My volunteer would see my need – she would always ask me but she could always see what needed to be done – even if I couldn’t ask her

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Dorchester Mayoress raises 320

THE MAYORESS of Dorchester put her ‘backside in the beans’ to raise money for a good cause. Anita Harries gathered a hoard of attention as she braved the wet weather to dress as a hot dog and sit in a paddling pool of baked beans on Saturday. Sat on the floor on South Street, people stopped by to ask questions and donate money to Home-Start West Dorset, the charity which Anita is hoping to raise a profile for.

Anita said: “I just like doing crazy things. It grips people’s attention. I think people feel sorry for me! It’s a fun way of raising money. Charities are struggling to get the money they need. It’s just a bit of fun, but lots of people have started to ask about Home Start now, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s my last fundraiser as Mayoress. People have been very generous.”

Home-Start is a charity dedicated to helping families with young children under 5 in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland, who need support or advice in raising their children in the early years. Parent volunteers visit families at home to provide emotional support with issues such as isolation, disability and bereavement.

Cllr Stella Jones is a trustee of Home-Start and was also there on the day to raise money and answer questions about the charity. Her involvement started five years ago when she became a volunteer.

Town crier Alistair Chisholm said: “I think it’s wonderful how Tim and Anita have thrown themselves into the role of Mayor and Mayoress. They lead by example. “They are ready to ‘put their backside in the beans’ and go the extra mile for charity. I think it’s tremendous. I’m very proud to be the town crier whilst they have been here.”

Tim Harries, mayor of Dorchester, will end his time as mayor on Monday when he handed over to the next elected mayor. Tim said: “We’ll be sad but we’ll carry on doing fundraising outside of civic life. “It’s been hard work but it’s been fun.”

The baked beans were kindly donated by John Fiori, owner of the Horse with the Red Umbrella.

Article published in Dorset Echo

Published: 26-05-17 by Gemma Vasey