Big thank you from

Jenny Munro talks to David Agnew

David AgnewDAVID Agnew, 26, is the Manager of Hillsborough Village Centre which opened last year. He trained as an accountant but decided to change careers when his father became ill. David realised that life is precious and that he needed a job, which did more than just pay the bills. He wanted to pursue a career that left him fulfilled and believes he has found it at the centre in Hillsborough.

I wake most mornings at 7.30am, shower and have breakfast. I leave my house in Lisburn and head to the Hillsborough Village Centre for around 9.15am.

The first thing I do is check emails, update the website and think about what I must do that particular day.

Then I make sure everything is ready for the groups who use the facilities. Our staff do an excellent job but I just like to give the place a thorough inspection before any visitors arrive.

l'll liase with the two key staff members - Assistant Manager Roberta Kerr and Domestic Engineer Lisa Smyth and discuss the day ahead.

My main role is to ensure the successful running of the centre which is a registered charity and not for profit body. We are currently in the process of ensuring the centre will be self-sustaining.

I am responsible for planning for the future and making sure the different activities are organised and promoted.

We have plenty of room for lots of activities and the clubs and societies involved with the centre are keen to cater for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Throughout the day I deal with general enquiries about the facilities and the types of activities taking place.

With the help of Lisburn City Council we offer interested groups help with sports development. community development and basically everything you need to set up a new club or society. Another part of my job includes the general administration duties and balancing the books. My accountancy experience comes in handy for this.

Although we aim to be a self-sustaining group I regularly research grant opportunities, as we are glad of any money we can get to help us maintain the high standards of the centre.

In the afternoon I might have meetings with the council and community organisations and I may also be involved in organising fundraising events.

I usually spend time planning various displays by local artists for viewing and purchase throughout the year and like to keep in touch with the group leaders so I am always aware of events they are planning.

Currently I am busy planning the outdoor facilities schedule for next year. Hopefully by April 2006 there will be a grass football pitch and a floodlit multi-games area so / am trying to make sure that people are aware that such a facility will be available.

Most days I finish at 5.30pm but occasionally I have to stay until 10.30pm. Before I leave I have a hand over discussion with Roberta and make sure everything is in order for the evening groups.

Most evenings, straight after work, l visit my father who is in a nursing home and I take him for a walk. Two nights a week I coach hockey for various schools and clubs including the Ulster under 21's.

I enjoy spending time with my family, my girlfriend Louise and like going out for meals and meeting friends.

After watching the TV I normally head to bed before 11 pm.

Ulster Star