Civic pride in abundance at Leighton-Linslade Mayor's annual service

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The Leighton-Linslade annual civic service took yesterday (Sunday) at All Saints Church and was well attended by residents, local organisations, uniformed groups and dignitaries.

The service included a presentation and blessing of centenary ribbons by Vice Lord Lieutenant, Chris Sharwood-Smith MBE, to the local Royal British Legion. Readings were done by the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Chris Sharwood-Smith MBE and the High Sheriff, Lady Jane Clifford.

The Town Mayor (September 2020-May 2022), Councillor Farzana Kharawala, presented cheques to her chosen charities following 18 months of fundraising.

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Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the Mayor was able to present funds of £2,175 each to Home-Start Central Bedfordshire, CHUMS charity, Macmillan Cancer Support and Freddie and Friends. The Mayor would like to thank everyone who has supported her in raising funds for these local causes.

Caryn Fripp receives her Community Volunteer Award (Photo: June Essex)Caryn Fripp receives her Community Volunteer Award (Photo: June Essex)
Caryn Fripp receives her Community Volunteer Award (Photo: June Essex)

Cllr Kharawala said: “It has been the greatest honour to serve as the Mayor and today is my opportunity to recognise, thank and celebrate all the many unsung heroes in our community and those who make such a positive contribution to our town. It has been truly humbling to meet these people and see their inspirational work”.

The service also included the presentation of the 2022 Community Volunteer Awards to two worthy recipients. Caryn Fripp received her award for her years of volunteering to support the Leighton Buzzard Netball Club, which has been running for over 40 years and is based at Vandyke Upper School.

Pam Brown received her award as one of the founder members of the Leighton Buzzard Voluntary Patient Transport group and many fellow volunteers from the group turned out to support her. The group helps provide transport for patients travelling to doctor and hospital appointments and due to its success, is actively looking to recruit more volunteer drivers and call handlers. If you are interested in finding out more, please visit