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March 2020

My first engagement in March was attending Stockton Stage Society’s production of My Fair Lady at the Forum Theatre. It was an extra special performance as it was the Society’s 100th anniversary. The lead role, Eliza Doolittle, was played by Samantha Holden who sang songs from the World War One and Two eras at Armed Forces Day in June last year, so it was great to see her in a completely different role. The whole show was wonderful, the Society gave a brilliant performance.

I attended two charity events supporting my fellow Civics across the North East, the Mayor of Sedgefield’s Ball and the Mayor of Gateshead’s Ball. I had a great time at both events.  I also attended Sunderland’s flag raising ceremony, where the Commonwealth Flag was flown outside their civic centre to mark Commonwealth Day. 

At the beginning of March I had seen an appeal on Facebook by Green Lodge Care Home. One of their residents was turning 100 so the care home was asking people to send in birthday cards. I got in touch with Green Lodge Care Home and arranged a visit on the lady’s birthday to present her with a beautiful bouquet. I hope she enjoyed the flowers and had a lovely birthday reading all the cards she received from members of the public.

The local Soroptomist International group visited the Town Hall for a tour. Soroptimist International is a female volunteer movement with groups across 121 countries that work together to transform the lives of women and girls by education, empowerment and enabling opportunities. I was delighted to show the group around our historic Town House, telling them not only about the council, but also our towns important place in history and about some of our famous residents. At the end of the tour the group presented a cheque for my charities, which I was extremely pleased to receive.

I was delighted to attend the Come & See Breakfast at The Trinity Centre in North Ormesby. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu attended the centre to meet with local people and I was privileged to be one of the people chosen to take part. It was a fantastic morning of celebration, hospitality, and prayer. Later that evening I attended a fundraising event at Selby Abbey. A Gala Concert with performances by the talented Leeds College of Music Contemporary Pop Choir and Miss Maria May a vintage vocalist.

My final engagement on 15th March was the Evensong for the Courts and Declaration and Installation of the High Sheriff of Durham that took place at Durham Cathedral.  The role of High Sheriff is to support the Crown, the Judiciary, the Police and other law enforcement agencies,  and take an active part in supporting and promoting the voluntary sector. They are independent and non-political Royal appointments made for one year only and the new High Sheriff who was installed at this ceremony is Mr David Gray. It was a beautiful service which I was honoured to witness

Since mid March I have been isolating at home. Thank you to all the residents who continue to work to keep us safe and to the rest who must stay home to save lives.

Mayor and others make equal signs with hands for IWD