News Getting to Know Our Trustees. . . Amanda de Haast Amanda is a Horsley resident and a close neighbour of the estate. She is currently Chairman of the West Horsley Wheel of Care (Good Neighbour/ Voluntary Driver Scheme awarded Queens Award for Voluntary Services in 2015) and Chairman of Grace + Flavour, Horsley’s Community Kitchen Garden and Allotments. We sat down for a (remote) cup of tea and Q&A with Amanda and found out more about her involvement with West Horsley Place. Q- As a neighbour of West Horsley Place what were your first thoughts when it was announced that the estate would become a charitable trust? A- What an inspired idea! Something very different with a wide range of attractions to appeal to so many interests. I particularly liked the idea of the estate connecting with the local community. The house and the estate were going to be in safe hands and had a vision for a secure future. Q- What made you want to become involved? A- The more I heard about what Bamber and Christina had planned for the house the more excited I got about the endless possibilities and the amazing opportunities there would be for the local community, and wider afield. Much of what was mentioned was on my radar from a personal interest: arts, crafts, heritage, tapping into what the wider estate could offer. I just knew I wanted to be involved in some small way and help where I could. I still volunteer in the garden and in the house but my role as trustee has added other responsibilities! Q-What excites you most about the future of WHP? A- WHP is on the cusp of a reawakening and soon so many more will have the chance to see and appreciate what a unique and special place it is. Virtually everyone who visits acknowledges there is something different about the house and they leave with a smile on their face - for whatever reason the house has left a mark on their inner being. Q-What are your hopes for how WHP can benefit our local community? A- I do hope that the local community will come to benefit from having this facility on their doorstep and will want to get involved in making it the success it has the potential to reach. We are surrounded by many splendid stately homes and manor houses and WHP does not fall into that category, and nor does it want to. It is going to be something very different, more approachable, open to all, in past years the community served the estate, and now the estate will serve the community. It has the potential to make everyone feel it is their special place and somewhere they will want to return to again and again. Q-Which is your favourite room or space at WHP and why? A- The Drawing Room has a real warmth to it, the Library invites you to light the fire, curl up in a chair and stay the winter reading, but my favourite room is the Morning Room. I love the light double aspect: views of the parkland and St Mary’s from one side and front courtyard so I can see all the comings and goings. However I also love the ancient woodlands and look forward to making them more accessible for all to enjoy. More about our board of trustees here.