With the coldest day of the year upon us, it seemed the perfect opportunity to warm both my hands and soul at the Mayor of Merton's annual Winter Warmer concert.

I didn't know exactly what to expect when I arrived at St Mark’s Academy in Mitcham on Saturday, but I knew I was in for a treat when I walked in tapping my feet to the sounds from the Panash Youth Steel Orchestra, who immediately brought the warmth of carnival to the cold winter's night.

The atmosphere was electric from children buzzing with excitement and it soon became impossible to move without bumping into familiar smiling faces. I was delighted to catch up with the former Mayor of Merton Councillor Brenda Fraser and Councillor Edith Macauley MBE. The programme for the evening was filled to the brim with music to be played by school children across the borough, in aid of Merton Mencap and Commonside Community Development Trust.

It was not surprising the event produced by Merton Music Foundation sold out within days of being announced. The evening was packed with impressive performances by their Senior Marching Band, Concert Band and Young Voices Choir, alongside Holy Trinity Primary School Choir and their special guest; beatboxer Conrad Murray who had a captivated audience on its feet for a beatbox masterclass.

It was a wonderful opportunity to meet Merton Music Foundation's CEO Elisabeth Wigley, who expressed ‘the pleasure and privilege for Merton Music Foundation to take part in the Mayor’s Winter Warmer concert, celebrating the diversity of musical talent that Merton has to offer. A vibrant and inclusive evening of joy and excellence in music-making for Merton.'

The evening certainly brought my attention to all the wonderful projects Merton Music Foundation are working on, including the 'KISS' Motown project and next year's Royal Albert Hall concert.

The winter warmth continues this week as I will be lucky enough to visit the Mayor of Merton's parlour to see The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association present a cheque to Councillor Marsie Skeete from funds they raised from their peace walk last summer. It will certainly close this week as a triumph for the Mayor and her charities.

Wishing all of Merton warmth and peace