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Latest News!

Café ALDAG Christmas Dinner

December 2019

Cocktail dresses, glitter, dinner jackets, Christmas gear ... it was all there twinkling under Tyrells Wood’s lovely décor. Some forty guests and members thronged the bar and then made the very most of the chef’s Christmas fare. Dee went on to say how very much she had appreciated and enjoyed working over the years as Cafe Trustee for ALDAG. Fiona then took over and much to Dee’s surprise, again with members assistance, presented Dee with goodbye gifts and flowers saying how great Dee had been, how much she was loved by all the members and volunteers and how much she would be missed! Dee gave her thanks with hugs all round and then led everyone onto the dance floor to throw a few moves to Alex and Heather’s disco - especially YMCA.......a fitting farewell to a lovely lady who has done so much for the members and ALDAG.



November 2019

The ALDAG Quiz Night in November was held at The Dell and the evening was enjoyed by all - good company, superb fish and chips and an excellent raffle with some great prizes. Peter was a hard act to follow and we were very fortunate to have a new quiz team with our master of ceremonies and quiz master being the fantastic Chris and Chris team. The quiz followed a theme - ALDAG All At Sea – which helped some of us who didn’t immediately know the answers! The Dell is a great venue and we are very appreciative of St Giles and St George’s Church in kindly gifting us the use of the facility.


We were delighted and very grateful to be chosen by the Soundbytes choir and friends as beneficiaries of their 10 Year Celebration concert held at the Leatherhead Theatre at the end of November. During the evening we helped to sell programmes as well as enjoying the concert itself with superb music and lyrics from a wonderful choir.


Overnight trip to Tanners Hatch Youth Hostel  

October 2019

On a wet and rainy Thursday evening a small group of us enjoyed an overnight stay at Tanners Wood Youth Hostel on Ranmore.


There were a group of scouts out on the camp site who shared the facilities and after dinner we joined them in the common room around a welcoming fire. After the scouts had gone to their tents we stayed up with the leaders who joined us in a game of Doddle.


They were very interested in ALDAG and everything that we were involved in so we chatted for quite a while. Eventually we realised that we were all very tired so we went off to bed. Early next morning we set off for home reflecting on what a really great time we had all had – the first time away from home for some of us.

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Annual General Meeting 2019

Friday 15th March 2019

St George’s Christian Centre,

Barnett Wood Lane,


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ALDAG Walking Group


The Aldag walking group continues to enjoy exploring the Surrey countryside together. Seventeen of us enjoyed a 5 mile circular walk on the beautiful Surrey Hills in January.

If you would like to join the group please contact

Dee on 07759 707872


New Charity Shop with a big difference


20th January 2019

ALDAG has launched its first shop called ‘Re-Use It’ in Dorking’s West Street, opened by the Chairman of Mole Valley Council, Councillor Raj Haque on Sunday 20th January 2019. This is an eco-friendly charity shop with the aim of creating an employment pathway for young people with a learning disability through the practical experience of running a shop. The shop has one paid manager and a team of shop assistants who all have a learning disability.

Mandy Finch, Shop Manager said, "By training our shop assistants in a range of work skills we aim to enable our young people to progress to paid jobs in the local community. As a shop we want to have a reputation for providing an excellent service to the community and show the skills and abilities of our young people."

Pam Walden, Chair of Trustees said, "Although we started out as a charity developing social opportunities it has become very apparent that over time finding jobs, whether they are paid or voluntary, is becoming the key concern for families and individuals. We already run a cafe for 2 days a week and a gardening group who provide vegetables and flowers for our cafe and this new project is a natural development for the charity. For so many people with a learning disability there are a number of employment barriers including a lack of good quality support to maintain employment or to build confidence and skills and little understanding as to what someone with a learning disability can truly achieve with the right support."

The shop is open Tuesday to Saturday, so please drop in, meet the team and find yourself a bargain! 


Donations are warmly welcome at the shop, 62a West Street, during opening times, or contact the Shop Manager on 0783 4233633 or email

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20th July


On Friday evening 20th July there was a really special gathering at the Brewery Inn in Ashtead. Approximately 80 people made up of members, trustees, supporters and friends were having a very happy celebration.

ALDAG was 20 years young! Just over 20 years ago a charity for people with learning difficulties was set up and look where we are today going from strength to strength.  ALDAG offers support to its members in so many ways including social activities, working opportunities and support with living arrangements.

During last Friday evening we were treated to a wonderful BBQ cooked by Kiel and served by Debbie. They can be contacted using the following e-mail address. ( Whilst we were enjoying our food we were entertained by a fabulous group called AOB (Ashteads Only Blue grassband). Whose main musicians are Nathan Elstub and Jon Brewer.

