MAYOR’S MOMENT: Flowers, firefighters and friendship

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My week got off to a “blooming” marvellous start when I was invited by Michelle Bly and her team at The Flower Shop, Wick, to join them for their Coffee Break fundraiser in aid of Cancer Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society.

This enterprising team had arranged numerous tombolas, raffles and side stalls outside their shop at True Blue shopping precinct to entice regulars and passers-by to support these worthy causes.

The team hold an annual charity event, which was initiated by Michelle as work commitments didn’t allow them to take part in the many town events which they would like to attend, so they decided to bring the charity event to the shop instead so that they could be part of the community.

The theme this year was ‘Using the Power of Flowers’ and featured a ‘Pick a Petal’ game, flowery face painting, and many floral prizes including a year’s supply of flowers.

One particularly striking feature was a fantastic frame of flowers for people to have photos and selfies, whilst highlighting the team’s artistic talents.

I was delighted to be part of this special event and was pleased to learn that they raised a grand total of £841.

During the course of the week I attended several meetings, including chairing the Littlehampton Town Council and Arun District Council liaison meeting, giving me the opportunity to formally meet Gillian Brown, leader of Arun District Council, chief executive Nigel Lynn and Jackie Follis, group head of policy.

Also present were other Littlehampton Town councillors.

This is the first opportunity I have had to attend this meeting as mayor, and it was an interesting insight into how the two councils interact and aim to work together for the good of the residents.

Friday I had the pleasure of meeting many of the members of The Friends of Mewsbrook Park at St Mary’s Church Hall for one of their social gatherings.

Being one of the beneficiaries of my fundraising this year, it was lovely to meet and chat with the many volunteers and members that help make the park such a special place.

In a week where the heroic work done by our remarkable emergency services was once again demonstrated, I was honoured to be invited to open the Littlehampton Fire Station Open Day on Saturday.

Crowds flocked to see demonstrations including a chip pan fire, road traffic collision rescue and high level rescue.

There were crews present from Arundel, East Preston and Littlehampton fire stations, volunteers from the branch responders who work with the ambulance service to teach CPR, and members of the Littlehampton RNLI along with their D-class lifeboat, all of whom were keen to demonstrate their work and engage with the community.

The fire station also had a collection of vintage fire engines, some of which had previously been in service in the town, which gave children the perfect photo opportunity and to climb aboard and see what it’s like to be a firefighter.

I myself was privileged to have the more adventurous opportunity of being taken up on the aerial ladder platform from the Worthing station.

This took me up to a height of 30 metres giving a fantastic aerial view of the town, and a small insight into some of the challenges faced by these brave teams.

I finished my week by attending the Great Get Together’ community cream tea party organised by the Wick Information Centre with support from the Wick Village Traders Association at Wick Hall.

This was part of the national initiative organised in memory of MP Jo Cox who was sadly killed on June 16 last year.

The friends and family of Jo came up with the idea to hold neighbourhood celebrations across the UK, to get communities together, to share food and celebrate all that we have in common.

This was a fabulous opportunity to meet with the many residents of Wick who help make it “a small village with a big heart.”

If all the events across the country were as successful as this I’m sure it would have done her memory proud.

Saturday will see our town host its annual Armed Forces Day on the seafront greens, a chance to show your support and #SaluteOurForces for all they do.

I hope to see as many of you there as possible and should our current summer mini heat wave continue, please come prepared.

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