Supporting local charities as well as businesses and organisations is at the top of the agenda for newly elected Wealden District Council chairman Councillor Ron Reed.

Councillor Reed, a councillor for Crowborough Central since 2015, has announced Dementia Support East Sussex and The Children’s Respite Trust will be the two charities he will support throughout his term of office.

The former mayor of Crowborough – and also currently a member of the town council – said he is also looking forward to attending various events across the district now that lockdown restrictions have been lifted following the Covid-19 pandemic. Councillor Reed, a former operations director with a major engineering company and who has been married to his wife Lyn for 45 years, has been a member of the Bluebell Railway for 25 years where he has volunteered and worked his way through the ranks to porter, a station master and a guard.

He is also a member of the Lions Club and a past president. In his spare time he and Lyn enjoy cruises and he is a keen gardener having turned half of the garden at his home in Crowborough into a wildlife area. Councillor Reed said the chairman’s charities he had chosen to support did ‘fantastic work’ within the community.

He said, “The team at Dementia Support East Sussex has started to return to care homes/centres with their singing sessions and it is clear to see their clients have missed them and are delighted to be able to connect with them again – long may it continue.

“They continue to run sessions online as well as one-to-one ‘chat and sing’ sessions over the phone. I hope to attend more of their sessions and promote their fantastic work so they can reach even more of our residents across the district.”

The Children’s Respite Trust, based in Uckfield, has supported some 34 families in the district and county through its charity work.

It gives families much-needed respite from the strain of caring for a disabled child 24 hours a day and this respite takes many forms. For most, it means regular support at home from a Children’s Respite Trust carer. For others it involves attending a regular activity or it can mean a day session at the new Children’s Respite Centre.

Councillor Reed said, “I would encourage everyone to have a look at the amazing fundraising events on the website to not only help raise funds for this fantastic charity but to raise awareness of the work it does and how children with disabilities and their carers/families can be supported.”

In addition to supporting the charities, Cllr Reed is keen to help support and promote local businesses and organisations in the district.

He said, “I am pleased to report the Civic Office is getting busier, invitations are coming in, and it is great to be able to get back out in to the community and support local events, particularly local businesses as they ease out of lockdown.

“I urge people to contact the Civic Office at Wealden District Council if they are planning special events that I can support and help to promote.”

Stepping up to the role of vice chairman of the council is Councillor Angela Snell, a Polegate town councillor and Wealden district councillor representing the ward of Polegate North since 2015.

Councillor Snell is also a former mayor of Polegate, was a school governor for three years and works part time as a wedding celebrant and a registrar.

To find out more about the chairman and to invite him to an event complete our online engagement form or contact the chairman’s PA, Miss Amy Clemens on 01892 602435 or email amy.clemens@wealden.gov.uk

Photo: Chairman, Councillor Ron Reed