I am once again honoured and privileged to have been ask to take the Mayor of Cheltenham’s offical photograph, our new Mayor is Councillor Barbara Driver for 2011 – 2012, may I wish Madam Mayor a very successfull and happy Mayoral year. It is traditional for the new Mayor to choose three local charities to support which are listed below, I hope the people of Cheltenham will support the Mayor and her charities in her time as Mayor.

Mayor’s charities 2011-2012

The National Star College

The Star College is a registered charity and works tirelessly to raise the money needed to provide our students with the facilities they need to realise their hopes and aspirations.

We are lucky to have the backing of a tremendously supportive community – individuals and corporate – as well as donations from major donors and trust fund

It is only through continued financial support from charitable giving that we are able to offer the specialist equipment and accommodation which enriches the lives of our students, and enables them to take control of their future.

We provide specialist further education, training and personal development for young people aged 16-25 with complex physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries and associated sensory, learning, medical, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Students coming to National Star College get a stepping-stone in their transition towards adulthood and in gaining the skills and personal confidence to lead the most fulfilling and active lives possible.

The College offers a challenging but safe and supported environment for them to practice and develop skills to prepare for their future adult lives.

Some aim for continued further and higher education, employment or training. For others learning to communicate with people using a communication device, gain the freedom of independent mobility by learning to drive their electric wheelchair, or manage everyday tasks, are important goals.

Registered Charity 220239 | 01242 524478 | www.natstar.ac.uk

St Vincent’s and St George’s

Well Close House is a grade 2 listed building which is home to 10 women with a range of learning disabilities and mental health issues or sensory loss. It is currently registered with the Care Quality Commission as a care home and received an “excellent” rating during a recent visit. We involve the women in the running of the home and use a variety of methods to make sure there are opportunities for them to fully engage in the way the service runs. The women have asked for even more independence and we have worked with them to devise a plan to split the home into three separate self contained flats. Following the work we are hoping to deregister the home thus providing the women with an even more secure future.

Why do we want to do it

Good residential care provides an environment in which people can develop, learn skills and become as independent as possible. However, current legislation and policy around registered care homes provides for more restrictive practices than people would enjoy in private life. We want to support people to take up their rights and have a home they can call their own.

Registered Charity 1111403 | 01242 511237 | www.stvsandstgs.co.uk

YMCA

Cheltenham YMCA is a Christian organisation. Central to our aims are Christian values and service. Our main objectives are meeting the needs of young people and creating personal development opportunities for all.

The Cheltenham YMCA housing programme offers a much needed lifeline to vulnerable young people between the ages of 16 and 30 years old who, for a variety of reasons, find themselves homeless.

Established some 160 years ago, Cheltenham YMCA’s dedicated outreach scheme has helped hundreds of homeless young people overcome their issues and turn their lives around.

Cheltenham YMCA is now embarking on an exciting new housing development that will provide 81 modern accommodation units for local young people.

Registered Charity 1079951 | 01242 524024 | www.cheltenhamymca.com