Mayor's Charities: National Autistic Society and Cancer Research

Wednesday 3rd October 2018

Mayor chooses the National Autistic Society, Newtownards and Cancer Research to support during his term of office

Mayor's Charities - National Autistic Society and Cancer Reserch

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Richard Smart has chosen the National Autistic Society, Newtownards and Cancer Research to support during his term of office.

Commenting on his choice the Mayor said: “I’m pleased and proud to be supporting two excellent and deserving causes during my term. These two charities have worked diligently within the Borough for many years, both saving lives and making the lives of others better. I look forward to working with residents across the Borough to help these charities raise much needed funds.”

Speaking about the Newtownards branch of the National Autistic Society the Mayor enthused: “Both through my service as a Newtownards Councillor and seeing it first hand with friends and family, I know that getting the diagnosis that your child is Autistic can be an incredibly lonely experience for a parent.”

However that soon changes when they visit the wonderful team of friendly volunteers at NAS Newtownards who not only provide activities to help young people develop but also empower parents with the tools and experience they need to support their child.  Volunteers work very hard to promote awareness of Autism and this is something I have found useful and insightful as it has broken many of my preconceived myths about Autism.”

Speaking about his other chosen charity Cancer Research UK the Mayor said: “Cancer is something that has touched every family in our Borough in some way. Treatments are getting better, more people are beating cancer, but there are still too many who don’t survive this cruel illness, one of whom was my Grandmother, a woman who played a large part in my young life and who was a loyal supporter of Cancer Research UK.

“I know that the money raised will be well spent in local hospitals, taking Research further, developing more and better treatments, so that fewer and fewer families lose loved ones to cancer.”

Throughout the year there will a number of fundraising events and activities run by the Mayor to help raise the necessary funds for both chosen charities.

Speaking about the exciting year of fundraising that lay ahead the Mayor said: “I would encourage the citizens of Ards and North Down to support these charities by donating or hosting events. Please get in touch with the Council and let us know if you have anything planned and we can help promote this for you as part of the calendar of events we are developing alongside the two charities.”

Stacey Lowry, Chair of NAS Newtownards said: ‘We offer support to families, across the Borough of Ards and North Down, who have a child with autism or Asperger syndrome. As well as providing suitable activities for young children with autism we also provide parent to parent support and promote awareness of autism with individuals and businesses alike.’

“We are thrilled and honoured to be chosen as one of the Mayor's chosen charities and are looking forward to a great year of fund raising and promoting autism awareness and acceptance.’

Adele Harris at Cancer Research UK Northern Ireland said: “Every hour, someone in Northern Ireland is diagnosed with cancer. Although the number of people being diagnosed with cancer is going up the good news is that, thanks to research, survival rates have doubled in the past 40 years.  More people across Northern Ireland are now beating the disease than ever before and Cancer Research UK’s work is at the heart of that progress.

“Cancer Research UK receives no Government funding for its ground-breaking research so funds raised through supporters is crucial to the work of doctors, nurses and scientists who work day and night to fight cancer on all fronts, so we are naturally delighted that Cllr Richard Smart has chosen Cancer Research UK as one of his two Mayoral charities.”