The company was good, the food excellent, the music fabulous, the weather warm and barmy which all added up to make a very perfect celebration.


ALDAG Golf Day


2nd July

Once again the weather was kind to us on this the 10th and my last as organiser of the ALDAG Golf Day. 51 players, many of whom have played in every one of the ten years this event has been running, graced the fairways of Tyrrells Wood once again.


Joseph (with assistant Erica) served refreshments in the Halfway House including delicious sausage rolls which he had made earlier.  Everyone was very supportive and when Terry Gauntlet entered the Halfway House Joseph was heard to remark “here comes trouble” much to the amusement of all those present.


The highlight of the day’s play was a “Hole in One” by David Sansom. Many congratulations to David who has been a regular attendee of this event from its outset.


54 people sat down to lunch and were treated to a magnificent buffet provided by Richard, Nick and his team. Our president, Joyce Smith spoke about the forward plans of ALDAG to provide more work experience for the young people by way of a charity shop which has been leased in Dorking and will be opening in September.  With a paid manager and help of volunteers this will provide valuable experience for many of our ALDAG members and an opportunity to work out in the local community. Joyce also thanked everyone for their wonderful support over the 10 years of ALDAG Golf Day and Mary for her work as Secretary for ALDAG and her commitment to the marvellous golf days. A big thank you also to Tyrrells Wood for their support and continuing with Joseph’s work experience.  We are now in a position to pay a part time co-ordinator for the Conquerors Club and the newly formed Teens and Twenties social group.

Joyce then presented the cup and prizes to the winning teams which for the first time ever were all ladies teams – girl power!! Incidentally they all had the same score and had to be separated on countback.


1st Flick Saunders, Anne Stevenson, Marie Munt

2nd Gerry Ross, Trudy Johnson, Sandy Oldland

3rd Helen Johnson, Sue Yelland, Sandra Belch


Nearest the Pin on 4th Hole  -  Charmaine Kearl

Nearest Pin on 16th Hole  -  David Sansom (HOLE IN ONE)

Nearest Pin 2nd shot on 10th  Hole  -  Sandy Oldland

Nearest Pin 2nd shot on 3rd Hole -  John Lingard


A very well supported raffle/mulligans and generous donations raised over £600 with all of the prizes being donated.  Thank you to all who gave so willingly.


The amount raised on the day was £1,736 for which ALDAG is very grateful and is the most we have ever raised.  My thanks to all those who helped me, in particular Joyce and my husband Brian.


The support from Tyrrells Wood Golf Club has been immense and they surpassed themselves this year by contributing towards the wonderful buffet lunch.  Thank you Tyrrells. Also a big thank you to all those who took part for their support and generosity in supplying prizes and playing in the event.


I shall miss you all but maybe someone will take over the event sometime in the future.

Thank you all once again. 

Mary Wright





On a lovely sunny and warm June evening a small group of Conquerors members went to Horton Parks Jungle Island Adventure Golf course.

We kicked off with the evening’s first hole-in-one, at the first Tee!!! Fantastic! One of our members is used to the proper sized golf course at Tyrrells Wood, so his first swing was so powerful, that the ball went off the course and nearly went into the carpark - my husband who is used to finding golf balls in the rough, found it again and play resumed.

It was an even game and everyone did so well. Good job I was left to keep the score cards and caddying (carrying everyone's handbags) otherwise I would have lowered the standards dramatically! In the end it was a shared top score closely followed by everyone else only a few shots behind.

At the last two holes, we speeded up a little, just to give us enough time to enjoy a well deserved drink and ice cream in the café, before they closed for the evening - a super summer’s evening out.

Ashtead Village Day



Saturday 9th June


We all had a great time at Ashtead Village Day held in the Queen Elizabeth II Field, the weather was in our favour and the fete was very well attended by Ashtead residents and their pet dogs all groomed ready for the Dog Show! We were one of over a 100 stalls and raised a good amount of money through the sale of vegetable plants supplied by Robins, our gardening group, and the generous donation of fuschia plants from one of our parents.  It was very busy day and our members worked hard on the stall and also in the tea tent serving hungry and thirsty villagers. Great to be part of our local community.

Annual General Meeting 2018


What a wonderful evening ALDAG’s AGM was and such a credit to the Trustees, helpers and members.


92 people attended, which Pam, the Chairman, thinks is a record and is a testament to the success of the organisation.


