IT HAS been quite the year for out-going Leamington Mayor Coun Nick Wilkins.
And he would like to thank everyone who helped him make it such a huge success as he looks back on his highlights of 2022-2023.
Nick began his journey at the Mayoral Inaugeration in May 2022 and since then he has undertaken more than 200 events representing the people of Leamington.
He said: “It has been an unprecedented three years having acted as deputy mayor for two years due to the lockdown during the pandemic. And now as mayor. I thank my deputy mayor, Coun Alan Boad, for his support during my mayoral year.”
LWS Night Shelter was Nick’s chosen charity during his time as mayor.
It was a charity close to his heart as Nick himself was homeless for a short period of his younger life.
He volunteered for LWS Night Shelter every weekend helping them provide an average of 98 meals and 50 food parcels each Saturday and Sunday and even encouraged the whole town to wear their pyjamas for the day to raise cash for the charity.
During his mayoral year, Nick helped businesses raise their profile and celebrated their successes.
He attended the launch of the Leamington branch of Business Buzz and visited Warwickshire Lyengar Yoga who have just opened a new studio in Clemens Street.
Nick was on hand to unveil a blue plaque at a Leamington house where an historically important couple lived. Christopher Ironside was an important camoufleur and the designer of the decimal coin. His wife Janey was professor of fashion at the Royal College of Art. They lived at 11 Lansdowne Circus during the Second World War.
The year saw Nick drop in to many of the areas community centres including MIND at the Syndi Centre and the Brinswick Hub. He said he was impressed with how much these community centres do for the benefit of local people.
Among Nick’s favourite activities of the year was attending community projects such as the Rotary Club Car in the Spa show. He recalls it was a scorching day but well worth it as there was great community spirit.
Lillington Fun Day was also a highlight.
Nick said: “What a great event, well organized, with a massive turn out. Thank you so much for the invite.”
He also got to tuck in to great food at the Bangladesh Food Festival and to attend the Leamington North and South Primary Care
Network Appreciation Party in recognition of the volunteers who helped with the vaccinations during the pandemic.
When the Commonwealth Games came to town, Nick met Leamington born Lewis Williams, who is the number one heavyweight GB boxer and represented England in the Commonwealth Games.
Nick said he was delighted to launch the Forget Me Not Cafe – a not-for-profit dementia and disability friendly Café in Clarendon Avenue, while he attended the Remembrance Service for the Queen hosted by many communities including the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and his own church St John the Baptist.
Nick paid tribute on Remembrance Sunday, laying a wreath for Leamington’s townspeople. He said he would always hold this day dear as it was wonderful to see the turn out of people paying their respects to the fallen.
And Nick was also at the Party in the Park at the Pump Room Gardens to celebrate the King’s Coronation.
Thirty six local charities benefitted from a portion of a £45,000 cash pot this year thanks to Leamington Town Council.
The grants were given to support a wide range of ventures – from art events to community learning – all aiming to make life better for local residents.
Nick now hands over the baton to Deputy Mayor Coun Alan Boad and his consort Sarah and wishes them an enjoyable and memorable year, just like his own.