Dereham’s new mayor Hilary Bushell vows to tackle isolation, support people with mental health issues and recognise unsung heroes

Dereham's new mayor Hilary Bushell. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Dereham's new mayor Hilary Bushell. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Dereham's new mayor Hilary Bushell has vowed to support people with mental health issues and bring recognition to some of the town's unsung heroes during her year in office.

One of her first tasks will be to present Citizen's Awards, with nominations coming from the public.

This could be a volunteer who has helped the local community, cared for others or made a significant difference to Dereham, including raising the profile of the town, in an unpaid capacity. It will need to be someone who has not received a Citizen's Award in the past.

Miss Bushell said: 'We've not had awards like this in Dereham for many years and there are people out there who dedicate a great deal of time and effort to the town who deserve recognition.'

Mental health charity Mind will be Miss Bushell's charity of the year.

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She will also start a new group called Dereham Forget Me Nots, to support people who feel lonely and isolated.

This will be launched on May 26 and informal meetings will be at Dereham Library between 10am and 12pm on the last Tuesday of every month.

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Miss Bushell said: 'The group is for anyone of any age. It will be somewhere to talk and form new friendships.

'I'm supporting Mind because mental health is a very important issue in the world today.'

Miss Bushell served as deputy mayor last year and has worked with many groups in the town. She has been chairman of the patient participation group at Theatre Royal Surgery and a member of the Dereham and Caudebec Twinning Association.

To nominate someone for a Dereham Citizen's Award, write to Dereham Town Council, giving details of deserving individuals and a short citation detailing how they have served the community and for how long they have served. Those short-listed will be invited to the Mayor's Civic Service in July, when presentations will be made. Send nominations to: The Mayor, Councillor H Bushell, Dereham Town Council, Assembly Rooms, Quebec Street, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 2TX. The deadline for nominations is June 30.

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