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Thousands volunteer for new community group

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A new community group has been set up in Surrey Heath, to bring together volunteers with those who need their help.

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Bowler making different kind of deliveries

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

With no professional cricket likely this summer, Surrey all-rounder Rikki Clark is putting his time off to good use - by volunteering for the NHS.

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Call for Clap for Carers to recognise other key workers

Clap for key workers

Those taking part in the second Clap for Carers later are being asked to extend their support to other key workers, including supermarket workers, warehouse staff and delivery drivers.

Last Thursday, households across the UK stood on their doorsteps and balconies and applauded the efforts of the NHS and care workers in treating those affected by Covid-19.

The second display of support will take place at 20:00 BST.

Council defends car park closures

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

A council has defended its decision to close car parks at open spaces in the countryside due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Surrey County Council closed all car parks in places like commons and heaths on 23 March.

Responding to criticism of the decision on social media, a council spokesman said the decision was taken to meet government advice after large crowds gathered on 21 March. “While people can still visit the countryside, we would advise residents who are going out for their daily exercise to visit quiet locations close to their homes and not travel,” the spokesman added.

No plans to suspend council tax bills in Surrey

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Surrey County Council’s leader says there are no plans to suspend council tax bills or freeze payments as the coronavirus outbreak continues.

Councillor Tim Oliver said services such as social workers and teachers were vital and despite financial help from central government there still needed to be funds to support the work of the local authority.

He did say borough and districts councils have the ability to suspend payments from residents if they wanted to.

But they would still need to meet the financial obligations and payment deadlines set by the county council.

Councillor Oliver said: “There’s more pressure on our services than ever before."

Frontline ambulance staff sought amid coronavirus pandemic

An appeal has gone out for ex-frontline ambulance staff to come forward to help with the response to coronavirus.

South East Coast Ambulance Service, which covers Kent, Sussex, Surrey and parts of Hampshire, has made a Twitter appeal calling on ex-staff to come forward.

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University gives space to NHS staff

Royal Surrey County Hospital
Royal Surrey County Hospital

The University of Surrey is making its office space available to NHS staff who would otherwise be working in high-risk areas of the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

The university says it has installed network lines in their Leggett Building, giving it a direct connection with the neighbouring hospital.

RSCH staff will also be able to use more than 200 free car parking spaces, just a few minutes walk away.

Andy Chalklin, the University of Surrey's chief operation officer, said: “In comparison to the extraordinary efforts being made and risks faced by NHS workers every day – including many of our own nursing and paramedic students and staff – this is only a small gesture of gratitude and solidarity on our part."

Fire service union suspends Surrey action

A Fire Engine
PA Media

The Fire Brigades Union has temporarily suspended its industrial action in Surrey during the coronavirus outbreak.

The union launched six months of action in December, including an overtime ban and a refusal to “work up” to more senior roles.

The union said it had now reached a "landmark agreement" with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and fire service employers on how to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

If agreed locally, it said firefighters would be able to drive ambulances, deliver food and medicines to vulnerable people, and retrieve the deceased.

Jay Devey, FBU brigade secretary, said: "For now it is essential that we all pull together and do our bit to beat this crisis."

But Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, added: "When we eventually see through this crisis, we hope they will remember the value of properly resourced services and bring an end to a decade of dangerous cuts.”

Police urge people to stay at home

Surrey Police have re-stated their advice for people to stay at home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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British Airways suspending London Gatwick flights

Planes lined up
Getty Images

All BA flights to and from London’s Gatwick airport will be suspended, according to an email from the airline to staff seen by the BBC.

BA is facing “unprecedented circumstances” in a challenging market, the email says, as the British government advises against all non-essential travel for 30 days.

The airline says it will be contacting its customers to discuss their options.

On Monday EasyJet grounded all of its planes owing to the pandemic. BA is still operating some flights from Heathrow airport.

Retired police staff sought

Police in Surrey and Sussex are creating a database of retired staff who may wish to return for a temporary period during the coronavirus pandemic.

The forces are looking at contingencies in case their resources reduce or if they need additional specific skills and experience.

