cycle Ride (August 08)

Congratulations to Ed Longdon, Tom Griffiths and Paddy Shacklady from the RGS Guildford who have cycled 1,200km from Montpellier to Caen.  They left Montpellier on the 19th July making their way up the very steep mountains through to Millau to see the viaduct and then Clermont, to Orleans and stopping in Versailles so travel to Paris for the day.  One of the highlights of the trip was the stage through the Gorges du Tarn.  From Paris the road led to Caen and the overnight ferry to Portsmouth before cycling home to Guildford where the ride officially ended on the 1st August.

Ed said “when Ben died it hit everyone at the school very hard. We’ve been wanting to do something in his memory, and this seemed like a great way to remember him.”  The boys have raised over £4,850 – a truly amazing effort.

Sugar Loaf Sponsored Walk (July 08)

Forty people walked the twenty kilometres from Llanthony Priory to Abergavenny via the Sugar Loaf on Saturday 12 August to raise funds for the Trust.  To greet us at the summit of the Sugar Loaf was a glorious view of the Lancaster from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flying along the valley below.  Refreshments and a wonderful evening’s food and drink were provided to the walkers, their families and friends by the substantial support team, led by Jane and Huw.  Thanks also to Owen and Ellie for making the day so successful and such fun and for raising £1,500 in the process.

Memorial Cricket Match (June 08)

In a high scoring 20 overs a side match at Grayswood on Sunday 29 June, 13 sixes and 44 fours were struck to all corners of the village, causing a temporary rise in the price of replacement balls.  Luke and Andy McAllister, Ben Robinson, Simon Rivers, Rory Andrews, Nigel Williams, Richard Sabin, Ian Jackson and Alastair Gloak all contributed robustly with the bat, but none could match the daring and artistry of Will Maud’s switch hit.  On a day that some bowlers would rather forget with an average of 9.5 runs coming from each over, Luke Shoham conceded only eight runs off his three as he effectively closed out the game.  Andy McAllister and John Orr captained with the guile and cunning appropriate to their many years experience, but it’s a shame that their fielding didn’t set the proceedings alight in the same way that the barbeque did.  The greatest achievement of the afternoon however was undoubtedly Sharon Reynolds fitting the olive tree that she won in the raffle into her car and still being able to drive.  One for Clarkson, May and Hammond perhaps?  Many thanks to all of you who helped on the day and who supported the event, which looks set to have raised £800.

Alastair’s Walk (June 08)

Alastair Gloak has raised over £800 by walking over 50 miles in one stretch from Brighton to Charterhouse – well worth the sore legs, even if it did slow him down a bit for the Memorial cricket match (see above…).

In Memory of Tony Smith (May 08)

Each year Surbiton Hockey Club Colts hold a day in memory of hockey and cricket coach Tony Smith, who died of a heart attack shortly after Ben.  This year they have raised a magnificent £200 for the Trust, bring the total donated in memory of Tony to over £1,600.  Our thanks to everyone who has contributed.

Jenny runs for the Trust (Apr 08)

Congratulations to Jenny Wilk who completed Shakespeare Marathon for the Trust in Stratford on Avon on Sunday 27 April in the brilliant time of 4 hours, 12 minutes and 37 seconds and raised over £550 for the Trust.

Said Jenny: “I’ve completed the marathon in one piece!  I enjoyed the first half but the second bit, particularly the last 6 miles, were very tough.  Stratford was lovely so I was able to distract myself looking around at the beautiful houses and scenery.  Thank you to all of you who have sponsored already-you have been very generous…knowing what a good cause I was running for and the generosity of those who have sponsored definitely kept me going.”

Alec Stewart works with our Keepers (Mar 08)

Trust patron Alec Stewart has been working with our young Surrey wicketkeepers at the Surrey Cricket Centre, Burpham.  This is a fabulous opportunity for the boys to learn from an England captain and keeper with over 100 test appearances to his name.  Alec has been interviewed by Surrey TV, and the interview and pictures of Alec putting the boys through their paces are available on the Surrey Cricket website – follow the link to Surrey TV and enter “Ben Williams Trust” in the search box.

Nursing Post Confirmed (Feb 08)

We are thrilled that Catherine Renwick has been appointed to be the Paediatric Cardiac Electrophysiology Nurse Specialist at the Royal Brompton Hospital, London.  Catherine will be in this new post from 1 April, and will provide much needed advice, information and support to children with electrophysiological impairment of their hearts, and to their brothers, sisters and families.  Whilst based at the Brompton, Catherine will provide support to families across the wide geographic area covered by the hospital, visiting homes and liaising with schools, GPs, and other care workers and interested parties.  At any one time, there are about 100 families that can benefit from support.

