Through experiencing the world’s longest zip wire and holding office for a record length of time, outgoing Council Chairman Cllr Susannah Barker-Milan raised more than £3,000 to the county’s domestic abuse support charity EDAN Lincs.
Because of the pandemic, Cllr Barker-Milan was Chairman of North Kesteven District Council for an extended 19 months, five months longer than usual.
But despite the pandemic impacting on Cllr Barker-Milan’s ability to get out and about meeting people within the community and raising the profile of both the Council and the charity, she still managed to raise £3,095 for EDAN Lincs.
This was in no small part through Cllr Barker-Milan’s own personal endeavours in taking up the challenge presented by Velocity 2, the world’s longest and Europe’s fastest zipwire in North Wales, which she said was ‘both terrifying and exhilarating’.
Additionally her charity fund was swelled by generous donations from the public and fellow councillors, £320 raised by guests at the NK Community Champion Awards evening and £1,000 donated by Lincs Rural Housing Association which had also chosen EDAN Lincs as its nominated cause.
“Although civic engagements continued to be limited as Chairman, I was very proud to have the opportunity to represent the District Council during this time. I will forever be proud to have been the Chairman of North Kesteven District Council,” said Cllr Barker-Milan.
Twice Mayor of North Hykeham previously, Cllr Barker-Milan was elected to the District Council in May 2019 and took up the Vice-Charman’s role just days later. This too was a period extended by the pandemic, meaning that she spent three years in these principal roles.
“During both my Mayoral terms and now as District Chairman, I have looked to raise awareness around vulnerable people in society,” she said.
“Bringing a greater awareness of dementia, mental health and domestic violence to the heart of our communities is very important to me and I believe we all need to understand more fully the impact, needs and our own responses.
“For me a sense of community is created when people are kind to those who need help. We have seen the strength of our communities coming together to care and offer support for people affected by the coronavirus pandemic and now by welcoming generously our Ukrainian guests.
“EDAN stands for Ending Domestic Abuse Now in Lincolnshire and hopefully the money we have raised will go some way to supporting this Charity and the valuable work it does,” said the care home manager with a specialism in dementia care.
A highlight of Cllr Barker-Milan’s time in office had been meeting the finalists of the 2021 NK Community Champions Awards in November at Doddington Hall. “It was a privilege sharing their aspirations to help others and I have no doubt that many other wonderful people will be nominated for the 2022 awards,” she said. Nominations of such expressions of kind, selfless and voluntary community endeavour can be made at www.NKawards.org
Cllr Barker-Milan is succeeded as District Council Chairman by Cllr Lucille Hagues, a councillor for the Cliff Villages Ward, with fellow North Hykeham councillor and former Town Mayor Ross Little as Vice-Chairman.
There used to be a tradition of the chairman holding office for two years at North Kesteven, which ended more than two decades ago.