As well as retired police staff, they are also looking for members of the public who may have specific skills that would be of use.

Those interested are being asked to register online.

Police disperse house party guests

Sue Nicholson

BBC News

Spelthorne beat of Surrey Police
Surrey Police

Police in Surrey were called to break up a house party on Saturday night.

Guests attending the birthday party in Stanwell were "sent on their way", officers said.

Writing on Facebook, Surrey Police said: "It is not acceptable to invite your friends over."

Coronavirus drive-through test centres for NHS workers

Sue Nicholson

BBC News

NHS testing station at Chessington World of Adventures

NHS workers are being tested for coronavirus at two temporary drive-through testing stations.

Retailer Boots opened the facilities in the car park of Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey, and at its headquarters in Beeston, Nottinghamshire.

The centres are there to support the government's bid to test doctors and nurses who have been self-isolating and are unsure whether they have the virus.

The sites are for NHS staff by invitation only, the company said.

Free DAB radios for over 70s

DAB digital radio

Vulnerable people aged over 70 are to be offered free DAB digital radios as millions are forced to stay in their homes and isolate because of the coronavirus outbreak.

BBC local radio is teaming up with manufacturers, retailers and a loneliness charity in order to ensure as many people as possible have access to news, information and companionship.

It will be giving away DAB digital radios to people nominated by local radio listeners as part of the BBC’s Make A Difference campaign, which was launched in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

It is running across all 39 BBC local radio stations in England and is aimed at connecting communities.

From Monday, anyone can nominate someone for a free radio by completing an online application form at

The South East joins Clap for Carers tribute

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

At 2000 GMT last night, people came out of their houses and opened their windows to applaud NHS staff tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

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Severe accident: A308 Berkshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A308 Berkshire both ways severe accident, between A328 Priest Hill and A30.

A308 Berkshire - A308 in Old Windsor closed in both directions between the A328 Priest Hill junction and the A30 junction, because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

M25 closed as overturned lorry in flames

M25 fire
George Killoughery

A three-mile stretch of motorway is closed after a lorry rolled over and caught fire.

Firefighters are trying to put out the blazing vehicle, which has sent a plume of dark smoke over the M25.

All lanes have been closed between junctions 6 and 7, Highways England said. Traffic is being diverted along the A22.

Surrey Police

Police officers 'being coughed at'

People have been coughing in the faces of front line police officers in Surrey, according to the county's chief constable.

Ch Con Gavin Stevens branded the behaviour as "disgraceful and disgusting" and said it was happening not just to police officers but also to other front line emergency services workers.

"There needs to be strong and swift justice", he added.

'It's like having a friend in the kitchen'

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Despite having to cancel face to face classes, this award-winning baker from Surrey has moved her service online.

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Today's South East news website headlines

Getty Images

The Argus: Coronavirus: Panic-buying at Newhaven Sainsbury's

Kent Online: Sainsbury's stores open for the over 70s and vulnerable people only for first hour

Get Surrey: Nine more coronavirus cases in Surrey

Chichester Observer: Coronavirus: Chichester farmers’ market called off

Eastbourne Herald: Coronavirus: Don’t forget charities in Eastbourne

Crawley and Horley Observer: Hazelwick School in Crawley closes with immediate effect

Worthing Herald: Lancing school crossing campaign takes a step forward

Mid Sussex Times: Coronavirus: Mid Sussex charity urgently needs young volunteers to help elderly

Brighton & Hove News: Two held after £80k burglary at Hove shop

Hastings Observer: Motorcyclist dies in A21 collision at Sedlescombe

Brighton & Hove Independent: Crown Prosecution Service South East moves into Brighton Police Station

Burglars claimed they were "disinfecting the street"

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Three men stole cash and jewellery from a house, after telling the homeowner they were there to disinfect it.

The men, who were wearing black masks, gloves and hoodies, said they were going to do the same work in every house in the street, in Camberley, when they called at the property about 20:45 GMT on 16 March.

One man kept the householder talking, while the other two went upstairs to steal bangles, necklaces, earrings and cash.

The gang, who all had Eastern European accents, are thought to have driven away in a car which had been parked in Portsmouth Road.

