Mayor aims to celebrate town’s unsung heroes

Matthew Horwood, mayor of Southwold. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Matthew Horwood, mayor of Southwold. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

This town has much to commend beyond its traditions and its history to the people living, working and holidaying in the town, today in 2017.

We are still fortunate to have many people who contribute their time and energies on a voluntary basis seeking no reward other than the pleasure and support they give to others.

For me my mayoral year is focussed on celebrating those people who are beavering away behind the scenes and not perhaps getting the public recognition and thanks they deserve. As well as recognising those who do so much for the town, we need to be aware that a number of the people who are volunteering are reaching an age where they will no longer be able to give as much as they would like to give and have to take a step back. We need to recognise and thank them for all they have done and now we need to encourage other members of the community to step forward to take their place as the next generation of volunteers.

Another key idea for me during this year is linked to this need to develop the next generation of volunteers. The number of our young people is diminishing, as is the resident population of the town.

I have chosen as my charity to support this year the Loft Youth Centre led enthusiastically and energetically by Keith Meldrum. I believe that by supporting the centre financially and publicly this will enhance the range of work they can become involved with and secure its future for the children and young people growing up in Southwold in generations to come.

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I would like to see as well this centre making connections and links with other organisations in the town so the young people reach out and get involved with such groups as the VHC who do excellent work with the older members of our community. The young people can give back to the community, as well as enjoying what the community can offer them. They will I hope become the volunteers of the future who will maintain the excellent services already available in the town.

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