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Super Woman and local hero Jacqui Hamlin

4 December 2019

BBC Community Heroes Award Volunteer

Jacqui Hamlin, well what can we tell you.  This woman is formidable! Jacqui’s passion and incredible foresight for the changing face of society, means that she is an innovative thinker, who sees opportunities to create spaces where people can come together, share experiences and help each other thrive through new adventures.

Kathy Kyle from Bonomini agrees and nominated Jacqui from The Gin Kitchen, for the BBC Community Heroes Award – Volunteer.

”Dorking is a town full of creatives and entrepreneurs who need a space to work in.  This is what CHIP – Community Hub in Pippbrook – can offer.  We can provide a collaborative space, supporting and mentoring small businesses”

Her vision of society is not a happy one.  Jacqui senses that big changes are on the horizon, if not already here.  By collaborating with a team of highly effective and motivated people, we have seen her build projects that underpin the fundamentals of society, providing opportunities to people in Dorking and surrounding areas.

Her innovative thinking provides Dorking with a non-profit Food Float, created by a sustainable farmer’s market, Dorking’s Repair Cafe driven by the Textile Devas, Bright Sparks and the Bikers Boys.  This collection of amazing volunteers give up their time to help fix anything from ripped jeans, laptops to a broken bicycle chain!  

But one of the most impressive projects Jacqui is involved in, is to help save the historic Pippbrook House, previously marked for demolition. 

Jacqui feels there is a shift in society. 

”More people are working from home today with business rates being too expensive, it is hard for people to find business premises.  Pippbrook House will be a hub for people to come together.”

Pippbrook house that was built by the famous George Gilbert Scott in the 1800’s, Jacquie and her colleagues, David Scoffield, Sally Elias and Jeff Zie, are not only preserving architectural history, but providing a centre of excellence for Dorking town.  

Jacqui invites Hello Dorking to look around this incredible building with the original plaster work still in tacked, with stunning windows filling the rooms with natural light, Pippbrook House is the most inspiring building to be in.  Working here will be a delight for everyone.

The House will provide the town and surrounding areas with a home where people can hot desk in one of the forty rooms.  There are even plans to build a room for podcasts!

When suggested to Jacqui that it must be great to put something back into society, she said it is not so much as putting something back, but a simple passion for community and supporting society at a time when there are so many cutbacks .

”A strong community structure is needed to help individuals who struggle both financial and as well as with mental health.”

We wish Jacquie and her team the very best of luck with her project and look forward to Pippbrook door’s opening again.

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