MAYOR’S MOMENT: Sport, mind and art with food to follow

Billy at the unveiling of the new sculpture in Mewsbrook Park
Billy at the unveiling of the new sculpture in Mewsbrook Park

I started the week on a sporty note by attending the Sports Forum’s Littlehampton Sport Awards at the Millennium Chamber on Monday evening.

The sports awards gives us the opportunity to recognise and celebrate different teams and individual participants, coaches and administrators in their field of excellence and recognise their achievements and all the hard work, time and dedication they have put in to it.

Billy with former England cricketer Matthew Hoggard at the Littlehampton Sport Awards

Billy with former England cricketer Matthew Hoggard at the Littlehampton Sport Awards

Anyone can nominate someone they feel worthy of an award and this is then put through to the Sports Forum which has the difficult task of whittling this down to the successful winners in each category.

All nominees were invited to attend the ceremony which welcomed Matthew Hoggard MBE, former English cricketer, as guest of honour and speaker to present the awards along with chair of the Sports Forum councillor Ian Buckland.

As always it was a delight to see the talent of the people in our town being recognised.

Please visit the town council website for a full list of who won which award.

The flyer and menu for Billy's upcoming charity meal at The Boat House

The flyer and menu for Billy's upcoming charity meal at The Boat House

Later in the week I was back at the Millennium Chamber to attend the AGM of Mind Coastal West Sussex, and organisation which exists to connect with people in our community about mental health.

Its chief executive Katie Glover reported that between April 2016 and March 2017 they reached out to 6,000 people.

Of those, they supported nearly 2,000 people with their mental health, they trained about 2,000 staff in various businesses and organisation across West Sussex, and reached more than 2,000 people through their anti-stigma and awareness raising work at various community events.

Anyone looking for support or willing to volunteer towards this organisations good work can obtain further information by emailing info@coastalwestsussexmind.org.

To finish my week off on a real high note I was back in one of my favourite places, Mewsbrook Park, for the unveiling of a new sculpture to act as a focal point for visitors to enjoy.

This had been organised by the Friend of Mewsbrook Park following the necessary felling of a large macrocarpa tree to make way for the new leisure centre site.

The trunk has been preserved and carved by local chainsaw wood sculptor Simon Groves with a design brief from the Friends to incorporate distinctive elements and wildlife from the park as well as a nod the history of the park by featuring Mewsbrook House which use to be on the site, and one of the iconic shelters.

Amongst some of the wildlife that can be seen depicted are a butterfly, fox, hedgehog, bat, bees in their honeycomb, swans and even a duck in flight.

I have since found out that when the tree was felled, the group gathered hundreds of seeds from its branches and have successfully grown two plants which they hope to return to the park in the future.

I am organising a Charity Fundraising Meal at The Boat House at the Littlehampton Marina in aid of my chosen causes this year – the Friends of Mewsbrook Park and the Littlehampton Heritage Railway Association.

The evening of October 20 will feature entertainment from local performers Alexis Twine and Tony Baker, and tickets cost £25 for two courses or £30 for three courses, including a glass of bubbly on arrival.

If you would like to support me with this by attending, please email: wpjblanchard@aol.com or call 01903 718300 for full details and menu.

With the winter months approaching, I have already seen an influx of invitations to many different activities and events.

I would like to attend as many as possible and cannot urge enough to please send your requests in as soon as you are able to the mayor’s office on 01903 732063. I look forward to hearing from you.