Supporting local families with young children and helping people with life-limiting conditions are the charity priorities of the new Mayor of Croydon.
Councillor Maddie Henson was sworn into her year’s term of office at a virtual Annual Meeting of the Council ceremony this evening (Monday 6 July), succeeding the 2019-20 Mayor, Councillor Humayun Kabir.
The Mayor of Croydon is the borough’s first citizen and its ceremonial and civic head for the year, attending hundreds of official engagements in the borough, London and nationwide.
A Croydon councillor for the last six years, Councillor Henson was born and bred in the borough, growing up in South Norwood. She attended Crosfield Nursery where she is now a governor, and went from there to South Norwood Primary and then Harris Crystal Palace. She has a BA in History from Kent University in Canterbury.
She became a councillor for the first time in 2014 for Ashburton ward, and was re-elected in 2018 in the newly-formed Addiscombe East. She has since served on many committees, specialising in adoption and fostering and championing children and young people. A mother-of-two, Councillor Henson’s husband Mark is her mayoral consort.
During her year in office she will raise awareness of three charities as well as raising funds for them:
• Home-Start Croydon, a voluntary organisation committed to supporting local families in their own homes who are experiencing difficulties or suffering stress and have at least one child under five.
• St Christopher’s Hospice, which promotes and provides skilled, compassionate palliative care.
• The MND Association, which supports anyone living with, or affected by, motor neurone disease or Kennedy’s disease in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Councillor Henson said: “I couldn’t be more honoured to have been elected as the Mayor of my home town, the town that I love. In particular, it means I can continue to support young people and local families, which has been one of my key priorities ever since I became a councillor.
“It was a privilege to serve as Deputy Mayor last year, and I can’t wait to get started in representing our borough, raising money for incredible charities and supporting our wonderful local communities.”
Councillor Henson will be assisted in her duties by Councillor Sherwan Chowdhury, who has been appointed as Deputy Mayor. Councillor Chowdhury, who came to the UK from Bangladesh in 1976 and moved to Thornton Heath in 1979, first became a councillor in Beulah ward in 1994.
A councillor for Norbury since 2006, the married father-of-three and grandfather-of-four is a founding member of Croydon Race Equality Partnership as a director/secretary, and helped establish and develop the Bangladesh Welfare Association in Croydon as general secretary and president. His consort is his wife Rohema Chowdhury.
The new Mayor of Croydon will be going live with her theme of early life with a video showing how the community have adapted to virtually provide their services during lockdown. This will be on Facebook at 11am on Tuesday from Ashburton Park. To watch the live event and the video, visit the Mayor’s Facebook page.