Christopher Wellbelove, former Mayor of Lambeth, has been appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Greater London representing Lambeth.
Wellbelove held a seat on Lambeth council for 16 years, and is one of the few councillors to have served as Mayor of Lambeth twice.
In his new role, he will act as the Queen’s representative in Lambeth, assisting the Lord-Lieutenant, Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, in serving London’s communities.
It is a position that recognises those who have long served their community through public life and through charitable or voluntary services.
“It’s a massive honour,” says Wellbelove. “The Lord-Lieutenant is very keen in making the lieutenancy more representative of the community and he picked me as someone who has long worked for Lambeth council and lives here.”
He hopes now to raise awareness of his role. “Organising royal visits to the borough is a key part, and so is making people aware of the Lieutenancy – what it is and what it can do for the local area.”
And, what does Brixton mean to the near Deputy-Lieutenant? “Brixton is the heart of Lambeth and a special place for the Royal Family,” explains Wellbelove.
“When it comes to royal visits, I will be really pressing to highlight the different community organisations and businesses in the area.”
Wellbelove is already well-known in the community for his commitment to supporting mental health services, including the Mosaic Clubhouse mental health charity on Effra Road in Brixton.
He will continue to support these charities in his new role, and hopes to look for ways to make connections between different community groups in the area and have their voices heard.
“I do regular reports for the Lord-Lieutenant and his office, and it would be useful for me to make sure that Brixton is well and truly in those people’s minds at all the time,” he says.
“As mayor I’ve met hundreds of people who work so hard in the community, and I want to make their cases and get more people like that put forward for awards.”