Saffron Walden: Past mayor’s charities share £11,000 of funds

Donation of money to charities by former mayor of Saffron Walden.
Saffron Walden.
June 18, 2014.

Donation of money to charities by former mayor of Saffron Walden. Saffron Walden. June 18, 2014. Photograph by Michael boyton Pic shows: David handing over the cheques. Names (L-R): Simon Lloyd (town clerk); Alison Heavey (Huntington's Disease Assc); Shirley Goulding (finance officer, SWTC); David Watson (former mayor); Sharon Watson (former mayoress); Helen Doust (RDA treasurer); Ros James (RDA fundraiser); Chantek McNeilage (chairman, RDA). - Credit: Archant

TWO “fantastic causes” have been given a huge financial boost by a past mayor of Saffron Walden.

Cllr David Watson raised over £11,000 during his year in office. The money has been divided between his chosen charities, the Saffron Walden Riding for the Disabled and the Huntington’s Disease Association (HDA).

Cllr Watson said it had been an privilege to be the mayor of the town, adding: “I would like to thank everyone who helped raise so much. It will give an awful amount of pleasure for the children and give advances in Huntington’s disease research.”

Fundraising included events such as the mayor’s ball, music events and a fashion show and the final cheques were handed over to representatives of the charities at a town hall ceremony on Tuesday.

Saffron Walden Riding for the Disabled was recommended to him by previous mayor Bob Easton, while he also rode horses as a child. He said that the children at the centre, in Debden Green, are the “happiest children on the planet”.

Chairman of the centre, Chantek McNeilage, said the money will “secure its future”.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to the mayor and his wife for being so supportive of everything we do. We are genuinely touched,” she said.

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The Huntington’s Disease Association meanwhile, holds a personal connection for Cllr Watson – his aunt died of the disease while his nephew has recently been diagnosed.

Alison Heavey, HDA regional care adviser for Essex, was delighted to receive the cheque and added “a very big thank you to David for thinking” of the charity which offers support to anyone affected by the disease.

• Saffron Walden Riding for the Disabled is seeking new volunteers to help out on Thursday and Friday morning during term time.

To get involved, visit Experience with horses is not necessary as training is provided.