Kingston charities delighted to receive funds after former mayor’s ‘tireless’ campaign


Mary Heathcote raised £42,000 for three charities.


By Jack Crone

Over £42,000 raised by Kingston residents will be donated to charity after an astonishing campaign led by former Mayor Mary Heathcote.

The phenomenal sum was raised during Councillor Heathcote’s term in office and will be shared between three Kingston based groups.

The beneficiaries – Kingston Carer’s Network (KCN), Yorda Adventures and The Community Brain – were overwhelmed with the support.

KCN offers advice and support to over 1000 unpaid carers in Kingston. CEO, Kate Dudley was blown away, not only by the amount, but by the dedication that Mrs Heathcote demonstrated.

“Mary had great ideas and was so enthusiastic. No matter what the event was she would come along, support and captivate audiences with speeches,” she said.

“We had no idea how hard a Mayor worked. Mary is an extremely charismatic and inspirational person.”

Mrs Heathcote, of Surbiton, has had a long an illustrious career as a civil servant with previous posts including time in both the Foreign Office and Cabinet Office.

In 2000 she was awarded an OBE for her work on innovation and the disabled and despite losing her sight in 2001, she has continued to work determinedly to better her community.

Each charity will now have £14,000 to further their causes. Community Brain’s Robin Hutchison thought the amount raised was ‘quite staggering’ and Yorda Adventures General Manager Laura Smyth also acknowledged the ex-Mayor’s tireless contribution. 
“We are extremely grateful to Mary, her team and all the people of Kingston who supported the fundraising events to give us this most amazing gift,” said Ms Smyth.

Mrs Heathcote was quick to deflect the praise, claiming that it is Kingston residents that deserve the credit.

“The people of Kingston never cease to amaze me with their generosity and their willingness to help others. The money raised will be put to good use by three worth causes,” she said. 

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