SIX charities are benefiting from a share of £24,000 raised through a series of fundraising events organised by Colchester’s last Mayor.

Colin Sykes, Colchester Council Mayor for 2013/14, joined Mayoress Laura Sykes at Colchester town hall to award varying shares of the cash to deserving local causes.

They were soldiers’ charity ABF, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, Colchester & Tendring Youth Enquiry Service, Colchester’s Multiple Sclerosis Society, Guide Dogs and Colchester Zoo conservation charity Action for the Wild.

Over the year, the couple held events including a quiz, a May Ball, a fashion show in the Moot Hall, beer tasting, a safari at Colchester Zoo and a performance by Braintree Male Voice Choir at Stanway Villa Hall.

Mr Sykes, who stood down as a Lib Dem councillor for Stanway in June, said it was a fitting way to end his time on the council, which covered 20 years over two terms.

He said: “To call the last year brilliant doesn’t do it justice. I’ve got so many happy memories.

“I never thought about being Mayor but I was persuaded by Laura that the way to go out and leave the council of my volition would be to be Mayor in my 20th and last year.

“It turned out to be a fantastic swansong, and my greatest thanks goes to Laura: she was a brilliant Mayoress.”