Proudly African

Sabrina Francis Becomes Camden’s First Black Woman Mayor

Councillor Sabrina Francis succeeds outgoing Mayor Maryam Eslamdoust. The new Deputy Mayor is Councillor Lorna Jane Russell.

Sabrina is a councillor for Bloomsbury, currently serving her second term, having been first elected in 2014. She is a former chair of the Housing Scrutiny Committee and of a licensing panel. She has lived in Camden with her mum and her sister for her whole life and attended Brecknock primary school and Camden School for Girls.

Sabrina studied at Birmingham University and started her career as an education worker for a charity that aims to get disadvantaged children into higher education, and currently specialises in digital engagement alongside being a counselor.

In 2017 she was recognised in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the University of London.

The Mayor’s chosen charity is Gingerbread, the leading national charity working with single parent families. Since 1918, the charity has been at the forefront of shaping policy and services that support single parents. Today, there are 1.8 million single parent families in the country. Gingerbread champions their voices and keeps their needs at the heart of everything they do.

 “Coming from a single parent family, I have witnessed the strength and resilience it takes to raise children and deal with challenges alone.

“Throughout my mayoral year I will highlight the vital work that Gingerbread does to challenge the stigma faced by single parent families alongside the charity’s campaigns for better policy and support. 

“I hope to inspire Camden’s children from single parent families and raise money to help Gingerbread continue their essential work offering advice, support and advocacy to the 1 in 5 families that are led by a single parent.”

Gingerbread’s CEO Victoria Benson, CEO of Gingerbread said:

“We are really pleased and excited to be chosen as the Mayor’s charity for 2021-22.

“Gingerbread has been based in Kentish Town for at least 50 years and continues to support many single parents in Camden still – with two active groups based here.

“Gingerbread is the only national charity supporting the 1.8 million single parents and their children in the UK, and our work remains critical with many single parents dealing with poverty and isolation. We are very much looking forward to working with the Mayor during the next year.”

Councillor Francis continued:

“I will also be using the year to focus on the hard work Camden’s hospitality industry and independent small businesses will be doing to recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

“Camden is known for its contribution to London’s culture and I will be helping to draw attention to the incredible venue landlords, business owners, and restaurateurs we have in the borough.”

Councillor Maryam Eslamdoust, Mayor of Camden 2019 to 2021

Councillor Eslamdoust, who kindly agreed to extend her original term as Mayor due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, used her extended term to raise awareness of domestic violence and the support that is available to survivors while supporting Camden’s communities during the recovery from the Covid-19.

For one of her final official duties, Maryam recently dedicated a tree in Kilburn Grange Park.

Councillor Eslamdoust said:

“I am immensely proud to have dedicated this tree to victims and survivors of domestic abuse. I trust that it will serve as a permanent reminder of our commitment to ending violence against women today and every day.

“My chosen charity, Solace Women’s Aid, offers free advice and support to women and children in London to build safe and strong lives – free from abuse and violence.”

Councillor Eslamdoust will become the new chair of the council’s Children, Schools and Families Scrutiny Committee.

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