David Tilley dedicated a large part of his life to helping disadvantaged children in Africa. A well-known member of the farming community, he spent around 20 years as a member of the Billingshurst Rotary Club fundraising for various projects. One of his most lasting legacies is his work in Africa where he helped build a secondary school in the mid-1990s in the small viallage of Kilolo in Tanzania.

David first visited Africa in 1991 and on this trip was inspired to help raise around £20,000 with the help of the Rotary club, to buy a new tractor for locals who were fighting the odds on a daily basis. This first trip was the start of his many visits to Africa. Following a visit to Tanzania with the charity Soapbox, David spoke to the local bishop to ask what he could do to help. The bishop had the vision for a secondary school which would give young people a hope and a future. Working with Soapbox and with volunteers and locals, David helped to make bricks and build the foundations of what would evenutally open as the St Michael Secondary School in 2005.

David had to stop visiting Africa in 2006 due to illness and he died in November, 2010. The David Tilley Children’s Foundation was established so that the work could continue after his death.