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Mayors biography

The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City of Sunderland, Councillor Alison Smith

My husband David and I, have four adult children and seven grandchildren.

I have been born and bred in Sunderland completing my education at Sunderland Polytechnic (now Sunderland University), which I graduated with a BA Hons degree in Sociology and Psychology.

My working life started life as a Home Economics Advisor and then went on to spend more than 20 years as a HR Officer within Sunderland City Council. This was a rewarding role and allowed me to be involved in the delivery of front-line services such as leisure, school meals and cleaning services with particular emphasis on employee relations and safeguarding.

For several years, I was a registered Foster Carer and Childminder which I found to be an extremely fulfilling and enjoyable experience and increased my knowledge and understanding of the daily difficulties families face.

I have been a volunteer in the youth sector in Sunderland, for over 40 years, with Girlguiding UK. This has given me many opportunities such as international travel, camping and outdoor activities as well as delivering a weekly programme. The skills I learned through Girlguiding UK, such as planning, administration, organising events, risk assessment, food hygiene, leadership, and mentoring, have been a great basis for my work as a local Councillor.

Over the years I have also been involved with several community groups including playgroups, local schools and organising community coffee mornings.

I am currently a governor of Willow Wood Primary School and a supporter of Redhouse Community Centre. 

Also, I am a member of the Co-operative Party and UNISON trade union and was incredibly proud to have been elected as a Councillor for Redhill Ward in Sunderland North in May 2021.

On Wednesday 18 May 2022, I was elected as Mayor of Sunderland for 2022-2023 and my husband David was elected as my Consort.  Councillor Dorothy Trueman, Washington West Ward was elected to serve as Deputy Mayor and her Consort is her husband Harry who is also a Councillor, Washington West Ward, and previous Mayor. I am thrilled to be working with them over the coming 12 months.

My chosen charities for my Mayoral year are small local groups who are working hard to improve the lives of local communities. They are: -

·       Hope4All

·       The Friends of Bunnyhill

·        Downhill Community Pond and Garden

I am very much looking forward to celebrating and promoting the businesses, charities, organisations, community associations and more based in this wonderful city.

If you are a business, charity, community group etc hosting an event that you would like the Mayor to attend, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of the Mayor by emailing or telephone 07766 367 426 or 07879 020 563.

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