THIS past year has been very different for us all – and not least for Waverley’s outgoing mayor, Councillor Penny Marriott.
Since taking the mayoral chains in June 2020, the borough has been in one stage or another of restrictions and therefore the normal work of being a mayor has been very much a ‘virtual’ experience.
As it is the custom to support chosen charities within the borough, the mayor, hoping to raise much-needed funds for Waverley Home Start, Farnham and District Sea Cadets and 40 Degreez, took on the challenge of walking 100 miles, swimming 100 lengths, cycling 100km on a static exercise bike – plus learning to ride a real bike for 100 metres.
And Cllr Marriott rose to the challenge when the government’s ban on remote council meetings after May 6 brought forward Waverley’s mayoral handover, forcing her to walk, swim and cycle at double speed to complete her challenge a month early.
The Farnham Upper Hale councillor said: “I can see young families and young people are among the most affected by this pandemic and these charities are going to be very much in demand over the next few months and years – just at a time when they can’t raise money in the usual way.
“So all the charities I am raising money for are at the forefront in helping these groups in Waverley.”
Cllr Marriott completed the walking and swimming elements of her challenge before handing over Waverley’s mayoralty to Haslemere councillor John Robini on April 27 – a month earlier than the official May 27 handover date.
But she promises to cycle the elusive 100 metres as a ‘virtual past mayor’ before she officially should have handed over the chain on May 25.
She added: “Having tried out the ‘bike’ this week in Farnham Sports Centre (now reopened), I can see I will have to develop some muscles or I won’t finish before Christmas, let alone by the end of this month!”
To find out more about the mayor’s charity challenge and to donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/waverleymayors