On 28 February the Club entertained the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Andrew Smith for lunch at the Churchill Hotel. He was elected on Thursday, 9 September, and sworn in in the first face-to-face ceremony since the pandemic. He was initially elected as a Councillor for Lancaster Gate in 2008 and served as Westminster City Council cabinet member for Housing, and as Chairman of the Communities, Regeneration and Housing Policy and Scrutiny Committee - among other roles.
Andrew had chosen as his charity 'Westminster Befriends a Family', which supported vulnerable families across Westminster by providing mentoring and advice to overcome social and economic challenges such as poverty, isolation and risk of family
He said how pleased he was to be invited and to celebrate the role that Rotary plays throughout the world. He said it is especially important how far-reaching the work is in these times, and the work done locally by Rotary in Marylebone.
An important part of his role as the Lord Mayor of Westminster encompassed helping the diverse population to have a sense of belonging and to help the needy. There were two sides to the job: the first was to ensure that there were services available -
like rubbish collection and clean streets. The second was marketing the area. It is home to the Monarchy, and the population accept it as their city. He also represents the West End, which helps make the people of Westminster strong and proud. They have taken it as “their” city.
The Lord Mayor went on to talk about his interest in helping the youth. Often, those most in need struggled the most with accessing opportunities. His charity, “Befriend a Family” has amazing stories to tell about its successes. He thanked St. Marylebone Rotary for its support and suggested that we consider helping by volunteering to act as mentors.