Mayor’s fundraising boost for three local charities

The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane has praised local people for helping her raise more than £24,000 for local charities during her past year in office – and hopes the public will continue to support her fundraising efforts in the year ahead.

As Cllr Diane Taylor embarks on a second year as the borough’s Mayor, due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, she has announced that her new charities for 2020/21 will be Sebastian’s Action Trust and St John Ambulance (Hampshire district).

After a hugely successful fundraising year from May 2019, which was brought to a halt when the lockdown restrictions were introduced, the Mayor is delighted to announce that a total of £24,881 has been raised for the Mayor’s Charity Appeal 2019/20.

This will be divided between her three chosen charities – HeartSmart which receives £9,752; Real Change Not Loose Change which also receives £9,752 and Besom in Basingstoke which receives £5,376.

Some of the popular Mayoral events which helped to boost the fundraising appeal included the Basingstoke Variety Show in October, the Mayor’s Charity Concert in March and an evening with global adventurer James Ketchell.

The Mayor said: “I am delighted that through the heartwarming generosity of local people who have supported my fundraising events, I have raised such a large amount for my three chosen charities for 2019/20.

“My Consort Dr Andy Taylor and I have enjoyed meeting so many local residents, members of clubs and organisations and business people during the past year and have attended many wonderful events – it was certainly a year I will remember with great affection.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for so many and affected the lives of everybody in the borough and beyond, it hasn’t dampened the spirits of local communities who have pulled together to help the vulnerable and support each other.

“That is why I’m so proud to live and work in this borough and I look forward to serving as Mayor for a second term. I hope local people will continue to support my charity appeal to raise vital funds for my new charities throughout the coming year.”

Sebastian’s Action Trust provides emotional, social, practical and respite care for life-limited and life-threatened children and their families at The Bluebells Centre in North Waltham and gives specialist support at a second centre in Berkshire.
The charity supports more than 600 families and offers exclusive breaks to the families of seriously-ill children and to those who are recently bereaved.

St John Ambulance is the charity that steps forward to save lives and support communities.

In 2019, St John Ambulance supported the NHS by treating 65,362 patients and transporting 64,057 people. Every year, around 300,000 people, including children and young people, learn how to save a life through St John Ambulance first aid training. During the current pandemic, the charity has been supporting hospitals, ambulance trusts and community projects. To find out more, including details of the charity’s emergency fundraising appeal, visit:

The Mayor added: “I am continuing to work through virtual attendance at meetings at present, but when we are able to hold public mayoral events again, I look forward to meeting more people and continuing the fundraising in our communities.”

To find out more about the Mayor, please visit

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