After a message of support from the Rector Richard Jones, we learnt about the various fundraising events which have led to a very healthy financial position.  The Quiz evening, Village Day, Sponsored Walk and Tyrrells Wood Golf Day all played a big part in this stability.


David, the Treasurer, received a big thankyou for his attention to detail and for being “a safe pair of hands”.


Pam spoke about some of the main highlights and concerns of the past year. The new website had a very positive impact and has brought in new members and contacts with outside agencies. Attention had been paid to the new legislation on the handling of data. The Cookery Masterclasses during the summer gave an opportunity for the Café ALDAG team to try something different. The plans for an ALDAG charity shop to give more employment opportunities were progressing and she hoped that by the time of next year’s AGM it would all be up and running.


We saw some impressive slides illustrating the work of the members involved with the gardening group and showing how the allotment had been transformed by their hard work into a productive plot, supplying vegetables for sale and for the ALDAG Cafe.   


A highlight for the Café team was serving the community with nearly 500 pancakes on Shrove Tuesday – a real team effort, and obviously popular.  The Café, under Fiona’s management continues to provide a real service to Ashtead, as well as developing all kinds of skills for the team members.

Small group holidays are well supported and a new social club for the Teens and Twenties age group was developing well and would be holding fortnightly meetings. 


As we heard about all ALDAG’s activities, what came over very clearly to all of us at the meeting was how much all the members valued the opportunities to meet up with old friends and to build new friendships.


The lively atmosphere of the Conquerors Club was shown vividly on video and all the members and leaders came up on the stage to tell us what they had been doing over the year.  There were lots of thank yous but, sadly, also some goodbyes and thank yous to Peter Speller and four of his longer serving Conquerors leaders. Peter was awarded and ALDAG Oscar and we were introduced to Sofia Welsby who would be replacing Peter and working as the new Social Clubs Leader.


We were impressed with all the hard work, love and devotion given to ALDAG by so many people – too many to list individually, but all deserving of enormous thanks.


The focus for the year to come will be on employment and furthering social opportunities and also on celebration – 2018 is the 20th anniversary of the founding of ALDAG and the 10th anniversary of Café ALDAG. 


Thank you ALDAG members for showing us so clearly what a friendly and positive group you are.

Mole Valley Probus Group fundraising



ALDAG were the fortunate recipients of a cheque for £500 from the Mole Valley Probus group. Joseph and Pam accepted the cheque on behalf of the charity at a lunch event and showed it off at a club night!

Tyrrells Wood Golf Club Fundraising

"I was pleased to choose ALDAG as my charity for my Captain's Year at Tyrrells Wood. The charity is well known to members of the golf club and it is my wish that a substantial amount of money will  be raised to assist in the many worthy projects that are planned. Donations will come from various golfing events and competitions held at the club throughout the year."

Alan Jagger - Tyrrells Wood Golf Club Captain

Conquerors Christmas Party

Everyone enjoyed our Conquerors Christmas party.

"I really look forward to going to the Conquerors Christmas Party, dressing up and having fun with my friends. We had lots of food to eat, I liked the chicken best. I love to dance with my best friends Natasha and Rosemary to Alex's disco music. I enjoyed singing the Carols at the end with all my friends and helpers." 

ALDAG Quiz Night

The new group for teens and twenties set off to a flying start on Wednesday Our annual ALDAG quiz was great fun - lots of cheering on team tables if anyone managed to get a question right!


Thanks to Peter and Chrissie for their superb organisational and quizzing skills and also to the helpers for making sure everyone received their fish and chip supper. Many thanks to Helen for running the raffle with an impressive array of prizes.


Many of our quizzing teams included people who are new to ALDAG and it was a good opportunity to let everyone know what ALDAG does in our local community. We made just over £1600 which is a splendid result - thank you for supporting us.

Ashtead Horticultural Society's Autumn Show

Saturday 2nd September

ALDAG took part in Ashtead Horticultural Society's Autumn Show at the Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall on Saturday 2nd September and for our gardeners there were prizes!


We won TWO first prizes for our onions and second prize for potatoes, all grown on our allotment in Barnett Wood Lane. The group plant and harvest a range of crops many of which are used by the ALDAG café that is open at the St George’s Christian Centre each Monday and Tuesday and staffed by ALDAG members. There was stiff competition in the dahlia class that we entered and we all admired Joseph’s great job in arranging a display of dahlias.


Throughout August

ALDAG Cafe closes over August so we thought we might as well use the kitchen to brush up on our cookery skills! We’ve planned, shopped for and cooked our own lunches as well as made a variety of cakes and biscuits – all with our own choices of special ingredients. This is our version of a recipe for carrot cake – do try it, tastes great.

