When I moved to Reigate with my young son in 1995 I found it very hard to find the help and support we needed and also to find the various activities my son wanted to try, I thought other parents might be in the same position so a friend (Sheridan) and I went about collecting lots of information and we published it in the first Family Grapevine magazine. The feedback we got when the magazine was distributed was great. We realised that we were onto something good for all parents and for the local businesses trying to reach those parents.
After a while people from other areas of the country contacted to see if they could run a magazine like ours. Genevieve was the first person to join our group. She brought out the Family Grapevine in Mid Surrey. When Sheridan left the group, Genevieve became my new business partner. Katherine joined us as joint director in 2015.
When we first started, emailing was almost unheard of, no-one had websites or mobile phones and social media wasn’t even thought of. We have changed and adapted with all the technologies and by and large it has been good. With all the people in the group, each with different skills and interests, there is always at least one person who embraces the next change and is able to help teach the others. It is great to be a part of this friendly, supportive and skilled group of people.
What are you most proud of achieving as a part of the Family Grapevine group?
I am proud of the information we provide for readers and local businesses, especially when it takes a lot of ferreting to find and verify. I also get great pride from giving other people who join our group, the opportunity to earn money in a way that benefits their community and fits in with their family life.
What are your hobbies?
Walking my dogs (cocker spaniel, springer spaniel, Heinz 57 and cockapoo), genealogy, singing in the local choir, badminton, pilates, table tennis and reading
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
I once crewed in an England trial sailing in a National 12