Evelyn Community Store volunteers named as new mayoresses for Lewisham borough

L-R Dawn Atkinson, Christina Norman, Mayor Damien Egan, Natasha Ricketts

Three volunteers from the Evelyn Community Store in Deptford have officially been named the newest mayoresses of Lewisham borough.

Dawn Atkinson, Natasha Ricketts and Christina Norman were chosen by Lewisham mayor Damien Egan after his visit to the store in May when he met with volunteers to discuss the challenges they’re facing while continuing to operate in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award-winning community store, which was created to provide locals on low incomes with affordable groceries, is run by Lewisham Homes’ community relations team in partnership with food poverty charity FareShare and has experienced a surge in demand during lockdown.

Lewisham Homes CEO, Margaret Dodwell, said: “The Evelyn Community Store has become an integral part of its community and the Mayor’s decision to pick Natasha, Dawn and Christina as mayoresses goes a long way to highlight the importance of supportive local initiatives. They’ve dedicated so much of their time and effort to help make the store what it is today and we couldn’t be prouder. Their mayoress titles are more than deserved.”

Miss Ricketts, a founding member of the store, said of her mayoress appointment: “My first reaction was surprise and disbelief. It took a few seconds to acknowledge what we were being asked.

“This is something that we will embrace and it’s nice that we’re doing it as a trio and not solo because there’s always safety in numbers and many hands make light work. We already engage with our members about different issues they’re having so I think for us now it’s about creating that stamp around what we’re doing with food poverty.”

As mayoresses, Ms Atkinson, Ms Ricketts and Ms Norman will choose different issues to campaign on and be required to attend events across Lewisham to increase awareness of food poverty and discuss the importance of community work.

They will begin their six-month term on 15 July.