Weekly Column: Mayor Mohammed Zaman
Date published: 17 May 2019
Mayor Mohammed Zaman
Monday 20 May to Sunday 26 May is Dementia Action Week, which is promoted and celebrated throughout the UK by individuals, workplaces and communities with the aim to take action and improve the lives of people living with dementia, as well as help their families and carers.
We have a number of people within the borough who are dealing with or are affected by dementia in some way, and sometimes it cannot be easy. When I attend some events, I can forget names which can be embarrassing and upsetting, but in real life this is natural, and we must always support and help one another in any way we can.
Lots of help is available around Rochdale with GPs, care centres and hubs, and community organisations who can give practical tips and host events to offer support to those dealing with dementia.
Together we can make a difference – whether little or big – we all have something to offer to our own capacity and I hope Dementia Action Week is recognised across the town.
Week commencing Monday 6 May – Sunday 12 May
Bank Holiday Monday, I attended the May Day celebrations in Middleton to open the festivities organised by Middleton Roundtable. This is an annual parade that has been celebrated for a very long time in Middleton, to welcome spring, warmer weather and the idea of new beginnings.
Over the years, Middleton Roundtable have developed their engagement with the local community and the local schools, with many now being involved in the celebration. I could tell the young people had practised very hard for the maypole dancing, making sure they didn’t get the ribbons tangled, and I was glad to see so many families supporting them.
Thank you and well done to the chairperson of Middleton Roundtable who actually organised this as his first event as chairperson, and all other members for providing an entertaining day. It was very interesting for me.
The month of Ramadan started on Tuesday, which is a time of fasting for Muslims over 29 – 30 days. This is until the sighting of the new moon, which will mark the end of Ramadan and welcome Eid celebrations. Eid will be a joyous occasion to celebrate with family and friends as we share delicious traditional meals and exchange gifts. I look forward to Eid at the end of this month.
Tuesday evening, all councillors who were newly elected or re-elected at the local elections were invited to Rochdale Town Hall to be sworn in by Chief Executive of the council, Steve Rumbelow. Family and friends of the elected were also invited to observe the ceremony in the council chambers. Thank you to Steve Rumbelow, Elaine Newman and all other officers who attended, and congratulations to all who were elected in their ward.
Wednesday, I had no engagements.
Thursday, I was invited to Oulder Hill Community School as they were officially adopted by the Royal British Legion in a special ceremony for all the hard work and research they did on Remembrance.
In November, I was invited to the school for a memorial service and to unveil their WW1 map display. The map that the students designed specifically commemorated the soldiers from Rochdale who fought in the war and is a wonderful way of remembering those local heroes that will always live in our hearts.
This project has not only had local recognition but national recognition, and I am glad to see the students work recognised. Congratulations to year 10 students, Jake Idiens and Jenna Holt, who created the national award-winning legacy project.
I attended my last Mayor’s Charity meeting before my term of office comes to an end. I am incredibly grateful for all of the committee members contributions, ideas and the motivation they have given me throughout the year. They are a group of talented volunteers who offer endless support for noble causes and charitable events. I will remember them for all their hard work during my time as mayor. Thanks to the chair of the committee, John Kay, as well as all the town hall staff – Dorothy Johnstone, Nazam Suleman, Richard Hall, Charlotte Preston, Luke Settle and Mary for their help and support over the year.
Thursday evening, I was taken to the headquarters of 1832 Manchester Squadron. I presented certificates to cadets who helped raise funds for local charities with a bag pack at Tesco, Middleton. A number of young people attended on the day to take part in the bag pack and to raise awareness of the Mayor’s Charity Appeal.
Around £800 was collected on the day and I am grateful for all the encouragement we received.
I was also taken to 1263 Rochdale Squadron’s headquarters, where I again presented certificates to those who took part in a bag packing at Tesco in Rochdale. Thursday night was also an open evening for the group, so a number of parents were there and encouraged young people to join if they wish to pursue a career in the army.
A very good presentation was given on how the squad recruit for different areas in the army and officers were on hand to give advice and answer any queries the young people had before joining.
Thank you to all of the cadets who helped in raising funds for my chosen charities and I wish the groups the best of luck for the future.
Friday, I was invited to Strand Community Hub for the opening of a RBH 'Workwear Workshop'. The centre is a new purpose-built community hub providing many facilities such as a foodbank, cookery courses, community café and a parade of shops and now have most recently introduced the workwear workshop.
I visited on Friday to witness and open the new workshop, where the hub has a wide selection of clothing and footwear at cheap prices, suitable for a job interview or employment. People have donated these clothes to help those who are looking for employment but can’t afford essentials like presentable work clothes.
Kauser Tufail runs the new workshop and said she is very pleased to run it for the community after she was encouraged by RBH and her colleagues to pursue it and make a difference. Thank you to the workers at Strand Community Hub for their services, the CEO of RBH Gareth Swarbrick and councillors who also attended. I’m very pleased to see this set up and hope it will benefit many local members of the community.
Friday evening welcomed Rochdale Roundtable’s 85th Charter Night dinner at Rochdale Masonic Hall. The hall was packed out as an evening of entertainment was provided by comedians Bob Webb and Dudley Doolittle. I enjoyed making new friends whilst learning more about Roundtable’s initiative and the projects they do in Rochdale, as well as other areas.
I was still fasting at the time of the meal, so I waited until my fast opening time around 9pm to enjoy my meal. I was happy to raise awareness on Ramadan to members of the Roundtable group as I explained I had to wait until sunset to eat.
Thank you to John Roe and the other members for inviting me, I am very grateful you thought of me to join you. I wish the group all the best and hope you keep up the good work.
Saturday, I attended Unity Iftars across the borough at Blue Mosque and Madina Mosque. Unity Iftars are organised annually on the same day in all mosques in the UK, where local community members and non-Muslims are invited to mosques to observe praise and have an Iftar meal. The Iftars were very well attended by people from different churches and members of different mosque communities.
A presentation was given by one of the mosque committee members on the purpose of Ramadan, the benefits and the charity given during the month of Ramadan. All seemed to enjoy this and appreciated learning new things about faith.
Thank you to Reverend Mark Coleman, Councillor Janet Emsley, Reverend Paul Daly, Councillor Wendy Cocks, Councillor Sameena Zaheer and all others who attended the two mosques with me. Thank you to UK Islamic Mission (UKIM) for organising these events to raise awareness and promote harmony within our communities.
The Mayor welcomes invitations to events held by local organisations and individuals. Due to demand, it may not be possible for the Mayor to attend every event he is invited to.
To invite the Mayor to your event please complete the Mayor attendance form and return it to the Mayor's Officer.
Tel: 01706 924773
The next Mayor of Rochdale will be councillor Billy Sheerin who will be sworn in at the next full council meeting on Wednesday 22 May 2019
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