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Mayor goes the extra mile to support chosen charities

Many fundraising activities have been cancelled to keep everyone safe right now but the Mayor of Stevenage, Councillor Jim Brown is still determined to raise money for three important local causes despite the difficulties presented by social distancing measures.

Each year three causes are nominated as the Mayor’s chosen charities. This year they are the Stevenage Community Trust, Haven First and Sport Stevenage.

  • Stevenage Community Trust established Stevenage Helps which has given many in our town vital support during lockdown and beyond. It is an independent charity that provides funding and support to charitable organisations and people in need. Their work makes a significant difference to local people’s lives and is only possible thanks to many generous and loyal supporters. On 19th March the Trust launched their Stevenage Helps, COVID-19 Appeal in partnership with Stevenage Borough Council. As so many families in our community felt the impact of COVID-19 they set up an appeal to ensure that the generous donations reach those most in need in Stevenage and the surrounding villages. The Trust have 30 years of experience in the distribution of grants to individuals in hardship, and charities working with the people of Stevenage. The Stevenage Helps funding appeal had already raised £64,000 by 14th October. Now they are raising money to provide school meals over the holiday.

  • Haven First (formerly Stevenage Haven and North Herts Sanctuary) does vital work with homeless people, providing support to those experiencing homelessness in North Hertfordshire. With two sites in Stevenage and Hitchin, it is able to provide support and shelter for over 56 residents.

    As well as accommodation, support services include: counselling, specialist substance abuse support, mental & physical wellbeing training, life skills & budgeting, and an outreach service supporting people experiencing street homelessness. The charity works with a number of key organisations and has 14 move-on properties to ensure that people are able to break the cycle of homelessness.

  • Sport Stevenage helps keeps people active. Many voluntary sport clubs are struggling with large cuts in income from events and membership fees during the pandemic. Having to exercise solo has been a problem for people, some concerned about being alone, some missing the company and motivation that goes with it. Few have the space or resources to get themselves a private gym. The clubs will be vital to getting Stevenage moving again and helping to bring the community back together.

With the help of the Community Trust, Jim has set up a fundraising page at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JimBrown20 . All donations will be shared between the three endeavours.

The mayor is coming up with some ideas and activities of his own but local individuals and groups, are very welcome to come up with suggestions to make a contribution.

So whats Jim going to do?

A virtual Stevenage Half Marathon of 13.1 miles following (with a few adjustments due to the changed circumstances) the route used by the 2019 event. Scheduled for Sunday 1 November, the day the real event would have happened before the pandemic restrictions made that impossible, Jim would welcome some company but not more than six people as everyone’s health and well-being is paramount.

A virtual Emitremmus. For more than 25 years hundreds of local cyclists celebrated the end of summertime, the day the clocks change, by riding their bikes. It’s not practical to do the whole route but the mayor will be going round the ‘Emit Lite’ option which does not go into Essex. Put the two together and you get more than fifty miles.

If you wish to make a donation to the Mayor’s Fund you may do so by making a payment online - visit the Mayor’s page at www.stevenage.gov.uk

Forwarding cash or a cheque (payable to Stevenage Borough Council) to the Mayor’s Office, Stevenage Borough Council, Daneshill House, Danestrete, Stevenage, Herts SG1 1HN. All donations will be acknowledged. Fundraising goes on until May 2021.

The Mayor says that what he can do at the moment is limited by the guidelines necessary for everyone’s health but he is very happy to support local organisations at small group or virtual events if that will help. Please ring 01438 242227 or email the.mayor@stevenage.gov.uk if you are interested.

For press enquiries contact Corporate Communications on 01438 242 168.

© 2020 Stevenage Borough Council