There is a new kid on the block at Rowleys!

Maybe kid is a slight exaggeration. David Brill, 56 was approaching retirement when he learned that a manager was needed at Rowleys Centre for the Community in Cranleigh. But David is renowned for having boundless energy and wasn’t particularly looking forward to retirement as such, so he decided to apply for the job and was delighted to be accepted with open arms.

It was not surprising the board snapped him up. He is eminently qualified having had 35 years’ experience in banking and finance as well as more recently, four years as operations manager for Firebird Brewery in Rudgwick.

As Ops manager he was in charge of the day to day smooth running of the business. So swop brewery for community centre and you have someone who was primed to slot in perfectly and so far he has proved he really knows what he is doing. “I was on the cusp of retirement but really wanted a challenge so when the Rowleys job presented itself it was just too good an opportunity to miss. I had to apply.

“When I first walked into Rowleys my first thoughts were what a fantastic place offering something for everyone with immense possibilities. I couldn’t wait to get started.

“I was really impressed with the staff and how committed they were. There is a lot of untapped potential at Rowleys and having now set up our major external activities for the coming year we can look to build on what we do in-house.

“We have rooms for hire and are already welcoming hirers – we have just hosted a Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting in our business suite and a youth debating competition in our lounge.”

David Brill with Christine Kenison and Vee Motchman

David, who started at Rowleys in January, is keen to encourage Mums and toddlers to pop in for coffee or a snack after they have dropped older children off on the school run. “We have a new look snack bar which is open from 9am every weekday with very competitive prices.

“What I would say to people in and around Cranleigh, if you think you know what Rowleys is like, you might actually be surprised by the reality. Come and see us. We have lots to offer everyone.”

There is a hairdressing and beauty salon, chiropody and podiatry, snacks, lunches, lots of different activities, exercise classes, day trips, weekend breaks and always a warm welcome. Membership is only £15 a year and includes discounts at Rowleys and some of the local shops.

David is full of praise for his colleagues, Centre Co-ordinator Gary Lee, Activities Co-ordinator Tina Perry and the kitchen crew Sue Keeley, Jenny Robins and Will Bourne. He is also hugely appreciative of the Rowleys volunteers and says they could not operate the centre without them. “We have a great can-do attitude as a team and things are looking very positive for the future” David says.

One of our younger visitors, Lola, who comes to play Bingo with her Gran Jenny during school holidays. She is buying a coffee from volunteer Chris Thomson at Rowleys snack bar

David is a cheerful and enthusiastic individual and clearly gets on with everyone at Rowleys like a house on fire but there is no messing, he knows what he wants to achieve there and is determined to go from strength to strength.

On a personal note, David has lived in Cranleigh since 1991. He has three children and his wife is a teaching assistant at Park Mead School. He enjoys golf, cricket and loves his music. He is about to become a first-time grandfather at the end of March.

He also pops back to the Firebird brewery occasionally to see his former colleagues and enjoy a pint or two in the bar there.

If you are interested in seeing what Rowleys has to offer you, pop in to see David – he’ll be delighted to meet you.

Find out more about Rowleys or on Facebook: F@rowleyscranleigh or phone 01438 277155.

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Cranleigh Magazine