Volunteer of the Month (belatedly!) – Jackie Cartwright

August’s Volunteer of the Month comes to you substantially late, for which I apologise, but with an exciting addition at the end… read on!




Jackie Cartwright is a team member who turned up at exactly the right moment. Trustee (in both senses!) Derek was always clear that he would step down from being the Treasurer when the Community Centre opened its doors (although I don’t think any of us envisaged he would serve for so long!), so we had plenty of warning of what was about to unfold, but unfortunately knowing what’s about to happen doesn’t always mean that you can magic a new treasurer up! Fortunately for us, the wonderful Naomi Sharland was on the case and got talking to Jackie at another local event, resulting in Jackie agreeing to take on our accounts and bring order to the finances of our new business!

We on the team are extremely grateful to Jackie for her constant good humour and willingness to ask the tricky questions! She keeps us all on track with the finances, which let me tell you is NOT a small task, but one that Jackie manages with verve and aplomb!

Jackie ensures that we are careful with our money – not only missing out on the opening ceremony so that she could make sure our cash did not go missing, but producing monthly reports so we can see where it’s going, and liaising with our independent examiners to produce the (highly complicated) annual accounts. Because Jackie’s on the team, you can be sure that every penny of your donations and hard-won fundraising is being used in the wisest way possible. The volume of information and detail she produces each month is incredible and so very useful to the Trustees.

It may be hard to believe, but all this is what Jackie does in her spare time – she has a day job working for another charity and is also a proud (and busy!) grandmother. Her house is always warm and welcoming and no piece of financial jargon is too much trouble to explain.

We marvel at your capability and are so glad you’re on the team Jackie, thank you.


Coming soon: Volunteer of the Year!

That’s right, it rhymes, so how could we possibly not include it in our forthcoming AGM?! For this year’s AGM (5th October, put it in your diaries now!), we are looking for a Dean Court Volunteer of the Year. More details to come soon, but do start thinking about who might be worthy of this prestigious award. The only 2 criteria are that the person needs to be:

  • Involved in voluntary work (not necessarily connected to the Community Centre)
  • Living in Dean Court (map here)

Who’s your volunteer of the year?




July’s volunteer of the month: Fiona Wheeler


I’m slightly reticent to start writing about Fiona’s amazingness, because the truth is, she’s so brilliant that there are bound to be several things I’ll accidentally miss out on account of not being able to hold all her many lovely qualities in my head at once… but here goes. You can add in what I’ve missed in the comments section below!

Fiona is, quite simply, outstanding. She first came on board the Community Centre project only a few months ago when she saw news of our intended Summer Fun Day and willingly got involved (without coercion or bribery) to run my favourite stall that DCCA has ever boasted at any of its events – a free baby guinea pig cuddling corner. Since then, she has rapidly become a lynchpin of the Community Centre project and I can tell you with certainty that the grand opening of the centre would never have come to such brilliant fruition without Fiona’s spreadsheets, unfailing humour, and incessant badgering of anyone who might give us a raffle prize. And all this despite being very poorly the entire week before and duration of the event. Her ability to handle large volumes of detail is unparalleled and she is constantly modest about her talents and gracious in pushing others into the limelight ahead of herself.

All those who have ever had the good sense to e-mail us with a booking enquiry will have encountered Fiona’s prompt helpfulness and unerring sense of humour arriving in their inbox. No matter what the request, big or small, outlandish or simple, Fiona is adept at putting everyone at ease and letting our customers know how important they are to us. She will always go the extra mile and is ready to help out at the drop of a hat.

Not content with managing all our customers, their bookings and the invoicing, (I know, now you’re wondering what the rest of us actually do!), Fiona is also spearheading our brand new community initiative, Sunday Community Breakfasts, and has single-handedly created this endeavour from scratch. And did I mention she helps with guides, runs the local brownie pack and mentors young people? And breeds baby guinea pigs? And has a full-time, fully-demanding job as a solicitor?

Fiona, you’re incredible. We don’t know how you do it all, but we’re glad you do!

– Anna

Volunteer Of The Month

David Wenham
David Wenham

In celebration of Volunteer week (1st – 7th June), we are starting a regular post highlighting some of the brilliant work done by our volunteers here at the Community Centre.

The Centre is run entirely by volunteers at the moment, so there was a wide choice of options for our first month! You can expect to hear lots more about the many roles undertaken by our kind and wonderful team in the months to come, but for June, we settled on the amazing David Wenham to be our first volunteer of the month.

Wednesday’s yoga class will know David for his cheery and gentle manner, turning up in all weathers to unlock and lock up the centre for them and sort out anything that needs doing. David is known amongst the team for his servant heart and willingness to be involved in anything that is asked! Whenever there is a job that needs doing, David is the first to offer his help, and together with his wife Clare they can often be found doing the jobs that no-one else wants to do. Most notably David recently turned up late in the evening after a disco that he hadn’t been at, just to help clean up and leave things looking spick and span for the next day. I know of no-one else who would come out to clean toilets when they could be going to bed!

David and his wonderful wife Clare are a huge asset to the Community Centre. David takes minutes at our meetings and Clare has proofed and redesigned all our policies. David was somewhat surprised to be nominated as volunteer of the month, and said, “My part has been very small, compared to that of others“,  but it is this that exemplifies some of why David is so great – he makes a huge difference with his care and attention to the little things, and his humble attitude. David and Clare, thank you for your time, care and willingness to serve. We think you’re brilliant.