Today's South East news website headlines

A pile of newspapers
Getty Images

The Argus: Coronavirus - Tenth case confirmed in city

Kent Online: Inside Kent's abandoned floating hotel

Get Surrey: How to protect yourself from coronavirus during your rail commute

Chichester Observer: Festival cancelled amid coronavirus fears

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne post office to provide home delivery service

Crawley and Horley Observer: Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner elections cancelled

Worthing Herald: Doctors' surgery outside Worthing 'closes doors'

Mid Sussex Times: First case confirmed in East Sussex

Brighton & Hove News: Travel restrictions prompt cricketers to return

Hastings Observer: Hastings and Rother seniors meeting cancelled due to outbreak

Brighton & Hove Independent: Brighton Marathon postponed due to virus outbreak

Today's South East news website headlines

Getty Images

The Argus: Health authorities urge school pupil and family to self-isolate

Kent Online: Schools could close and events may be cancelled

Get Surrey: Surrey 'not far' from widespread coronavirus outbreak, says professor

Chichester Observer: Fresh hope for major Chichester A27 improvements delivered by Chancellor’s Budget

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne GPs may have no room if station walk-in centre closes, says MP

Crawley and Horley Observer: Coronavirus hits tourism in Sussex

Worthing Herald: A27 Worthing bypass ‘only practical answer’ to road issues

Mid Sussex Times: Haywards Heath girl with heart condition to run Brighton Marathon mile to help other children

Brighton & Hove News: Student blocks start to ease pressure on family homes, says housing chief

Hastings Observer: Voice alert tells smokers at Conquest Hospital to stop

Brighton & Hove Independent: Sussex Bishop gives advice in time of ‘plague and anxiety’

Severe accident: M25 Surrey clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Surrey clockwise severe accident, from J12 for M3 J2 to J13 for A30.

M25 Surrey - One lane closed and it's slow on M25 clockwise from J12 M3 J2 to J13, A30 (Staines), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Today's South East news website headlines

A pile of newspapers
Getty Images

The Argus: Sussex coronavirus: Haslemere headteacher’s letter to parents

Kent Online: Woman found dead in Canterbury hours after dad's call to police

Get Surrey: Animals could not stand and others put down at 'distressing' Hurst Farm, court hears

Chichester Observer: Large snake rescued from Bognor Regis flat fire

Eastbourne Herald: Helping hand for passengers with disabilities

Crawley and Horley Observer: A-road near Horsham blocked due to multiple-vehicle collision

Worthing Herald: West Sussex fire engine stars in BBC Top Gear episode

Mid Sussex Times: Mid Sussex festivities to mark 75th anniversary of VE Day

Brighton & Hove News: Student criticises teacher strike teachers in council debate

Hastings Observer: Hastings featured as a must-visit place in Sunday Times but some people are not happy

Brighton & Hove Independent: ‘Major incident’ exercise planned at Amex stadium in Brighton

Couple attacked over minor accident

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A man had two teeth knocked out during an attack in a supermarket car park.

His girlfriend was also punched in the stomach during the attack in the Farnham branch of Sainsbury's.

The incident was started by a minor collision between a van and a car.

The victim, who had been driving the car, was arguing with the van driver when a third man approached and threw him against a wall and hit him in the face, before punching the woman.

Sainsbury's car park, Farnham
The attack happened in this car park

The attacker was dragged off the couple and then walked towards the supermarket.

He's described as aged between 25 and 35, stocky with cropped hair, and was wearing a hi-viz jacket with 'Carpentry Co' written on it.

The attack happened at 09:40 MT on 7 February.

Missing woman has not taken medication

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Police say they're concerned about a woman who has gone missing.

They say Suzanne Donald needs medication which she has not taken with her.

missing person Suzanne Donald
Surrey Police

Suzanne, who also uses the name Morgan Daniels, has not been seen since 09:15 GMT on Wednesday.

She may be sleeping rough in the Guildford area and police have issued a picture of her with the bags she was carrying when she disappeared, a navy blue rucksack and a white bag for life.

missing person Suzanne Donald
Surrey Police