The past Mayor of West Lancashire Councillor Doreen Stephenson has presented £16,500 to charities she has supported in her Mayoral year.
The funds were raised by Councillor Stephenson and her husband and consort John with the support of the Mayor’s Charity Committee, and through a large number of fundraising events.
There have been three successful ladies lunches, two at Hurlston Hall Golf Club and a special Christmas one at Briars Hall Hotel. There were also some very enjoyable meals sponsored and hosted by the Blue Mallard, The Cricketers, The Hop Vine and The Saracens Head.
Other successful occasions included the Sinatra Night at Ormskirk Civic Hall, and afternoon high tea at Rufford Old Hall with 16 Mayors and their guests from across Lancashire, Merseyside and Cheshire.
Councillor Stephenson said: “It has been a real pleasure for me to raise these funds and John and I are very grateful to the hard-working members of the Mayor’s Charity Committee. I have many happy memories of the fundraising events that have been organised and I hope the money we have raised will make a big difference to these very worthy causes.”
One of Councillor Stephenson’s last duties as Mayor was to present the cheques to the charities.
She gave £12,000 to the Skem MenAces football team to go towards the cost of a new minibus. Skem MenAces are a football team for adults with learning disabilities, They play in matches all over the country and competed at the Special Olympics in Bath in 2013, where they won a silver medal.
Carl Eaton, team manager, said: “Transport is a huge expense for us and we have been talking about buying a minibus for five years. Thanks to the money from the Mayor’s charity we have been able to sign on the dotted line for the vehicle and we will be very proud to drive around the country in our minibus.”
Home-Start Central Lancashire received £2,000 to help train new volunteers to help its work in supporting families with children aged from newborn up to 11. The families could be experiencing a range of difficulties from feeling isolated after the birth of a child, to a child having problems with homework.
Carole Lee, manager of Home-Start Central Lancashire, said: “Being one of the Mayor’s charities this year has been fantastic for us in helping raise our profile. The money raised will go towards training new volunteers to help families and work with the four family support groups based in West Lancashire.”
A further £2,000 was donated to Ormskirk Hospital Radio, which plays requests, dedications and health promotion messages for patients and staff at the hospital 24 hours a day.
Brian Conlan, programme controller, said: “We are very grateful to have received this funding and have already spent the money to upgrade our equipment and help us in providing a service to even more people. Many West Lancashire residents use the hospital facilities at Southport Hospital and we have been able to start broadcasting to that site as well as Ormskirk Hospital.”
Another £500 has been donated to the Church Spire Renovation Fund at St Cuthbert’s CE Church in Halsall, which is aiming to raise more than £300,000 for the grade one listed building.
Colin Throp, from the church, said: “We have already had to spend £20,000 on emergency repairs. The Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed a potential grant £242,400 for the works. But we have to raise another £50,000 to show the Heritage Lottery Fund the community is committed to the scheme and we are very grateful for this donation which helps us to do that.”