(This article first appeared in the Brighton Argus on 14th May 2016)
2015/16 was a record-breaking year for the Mayor’s Charities. By raising £60,000, Cllr. Lynda Hyde, who stood down as the Mayor of Brighton and Hove on Thursday, broke the previous record set by Brian Fitch in 2014/15.
In that year, BHT was one of three beneficiaries and the amounts raised went a long way to our own record-breaking year in raising funds for First Base Day Centre. Heaven knows, the services offered by First Base are needed more than ever before. The enthusiasm and energy that Brian and Norah Fitch showed was a huge encouragement.
The new mayor, Cllr Peter West, is taking an interesting and novel approach to his charities. Rather than selecting two or three who would benefit from his fundraising efforts, he has decided to work with a total of 27 charities. While the Mayor’s Charity Committee traditionally organises events throughout the year, Mayor West will be supporting events organised by the charities themselves.
Will this approach be better or worse? I think it is certainly worth a try even though it breaks, in some way, with tradition. If the 27 charities each raise £3,000 with the support of the Mayor, that would raise £81,000, itself beating Lynda Hyde’s record. As one of the twenty seven charities chosen by Cllr. West, BHT will use this opportunity to raise as much as possible.
I wish Pete West a very successful year as the First Citizen of our city, and I thank Lynda Hyde for all she has done over the last year.