Who's who in your village hall committee?

What we do, our objectives and how we work for you.

The Monks Eleigh Village Hall Trust has been established to operate and manage the new village hall. A new Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) named Monks Eleigh Village Hall, has been registered with the Charity Commission under the number 1164623. The initial registration of this CIO was first made on 1st December 2015.

Patti Derry

I have lived on the Green in Monks Eleigh for 20 years. In that time I have been involved in numerous village activities including being a Community Shop Volunteer, a Parish Councillor and more recently a Village Hall Trustee.  Since my retirement as a headteacher in 2012 I have been able to give more time to actively support the community.

Chairperson (Nominated - Millennium Green)

Angela Forrest

I am a retired teacher who has lived in Monks Eleigh over 36 years.  Our 3 children grew up here and went to the local schools.  I was involved with the Coronation Hall for most of that time and have enjoyed being part of the team that has managed it. I can now look forward as a founder trustee of our new Village Hall and to the contribution that our purpose built hall will add to life in the village of Monks Eleigh. 

Secretary (Nominated - Parish Council)

Diana Swansborough-Reynolds

I have lived at Stackyard Green, Monks Eleigh all my life and went to the original Primary School on the Green. My parents were actively involved in the fund raising and building of our Coronation Hall. My three sons were born and brought up in Monks Eleigh and while they were young I helped with Play School and Cubs. More recently I have served on the Parish Council for several terms and enjoy organising and helping with various village events and doing my turn serving in our Community Shop. Now I am happy to be a Village Hall Trustee and look forward to helping with the development of our New Village Hall on the Recreation Ground.

Trustee (Elected)

Richard Warner

I work full time as Director of Business Development for Ashley House plc, a leading Extra Care Housing and Health Property Partner working closely with public and community sectors across the UK. I started the Company’s East Anglian office in 2001 having moved to Monks Eleigh in 1999, continuing the family’s love and tradition of living in Suffolk since 1901. I recently joined the Village Hall Trustees to assist in the development of the new Village Hall. My spare time has included the writing and composing of children’s songs, aired on the BBC and across the world in an animated film series called ‘Spider!’. It is rewarding to know that my songs have undoubtedly provided pleasure to thousands of children. It is equally rewarding that my property career is now focused on providing a positive social impact to local communities, in the same way that I hope any assistance I can bring to the Committee in the development of the new Hall will be of intrinsic value.

Treasurer (Elected)

Gill Buchanan

I had a career in marketing working in financial services and the leisure industries including Friends Reunited in their heyday. The highlight for me was The Caravan Club at East Grinstead where I had the pleasure of working with some very interesting characters. I left that world to set up a social events business which whilst rewarding was very demanding of my time and eventually I decided to move on. 

By then I had started writing novels and had published Unlikely Neighbours. I went on to write and publish Forever Lucky and the sequel, Birch and Beyond. My last book, as yet unpublished, is called The Disenchanted Hero and tells the life stories of my husband's parents going back to World War two. 

I moved to Monks Eleigh in 2016 and have been very impressed with its strong community spirit. I think the new village hall is going to be a wonderful asset and am really chuffed to be a part of helping the hall to be a great success.

Trustee (Elected)

Michael Evans

After a career in the Royal Navy spanning over 35 years, my family and I moved to Monks Eleigh just over six years ago and we absolutely love it here.  I retired as a Captain and during my career I commanded two of Her Majesty’s warships, DUMBARTON CASTLE in the Falkland Islands and a Type 42 air defence destroyer, HMS BIRMINGHAM.  I also served abroad in the United States, at the NATO headquarters in Brussels and as the naval and air attaché in Islamabad, Pakistan. 

I have bags of experience in national, international and local government affairs and am an enthusiastic volunteer for a number of charitable ventures, including having had the enormous privilege of acting as the master of ceremonies (the “Mike on the mic”) at the Monks Eleigh village fete for the past 5 years.  I am very much looking forward to making a positive and valuable contribution to the new village hall.

Trustee (Elected)

Ray Hayler

I started my career in hairdressing in 1958 as an apprentice in London. I moved to Norfolk in the early 60s. I opened my own salon in Suffolk in 1971, adding a second salon in 1982 in Hadleigh.
I moved with my wife Margaret to Monks Eleigh in 1997 and have been very happy here. We have supported most village functions including the shop. I retired in 2008 after 50 years in hairdressing. Fishing is my hobby along with reading and walking. We also have much more time now spend with their children and grandchildren and a new edition of a great-grandson which we enjoy immensely.

Trustee (Elected)

John Milner

I moved to Monks Eleigh with my wife, Lynne, in 2014 from Essex.  For 29 years I was a general manager running several car rental franchises for a company in Woodford Essex.  On being made redundant I took up coach driving which I thoroughly enjoyed as it took me to many interesting places here and on the continent.  I retired on moving to Monks Eleigh but found I still wanted to drive so now work part time for a local coach company.  My hobbies include golf and gardening.  I am looking forward to the challenge of contributing to the running of our splendid village hall.

Trustee (Elected)

Jenny Pooley

I moved to Monks Eleigh from Hitcham with my husband in 2016, looking for a lovely village to bring up our two daughters and four dogs. After completing my degree I lived in London and then moved to Hertfordshire to continue my career as a buyer. Moving to Suffolk I had a love for Garden Design and Pilates. I decided to retrain and began teaching Pilates over 10 years ago. I now run successful Pilates studios at Kersey Mill. My passion for Pilates has allowed me to continue learning over the years and now as a supervisory teacher I also help other teachers train for this fantastic movement method. 

I enjoy being part of the Monks Eleigh community and now teach in our wonderful new hall. I hope I can help to promote more health and well being within the hall itself and look forward to assisting  with its continued development. 


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