STALWART councillor Tom Hargreaves is the new Mayor of St Helens.
Coun Hargreaves was first elected to the council in 1984 and has dedicated his Mayor’s Appeal to help people with dementia.
At last week’s Mayor-making ceremony, Coun Hargreaves said: “I have decided in my term of office as Mayor to set up a charitable trust to help people with dementia and their carers in St Helens.
“There is much that can be done to make life as comfortable and bearable as possible. The first thing is to learn how to deal with the very quick change that occurs in a person’s lifestyle. When someone you love is diagnosed with dementia it is devastating to be informed there is no reversal.
“It is most important to find the correct help and support. Then, once you have understood the illness and all it entails, you have to take a positive attitude and not let it get you down. Those affected find inner strength to cope and seek ways to make life as comfortable and happy as possible.
“I also know that once you have accepted this dreadful illness, above all, underneath is still the same person and you can learn to live a happy life revisiting places with good memories.
“The most important thing is to have the right carer, and keep as many friends as possible. As we all know, a problem shared is a problem halved and can sometimes be solved more easily when discussed with those who care.”
Coun Hargreaves has had a lifelong passion for gardening and has held various key chairmanships at the council.
He has also been the Chairman of Sutton Manor Community Primary School for 20 years, is on the Leaf Centre Management Committee and is Chairman of Renew Four Acre.
He married Elsie, the love of his life, on April 1, 1961. Sadly, she passed away last year.
Local Lib Dem deputy leader Suzanne Knight was confirmed as deputy Mayor.