The past Mayor for 2016-17, Cllr Tannia Shipley, chose to support two charities during her Mayoral Year, Elmbridge Community Link (ECL) and Concern and Help for East Elmbridge Retired (CHEER). She was delighted to present the charities with a cheque for the magnificent amount of £36,647.38. The funds had been raised during her year in office by holding many events including a Charity Opera performance, Ladies’ Luncheon, a Christmas Music Evening, a Jazz Concert, a Men’s Lunch and a Golf Day. The local community, schools and businesses were also generous with donations.
Councillor Mrs Shipley presented representatives from both ECL and CHEER, with the cheque which will be equally split between the two. They were delighted with the funds raised to enable them to increase their services. CHEER helps elderly Elmbridge residents to lead full, dignified and independent lives in their own home for as long as possible. It is a small, local charity with more than 60-years’ experience of offering benefit advice, a voluntary network of home befrienders and an important link to other services available to the elderly within Elmbridge; and ECL offers opportunities to adults and young people with a learning disability to live more fulfilling lives by learning new skills and enjoying making new friends. The professional and dedicated staff and volunteers run a variety of projects for people with a wide spectrum of learning disabilities. In 2009 the charity was awarded The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service which is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The organisation is currently expanding to reach more people that can benefit from their various services.
Councillor Mrs Shipley said “I have been so pleased to support these wonderful charities. The work they carry out in the community is literally life-changing. We have raised the profile of these worthwhile and local charities and the Elmbridge community have been totally involved – I would like to thank everyone who helped over the past year. I have been overwhelmed with the generosity received at my fundraising events and I was delighted to pass on this cheque.”
Terri Collins, Chairman of ECL, said ‘On behalf of ECL I would like to thank the Mayor for her outstanding support and endorsement of our charity. As a direct result of the money raised, we have been able to raise the profile of the Charity and employ a new part-time member to the ECL team.
We know our members are healthier, happier, more sociable and confident. We also know that there are approximately 2,000 people in Elmbridge with a learning disability who are not supported by social services. By adding another member to the ECL team we will have an additional resource to help reach the people who are under the radar; and particularly those from a younger age group who can feel particularly isolated when they leave full time education.’
Janis Fletcher, Chairman of CHEER Trustees, said “CHEER is delighted that the community of Elmbridge responded so generously to the Mayor’s charity and that older people will benefit directly through our work to change lives with our befriending and support services”.