Mayor vows to raise money for GAFIRS and cancer unit

From left, Keith Thomas of Gafirs, Mayoress Anne Ford, The Mayor Michael Ford and Tina Wellman-Hawke of the Dave Wellman Cancer Trust'''Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150961-3)
From left, Keith Thomas of Gafirs, Mayoress Anne Ford, The Mayor Michael Ford and Tina Wellman-Hawke of the Dave Wellman Cancer Trust'''Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150961-3)
A family enjoy the sleigh ride at Keydell Nurseries          Picture: Habibur Rahman

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A MAYOR is hoping to help save lives as he launches his charity appeal.

Councillor Michael Ford, who became Mayor of Fareham borough last month, announced he would be raising money for The Gosport and Fareham In-Shore Rescue Service and The Dave Wellman Cancer Trust.

More than 80 people went to the Holiday Inn, in Titchfield, yesterday to the official launch.

Numerous charity events are planned over the next year.

Cllr Ford said he is excited about what awaits and wants to raise as much cash as possible.

He said: ‘We wanted to choose charities that were local – ones that are run by volunteers and did not have huge salaries to pay.

‘We wanted charities that rely on charity donations and where whatever we raised would make a difference, rather than a national charity where whatever we raised in the scheme of things would be small change.

‘We aren’t particularly sea people but we thought, living here, something to do with the sea would be good.

‘I did not know much about Gafirs and I went to see them.

‘They do such a fantastic job.

‘The service is completely run by volunteers.

‘They need £50,000 a year to keep running. We were very impressed when we went to see them.’

The Dave Wellman Cancer Trust tugs at the heartstrings, especially for his wife, Mayoress Anne Ford.

Her first husband died from cancer.

The trust is operated by Tina Wellman-Hawkel who also lost her husband to cancer and now helps to support a cancer unit at Southampton General Hospital.

Cllr Ford, who represents Warsash, said: ‘She’s raising money for a Cancer Immunology Centre.

‘From a personal point of view my wife Anne, lost her first husband to cancer, so it really resonated with her.’

Among the events are a cycle ride, a garden party, concerts, and a fashion show.