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Issue 342 – The Mayor’s Christmas message

By Nick White,
Mayor of Frome

As Christmas races towards us and the year draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect on my year to date as Mayor. It has been quite extraordinary, as that at the start of the year I had no intention of running for the town council let alone becoming mayor!
I am extremely glad that life has taken this course as I have found out more about Frome and the people who live here this year than I had managed to discover in all of my previous fifty, and I do get out you know!
We all know that it is a remarkable place with a long history, but I doubt that many people know all about the variety of organisations and groups that we have in the town. Some on a formal footing some on a more casual basis, but many of them set up to help the town and its people in some way.
I have been invited to many of these groups to speak, present prizes or to help with fundraising events. I have met new faces and old. I have also met people that I know quite well but did not fully appreciate all that they do for the community.
People like Jan Taylor and his wife Ann, who have been helping to run The Gateway Club, which provides a social club for adults with learning difficulties. They have been doing this quietly and without fuss for 34 years now! Jan is also a volunteer with St John Ambulance.
June Barnes who has been running the Frome Carnival with her team for as long as I can remember but she also runs the Netball Club.
Gerry Franks who runs the Day Centre, helps with the Collegians (another fantastic organisation), he has also been a special constable, treasurer for countless groups, the list goes on and on with Gerry.
John Fuller has helped many generations of youngsters with his football connections and his Judo coaching.
There are many people like these in the town and we are so lucky to have them, but the point I am going to make is that we are going to need more people like them to step up and help.
We are entering a period where we will have to rely on more volunteers to plug the gaps that the withdrawal of state funding has created. We are faced with possibly losing the Youth Club in Vallis, as a case in point. We as a town council will have to think very hard about what we can do to save a very important resource for the town’s youth. Part of the answer will have to come from the voluntary sector.
So can I make this a sort of Mayor’s Christmas Appeal and that is to encourage as many readers, who have the notion, to come forward and join many of the existing organisations in the town, or if you have your own ideas on how you can help the town in any way, to come forward and let us know what you would like to do and we will see if we can help.
Can I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a rewarding New Year.

Nick White
Mayor of Frome

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