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Cllr Karen Bellamy

Meet our new Mayor and the charities she'll be supporting

Published: 30 June 2022
Filed under: Council and elections

Each year the Mayor of Waltham Forest chooses a number of charities to support. The chosen charities for the year 2022/2023 are Whipps Cross Hospital Breast Clinic and Solace Women's Aid. 

We recently welcomed our new Mayor, Cllr Karen Bellamy, who said: “I accepted the position of Mayor this year for a couple of very personal reasons. Firstly, on New Year’s Eve 2020 I was diagnosed with breast cancer; and secondly, in a long past relationship, I was the victim of domestic abuse. My aims, as Mayor, are to shine a light on both issues and, through charitable donations received, to help others who are experiencing either or both.

“My first charity is Whipps Cross Breast Clinic. After I received my cancer diagnosis, Whipps Cross Breast Clinic was amazing. The nurses are so kind, and calm, and make you feel very cared for. My operation took place in January 2021, and I had an all-female team which made it somehow easier. I was in and out the same day.

“All in all, none of it was as bad as I had imagined and was made all the better by the wonderful staff of our very own Whipps Cross Breast Clinic.

“My second charity is Solace Women’s Aid. In a long past relationship, I was a victim of domestic abuse. It’s one of the things I have done a lot of work around while at the Council. I recently led on an 18-month deep dive into our local offer for survivors and those experiencing domestic abuse. At the end of the research, we made several recommendations to make the lives of victims better, most of which have been taken up.

“When I was first elected and spoke openly about it, I was asked by a councillor whether I thought it was a good idea to reveal this fact. Why would it not be? It’s not the victim’s fault. We need more women and men and people in same-sex relationships to come forward to let folk know that it’s happening and where to get support so people do not feel ashamed, as I was made to feel all those years ago.

“I hope you will be able to support both these worthy organisations. I look forward to meeting many of you and celebrating the best that Waltham Forest has to offer during my time as Mayor.”

Learn more about the role of the Mayor and how to contact the Mayor's Office.

You can make a donation to one of the Mayor's chosen charities using the button below:

When donating, please tell us which cause you would like your money to go to, or if you are happy for it to be shared by both charities.