COCKERMOUTH mayor Julie Laidlow may soon be handing over her chain of office but that will not stop her tirelessly supporting her community.

Julie is Cockermouth born and bred and there is no doubt how much she loves her town. The feeling appears to be mutual!

She has recently been granted a life member of Cockermouth Civic Trust for all her support. And this week she brought smiles to the faces of two people representing town charities when she handed over cheques.

Julie has so many hats: mayor; town councillor; carnival organiser and, until recently, she ran the much-loved Firn's Home Hardware. She is now working for Cumbria Cerebral Palsy.

The mum of two and grandmother of four is a well-deserved Person of the Week.

Her mayorship was extended by a year as a result of the pandemic. And while her fundraising was restricted, she still raised thousands of pounds for a charity close to her heart: the Europe Prize Scholarship Fund. She also made a donation to Highfield Food Pantry.

She is hugely grateful to Cockermouth Golf Club who staged two fundraisers for her.

Regarding the Euro fund, which offers travels bursaries to pupils in Cockermouth School Sixth Form, she said: "I wanted the money to stay local and benefit our kids. A lot of the kids would never get the chance to do these things without the bursary.

"I was delighted to raise £4,150. I also gave £150 to Robert Chapman and MaryMitchelhill at Highfield Food Pantry as they have worked so hard during the pandemic and I wanted to show my appreciation."

Julie recently closed her business, Firn's. During her time in the shop she helped raise lots of charity funds.

"I had a section in my shop for charity," she said. "Last year we sold hundreds of NHS bows and face masks and raised lots of money for local charities.

"We also sold books and DVDs for the civic trust and Rotary. Because of lockdown, outlets they normally used were closed. It meant they could all still get a little bit of income, I was happy to help."

Civic Trust chairman Phil Campbell said: "It’s sad to see the closure of Firns, a huge loss to the town. Julie Laidlow has been fantastic for us by selling our DVDs and recent booklets throughout the pandemic when we didn’t have our normal outlets. We reckon that she has sold over 300 DVDs for us and over 250 booklets at no cost to ourselves.

"In recognition of this we have granted her Life Membership of the Civic Trust."