Mayor of Lewisham announces the new Mayoress of Lewisham
- Bridgit Sam-Bailey has agreed to be the Mayoress of Lewisham for this year
- Farewells outgoing Mayoresses Dawn Atkinson, Natasha Ricketts and Christina Norman
- The trio will remain working within the community, tirelessly campaign for food justice.
Born in British Guiana, former businesswoman, trade unionist and academic, Bridgit is the Chair of Lewisham Pensioner's Forum and has been instrumental in turning the forum into a campaigning force for older people.
This year also marks the 75th Anniversary of the Windrush Generation first moving to the UK, and with Lewisham home to the third highest Afro-Caribbean population in all the UK, it seemed fitting to choose a Mayoress that would help celebrate that rich history and ensure that we properly celebrate the anniversary. As part of the Windrush Generation when she moved to the UK in 1960, Bridgit is the perfect fit.
Her recent focus has been campaigning to highlight the impact that the cost-of-living crisis is having on older people, ensuring older people stay connected, and in less recent times, campaigned to help save Lewisham Hospital, where the campaign will be celebrating 10 years this summer.
Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said “I am really looking forward to working with Bridgit closely this year, she is ferociously community minded and has changed the lives of hundreds of local people. I would also like to thank our outgoing Mayoresses, Dawn, Natasha and Christina, who have brought to the role relentless energy and enthusiasm. I am immensely proud of the work they have delivered from running the Evelyn Community Store helping thousands across the community, to coordinating a huge effort to provide lunches for thousands of children during the school holidays.”
Bridgit Sam-Bailey, Mayoress of Lewisham, said, “I am thrilled to accept the role of Mayoress of Lewisham from the Mayor and so proud to build on the work I do championing for older people in the borough. It’s going to be a busy year and I can’t wait to get started.”
Former Mayoresses Dawn, Natasha and Christina said, “It’s an absolute privilege to be asked by Damien to complete three years as Mayoresses of Lewisham. The past few years with a pandemic and cost of living crisis have been exceptionally challenging and through our work at the Evelyn Community Store we have seen first hand just how hardhit Lewisham families have been. We are honoured to be able to work for the people of Lewisham and look forward to continuing our role as former Mayoresess”.