“I have lived in Braunstone town for 23 years and am honoured to be representing the community as Mayor. Prior to becoming mayor, I worked closely with disadvantaged communities to help improve their life chances, hence why I feel so passionate about helping others, as I know that with the right support, time and guidance people can achieve their goals and future aspirations and become active citizens in society.
“It is my great pleasure as Mayor to support our local charity Leicestershire Life Links, part of national mental health charity Richmond Fellowship as my fundraising charity of the year. I chose Life Links because through working in the community I have witnessed first hand the widespread effects of mental ill health, both on the individual themselves and also their family and friends. I therefore want people to know that support is available to them and to know how they can find it – not just for their own mental health and wellbeing but also to help support somebody close to them who may be suffering.
“Supporting Life Links also resonates with me on a personal level as I sadly lost my father to a lung disease. Being diagnosed with this illness had a significant impact on him, as prior to his illness he was such an independent and active person and sadly his diagnosis led him to become withdrawn and feel low. I know if my father had had access to a service like Life Links it would have really helped him mentally and may have also given him the strength to fight his illness and live longer.
“We often talk about physical health and keeping fit, but it is crucial that we also raise awareness to the benefits and importance of maintaining our mental health. The more we talk about mental health, the more it will help to break down barriers to accessing support and thus reduce the stigma that many people still face.
“Mental Health is an illness that can affect anyone at any time in their life and if we continue to talk more about how it affects people, it will help educate us all in how we can help those suffering so they do not feel embarrassed or alone”.