People person Alwyn Bridge has a passion for the town of Ripley and its residents, and is excited to start his second term as the town mayor.
Alwyn was officially sworn in, and passed the ceremonial chains – and reins – from former mayor Michael Missett at a ceremony on May 17, and he is ready to get stuck into his mayoral duties.
Top on the agenda for Alwyn is boosting the somewhat tired Ripley market, but the 66-year-old also hopes to get youngsters more involved in the community.
The married dad-of-two and stepdad-of-two, has a busy family life with seven grandchildren in total, but has no doubt he’ll juggle it all.
He said: “It’s a busy job, with plenty of engagements and tasks to be doing, but I feel very privileged and proud to be in the role.”
Alwyn, of Hawthorne Avenue, has always wanted to give back to the community, which is clear in his employment history.
“I have lived and worked in the Amber Valley area all of my life and have always wanted to be in a position to help as many people as I can.
“I spent 23 years working as a firefighter at Ripley Fire Station from 1983 to 2006, and prior to that I also worked at Denby Pottery.”
But it wasn’t until 2010 he became a councillor after being approached by a local MP.
“I was lucky enough to win a seat in 2011. I then went on to act as deputy mayor from 2011 to 2012 and mayor in 2012 to 2013.
“I’m ecstatic to be celebrating my second term. I am very proud to represent the people of Ripley, and will continue to work very hard for the town council in my role as mayor.
“There are plenty of events around the town and borough to keep me busy including the opening of carnivals, fetes and church events.
“But I am also keen to address certain issues in the town such as the market trade. I hope to revive and boost trade for the town market and also shake up the Michaelmas market, which has proved popular in recent years.”
Alwyn is also a keen volunteer for various charities around the borough including a charity close to his heart – Rethink.
He hopes to use his role to continue to help and raise the profile of many.
“I will be backing the Ripley Hospital League of Friends, which has been a charity of choice for many previous mayors – it is such a good cause. “There will be lots of fundraising events for the charity including the annual serving of fish and chips at either Ripley’s or Crest of the Wave.
“I aim to look after the parish of Ripley – which people often forget includes as far afield as places like Waingroves, Heage, Marehay Denby and many more. I want to show everyone what a mayor can do, specifically what I can try and do. “I have always wanted to help people and have tried to in some way at every stage of my career, especially working as a fireman, and would like to continue to give back to my community.”
Alwyn, is also a keen supporter of the Friends of Ripley Greenway, and hopes to encourage the town’s youngsters to get involved.
“We are a group of volunteers who meet once a month on the Greenway to improve the area.
“This includes cutting back overgrown areas, planting bulbs and shrubs, tidying up and litter-picking together.
It’s fun and very worthwhile so please join us, even if you only have an hour to spare – every little helps. “It would be nice to get as many of the younger generation as possible involved in similar activities or volunteering for other charities where they could give something back to the community.
“Ripley is a great town and deserves such recognition.
“I hope I can fulfil all my duties and make the people of Ripley proud.”