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Published: 01 June 2020

Spreading joy through community-spirited cartoons

Neil Hornsey, Project Manager within Estates and Facilities at Surrey, has been spreading a little joy through community-spirited cartoons.

Neil Hornsey cartoon

Many of us are more grateful than ever for those special moments during a hectic day when someone, quite unexpectedly, makes you smile. Neil Hornsey has been putting his artistic flair and great sense of humour to use, entertaining and uniting our community through the power of cartoons.

Neil joined the Estates and Facilities team as a Project Manager in October, taking the opportunity to apply his experience in the University sector to Surrey’s buoyant environment. With plenty of projects on the go, to date Neil’s day job has seen him deliver various refurbishment projects and embark on new initiatives, such as MySurrey Nest. 

On joining Surrey, Neil was immediately delighted to see the level of enthusiasm and community spirit shown by his like-minded new colleagues, and it’s easy to see why. Quick to embrace the opportunity posed by these challenging times, Neil has used his creative skills to make us smile and ensure that community spirit continues to thrive. With assistance from colleagues Michele Facer and Louize Law, Neil has taken on the role of creating Campus News: a fortnightly Estates department newsletter to share positive community stories. 

Neil explains: “Many of our team are on furlough, working on a rotation basis, so it’s more important than ever to make sure everyone feels included and that we keep spirits high. I hope that sharing positive news and activities will stop colleagues feeling too isolated while they are stuck at home. Many of us are used to being on site in interactive roles, and social distancing has naturally made our jobs more difficult.

“I had lots of great stories to include in our first newsletter – but I had a small gap! So I did a quick cartoon sketch to include, and the Communications team contacted me to ask if they could share my cartoon too! I have a degree in Architecture and I’ve always been artistic, so I like being creative when time permits. I have books full of cartoons and sketches, I paint, and I used to do model making too. 

“It’s important to detach yourself from hustle and bustle of work and life, and stop and refresh; and for me, that’s to get a paintbrush out and enter the world of make believe. I feel fortunate that I can pick up a pen and doodle, but I would also like to encourage others to give it a go and see what you can produce! It’s relaxing and enjoyable – and if you can make someone smile with your artwork, well, that’s even better.”

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