MAYOR’S MOMENT: Out in the community

Beaver Scouts on their Knights and Castles Weekend
Beaver Scouts on their Knights and Castles Weekend

Once again this week my diary has been full of engagements, giving me the opportunity to meet a wide spectrum of residents in our community who make such a difference to this town.

Once again this week my diary has been full of engagements, giving me the opportunity to meet a wide spectrum of residents in our community who make such a difference to this town.

Winners at the quiz giving money back to the charity  Venetta Rose, Billy, Janet Smurthwaite-webb and Penny Rendell

Winners at the quiz giving money back to the charity  Venetta Rose, Billy, Janet Smurthwaite-webb and Penny Rendell

I began my week with a visit to the breakfast club and meeting at Littlehampton United Church, organised by the Worthing Churches Homeless Project.

This gave me the chance to meet with clients, volunteers and staff at the breakfast club, and find out more about the charity and the invaluable and essential support work it provides in the community.

That evening saw me join a packed house at The Dolphin for a charity quiz in aid of my mayor’s charities.

The evening was organised by kind invitation of landlady Ellie Boiling who also hosted the evening, providing a light-hearted and fun atmosphere with a unique blend of music and general knowledge questions and the occasional double entendre!

Edwin James Festival Choir members at their ABC Concert at St James Church

Edwin James Festival Choir members at their ABC Concert at St James Church

There was even a garden gnome prize for the best team name and an impressive raffle which helped boost funds.

Overall the event raised £270, including the prize money of £50 which was kindly donated back by the winning team – the ‘Troublesome Trio’.

My thanks go to Ellie and all her staff for putting on this event and supporting my chosen charities.

Thursday I was invited by The Littlehampton Academy to attend their PE presentation award evening.

Tank the tortoise

Tank the tortoise

It was a pleasure to meet the many pupils to recognise their individual and team achievements across all years of the school.

In addition I also had the pleasure of presenting the Littlehampton Town Council Award to teacher Mrs Sandy Fell in recognition of her contribution to disabled sport, and a further presentation to retiring staff member Mrs Jane Ratcliffe after 37 years’ service at the school.

This was a particular pleasure having been a former pupil of hers – one of an estimated 10,000 students she taught during her service.

Friday I was invited by the Littlehampton Civic Society to attend their coffee morning and talk on the history of Mewsbrook Park by Sue and Clive Fennell, of Arun Talks.

Billy and Ellie Boiling at the Dolphin

Billy and Ellie Boiling at the Dolphin

This provided a fascinating insight into the history of the park, brought alive with a selection of photographs.

This covered a range of topics such as moving the river mouth and how this has shaped the town’s infrastructure, the former hotel on the site and the military use that it was put to during the Second World War.

This was followed by an informal gathering of members where they could raise their views and opinions on local town issues and provided a lively debate.

Saturday evening I attended a packed St James Church where I was transported back to the era of love, peace and happiness for the Edwin James Festival Choir’s ABC Concert.

The church was decorated with tie-dyed bunting and signs of love and peace, with members of the choir suitably dressed in a colourful array of flower power caftans, bell bottoms and costume.

The concert programme was a tribute to ABBA, The Beatles and The Carpenters and featured many of their popular hits under the musical direction of James Rushman.

The choir consists of approximately 60 members and their enjoyment of performing as a community choir was clearly abundant, so much so that it even had the audience joining in.

The finale saw the church blacked out but illuminated by glow sticks while the choir and audience joined together for a final rendition of the ABBA classic ‘Thank you for the Music’.

This event saw the choir raising funds for the Macmillan nurses fund.

Their next concert, Love and Marriage, sees them perform with the Edwin James Festival Orchestra, raising funds for 4Sight, on Saturday, September 2.

For further details regarding tickets, future concerts and membership of the choir visit www.edwinjamesfestivalchoir.co.uk

I completed my week taking up an invite from the Beaver Scouts to visit their Knights and Castles Weekend at the 4th Littlehampton Scout Hall.

This was a weekend of activities arranged for the six to eight year olds who were camping overnight at the site and engaging in a range of activities including mini archery, jester juggling, rope and catapult making as well as a visit to Arundel Castle on the Saturday.

I was there for the ‘Wild Encounters’ animal interaction, where there was a hands on display of reptiles including various snakes, bearded dragon and my personal favourite ‘Tank’ the tortoise.

This gave the children an opportunity to handle the animals and ask questions in a fun and educational manner and share in the expertise of the handlers from Wild Encounters, in partnership with Littlehampton Exotics Pet Supplies.

It was a pleasure to see the members enjoying this and various other activities that the hard-working leaders and volunteers had put together for them over this weekend.

I was impressed to learn that the organisers put on all these activities for £20 per child for a packed weekend of fun, and it made me wish I was a child again and able to join them!

For further information on the 4th Littlehampton Scout Group and their activities visit www.4thlittlehamptonscout.com

I am looking forward to the week ahead and please do feel free to get in touch if you have an event you would like me to attend by contacting the mayor’s office on 01903 732063.

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