OVER the past few weeks, I have been privileged to attend several local school functions. These often go by different names – graduation ceremony, awards night, speech days, but they are all wonderful events, full of optimism and pride. If anyone should doubt the talent and potential of our children, then I recommend them to pop along to the next event at their local school.
If there is one message I should like to pass on to these future citizens it is “Never give up on your dreams”. Whatever their abilities or, in fact, disabilities, I truly believe that if a person works hard enough and believes hard enough in themselves then they can achieve anything.
This was brought home to me at a party given by SASBAH to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Bourne Free Youth Club. For those who haven’t heard of it, SASBAH stands for the Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Their aim is to provide services and activities that enable people with disability, of all ages, to live life to the full.
For instance, in 2016, the SASBAH centre for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards enabled 9 affected young people to gain full awards, including 4 at the prestigious Gold level. This made a total of 33 since the support programme started over 6 years ago.
As with so many organisations, volunteers play an essential role in SASBAH’s future. Last year, the value of the association’s services were doubled through the efforts of these inspirational people. They are the key to so much of SASBAH’s work, including friendship as ‘buddy’ partners, working alongside those gaining work experience, helping out on residential breaks or raising both funds and awareness.
If you think you might be able to help or, indeed, would like to know more about the help SASBAH could offer you, please don’t hesitate to contact their main office in Heathfield. Telephone 01825 873045. They will be delighted to hear from you.
As you know, I have now started my second Mayoral year and we had a small presentation in the Mayor’s Parlour when I was delighted to present final cheques to my 2 chosen charities of 2016/17. – We have now started on the next round of fundraising for my 2 new charities, so please come along and support us through the year. We plan to hold a great variety of events, so there is bound to be something to suit everybody. Details of forthcoming events can be obtained by contacting Nicola Metcalfe at the Mayor’s Office, telephone 01323 415020. We’ll look forward to seeing you.
Very best wishes to you all
Mayor of Eastbourne