New Lord Mayor chooses Dementia charity

Exeter’s new Lord Mayor Cllr Yolonda Henson, has chosen Exeter Dementia Alliance as her official charity.

Cllr Henson will use her term as Lord Mayor to raise money and support the Exeter based charity.

She said that dementia was a condition that crept up on so many people with a dramatic effect on their lives.

“With the human race living longer and longer more thought must be given to the partners and family. Living with someone who has dementia can be a very lonely existence. Looking after a loved one with dementia can be life changing,” she added.

Cllr Henson is the first Exeter Councillor to hold the office of Deputy Mayor, Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and now Lord Mayor of Exeter.

In fact it’s 30 years since she was the Mayor of Exeter in 1992.

Born and brought up in Exeter, Yolonda was educated at Palace Gate and the Mount St Mary Convent.

Originally working in the fashion industry she is a retired hotelier. She is married to former City Councillor David Henson, who stepped down in 2021 and is Life President of the Football Association, and has four sons and six grandchildren.

Cllr Henson has been a member of the City Council since 1979, with just one year of broken service in 1982, representing the St Loyes ward.

She has served on many committees as a City Councillor and in 2015 was given the honour of becoming a Freeman of the City.

She has been a Governor of a number of schools in the city and is a current director of Exeter Homes Trust. Her interests are antique collecting, which she has been doing for over 35 years, as well as cooking and travelling.

Her Deputy is Cllr Rob Newby, who has represented the Topsham ward since 2003 and is a former firefighter.

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