Social isolation and vulnerable groups are top of the agenda as the newly elected Mayor of Basildon, Councillor David Burton-Sampson, announces the good causes set to benefit from a year of fundraising.

 The Mayor's Charity Appeal will work closely with the Jo Cox Foundation, set up after the murder of Jo Cox MP in 2016, to tackle the loneliness and isolation that can be felt by individuals from all walks of life.

"The mantra of the foundation is 'more in common' and I really do believe that we have more in common with each other if we can just break down some of the barriers that separate us," said Councillor Burton-Sampson.

"Whether it's providing physical and emotional support to elderly residents to help them get out of the house more, or providing more opportunities for local residents to get together, I'm pleased to partner with the Jo Cox Foundation to help bring our communities together and celebrate all that unites us."

The Jo Cox Foundation said "Jo recognised that loneliness was one of the most urgent and pressing social problems of our time, but also one that every single one of us can help solve by recognising loneliness in our own lives and the lives of others. We are delighted to start working with the Mayor's Charity Appeal to build a positive local legacy for Jo in Basildon through supporting people who are isolated and building closer, kinder neighbourhoods; something that is so close to Jo's heart."

The Mayor's Charity Appeal will also set up a community fund, designed to support smaller community groups in the borough. Groups will be able to apply for funding toward projects that support vulnerable members of their local community.

"I want us to help smaller groups - run by individuals with a real passion for their local communities - get the financial support they need to flourish. They really are the life blood of our society," said Councillor Burton-Sampson.

"This is about bringing everyone in our communities together, celebrating the similarities we share and building a legacy of kindness and support which lasts for years to come.

"I am proud to serve as Mayor of Basildon and I am excited about the year ahead."

Fundraising efforts kick off this weekend with The Mayor's Picnic in the Park as part of the Jo Cox Foundation's nationwide Great Get Together. The event takes place on Sunday 23 June from 11.30am to 2.30pm in front of The Heritage Barn.


Ends - published on Friday 21 June 2019