I have lived locally for over 25 years, including the last 9 years in the village. I am blessed to have been married to Sarah for nearly 22 years and we have 3 daughters, 2 of which are available for babysitting locally!
Now employed as a Consultant by KPMG, a global professional services business, I previously held senior positions in various industries.
Trying to ‘Save Our Swan’ is the first community project I have been involved in locally but I have trekked The Inca Trail, The Cuban Rainforest and Kilimanjaro for good causes in the past.
Being part of the volunteer group has been exhausting and entertaining in equal measure and I would love it if the community could achieve this aim together. I know we can do it if the whole community acts together.
'I can and I will' – that is my motto. My husband, Jules, and I moved to the village seven years ago from overseas. Our two young children have since progressed through the village school and onwards to Waddesdon. Not knowing the area at all we were very pleasantly surprised how much of a sense of community there is in Grendon Underwood. We were welcomed everywhere and loved the variety of opportunities to get involved in activities and organisations; I quickly became a member of FROGS (Friends of Grendon School) and Jules is in his fifth year as a parent governor at Waddesdon C of E School. Our criteria when choosing a village were schooling, a shop, a pub and a church; and we now run the risk of losing one of those. We would be very saddened to lose The Swan as we have, though not every week, used it as a family, with village friends and with visitors. We have loved the ability to hold events there or just stroll down pop in for a drink, always bumping into a familiar face. I believe that this is our only chance to, not only save The Swan but, own our pub as a community. However, if we don't pull together and act now, it will be too late, we may lose it forever. And I never want to look back and say I didn't try. So, we have to believe 'We can and we will'!
My wife Helen and I have lived in the village for 25 years, our children were born and brought up here and attended the local schools. I have been a cub scout and scout leader at the local group for 10 years and a member of the Quaintwood Players for even longer. I have supported events hosted by most of the village groups including the football club, church and school and I have freely given my time to help individuals and societies in the villages because I am a believer in the strength of a community when it acts together. When Helen was being treated for cancer a few years ago we were overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit from the entire community that helped us through such a difficult time.
The Swan has been the heart of the village for so long and is such a valuable institution that it would be a tragedy to lose it because we don’t believe it can be saved. I am humbled by the amazing people in the volunteer group who are giving up time they can scarcely afford for the benefit of the whole community to try to save the Swan. I for one can’t stand by and let it go while there’s something I could do to help – even if that’s to invest a few hundred pounds.
Although very recently retired, I worked for Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity for almost a decade, responsible for their fundraising income and for the last 3 years as CEO of Michael Sobell Hospice Charity, Northwood, meaning that I clearly understand the 'ups and downs' of gaining support and funding for any project or organisation.
In 2012, I joined the Grendon Festival committee and met a number of GU residents who organised a number of very successful fundraising events and who clearly had a passion for this community. Having spent many hours at meetings held in The Swan, it gave me an excellent insight into life in GU. In fact, it was a major determining factor in our choice to move here 2 years ago.
We have renewed friendships and also met some amazing people since we arrived - many over a drink (or 2) in The Swan! To us, a pub is the beating heart of village life and therefore wholly support the campaign to purchase The Swan and ensure it's a community asset for ALL to enjoy.
Having lived in nearby Gawcott for nearly 30 years, we moved to Grendon Underwood just 2 years ago to continue to enjoy village life.
The Swan pub was a key deciding factor, along with the shop and post office, in finalising our decision to buy in Grendon Underwood.
I am very keen to work with the community in all aspects of village life ensuring everyone's needs can be realised.
As a district counsellor, I have an excellent depth of knowledge in matters relating to local government, including grants and policies.
Having worked in the telecommunications industry and latterly in education, I believe that I have all the necessary business and personal skills to support the Save Our Swan campaign.
I moved, with my wife (Sarah) and our children (Danny and Felix) to the village four years ago in order to be closer to Sarah's parents in Winslow. We wanted a village with a school, a village hall, a shop, a pub and a real sense of community - Grendon has all these things except, now, the pub.
I have been involved with fundraising work, and more, in the past with projects in the UK and Romania, and I've lived (and studied) in Germany. Since then, I've worked in Birmingham, North Yorkshire and London as a software developer and manager. Throughout all these experiences, one thing has been in common - the pub or local bar, a place for the community to gather, relax, and set the world to rights; a place as comfortable and familiar as the living room at home. The village hall has been doing great work as a stop-gap since The Swan closed, but it isn't the same.
Grendon Underwood welcomed us, and its sense of community is so strong through the good times and the bad, I feel sure that if we pull together we can have The Swan on its feet again, and better than ever. I'm involved in this project because I want to do something for the community which has been so welcoming to me and my family - this situation is not going to resolve itself.
I have spent most of my 25 year professional career developing Software, as a Consultant specialising in database solutions for global and national sized corporations. I was born in South Bucks and have spent most of my life living in the county of Buckinghamshire with only a small dalliance over the border into Oxfordshire. During my working life I have travelled abroad and worked in Germany, Belgium and Holland. I have lived in Grendon Underwood since 2015, which makes me something of an ‘newbie’ – although we did live ‘just over the border’ in Chesterton (a small village just outside Bicester) for thirteen years before that. Since moving to the village I have been involved in a number of local groups, including the Quaintwood Players, FROGS, Grendon Underwood Primary School and GO30. I have been at the forefront of the campaign to save the pub from the outset. I believe that pubs form a very important part of our culture and heritage, and saving the Swan will help to preserve this tradition for the wider community and future generations to enjoy. I am keen for the Swan to work with other local businesses and to provide locally sourced food and drink at fair prices
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