Summer BBQ

What a wonderful event!! 
It was only the threat of rain lingering from Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday that brought a few nervous moments to Friday and the FIFTY something folk who attended the feast.
At least the dryness (not alcohol) lasted until 9.00 pm and then something wet (drizzle) descended as the lights came on, and the dancing commenced thanks to Alex and Heather, - the DJ's. 
Peter was a magnificent bar man, and the chefs delivered burgers, sausages and chicken legs in gourmet style, aided by the ladies who helped serve.

I know all enjoyed themselves and thanks must surely go to all the helpers, the "indoor cooks", and the Organising, Preparation and Clearing-up Team for all their very hard work and dedication.

A note of sympathy goes to Natasha for her long wait at the hospital - we'll have a word with the chickens next year!

Here's looking forward to 2018!

ALDAG Charity Golf Day

3rd July

We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day for the ALDAG golf day this year and 54 players took part in a very enjoyable day.

After everyone had recovered from their morning’s work on the golf course 60 people sat down for drinks and a very pleasant lunch socialising with all the players.


Our chairman, Pam Walden spoke about the various aspects of ALDAG and the opportunities it gives to our members to mix with society in the same way as the rest of the community.  She spoke about the rewards of working with the young people and the new initiative which has been set up for the younger element of the group. Pam then presented the cup and prizes to the winning teams which were as follows:


1st        Ian Ridout, Marion Ridout and Ian Avory

2nd       Brian Wall, John Core and Richard Skeet

3rd        David Shannon, John Yelland and Colin Stern



Nearest the Pin on 4th Hole                 -  Margaret Dodds-Ely

Nearest Pin on 16th Hole                     -  Alan Kelly

Nearest Pin 2nd shot on 10th  Hole      -  Sue Yelland

Nearest Pin 2nd shot on 3rd Hole         -  Chris Wyatt


A well supported raffle/mulligans raised £475 with all of the prizes being donated and donations were received of £63.  Thank you to all who gave so willingly.


The amount raised on the day was just over £1,000 for which ALDAG is very grateful.  My thanks to all those who helped me, in particular my husband Brian. Also a big thank you to all those who took part for their support and generosity in supplying prizes and playing in the event. Also a big thank you to Tyrrells Wood Golf Club for allowing us the use of the golf course for the morning.


The big news is that Alan Jagger, the present vice-captain of Tyrrells Wood Golf Club, has chosen ALDAG to be his charity for next year when he is captain.  Let’s hope we have a bumper entry next year to help the fund raising in his year.

Ashtead Village Day

Saturday 10th June

We all had a great time at Ashtead Village Day with lots of visitors to our stall and the sun shone all day even if the wind was a bit of a challenge in the morning when setting up the gazebos. Many thanks to Mike for the plants and to Clare, Joseph, David, Hazel and Gill for manning the stall. Some of our members also helped in the Churches Together tea tent, and we also received a donation from the profits.

Annual General Meeting 2017

Friday 19th May 2017

St George’s Christian Centre,

Barnett Wood Lane,



On Saturday 11th March at 7pm St George’s church in Ashtead was transformed into a 70’s disco venue.  With live bands and our resident ALDAG DJ.

ALDAG members and friends dressed to impress with 70’s fashion, from wigs to flares everyone made a spectacular effort.

All of the tables were beautifully set so that Fiona the ALDAG cafe manager and her team could serve up a splendid supper of lasagne, with French bread and salad followed by gateaux for pudding.

Three bands adorned the stage which gave everyone the opportunity to sing- a- long and dance to their favourite 70s tune. A raffle provided the opportunity to win some locally donated gifts.

This was an excellent fundraising opportunity and we thank everyone that attended as your contributions help enable ALDAG to fulfil the potentials of its members.

Photographs from the evening can be viewed on “stone photos” face book page.

Bowling night out

The new group for teens and twenties set off to a flying start on Wednesday March 15th, when a group of 11 young people, along with some parents, spent an enjoyable evening at the bowling alley. Everyone was divided into 3 groups to play and we all had a great time – we have some brilliant players. During the bowling the parents enjoyed the opportunity to go off and chat to each other in the café.

Jonni, aged 20 years said, "I had a great time. I really expected to win. I didn't win but it didn't matter. I met Giles and that was a big surprise. I was at school at West Hill with him. I hadn't seen him for a lot of years. I was surprised he was so tall."

Vikki, mother of Alex said, "It was really valuable to meet with other parents, to share experiences and learn from them."

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