It seems like only yesterday that I was being sworn in as the Mayor of Dartford in the Civic Centre on the 10th of May 2017. The time seems to have flown by in a whirl of official engagements and organising and attending charity fund raising events.
My escort, Corinna Bailey, and I have attended in excess of 300 official events and I have also chaired a number of General Assemblies of the Council and Charity Committee meetings. The official events have included everything from touring a nuclear power station to judging cardboard boxes belonging to hardy types sleeping out in Central Park to raise funds for charity. I particularly enjoyed meeting children in the Council Chamber and telling them about the duties of the mayor. They have such enquiring minds and often asked questions which I did not know the answers to. I also enjoyed attending the summer concerts held every Sunday afternoon in the park and meeting residents and the surprising number of non-residents who travel in to the borough for these very popular events.
In my mayoral year I chose to support charities that benefit totally or very substantially the people of Dartford. My chosen charities are:
- For 70 years, MIND has been committed to making sure that everyone experiencing a mental health problem can access the support they need and is treated with the respect they deserve.
- Home Start. Home Start volunteers help families with young children deal with the challenges they face. They support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children. Families struggling with post-natal depression, isolation, physical health problems, bereavement and many other issues receive the support of a Home Start volunteer.
- The Arrow Riding Centre. The Centre was founded in 1982 and uses horses to provide a unique form of physiotherapy for disabled adults and children. As well as improving physical fitness, the horse riding improves motivation, reduces dependency on others and gives the rider a great sense of achievement. The Arrow Riding Centre teaches horse-riding to International and Paralympic standards.
My charity committee has worked tirelessly all year to organise 18 fund raising events in aid of the good causes. The snow got the better of one, which unfortunately could not be re-scheduled.
I should also note that a number of individuals and organisations have made donations to my charity appeal and I thank them very much for their generosity.
The final total of money raised will not be known for a little while but the indications are that over £15,000 will be achieved. But there is more good news, for at the beginning of my mayoral year the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Kent launched their CALM Appeal (Charity Appeal for Local Mayors). They very generously pledged to donate £10,000 to each of the six mayors in their area. I am sure the charities will be able to put these funds to very good use.
I have had an absolutely fabulous year and one which I shall remember forever. Councillor David Mote is Dartford’s mayor for 2018/19 and I wish him and his wife Ellen every success. I am sure they will enjoy it as much as I have.
The Worshipful Mayor of Dartford, Councillor Rosanna Currans