The mayor officially started her charity appeal for her year of office.

And on a day of political surprises, the leader of the council was able to pull another rabbit out of the hat.

At the reception in committee room six of Hillingdon Civic Centre – and just hours after Boris Johnson had announced he would be seeking a Parliamentary seat – Councillor Ray Puddifoot said £30,000 made from the sale of recycled clothes would help to get the appeal in aid of Michael Sobell Hospice off to a flying start.

Since coming to office in May, a month later than usual because of the local elections, Catherine Dann, the Mayor of Hillingdon, has been busy getting her appeal into gear.

Each year the mayor chooses a good cause or causes, and the hospice in the grounds of Mount Vernon Hospital in Rickmansworth Road, Northwood, is hers.

“The Mayoress and I chose Michael Sobell Hospice because we both have personal experience of the service, and the comfort and support they offer for both patients and their families,” she said.

The fund has hit the ground running, and the Mayor was able to present the hospice with a cheque for £629, to buy a lawnmower and sundial for the hopice garden – one of the three areas she intends to support; the other two are in-patient care services, for which she wants to buy a special bath and a recliner chair, and the day centre.

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The hospice spends £2,500 a day to provide its vital services, and relies hugely on gifts in cash and kind.

It offers palliative care, bereavement support, pain control, counselling and a range of therapies.

Still recovering from the news of Mr Puddifoot’s surprise gift, hospice chairman, Rod Lacey, thanked the mayor for supporting the hospice during her year of office.

“We are a local charity for local people,” he said.

“This hospice is somewhere where patients and their families can spend time together in a very special place.

“Our aim is, very simply, for our patients to live the remainder of their lives as fully as possible.”

To support the Mayor of Hillingdon’s charity and to let her know about a fundraising activity that you are holding, email mayor@hillingdon.gov.uk or call 01895 250763.