TAMESIDE’S new mayor aims to show how every community in the borough can make a difference for good after taking the chains of office.
Councillor Tafheen Sharif is the first ever ethnic minority member and first ever Muslim to occupy the role.
And she believes her year can have a far greater impact than just being good at cutting ribbons and unveiling plaques.
She wants to show the contribution of different people, of different colours and creeds, can combine to be a force for good.
Cllr Sharif said: “I feel my appointment as mayor is a symbol of Tameside being a welcoming and diverse place, where people are judged on their qualities.
“We all have our own unique qualities and the key is to do our best, to do our best for others – particularly those who are striving and who are under-represented. I cannot see someone struggle.
“Life is so tough for many and we must all do our part with kindness, compassion and skill.
“Of course, I’m honoured to cut ribbons for new, exciting ventures but also, and more importantly, it’s about making a difference.
“To make each visit and engagement as meaningful as possible, whether it’s uplifting someone or guiding someone, inspiring others – particularly by being a good role model for women and young people.
“I’d love to open doors for many and bring our flourishing communities closer together.
“We are one, we are the human race and we must do what we can to help each other. We must highlight the positives of each and every one of our communities – it makes us who we are.”
Cllr Sharif will have husband, Dr Faisal Parvez, as her consort and Cllr Betty Affleck as her deputy.
“I’m absolutely sure we’ll make a tremendous team,” the Mossley representative added as she detailed how she hopes to do more than just raise money for her nominated good causes.
“I’ve specifically chosen ones that mean something to me personally and have done to the residents of Tameside over the last few years,” Cllr Sharif continued.
“Home-Start provides support to so many families with young children in so many ways, from feeding to parental mental health. Really helping many, many families from breaking point.
“We Shall Overcome, Pauline Town, helps our homeless people and there’s West African Development.
“This charity helps our ethnic minority communities in Tameside in so many ways that others cannot.
“My consort and I want to do more for the charities by raising the funds but also highlighting their good work throughout the year.
“It’s a real honour and privilege for me to be representing so many people in so many ways.”