Express & Star

Ex-mayor presents £80,000 cheque to Walsall charity

The former mayor of Walsall has presented a cheque of £80,000 to a local mental health charity.

Marco Longhi presents £80,000 to WPH Counselling services. The money was raised during his second term as mayor. Pictured with from left: Kerry Cockcroft, June Northwood, Olivia Margetts, Penel Cockbill, Judith Bird, Cheryl Ennis and Maureen Grainger

Councillor Marco Longhi chose WPH Counselling Service as his mayoral charity during his two terms as mayor.

During those two years he managed to raise, along with the help of family and friends, around £150,000 for the organisation – with the £80,000 sum being raised during the second year.

He arranged to present it to the group during their AGM earlier this month.

Councillor Longhi said: "Mental health is something that is very close to my heart and my whole ethos is around prevention. I have asked the charity to specifically focus on the mental health of young people too, if possible.

"Mental health diseases are just as serious as physical diseases. The brain is an organ and can sick like any other part of the body."

He added: "The charity did have a long waiting list before but has managed to cut this down dramatically. And instead of make cuts they have actually been able to expand which is wonderful to hear.

"So this had an impact which is what it's all about.

"I am absolutely going to continue supporting them, despite not being mayor.I've got the fundraising bug now."

WPH Counselling and Education Service is based in Upper Forster Street in the town, and offers mental health support to all.