Mayor of Grantham Jacky Smith hosted her last engagement on Wednesday night with the presentation to her nominated charities.
Coun Smith has been fund-raising throughout her year as Mayor and presented cheques for £3,514.90 to St Barnabas Hospice and Trust House Lincolnshire.
In front of guests at the Mayor’s Parlour in the Guildhall, Coun Smith said she had been associated with St Barnabas Hospice for many years, since its early days as Gifts Hospice when she was a member of its board.
Coun Smith said the hospice was something that was desperately needed in the town and that it was with ‘great pleasure’ that she was there for the opening of the bedded unit in the hospice now based on Barrowby Road.
Trust House Lincolnshire supports victims of rape and sexual abuse of all ages. A branch of the charity was set up in Grantham last year and has supported more than 100 clients since it was launched in the town.
Coun Smith said Trust House supported people of all ages and many of those had only been able to unburden themselves of their experiences later in life with the help of the charity. “We now hope they have somewhere to go in safety and anonymity.”
A raffle on the evening raised £92.50 which Coun Smith has donated to South Lincolnshire Blind Society, a charity close to her heart as her late husband was almost totally blind before he died.
Coun Smith told her guests: “I would like to thank all of you who have given me lots of help attending engagements and have helped with projects because there are times when being a mayor can be quite tiring, but it is always interesting. There have been many occasions when I have visited places I would never have visited. I have even been to prison!”
Coun Smith said she had met a lot of people who work in the voluntary sector in Grantham and praised them for their work in what are hard times financially, and it had been a ‘great honour and privelege’ to meet so many people.
She said when she became Mayor she wanted to show that ‘Grantham is great’ and as mayor over the past year she had seen that Grantham is a great place. She added: “I was not born in Grantham, but Grantham is now very much in my heart.”
Coun Smith thanked her Mayor’s officer, Peter Bates, who is retiring and her personal assistant Ann Mason who is also leaving the Mayor’s Parlour.
District Councillor Mike Cook, who will become Deputy Mayor of Grantham for 2016/17, proposed a toast to Coun Smith, saying she had served as mayor with ‘grace, distinction and honour’.
Coun Linda Wootten will become Mayor of Grantham at a mayor-making ceremony next week.