More About Us

Hello again, because we want you to know more about us as people as much as our professional skills and backgrounds, this section  includes some of the personal interests and involvement we have in community affairs.”

Alison: Alison’s personal interests outside work include her passion for cricket: living in a village which is equidistant from the Headingley and Chester le Street cricket grounds, she is a Full Member of Yorkshire County Cricket Club as well as a ‘country Member’ of Durham County Cricket Club (and she’s a fan of Cricket Australia, since it was Australia which first led to her real interest in the great game – more on Australia below).

Alison is a member of her local Church Choir at St Helen’s, Ainderby Steeple in the Benefice of the Lower Swale. From  2009-2012 she served as Secretary to the village “Parish Committee” for Thrintoft.

She was an active member of Stamfordham Young Farmers Club, including becoming its Chairman, and was selected to represent England in an overseas exchange trip to Sweden, where she studied further and higher education routes into agriculture.

She remains a lover of the countryside, cows and cats, and is proud to have started to fulfill a childhood dream of learning to ride, through Riding for the Disabled (with whom she passed the first assessments during 2014 and won her heat at Middlesbrough to qualify for the 2014 finals at Hartpury College in Gloucester in the ‘Countryside Challenge’, finishing a creditable 12th in her class!).

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Paul: Paul’s voluntary and community work has included serving for six years as Chairman of the local Village Parish Committee for Thrintoft, before handing over the chairmanship in May 2009.  In June 2012 Paul became Chairman once more.

In 1998 he was appointed as a Trustee on the Board of North Yorkshire Youth Ltd – an excellent youth charity and outdoor education centre based at Carlton Lodge near Thirsk. In 2000 he was elected Chairman of its Board and, after 10 years in this position, Paul stood down and left the Board in 2010. In October 2013 Paul was elected as a Vice-President of North Yorkshire Youth.

Paul has been privileged to serve since 2001 as a member of the Governing Body of the Dales School , an outstanding special school for 5-19 year olds with profound and multiple learning difficulties in North Yorkshire. After a spell as Vice-Chairman, he was elected Chairman of the Governors in  October 2009. However, with increasing national commitments preventing Paul devoting sufficient time to the role, he reverted in 2011 to serving as Vice-Chairman. In October 2013 Paul was reappointed as Chairman of the Governing Body for a further two year term – and in October 2015 for a further two year term.

Paul also served a four year spell (2005-9) as a Governor of Northallerton College – a 14+ community college, in the county town of North Yorkshire.

In 2002-4, he returned to part-time study, completing the Certificate of Higher Education in Christian Studies at York St. John College and the University of Leeds. Consequently, as a trained and licensed lay Reader Minister in the (now renamed) West Yorkshire and The Dales Diocese of the Church of England, Paul is regularly involved in preparing, leading and assisting with a range of church services in the Benefice of the Lower Swale – and in taking home communion and ministering to housebound parishioners. He was relicensed in May 2016 (for a further 5 year period) by the Bishop of Leeds at Bradford Cathedral.

Paul’s major sporting interest has always been cricket – which began with his school playing days and a love of Somerset County Cricket Club in his youth. Whilst naturally retaining his strong interest in and support for his county of birth, once living in Yorkshire Paul quickly became a Full Member of Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Paul is also a Country Member of Durham CCC.

Additionally, he’s a keen follower of Rugby Union; and, having been a Member of Bedale Golf Club for the past 8 years, Paul moved at the start of 2014 to become a Member of Thirsk & Northallerton Golf Club (still playing off a handicap of 28 but with hopes to improve – given time, much more practice, and more opportunity to play there). He continues to enjoy walking the Dales & Moors of Yorkshire, and farther afield, whenever possible.

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Alison and Paul have always enjoyed walking and the countryside. Alison’s MS has, since 2007, restricted her mobility, but they have been able to spend more time together watching their beloved cricket. Together they have been able to share a true affection for the southern hemisphere, which began with a love for Australia (including three trips in the period 2003-9), to which they added South Africa twice in 2006 and 2009.

Then in January 2011, Paul & Alison travelled to New Zealand to tour the simply stunning South Island, visit Auckland in the North and spend time in the capital, Wellington. They also took in time at Wellington’s Basin Reserve cricket ground before travelling on to attend two ODI cricket fixtures at Hobart (Tasmania)  & Adelaide on their return journey home.

In January 2013 they returned to Western Australia, travelled up to Darwin NT, then across to New Zealand again (spending more time on the North Island this time).

Their shared passion for cricket has enabled them to visit many lovely grounds in the southern hemisphere. Nestling under Table Mountain, Newlands in Cape Town, South Africa – and the Adelaide Oval in South Australia – are their favourite cricket grounds.

They also enjoy rural France (especially the Loire Valley) alongside their continued affection for the rural areas of Northumberland, North Yorkshire and the West Country.

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Historical Footnote (which we post for interest):

In 2009 Paul and Alison became associated with the Meerlust Foundation in South Africa which merged in 2010 with the Sustainability Institute’s “Changes Youth” programme at Lynedoch near Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. Paul and Alison’s heartfelt ambition has been to encourage disadvantaged teenaged black children there to follow and play cricket, as a result of which it was splendid for them to be able to report that Yorkshire CCC’s charitable foundation donated Kwik Cricket kits to the “Changes Youth” in Spring 2010 to enable their young teenagers to begin to learn the game (please click here to view a brief introduction to the South African charity).

 

 

 

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