Coffee Morning (Dec 07)

The coffee morning at Burnside on 8th December has raised over £1,400.  Clare Taylor’s wonderful wreaths and decorations sold like hot cakes, and the hot cakes sold like Clare Taylor’s wreaths and decorations.  Grateful thanks to Clare and everyone who supported the event, and particularly to those who clambered over fallen trees to get there.

Wicket Keeping Development Programme on Surrey Cricket TV (Nov 07)

The Trust is funding an intensive winter training programme for two young Surrey wicketkeepers.  Rory Burns and Michael Burgess are having one to one coaching with Surrey keeper Jonathan Batty.  You can find interviews and film of one of the sessions on the Surrey Cricket website – just click on Surrey TV and enter “Ben Williams Trust” in the search box.

Guildford Networkers (Oct 07)

The Trust has received a donation of £100 from the Peal Networking Club.  Philip Mendonça, who set up the Club said “We are delighted to be able to support The Ben Williams Trust, which is a very popular choice of charity amongst our members.”  A large number of them made a voluntary £1 contribution when attending networking events in Haslemere and Guildford , and this cheque represents a contribution from a substantial number of people.”

Climb Ben for Ben (Sep 07)

On September 15th 2007 the summit team of James and Chrissie Chapman; Greg and Daphne Bleach, Jessie, Josh and Hannah; and Phil, Gilly and Jonathan Williams (with ground support from Jan Smith) conquered Ben Nevis and returned to base camp (the Ben Nevis Inn) in a very respectable time of just over 6 hours.  The team was undeterred by less than perfect conditions, with rain, wind, mist and cloud and the prospect of snow and freezing conditions.  Hannah at 12 years and 1 day led the way with her brother Josh making it look like a walk in the park and the rest of us trudged behind.  All in all it was a wonderful day out and much laughter was shared by all as we supported each other to the top and down again.  More pictures on our Ben Nevis page.

Special thanks are due to Chrissie for organising the whole event which raised a fabulous £4,900 and to the hotel that we stayed in for making Fawlty Towers look like a well run establishment.

Ben Williams Memorial Cricket Match (Jul 07)

The weekend of the 7th and 8thJuly 2007 was a very busy one in Grayswood.  On Saturday night, Grayswood Cricket Club held an eighteenth birthday ball, and very kindly nominated the Trust as its charity for the evening.  A terrific evening’s entertainment raised over £12,000 for the Trust – we are extremely grateful to everyone involved, but especially to the Club Chairman, Steve Frye, and his committee.  On Sunday, the 2007 Ben Williams Memorial Twenty:20 cricket match took place on Grayswood village green, taking advantage of the fine weather that Steve Frye had arranged for the previous night.

Spinners Simon Nobes, John Orr and Jamie Richards took seven wickets between them, but the runs scored by Nigel Williams, Simon Rivers and Rory Andrews were just enough to carry their side to victory, despite contributions in reply from Luke McAllister, Tom White and Jamie Green.  Highlight of the afternoon for Grayswood veterans was the sight of Phil Jackson being run out going for a fourth.

Whilst primarily a social event, the afternoon raised over £1,200 for the Trust.  The Glaser’s elderflower cordial was again a popular success, and the raffle included an olive tree donated by Grayswood Architectural Plants, two tickets donated by London RIB Voyages and a champagne hamper donated by Dilla and Humphrey Davis.

In the end of the match presentation, Ben’s father Phil Williams thanked everyone involved for contributing to the day’s success, and was able to announce that the Trust has now raised over £100,000.

RGS Bands Concert (Jun 07)

The RGS Guildford nominated the Trust as the charity that it was supporting at its Bands Concert on Wednesday 27th June.  The performers were the Big Band, the Concert Band, the Brierley Jazz Ensemble and the Elson Jazz Quintet and it was great to see a number of Ben’s friends playing.  On top of being a most enjoyable evening, almost £1,800 was raised for the Trust.  Many thanks to everyone involved.

New Trustees Appointed (Jun 07)

We are delighted to announce the appointment of two new Trustees.

David Newman, Ben’s godfather, is a Chartered Physiotherapist specializing in sports related injuries.  He was the physiotherapist for Hampshire Cricket Club from 1985 to 2003, and sat on the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Science and Medicine Advisory Group as Physiotherapy Advisor.  His role with the ECB was extended in 2001 when he was appointed Injury Surveillance Officer, with the main responsibility of monitoring injuries within the First Class game in the UK. David is currently the Honorary Secretary of the Physiotherapists in County Cricket.

