On behalf of Havant Borough Council, I wish all residents of the borough a joyful and peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year.
This Christmas is an opportunity to reflect on 2018, to look forward to the New Year and to send our best wishes to people close to our hearts.
Looking back on 2018, I have a wealth of good memories from my time spent with community groups, volunteers, young people and the elderly in our borough.
I want to give a special thanks to everyone who has supported my charity appeal fund in aid of The Rowans Hospice and Riverside School. Your continued support of these worthy causes is much appreciated and will be gratefully received by them.
At Christmas acts of kindness can make a real difference, like remembering to check on our neighbours, donating to the local food bank or simply asking someone how they are feeling. A little help can go a long way. In 2018, staff and councillors at Havant Borough Council have once again been working in partnership with Southern Domestic Abuse Service (SDAS) on a Christmas present initiative. The initiative is in its fifth year and sees presents donated to children and adults that are supported by SDAS, who may not otherwise receive anything to open at Christmas.
Whilst most of us will be spending quality time with our families and friends, for others it can be a very difficult time. Some people will not be with their loved ones this Christmas, including those serving in our armed forces across the world. It is heart-warming to know that these dedicated people do so much to ensure our lives are better and safer.
I was honoured to have had the chance to represent the residents of Havant borough during the World War 1 centenary ceremonies in November. These ceremonies act as a reminder of the sacrifice our fallen heroes made so that we can live more prosperous lives today.
Finally, I would like to give special thanks to all those people who will be working over the Christmas period in our emergency and essential services, keeping us safe and supporting the community. Your dedication and hard work is something we all appreciate.