Barnstaple’s new mayor has been introducing his chosen charities for the year ahead.

Councillor Alan Rennles has picked Age Concern Barnstaple and District plus the See Hear Centre to benefit from a variety of fundraising events during his term as mayor.

These events will include an Indian cooking afternoon/evening, the infamous Mayor's Ball, a golf day, a cocktail party and several quizzes and bingo evenings, to name just a few.

Cllr Rennles told the Gazette: "I picked these charities because of the demographic of the area these days, with more and more people finding it difficult as they get older.

"And I appreciate that both groups are struggling financially with the amount of pressure they are put under.

"The community needs to understand such charities are under pressure and as much financial or other support such as volunteering is a huge asset to the community."

Age Concern Barnstaple has been supporting elderly residents for more than 26 years providing services to enable independent living and helping people to stay connected to the community.

Director Andrea Scott said: "In the last two years, austerity has hit local autonomous charities like ours, and Barnstaple Town Council has recognised the valuable contribution of services given to older members in the community by Age Concern."

The See Hear Centre in Alexandra Road offers practical help and support for people with sight or hearing loss.

That ranges from the chance to talk about their experiences or seek more information and the opportunity to try a wide range of equipment that will help in daily life.

That can be anything from listening to the television or hearing conversation to using the telephone, reading and other everyday tasks.

Jan Marshall from the charity said: "Being chosen a one of the mayor's charities is a great honour and a fantastic opportunity to let the people of Barnstaple know about an excellent service that supports sight and hearing loss in the heart of their town."

Anyone who wishes to donate to the charities is invited to contact the Civic and Ceremonial Manager at Barum House by calling 01271 373311 or email mayor@barntapletowncouncil.gov.uk.

For the programme of events for the coming year go to https://barnstapletowncouncil.gov.uk .