Charity Cream Tea event was definitely on the right track!

Release date: 24 September 2018

Photo shows Cllr Smart with Stephen McMillan, former Gloucestershire County Councillor and Forest of Dean District Councillor 

The Chairman of Forest of Dean District Council, Councillor Marrilyn Smart OBE, has thanked everyone who participated in a charity Cream Tea event which she hosted aboard the Dean Forest Railway train on Saturday 22 September. With their support, she raised over £560 for her chosen charity – the Forest Mental Health Carers Support Group. 

Commenting on a memorable day, Cllr Smart said:

“Despite the torrential rain this event was a great success and attracted over 60 people, including civic guests from Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire and eight volunteers from the Carers Support Group. We all enjoyed a happy relaxed atmosphere and I was bowled over by the generosity of all the guests. I am also very grateful to everyone at the Dean Forest Railway for their superb help and support.”

Guests included Cllr Len Lawton, the FODDC Member Champion for mental health, who added:

“We all had great fun for a wonderful cause and enjoyed the day even though the weather was far from ideal. Carers are our unsung heroes, and it was brilliant to see some of them taking time out to join us, particularly as it can be so difficult for them to find 'time off' in their schedules."

Councillor Smart is planning further fund raising activities to support the charity, including a Christmas Carol Concert and a formal dinner.



Notes for Editors:


Forest of Dean Carers Support Group

For twelve years the Forest of Dean Carers Support Group has been caring for the carers of local people with a wide range of mental health conditions. 

The fourteen group members have voluntarily taken responsibility for the welfare and happiness of a relative who may be experiencing bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, severe anxiety, borderline personality disorder, psychosis or dual diagnosis.

Caring can be wonderfully rewarding work, but it can also be physically and mentally exhausting as well as extremely lonely and therefore a support network is so important.

The group meets one Thursday a month from 1pm to 3pm at Sixteen Café at Bank Street, Coleford. 

The charity is self-funded through grants book sales and fund raising events.  The funds go towards paying for visiting speakers, therapeutic activities, day-outings and a Christmas meal. Some of the group’s members are ‘experts by experience’ and as well as giving talks for Carers Gloucestershire, they attend meetings on behalf of the group.

If you feel Forest Mental Health Carers Support Group are able to help you please contact Roger Hare at Carers Gloucestershire on 0300 111 9000.  Alternatively, you can be referred by your GP.

Dean Forest Railway

The Dean Forest Railway is a 4.25 -mile long heritage railway that runs along a scenic route between Lydney and Parkend in the Forest of Dean. The route was part of the former Severn and Wye Railway which ran from Lydney to Cinderford. The society that operates the line started steam locomotive operations in 1971, and bought the track-bed and line from British Rail in 1986, reaching both Lydney Junction and Parkend railway stations by 1995 and 2005 respectively. Trains are operated by both steam and heritage diesel locomotives, and heritage diesel multiple units. For further details, including running times, ticket prices, special events and the railway’s museum please go to



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