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My second month as Mayor has been just as busy as the first month.

Invitations have once again covered a wide variety of events and happenings.

Visits to schools have been a major part of the month with visits to Stamford Green Fun Day and Wallace Fields 50th birthday celebrations. A mini sports day by Ewell Castle held at Priory Court showed the very young and not so young successfully working together. Orchard Hill college celebrated success at the Racecourse and highlighted many young people who are overcoming their disabilities and achieving success in many ways.

An evening celebration of Glyn School Arts showcased a variety of art and drama skills. This was followed a few weeks later with the MGS04 festival starting with a Musicians Guide to a happy marriage and ending with an interesting Epsom Wells Street Theatre event in Epsom Square.

Continuing the arts theme, we opened a week long art exhibition by a very talented local artist, Mrs. Kumar, visited Happy Glaze Ceramics “have a go” day in Waterloo Road and enjoyed listening to the Epsom Male Voice Choir at St Barnabas.

We launched Busylizzie at Ewell Court House, a ‘club’ for mums to be and mums with babies, visited Epsom Sure Start for their Healthy Childrens Centre award and relaunched Surrey Wheels for All at King George V playing fields (Harriers race track) where there were a variety of bikes that had been adapted so anyone could have a go at cycling including those in wheelchairs. Even the Mayoress, who has not been on a bike for 50 years had a go!

We were invited to present Duke of Edinburgh awards to young people at Ruxley Church, we attended the Surrey Youth Games reception at the RAC club where team “Epsom and Ewell” were given a good send off. The following week we attended the games at Surrey University where team “Epsom and Ewell” excelled again! A few weeks later I attended the Active Surrey school games at St Georges college in Addlestone where many primary schools from Epsom and Ewell could hold their head up high.

On a more social side we visited the new Wellbeing “Daycare plus” service at the Community and Wellbeing Centre in Sefton Road, opened the Big Day Out at Shadbolt park, were invited to the Epsom Club for a meal in honour of the Mayor, attended a fundraising tea and boat trip at Spelthorne, Suddies in Waterloo Road celebrated their 20th birthday by running a cake stall for Age Concern and we attended the Independents Day celebration at Hobbledown where I ended up on the high ropes course. The Mayoress declined gracefully but enjoyed watching me!

The more formal events were an invitation to Iftar at the Islamic Centre in Hook Road (the breaking of the fast during Ramadan) where we shared an enjoyable meal with both Muslems and those of other faiths or none. We were invited to the Joint Armed Forces service at Guildford Cathedral, the raising of the Armed Forces day flag, a multi faith service at Elmbridge and an invitation to County Hall in Kingston for a Civic Network event. A jobcentre Ability Fair in Dorking found a number of employers and charities with stalls visited by numerous job seekers.

The highlight of our second month must be the visit to Chantilly, our twin town in France, where we were treated like royalty. The 3 day choral festival was a great success and we met many people from Chantilly (the organisers) as well as their two other twinned towns. The Epsom choir, Baristers, were in great form and we were fortunate enough to hear them before we travelled (as well as a few times in Chantilly).

Alongside all the invitations the charity committee have also been busy and the Mayoress, Ann, ran a very successful Ladies Lunch and Geoff Morris opened his magnificent garden with cream teas and Pimms being served.

This has continued to help the Mayors Charities both in fund raising and raising the profile of the three charities which are -

Girlguiding UK, specifically for projects in the Borough to improve facilities for not only Girlguiding but other youths including Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.

Talking Newspaper based at Swail House and providing a ‘lifeline’ service to those who are blind or partially sighted.

Work Stress Solutions (WSS) who support a wide range of disadvantaged people, young and old, by improving their self-esteem, providing training and offering volunteering or employment opportunities both within and outside their organisation.

Future events include garden parties, a golf day, a quiz night and a Ball. I am sure that there will be many more and hope that you are able to join us and have some fun while helping to raise funds for my charities. For more information see e-Borough Insight and/or go to www.mayorscharitiesepsom.org.uk.

Among all the above activities and events I have met weekly with Revd. Gill Long, my Chaplain and she continues to be a great strength and support to me!

I am passionate about our community and if my presence could support you organisation’s objectives I am happy to take part by giving short talks, presenting certificates, starting or opening an event or simply supporting whatever you are doing.

If you would like me to take part, please get in touch with the Mayors’ office at the town hall, email easkew@epsom-ewell.gov.uk.

Photo – Matthew Wing, Surrey Wheels for All