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Facing forward, looking back

Every January I find myself looking for positives to bring in to the New Year. It’s as though I have been given another chance to atone for the failings and the missed opportunities in the last one.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with this mindset for tackling the immediate future. But each year also brings with it a new set of anniversaries – landmark dates in the continuity and progression of worthy causes and organisations established to do good work in the community – and to appreciate their work we have to take a look back over our shoulders.

Two such anniversaries occur early 2014 – the 50th birthday of the Carshalton Pantomime Society and the 30th anniversary of the Children’s Trust. We have only to look at their respective histories to marvel at the progress made by both and the priceless work that certain individuals have done to achieve it.

Since David and Jenny Barnfather founded the Carshalton Pantomime Society in 1964 their January pantomimes have raised around £1 million for local children’s charities, including, the Children’s Trust, the Friends of Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children and Orchard Hill, the Diamond Centre for Disabled Riders, CHASE Hospice Care and the Wolfson Children and Adolescent Cancer Centre at the Royal Marsden Hospital. The Children’s Trust is the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury, providing expert rehabilitation, education, therapy and care at Tadworth, supporting children and families from across the country.

If you value and appreciate the work these people are doing) why not go and see the panto society’s production of Cinderella at the Secombe Theatre, Sutton, this month or buy tickets to the glitzy anniversary ball at The Grosvenor on 27 February?

There will be many other organisations which will mark key anniversaries this year. Why not let us know about them. We are keen to support anyone who is prepared to support the less fortunate in our community.

Happy New Year!

Chris Wood is resident composer with Guest House Opera and editor of Epsom, Sutton and Cheam Time & Leisure.