Jonathan Williams, Ben’s brother, has just completed his school career at the RGS Guildford.  Jonathan has already provided a huge amount of support to the Trust behind the scenes.  He has been and will continue to be our IT guru, and has largely been responsible for the design and build of this website.  One of his early responsibilities will be to teach his parents how to keep the website going during his absence at university!

Just Giving Online Donations (May 07)

The Trust has teamed up with Just Giving to create a secure online donations facility.  Just Giving allows you to make a donation using your debit or credit card, either on a one-off or regular basis.  The facility allows the Trust to recover Gift Aid where this is applicable.  As a supporter of the Trust, you can also set up your own fundraising page – give it a go!

Lake District Sponsored Walk (Apr 07)

Sixty people set out from Caldbeck on a glorious Easter Saturday morning for the sponsored walk to Mungrisdale, covering 26 km and over 1,200m of ascent.  The walk joined the Cumbria Way over High Pike and then on to hot soup and rolls from the Cattle Truck and Gazebo snack bar in Mosedale.  While some enjoyed the food and sunshine, others (well one actually) swam in the refreshing waters of the Caldew.

The ascent of Bowscale Fell and Bannerdale Crags was harder work, but some also included an optional detour up Blencathra before arriving at Blake Hills for tea, cakes and a blister count.

The day ended with supper at Mungrisdale’s wonderful new village hall and an opportunity to look at a compilation of everyone’s pictures of the walk.  Special thanks are due to Fi and Paul Marshall and Janet and Al Beck for planning and managing the day, and to the legion of helpers who made sure that any calories used up on the walk were rapidly replaced.

Look out for pictures on the Sponsored Walk page.

Fundraising Dinner (Mar 07)

Over 330 people gathered in the OCS stand at the Brit Insurance Oval on Thursday 1stMarch for a fundraising dinner in support of the Trust.  The evening started with a champagne reception in the Ashes Suite, with the main event in England Suite.  Hosted by Jonny Gould and with Mark Nicholas as the guest speaker, the evening’s entertainment has raised the staggering sum of over £65,000.  Review the evening’s fun on the 2007 Dinner page.

Grayswood Coffee Morning (Nov 06)

A coffee morning was held at Burnside on Friday 17th November.  Thanks to everyone who came and those who provided cakes, a magnificent £338 was raised for the Trust.

The Ben Williams Trust becomes a Registered Charity (Nov 06)

We are delighted that as from 3rd November 2006, the Trust has gained charitable status.  Many thanks to Shaun Parry-Jones, Paul Grimwood and all at Hart Brown Solicitors who have helped us to achieve this in such a short time.

New Electronic Scoreboard at Bradstone Brook (Jul 06)

Thanks to the generosity of the Parents Association and the fundraising efforts of a group of RGS boys, the 1st XI cricket pitch at Bradstone Brook is graced with a new electronic scoreboard.

At a ceremony on 7th July, Ben’s parents and brother unveiled a plaque dedicating the scoreboard to Ben’s memory.  Special thanks to Ben Robinson, Nick Patrick, Luke Shoham, Alex Turton and Charles Withall.

Ben Williams Memorial Cricket Match (Jul 06)

A sun-drenched Grayswood village green was the delightful setting for a Twenty 20 cricket match on Sunday 2nd July.  The match was in memory of Grayswood and Surrey Youth cricketer Ben Williams, who died suddenly of a heart condition at the age of 14 in February.

Two teams of Ben’s family and past and present members of Grayswood Cricket Club braved the heat to take part in a competitive but fun game of cricket, whilst others sought the shade and took advantage of the plentiful refreshments that had been donated for the occasion.

Ben’s team mates Alastair Gloak and Luke Shoham both made unbeaten 30s, but the match winning innings were from Ben’s uncle and cousin Nigel and Richard Sabin, with James Chapman providing some big hitting towards the end.

As well as being a social event for the village, the afternoon was also a fundraising event for the Ben Williams Trust.  With the help of a raffle including a family ticket on the London Duck Tour and a meal for two at the Wheatsheaf Inn, and the auction of a cricket ball signed by the Trust’s patron Alec Stewart, over £2,400 was raised.

In the presentation at the end of the game, Ben’s father Phil Williams paid tribute to the spirit of the village and cricket club and thanked everyone involved for making the day such a success.