South Tyneside’s first citizen has thanked people in the borough for their support at the halfway point of his year in office.
Since becoming Mayor and Mayoress in May, Coun Ken Stephenson and his mum Cathy have met hundreds of people who work to make South Tyneside a better place.
They have been raising money for the Mayor’s Charity - which this year is supporting The Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust and St Clare’s Hospice.
Coun Stephenson said: “With plenty more civic engagements to come over the next few months, we look forward to many more occasions where we can help to boost the Mayor’s Charity fund and represent the borough across South Tyneside and beyond.
“The Mayoress and I have both had a fantastic time representing South Tyneside and meeting so many wonderful people.
“It is a real honour serving the borough and its kind-hearted residents.
“As we welcome in the new year, we would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their ongoing support and wish the residents of South Tyneside a very peaceful, happy and healthy 2019.”
Highlights of their time in office so far include The Mayor’s Sunday Parade, Armed Forces Day, the Summer Parade and the 80th anniversary celebrations of Jarrow and Hebburn Athletic Club.
The last seven months have seen them launch initiatives such as the popular Tyne and Wear Heritage Open Days at the recently restored St Hilda’s Pit Head, as well as Child Safety Week, Diabetes Awareness Day and World Mental Health Day.
They have also strengthened relations with the borough’s French twin town of Epinay-sur-Seine, and unveiled a blue plaque in tribute to Joseph Bede Symonds.
The Mayor and Mayoress recently helped to celebrate the achievements of local organisations such as South Tyneside Ability Football Club and celebrated Local Democracy Week.
They also welcomed the family of Second World War Victoria Cross hero Captain Richard Annand to South Shields Town Hall, where they came together to see his memorial statue.
They also launched the Poppy Appeal and joined communities to mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice.
They also switched on the Christmas lights in South Shields and Jarrow and opened the annual Christmas fair at Haven Point.
The pair visited the revamped Jarrow Focus leisure and community building as Jarrow Musical Theatre Company staged its Christmas panto Rapunzel.