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Guest Blog. Rob Geleit celebrates a successful charity partnership

Rob Geleit

Rob Geleit reflects on charity work he and his colleagues undertook during his year as Mayor. Guest Blog. Councillor Rob Geleit represents Court Ward on Epsom & Ewell Borough Council and was Mayor in 2023-24. (3-minute read)

When I became Mayor a year ago I chose Citizens Advice as one of my charities of the year. Together with friends at Love Me Love My Mind and Age Concern, CAEE colleagues helped build a great partnership. I want to thank them and my tireless charity committee for their hard work in making the year a success.

Together we raised over £15,000 which exceeded our expectations. The effort paid off in enjoyment too, for both organisers and residents. I wouldn’t have missed Epsom August Fun Days, Hook Road Fireworks, Boxing Day procession and of course Curry Night!  

Thanks also go to The Comrades, RAC and Jockey Clubs for their generous support. And to the inimitable Cllr Graham Jones MBE for his kind help with a Coldstream Guards concert at the Playhouse. What a night! Cllr Jones, you raised thousands of pounds for my charities: hats off to you.

Mayors Coldstream
Busbys off to everyone who helped put on a brilliant series of events.
Community roots

In an earlier blog I wrote about the strong roots Citizens Advice has in our community. The charity began just before the Second World War and celebrates its 85th birthday this year. I noted that, as well as fundraising support, they needed new volunteers to cope with growing demand.

When I talked to their CEO Lisa Davis recently I asked how things were going and if our work had helped. Lisa confirmed that the events and profile of the Mayor’s Charities helped in raising awareness and fundraising. Both are essential if they are to continue supporting the community with trusted information and independent advice.

Lisa pointed out that annually they help nearly 3000 people with debts, homelessness, benefits, consumer matters and many other issues. But there are many who still need their help and for whom they want to reach to provide the advice and support they desperately need. “Our dedicated team of brilliant volunteers do most of this work and make the service possible. We receive core funding but the charity runs at a deficit so local support is vital.”

Stepping forward

I also learned that with our help in the past year CAEE has been able to take three important steps forward. First, to introduce a third drop-in-day each week. Second, to bring on additional staff and volunteers needing training and support. Third, to begin distributing the crisis household support fund. These are all activities that require people and funding to properly support them in their roles.

My year in office has shown me the generous and supportive side of Epsom & Ewell. Our truly local charities are among the borough’s most important assets. They are the residents’ way of saying to people with problems, ‘We are here for you. We want everyone to be able to play a full part in the community with no one left behind’.    

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