Charity welcomes new caretaker and issues urgent plea for volunteers

PUBLISHED: 08:16 07 June 2018

New Kennaway House caretaker Tony Coombe with Catrina Marsh, Ann Oxley and Nikki Dawkins. Ref shh 21 18TI 4159. Picture: Terry Ife

New Kennaway House caretaker Tony Coombe with Catrina Marsh, Ann Oxley and Nikki Dawkins. Ref shh 21 18TI 4159. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Kennaway House has a new Caretaker who used to work for Exeter School.

New Kennaway House caretaker Tony Coombe with Catrina Marsh, Ann Oxley and Nikki Dawkins. Ref shh 21 18TI 4158. Picture: Terry IfeNew Kennaway House caretaker Tony Coombe with Catrina Marsh, Ann Oxley and Nikki Dawkins. Ref shh 21 18TI 4158. Picture: Terry Ife

Tony served for twenty-five years as Estates Manager at the independent school, where he was responsible for the buildings and grounds on a 23-acre site. After retiring from the school, Tony wanted to go on working and thought Kennaway House was “fabulous”.

“I love the fact that we’re preserving this beautiful house and serving the community who can all use it,” he said. “It’s a real privilege to work here.”

Tony is originally from Torquay and trained as a plumber and heating engineer. His daughter Daniele Coombe is a successful dancer and actor who has appeared in West End musicals like Sunset Boulevard, Oliver and My Fair Lady.

“Tony joins our Manager, Nikki Dawkins, and Administrative Assistant, Catrina Marsh, to make a strong team,“ said Trustee Michael James. “But Kennaway has grown into a big venture now and we could not survive without our band of volunteers who help to run the house as well.

“It’s wonderful that Kennaway is so popular and so many people want to use it for such a range of things, from Pete Allen’s Jazz on Sunday, to Buddhist meditation, to weddings, parties and Meet the Author events. But we can only meet all these demands if we recruit more volunteers – and the need is very urgent.”

Nikki explained: “Some do a regular weekly slot, such as a morning helping in the office or on reception, others help more flexibly, say on the bar for events like jazz and weddings. We can even use DIY and decorating skills.”

Volunteer Ann Oxley works in the office half a day a week and is a member of the bar staff covering events like jazz and writers’ evenings and bookings like weddings and parties.

She said: “Not only do you work in a beautiful, historic house, but you meet really interesting people and it’s a great way to spend any spare time you have to give.”

Nikki added: “We provide training and insurance. We really do need you and it’s fun. Come and join our winning team!”

To find out more about volunteering at Kennaway House - drop in any weekday between 9.30am and 1.30pm, phone 01395 515551 or email manager@kennawayhouse.org.uk


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald