THE MAYOR of Sefton visited Southport Samaritans to present them with a cheque for £400.
The money was raised following the first ever civic visit to the Sussex Road mosque by a Sefton Mayor – it was jointly organised by the Iman, Soyful Alam and the Vicar of Holy Trinity Rod Garner, who is the mayor’s chaplain.
Iain Brodie Browne, the current Mayor of Sefton, said: “I handed over a cheque for £400 raised by a joint meal organised by the Iman of Southport’s mosque and the clergy at Holy Trinity Southport.
“The cheque was presented to the Director of Southport Samaritans at their HQ in Union Street.
“I nominated the Samaritans as the charity to receive the money raised because their local volunteers do important work.
“ I understand that there has be a 30% rise in the number of people contacting the Samaritans and this has been particularly amongst younger people.
“The break down in mental health services has added greatly to the numbers of people contacting them. The Samaritans deserve the whole communities thanks for the help they give. People of all ages and backgrounds contact the charity.
“I was particularly impressed by the innovative ways the charity was using to help people in need contact them.
“It is highly regrettably that it has taken so long for a Mayor to recognise the important role Southport Mosque plays in our community. Their good works are not confined to their own congregation but reach out into the wider community.
“The mosques were the hosts and provided a really excellent meal.
“Everyone who attended recognised the significance of the occasion.
“Not only was there civic recognition, this was also the first joint event between the two faith groups building on a series of visits to each other.
“The joint meal raised over £400 for the Southport Samaritans.” Explaining his choice for the Samaritans, the Mayor said: “I have been involved with mental health work for a long time.
“Recently someone I had known for almost thirty years committed suicide and it has had a great impact on me and my work colleagues.”