Returning to Cranleigh Arts – Stephen Dennison (Volunteer)

My wife Gina and I have been volunteering at Cranleigh Arts Centre since the mid 1990’s when Harry Secombe was the Patron, Catherine Pike the Chairman of Trustees, Sainsbury’s was still Gateway and Cranleigh had a specialist bookshop and the Regal Cinema! During that time Cranleigh Arts has become the cultural hub of our community. Gina was at the desk for Friday Box Office and I joined as a Trustee to help with business and finances. I eventually became Chairman of Trustees and did my bit to steer the Centre to the successful and thriving community charity that it has become. I am what you might call a multi-purpose volunteer. I understand that volunteering means commitment and I am one amongst the one hundred or so volunteers in total who generously donate their time to Cranleigh Arts.

My first interest in marketing and promotion of Cranleigh Arts to the community, both in Cranleigh and surrounding villages. Three times a year I walk through Ewhurst and Rudgwick delivering Cranleigh Arts brochures. It gets me out and keeps me fit. I know all the dogs who bite! Most of all I enjoy meeting people on my rounds; engaging with them about what Cranleigh Arts does. For me, these walks are part of building our community. Secondly, I volunteer as a Duty Manager. This is based at the Centre on the High Street and starts with security and well-being of volunteers and customers while they are in the building. It is very sociable since there is always a continuous stream of local people dropping in, coming for a class or a coffee, tea and cake! I much enjoy people who come in to find out about what is coming up for entertainment, to enquire about the building, for a tour of the current art exhibition, or are new to the area and want to be introduced to the village. I am very much looking forward to welcoming people through our doors again. My third volunteer activity is an indulgence of my passion for classical music. In 2015 I started the Cranleigh Arts relationship with the Martin Music Scholarship Fund of the Philharmonia Orchestra whereby a number of their young performers were encouraged to get chamber concert experience outside of London. My volunteer role is to plan the annual concert season by instrument, identify and select top class international professional performers to bring to Cranleigh Arts for the entertainment of our local community.

Generally, I am looking forward to a return to active volunteering and joining the many volunteers I used to see regularly and restarting the chat and conversations and shared stories which we all enjoy. The standards of customer service that we achieve at Cranleigh Arts are a credit to the whole team and I am proud to contribute my little bit. Which is why I am very happy to be able to announce that Cranleigh Arts will be reopening with a piano recital from Luke Jones on 19th May 2021. As well as opening to full capacity events 21st June 2021 with (event).

Tickets are available right now on our website and be sure to follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @CranleighArts to stay up to date on all our upcoming events. I hope to be able to welcome you soon to one of our world class events.

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