My “Mayors At Home.”
I was both humbled and touched by the amazing turnout at my Mayor’s At Home event today. I certainly did not expect such a huge turnout, both from Mayors and Council leaders far and wide but also from all over Wisbech. I suppose no matter how hard you hope you have worked, you don’t really know if you’ve had a successful year as Mayor until you put on your last event and see who shows up. Thank you, everybody, for being there.
I’d like to thank the local talented youngsters who provided the entertainment for the guests including the incredible Amy Palmer, the Fenland Gymnastic Academy and the Nine Lives Theatre Company. In turn each wowed the audience and were a spectacular example of the incredible talent that Wisbech has to offer.
I’d like to thank the Armed Forces youth groups who were so professional and looked so smart including the Wisbech Scouts, Air Cadets, the Army Cadets and the GVC. You were all as excellent as ever.
I’d also like to thank the Town Councillors who worked so hard to make the event a success and the many other volunteers who pitched in setting up, running the event and then clearing it all away.
I must not forget to thank my Mum and my Stepdad, who catered the entire event with good humour, professionalism and damn fine food. They worked their socks off and delivered an incredible spread which received nothing but compliments from the guests.
The Mayors At Home was also the event where we got to hand out the remainder of the money my Wife and I have raised during our Mayoral term. Totally almost £9000.00 it is been a record-breaking year.
I’d like to give my most heartfelt thanks to all the individuals businesses and organisations which have helped us raise money throughout the year. In particular, I would like to thank Mr Dain Jensen, whose exceptionally generous donation at the Nightmayor’s Big Bash last year allowed us to do some important work early on in my Mayoral term.
Although we had a fair amount of cash to distribute today, we had already spent several thousands of pounds over the course of the year on other causes. We had already made donations to local causes including Cat Haven, Sharman’s Dog Legacy, the Lois Smith Fund, the Wisbech Grammar School Rugby Fundraiser, On Track Education. We were very pleased to be able to fund the delightful Bedazzle group last year, to offer assistance to the Corps of Drums, and to work with the St Augustines Knit & Natter group with two Mayoral Commissions.
We had said we would like to purchase a Defibrillator Unit for Wisbech and we were able to do that last year, allowing the Town Council to have a mobile unit for use at festivals and activities around the town. Training has taken place and that defib unit is now making people safer in and around our town.
We had already purchased a gazebo for McMillans which I have seen them making very good use of at events around the town. The Breathe Easy team have a nice new PA system which we purchased for them to help with their important work. We even paid for the scary Ghost House that delighted and scared people at the Halloween fun day last year in Wisbech Market Place.
One of my favourite local teams, Boogie Tots, who deliver friendly and fun dance classes for very young children, and a nice opportunity to chat and get out for their parents, were supported last year to enable their class to continue offering the help and support that it does.
But today we had to hand out the cash to the charities which my Wife and I chose nearly a year ago – ably assisted by the advice and suggestions of the people of Wisbech via the Wisbech Discussion Forum on Facebook.
And so it was a great pleasure to help Community House in the North Ward with some funds to carry on the great work they do. They had already been helped by the Mayors Fund in 2017 but they are such an important asset for the town that I wanted to be sure to show my ongoing support.
For the organisation that encourages children from our area to read, and which continue to do much work to share the joy of reading and foster is early, I was pleased to be able to give some money to the Wisbech Reads organisation.
We also had funds for the Wisbech Stroke Club and the Wisbech Cubs and Scouts organisation.
Although Cat Haven weren’t able to make it to the event, we didn’t forget them and were able to give them a donation.
One of the fantastic organisations for young people in Wisbech is the Fenland Gymnastics Academy, which is raising funds to move to a larger location because it simply does not have enough space to meet the huge local demand. The Mayor donation isn’t going to buy a new premises, I know, but I hope what we were able to give them demonstrates the high regard in which we hold them and the fine young people they train.
I had invited Boogie Tots to the event but I didn’t tell them that I had a surprise for them. I knew they were looking for a source of funding to allow their activities to continue for the next six months. I had not told that that we would be able to assist with that, and it was fun to spring the good news on them.
Finally, our key local cause. My Wife and I continue to consider this such an important organisation. These ladies do such fantastic work in our town. They are a never-ending source of enthusiasm, compassion and care. I have enjoyed working with them throughout my Mayoral year and it was a great pleasure to be able to make a significant donation to help them carry on doing what they do so well. I know that the support we were able to give the St Augustine’s Day Centre will be put to fantastic use and will help some of the most vulnerable people of Wisbech to live brighter, happier and more fulfilled lives.
I could not have asked for the event to go any better than it did. It was packed with people, they all seemed to have a really nice time, and we got to reward some really wonderful local causes and charities. Thank you, everybody.