Meet the Local

The Parishioner interviewed Graham Thomas, Treasurer of the Shawfield School Association

Great to meet you Graham, tell us about yourself and how you feel about the local area. How would you describe Ash Vale?

A well connected, friendly village. It has that lovely village feel, yet at the same time, it’s very easy to get to the nearby towns, and even jump on the train to London. I also love the fact you don’t have far to get before you’re either in the middle of various army lands, or in the countryside.

What do you do for your ‘9 to 5’?  I’m a Technologist for a computer manufacturer. It means I spend a lot of time explaining what a Technologist is 🙂 I get to work with all manner of customers to shape future products, from F1 teams to Universities, and I also get my hands on the latest laptops, phones and tablets before they are even launched. My kids think I just get to ‘mess around with gadgets’.

When you’re not working what do you do like to do to relax?  When I’m not chasing around my two sons, I play bass in a band and love watching live music. I also moved house last year and I’m still working through the long list of little tweaks and improvements. I recently bought a 3D printer to satisfy my inner inventor and that’s proving to be another time consuming pastime, I wouldn’t say it’s relaxing though!

A little bird told us you’re quite active as a volunteer for the Shawfield School Association (SSA). What do you get up to and what are you fundraising for this year? Yes, I’ve been helping out the SSA (the school PTA) since my eldest son started at the school 5 years ago, more recently I became treasurer. This year we are trying to raise £10,000 to support the school plans to enhance the learning environment and resources. With everything that’s happened in the last 20+ months, school budgets have been stretched more than ever, and it’s important that the SSA focus on helping the school add to what they already use to deliver excellent teaching to the children.

That’s amazing! How can the people of Ash Vale support the SSA this Christmas?  Well, there is great way to support the SSA, not just for Christmas, but all year round, and that’s the Guildford Community Lottery. 60% of all monies raised goes to good causes, with 50% going to the chosen cause: People can either use the above address, or go to the main community lottery page and then search for Shawfield. It’s only £1 per ticket and the prize fund is very good, with a £25,000 jackpot. They also run extra competitions, and the run up to Christmas is a competition to win a £1,000 Decathlon voucher.  It’s a great community lottery where players know that the funds raised are used to support local organisations. We are also signed up to Amazon Smile, where Amazon donates to charitable organisations, at no cost to the customer. So make sure Shawfield School Association is selected when shopping, it’s free and it would be nice to get even the smallest chunk of Jeff Bezo’s money!