Take a Moment with Sallie Barker MBE, County Club member, the next Mayor of Guildford, and we think it is fair to say, all-round ‘force of nature’.

Quite frankly, it would take longer than a moment just to list Sallie’s achievements, so we will begin with some heavily edited highlights.

Guildford Borough Councillor and current Deputy Mayor, Chair of British Blind Sport, School Governor, former Major in the Territorial Army, World Lacrosse Finance & Governance Officer, Organiser of the first International Conference for Women in Sport, and Chair of the Organising Committee of the World Lacrosse Championships in Guildford in 2017.

Then there is the World Blind Games, and a small matter of 3000 athletes from around the globe, oh and did we mention the Los Angeles Olympics scheduled for 2028?

Sallie and her colleagues at World Lacrosse are responsible for teams from 90 member countries competing for medals at the Olympics for the first time since 1908, in a brand new 6-a-side format.

See what we mean by ‘force of nature’, and believe us when we say that these are ‘just’ a few of the highlights.

Sallie graduated from Leeds University with a Masters in Physical Education, and has worked in and around sport, as a teacher, and a senior administrator, for more than thirty years, joining the Sports Council in 1990, shortly after moving to Guildford from Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Immensely proud to be the incoming Mayor of Guildford, Sallie told us of her plans for her year in office, beginning with a tribute to outgoing Mayor, and friend of The County Club, Masuk Miah.

‘I have seen at first hand just how hard Masuk, and previous Mayors of the Borough have worked, the position really is special, and I believe that it is so much more than a ceremonial role.

First and foremost, I want to the year ahead to be great fun, not just for me, but for everyone. Guildford is a remarkable town, and borough, packed with great, generous people, beautiful villages, and wonderful countryside. I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to do everything that we can as a community, to help one another.’

It is this spirit of community and engagement that will be the key element of Sallie’s year in office.

‘The Mayor of Guildford’s Local Support Fund is a long established charity providing help for those in genuine need. I am determined to help as many local charities as possible, especially those smaller organisations, often completely volunteer lead, that might not get the same attention as larger, well-established charities.

The plain fact is that the Mayor’s fund has limited capacity to offer financial help, but with my background in organisational management, I believe that we can do much more by helping charities to help themselves, by raising their profiles and getting their important messages across to as many people as possible.

A wonderful example of a tiny charity that does great work is ReSkilled, based at St. Peter’s Church in Guildford they use a wood workshop to raise individuals’ confidence and teach general work skills, encouraging participants to engage with voluntary work partners with the purpose of entering sustainable employment.’

This is just one of dozens of relatively unheralded charities, run by generous and talented people for the good of our community, and it is my intention to help as many as I can.’

With a track record as impressive as Sallie’s, we do not doubt for one minute that this will be a spectacular year for Guildford’s Mayoralty, and we cannot wait to see what’s in store for the borough.

…And finally, as Sir Trevor used to say on News at Ten, Sallie has asked us to mention the Guildford Rotary ‘Big Charity Walk’ on the 19th of May.

The event takes place in Shalford Park, with 2k, 6k and 10 mile options, and is open to anyone to raise funds for a charity of their choice, Sallie will of course be taking part (can you guess which distance?)

For more details please visit the Rotary website, and feel free to share this link with as many people as possible.