Cllr Maryam Eslamdoust named new Mayor of Camden
Camden’s Mayor for 2019-2020 was appointed at the annual Mayor-making ceremony on Wednesday evening.
Councillor Maryam Eslamdoust succeeds outgoing Mayor Councillor Headlam-Wells. The new Deputy Mayor is Councillor Sabrina Francis.
She is the first Iranian-born woman ever elected to public office in the UK, and currently due to give birth this month, she will be the first Camden mayor to give birth in office.
Councillor Maryam Eslamdoust was born in Tehran and moved to London as a child, with her family making their first home in Kilburn, where she has been a Labour councillor since 2010.
Before her election to the council, Maryam studied in two of the borough’s universities - the School of Oriental and African Studies and at University College London. She started her early career in the legal and charity sector.
Pained by her own experiences in discrimination, Maryam has devoted her time on the council towards elevating the lives of Camden people from marginalised sections of society. She has campaigned on race, gender and disability issues and led on policies to protect Camden residents.
The Mayor’s chosen charity is Solace Women’s Aid.
Councillor Maryam Eslamdoust, Mayor of Camden, said: “Domestic violence should have no place in Camden. I want to raise awareness and encourage people to speak out when they see signs of abuse. 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.
“By this time next year, I hope that everyone in our borough recognises the wider impact of domestic abuse on individuals and on their families. My aim is to put this issue firmly in the spotlight.”
Mary Mason, CEO for Solace Women’s Aid, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be chosen as the Mayor’s charity for 2019-20, as Camden is one of the boroughs where Solace first began supporting women over 40 years ago - so is a place which is very dear to my heart and is part of our DNA. Since then Solace has grown to become the leading specialist charity in London supporting women and children experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence and we have supported thousands of families in Camden during that time.”
In the UK, two women are killed every week by a partner or ex-partner, while one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. It can happen to anyone – regardless of age, gender identity, sexual orientation or culture. Domestic abuse isn’t just physical – it can include verbal, psychological, sexual, financial, and emotional abuse including controlling and manipulative behaviour.
Camden Council has a dedicated support service, Camden Safety Net, with trained advisors who can offer impartial and confidential advice to any resident who has concerns about their relationship. Camden’s message to anyone experiencing domestic abuse is you’re not alone – we’re here to help.Residents can contact Camden Safety Net on 020 7974 2526 or visit camden.gov.uk/know, where they can also watch our short film that highlights some of the different forms domestic abuse can take.
More about Solace Women’s Aid
Domestic abuse and sexual violence can take many forms. Solace provides life-saving support to over 16,000 women and children in London every year. They run 37 refuge and move on accommodation properties with space for 168 women and their children. Last year 139 women and children lived in their Camden refuges giving them somewhere safe to stay when they had nowhere else to turn. In the Camden refuge women and children would have built their new lives with support from Solace staff, everything from overcoming trauma to starting a new school. Across Camden, Solace Women’s Aid supported 377 women and children to rebuild their lives, with therapy, group work and other support that meant they had a strong future.
For more information on Solace Women’s Aid visit solacewomensaid.org