Mayor's Musings - Blog Five
It’s Valentine’s Day and a chance to spoil the one you love with a red rose and chocolates! I am sure my David will be doing just that! But we shouldn’t just be kind and loving on 14th February, this should be an everyday action – to be kind to one another, to do a good deed and share the love!
And what a great example I discovered at The North School, who have created a Dementia Café. By bringing together a cross section of the community it highlights the exceptional vision and compassion of the students and staff who have created an afternoon tea within a relaxed café environment. In addition to providing plenty of cakes, a smile, conversation and musical entertainment! All prepared and provided by the students with the support of the staff. A great project breaking down barriers and creating understanding.
Loving our Environment
I would LOVE to see our Borough free of litter, so I regularly join in with local litter picks. Here I helped the passionate volunteers of Keep Ashford Clean. Ani and Darren give up all their free time to organise these litter picks so a really big thank you to them and all the volunteers who carry out this outstanding commitment to make Ashford a cleaner and nicer place to live. Look how much was collected in only 1.5 hours! Makes you think doesn’t it?
Being Kind and Tolerant
Lessons to be learnt from the horrors of the Holocaust. Fellow councillors, Cllr Paul Clokie and Cllr Matthew Forest joined me with officers from the Council to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Holocaust on the Memorial Day 27th January. We visited the excellently presented exhibition at the Gateway and then paid our respects and laid flowers at Ashford’s Holocaust Memorial Tree. It was truly a time of reflection and hope that we find it in our hearts to respect and care about everyone no matter their race or creed. ”Remembering the Survivors and Those Whose Lives Were Taken.”
Making a Difference
Raising funds for my charities is one of the key goals of my year in office. I am passionate about our great and dedicated volunteers who give of their time and love to help others. So I organised a fundraising event with an ABBA tribute group –such fun and we raised almost £3,000 for my charities. I thank the London Beach Hotel for their support and generosity towards my charity work.
Loving our Communities
What an incredibly diverse community we have in the Ashford Borough and I so enjoy getting out and about to meet as many as possible. My recent visit to the Sagamatha Gurkha Nepalese Annual Dinner and Awards Evening was a highlight at the start of the year. My David loves how he is spoilt by them all! Damian Green our MP was the special guest of the evening and was delighted to be presented with a garland of flowers and hat.
Reaching Out Across East Kent
The start of the year has enabled me to meet up with all the Mayors of East Kent at the ‘Blessing of the Seas’ annual pilgrimage at Margate to mark the Epiphany (12th day after Christmas). Quite a spectacle as this Greek tradition is for the priest to bless the sea and then throw a cross into the water, before one of the young boys from the Greek Orthodox Church retrieves it. It is a symbolic event marking the baptism of Christ.
Encouraging our Businesses
What a pleasure to open a new care home and new business premises in the same afternoon! The Montfort Manor Care home in Willesborough is a superb example of a modern day, care home. A real ‘home from home’ atmosphere with friendly and supportive staff.
Then celebrating Office Angels new premises in Eureka Business Park. I wish both businesses good luck and great success for the future.
So I hope you have enjoyed this update of what we have been up to in and around the Borough as much as we have enjoyed all the events.
Just off to make sure that David has read all my prompts on the calendar to remind him its Valentine’s Day!