The gang’s all here!
The gang’s all here!
Surbiton Farmers’ Market is staffed entirely by volunteers who help out because they love the sense of community the market creates. That and the free coffee. Meet our team of fine volunteers — and do say hello next time you see them in the street!
Chair, Photographer and Head of Paper Clips
As a self-confessed snapaholic David has always been smitten with the market. ‘All those colourful cakes and tubs of olives send my clicking finger into a frenzy,’ he says. ‘I never tire of documenting market life through my camera. But it’s not just the food that’s the main attraction. ‘For me markets are all about bringing people together, creating a vibrant environment in which neighbours can rub shoulders and get to know one another. For many communities around the world life would be unimaginable without a market. Here in Surbiton we have created one of the finest. I’m so proud of what we have achieved.’
Market Manager and Director
On market days Natalie is a human dynamo, making sure the market runs smoothly, looking after stallholders and answering all manner of questions from customers. ‘It’s not all glamour though,’ she says. ‘Between markets there’s quite a lot of administration to do. Together with Deborah, our Compliance Officer, I have to ensure everything’s OK in terms of insurance, hygiene and health and safety. I’m passionate about food so the best part of my role is scouting out new stalls… and doing a lot of eating and drinking trying out potential new products.’
Charities, Director and Saintly Person
Another Maple Road resident and an enthusiast about all things foodie, Robyn, along with Aviva, coordinates the market’s charity stalls. ‘I love getting to know all the fantastic good causes in the local area and supporting them to raise awareness and funds at the market. A volunteer role that combines yummy food and great company while raising money for inspiring local charities – what more could you ask for?’
Street Liaison Person, Director and Barrier Guy
David runs one of the businesses in Maple Road – as well as chairing Surbiton Business Community – so he is well placed to excite, engage and if necessary, adjudicate with local businesses in support of the Farmers’ Market! On market days David takes his turn amusing puzzled drivers with his slapstick barrier humour which is always well received.
Volunteer and Man in Black
Dressed in his trademark black jumper, black trousers and black jacket, Ian Roscow is something of an enigma. Tall, dark and dashing he emerges from the shadows at every market, helping with set up and enthralling us all with his tales of derring-do. And then, as the market winds down for the day, he’s gone, quietly dissolving into the ether. Who is this mystery man, this Man in Black? Perhaps we will never know.
Having enjoyed a long, illustrious career at the Beeb, helping set up their news systems, Cyrus has now taken on the role of Operations Manager, ensuring the market runs smoothly on the day.
‘It’s great to be involved with this wonderful community,’ says Cyrus. ‘Living in Richmond I’m technically an outsider but I’m always made to feel incredibly welcome and love working alongside such a dedicated team.’
When not wearing a hi-vis jacket, Cyrus works at Kew gardens and plays golf ‘at any given opportunity’.
Volunteer and Banner Man
Ralph has lived in London since 1999, most of that time spent in Surbiton. ‘Working at the market really puts us at the heart of the community, helps local businesses, and contributes to deserving local charities,’ he says. ‘Everyone here is a volunteer – and gives more or less time as necessary – doing everything from setting up the market to marketing and finance, all for the good of the market, and Surbiton. ‘It feels good!’ says Ralph.
Barrier Guy and Networking
Chris runs Let’s Learn Energy, teaching Surrey school children about green energy and sustainability. He’s also Vice President of Kingston Riverside Rotary and a volunteer with a special educational needs charity, Inspire-Sport. On market days Chris is to be found dragging gazebos, tables and barriers across Maple Road. He gets his rewards in caffeine and chat!
Marketing and PR
A very local, local – she lives on Maple Road — Alison has helped with the market since it started and is responsible for publicising its activities and achievements in the media. Born in Yorkshire (where her grandfather was a farmer!) Alison has been editor of a weekly magazine, a PR and communications consultant and freelance writer. When not working she enjoys travelling and spending time in Brittany with her family. What’s the best thing about the market? ‘It’s meeting up with friends,’ she says.
Website business owner and professional French person
Nathalie balances being an excellent mum with running Abricot Production, the website design company in Surbiton which designed this very site. When she is not tidying up after her son Donnie (now 7 years old), she is producing websites and mastering her English… still not quite there yet after 25 years. She is also a member of Surbiton’s own Petite France based on Maple Road.
Whether you fancy helping staff the organisers’ stall, plastering the town with posters, flexing your muscles setting up barriers or anything else, we’d love to hear from you.
All you need are a few spare hours a month. Just call Sarah on 0208 390 5673 or pop into shoes at last on Maple Road, Tuesday to Sunday.