Former South Tyneside Mayor hands out £24,000 boost for charities

Former Mayor Coun Alan Smith and Mayoress Coun Moira Smith  with charity representatives, Young Carer's Karen Ahmed, Diabetes UK's Dave Mason and Citizen Advice's Keith Palmer.
Former Mayor Coun Alan Smith and Mayoress Coun Moira Smith with charity representatives, Young Carer's Karen Ahmed, Diabetes UK's Dave Mason and Citizen Advice's Keith Palmer.

Christmas came early for charities across South Tyneside when they received a civic cash boost from last year’s Mayor.

Former Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Alan Smith, raised more than £24,000 during his year of office - thanks to the support of council staff and colleagues and kind-hearted residents, businesses and community groups.

Coun Smith - along with former Mayoress, Coun Moira Smith - distributed his Mayor’s Charity Fund cash at a reception at South Shields Town Hall.

Young Carers in South Tyneside were handed a cheque for £6,000 and Citizens Advice Bureau South Tyneside and Diabetes UK South Tyneside each received a boost of £5,500.

A number of other organisations also received smaller donations.

Coun Smith said: “I was delighted to welcome these charities into the town hall and present them with cheques. They are all very worthy causes making a huge difference to people’s lives and carrying out invaluable work in South Tyneside.

“During our year of office, the Mayoress and I had a wonderful time meeting so many outstanding individuals and wonderful community groups. “I would like to thank all those who supported us, from holding fundraising events to making a donation to my appeal.

“Their kindness has helped us to raise such a fantastic amount of money for local organisations and I know they are all extremely grateful for the contribution.”

Young Carers in South Tyneside supports children and young people under the age of 18 who take on responsibilities usually expected of adults in providing care, practical help and emotional support to another person.

The person being cared for are often parents, but could be siblings, grandparents or another other relative, who is disabled, has a chronic illness or another problem or condition causing a need for care, support or supervision.

Citizens Advice Bureau South Tyneside provides free impartial information and advice on a wide range of subjects, from helping people to resolve debt and financial problems to offering guidance on housing, employment, consumer rights and welfare issues.

Diabetes UK South Tyneside is one of more than 350 voluntary groups raising awareness of diabetes and supporting those living with the condition as well as their families and friends.

Other organisations to benefit from Councillor Smith’s Mayor’s Charity fund included South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade, Cancer Connections, Hospitality and Hope, sea cadets groups and gymnastics groups among others.

The money was raised from the proceeds of a range of charity events held throughout Coun Smith’s year of office - including a charity golf day and a Civic Ball.

, film showings and charity bag packs.

This year’s Mayor, Coun Olive Punchion, has chosen to raise money for CLIC Sargent and the British Heart Foundation South Tyneside during her 2017/18 mayoral year.