Cllr Eric Shaw, who represents Chiseldon, was made Mayor of Swindon at the first council meeting of the new civic year on 20 May.
He has chosen to support two charities of contrasting size. West Swindon Dressability is a small group of paid staff and volunteers who do vital work adapting clothing so that people with disabilities are able to wear everyday garments which have been altered to allow easy access and give self-confidence to the user.
At the other end of the scale, Eric, pictured, is supporting the GWH Trust Brighter Futures charity which is raising £2.9 million to bring radiotherapy to Swindon, so that cancer patients will no longer have to make the arduous daily trip to Oxford for treatment.
He said: “Hundreds of Swindon patients are having to make an average of 40 journeys to Oxford or Bath to receive the radiotherapy treatment they so urgently need. Each journey they make is a 70-mile round trip, so the time, cost and stress experienced by patients and their families is enormous.
“I would encourage everyone to do what they can to raise the £2.9 million needed to help bring radiotherapy to Swindon. I am proud to be supporting Brighter Futures during my Mayoral year.”
Jennifer Green, Head of Fundraising for Brighter Futures, said: “We’re delighted that Swindon’s Mayor has chosen Brighter Futures as his charity of the year. We’ve already raised £690,000 towards the £2.9 million we need to pay for the equipment for a new Radiotherapy Unit and we now need more local people, businesses and organisations to get behind our Appeal.”
Manager of Dressability Sharon Tombs expressed delight that the Mayor is supporting the charity which adapts everyday garments for people with disabilities so that they can feel comfortable and confident when they go out. She said: “We’re a really small organisation, yet we’re provide a unique service. As far as we can tell we’re the only charity of its kind in Britain.
“It’s great that the Mayor will helping to raise our profile, awareness of what we do and any financial contribution will be most welcome. It will enable us to continue supporting people with disabilities in the community, making a real difference not only to the lives of the individual but also to those of their families and carers.”
Pictured top, the Mayor with Brighter Futures staff at the Great Western Hospital, from left, Lisa Utting, Anne Norman, Nerissa Vaughan (Chief Executive) and Chloe Thomas.
Below, some of the Dressability team, from left, Rosemary Morgan, trustee, Andrea Hawker, fundraiser, Sharon Tombs, manager. Photos above: Richard Wintle of Calyx
Pictured bottom, attending the Mayor’s dinner at Steam Museum on Friday 20 May, from left, Ann Blundell Trustee, Andrea Hawker, Fundraiser, Mayor Eric Shaw, Sharon Tombs Manager. Photo: shootmephotographic