One of the unexpected joys I have discovered since becoming Mayor is meeting new groups of people in Frome about whom I was previously unaware. My family first came to Frome over 50 years ago and I thought I had a good knowledge of what was going on in the town, but I continue to be nicely surprised at everything that happens here.
For example, last Saturday I was delighted to attend the Christmas (and Independence Day) celebrations of a group of Finnish people and their families who now live in and around the town. They gather once a fortnight and learn about their culture whilst being fully immersed in their adopted town. I knew nothing about them before I attended the wonderful Multi-Cultural Frome event last month, where I learned much more about the people who make up the more than 50 nationalities living in Frome.
Along similar lines, I remember five years ago, I attended a meeting that brought together organisations, both statutory and voluntary, that were providing services to our residents. At that meeting, about 80 organisations were represented. We recently re-evaluated that figure and estimate that this number now stands at about 120! The town acknowledges those who are striving to make life better for our citizens and I am attending as many events as possible in the next couple of weeks in the run up to Christmas so I can thank them personally and show them how much they are appreciated.
As it’s traditionally the season for excess, I’m also trying to balance this with some exercise and had the great pleasure of taking part in the Frome Santa Dash on Sunday in aid of We Hear You. A bracing 4km fun run around the Old Showfield dressed as Santa certainly blew the cobwebs away, and all for a good cause!