Rugby's new Mayor to focus on youth during year in office - The Rugby Observer

Rugby's new Mayor to focus on youth during year in office

Rugby Editorial 22nd May, 2024   0

YOUTH is the chosen theme for the new Mayor of Rugby’s term in office.

Coun Simon Ward has become the town’s new Mayor after being appointed at Rugby Borough Council’s annual meeting. Coun Barbara Brown was appointed Deputy Mayor.

Coun Ward has represented Wolston and The Lawfords since 2022. Born in Oldham, he moved to Rugby 18 years ago and lives in Long Lawford with wife Carrie and children Ruby and Noah.

A junior football coach and chairman of Lawford United, Coun Ward has supported Ukrainian refugees who moved to the borough following Russia’s illegal invasion, including offering free training sessions for Ukrainian youngsters.

With ‘youth’ as the theme for his Mayoral year, he plans to shine the spotlight on children and young people, celebrating achievement and recognising the positive roles young people play in the borough.

He has also chosen to support the OurJay Foundation during his Mayoral year.

The foundation was launched by the family of Jamie Rees, who died in January 2022 after suffering a cardiac arrest in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Launched by Jamie’s mother, Naomi Rees-Issitt, the foundation has campaigned for accessible defibrillators to be installed at public buildings and has so far raised more than £300,000 – helping to install 166 defibrillators across Warwickshire and beyond, while donating 27 portable defibrillators to communities.

Coun Ward said: “I can’t even begin to express the admiration I have for Naomi and her family, channelling their emotions and heartache into creating such a positive legacy for Jamie.

“I’ve supported the OurJay Foundation since its inception and want to raise as much awareness and money for the charity as I can during my Mayoral year.”

Coun Ward kicks off his year of fund-raising for the foundation on Saturday June 22 at the OurJay Foundation Festival and Fun Day.

The event, which takes place at Newbold Rugby Club and includes live music and street food stalls, starts with a charity football match at 11.15am, with an OurJay Foundation XI taking on a team from Coun Ward’s Lawford United – with the Mayor planning to play for both teams during the match.

Anyone interested in supporting the Mayor’s charity can email [email protected] or call (01788) 533523.

Visit for more information about the OurJay Foundation.


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