MAYOR’S WEEK: 14 – 20 APRIL 2024

MAYOR’S WEEK: 14 – 20 APRIL 2024

Last weekend I attended a charity event for Worcestershire’s Children First fostering service. It was an event organised by Kyle Daisley, Chairman of Worcestershire County Council.

I’ve attended many charity events during my Mayoral year. Every event is a chance to learn something new.

We heard about how foster parents help and support the most vulnerable children in our communities. It breaks my heart to think of the very many children who through no fault of their own are being looked after in a children’s home. Instead of a children’s centre manager, doesn’t every child deserve a warm, supportive and loving real home with parents?

It’s clear that being a foster carer isn’t possible for everyone, however there is something we can all do to help, and that is by talking about fostering. There are nearly 600,000 living in our county – there is a very good chance that there are good people who might be interested to help. But how do we reach them? Somebody somewhere just needs to be asked or given a kernel of an idea that down the line might one day lead to them applying to become a foster parent.

I listened, took their message and now I’m passing that message on. Who do you know that might be interested? You may not have a weekly blog or newspaper column but my challenge to you is to mention fostering to someone you know and ask them in turn to think of someone else that might be interested. Maybe, just maybe as a community someone you mention fostering to, could dramatically change a young person’s life forever.

MAYOR’S WEEK: 7 – 13 APRIL 2024

MAYOR’S WEEK: 7 – 13 APRIL 2024

It’s been a varied week.

I had the pleasure of giving some of the Worcester Wheels volunteers a much-deserved Mayoral ‘thank you for everything you do’ tour of the Guildhall. Worcester Wheels helps older and less able-bodied people get around the city to attend hospital appointments and social events where the cost of a taxi would be prohibitive. Their work is absolutely invaluable for many city residents.

On Saturday I attended the 100-year celebration event for Worcester Rotary Club. Earlier in my Mayoral year I was invited by the Rotary Club to help judge one of their school public speaking events. This is a fantastic initiative that boosts the confidence of primary school children to speak up and to speak loudly – a great life skill.

I also had the pleasure of visiting GL (Green Lighting), based at the Great Western Business Park ear Shrub Hill. This is a business that has grown enormously over the last 20 years, receiving several industry awards along the way. Their core business was low energy lighting but they are now expanding into eco home technology, including EV charging, solar panel invertors and battery storage technology. As an engineer I loved it. It’s very much a Worcester business, with local business owner and MD Anthony Ottway employing over 25 people. It’s great to see a local business do so well, especially one that is working to help the UK reach its net zero carbon targets.



Last week we had a very important visitor in Worcester.

Queen Camilla’s presence in our city made me think about other very important visits we’ve received in Worcester. For me, two names stand out – Nelson and Churchill.

The Mayoress and I visited Hereford on Monday and we happened upon a guided tour of that city. It was a very interesting tour where we were told about Nelson’s visit to Hereford in the summer of 1802 when the city was hoping to bask in the reflected glory of the successful war hero. It made me think about Nelson’s visit to Worcester to receive the Freedom of the City just a few days later. The Worcester Journal reported how he was met by cheering crowds who lined the streets and filled the windows as he approached the Hop Pole Inn at Foregate Street, where he and Lady Hamiton stayed. There were reports of the city’s church bells ringing and canons being fired to welcome the hero.

Some have said that war time hero Churchill’s 1950 visit to Worcester was in Nelson’s footsteps. It’s easy to think, when looking at the old black and white photos of Churchill and the then Mayor standing in the car coming up the High Street that this is something from a history book. But for many that visit is a cherished memory.

I happened to be chatting to one such lady at an Age UK Christmas meal event. She told me her memories, as a young girl, of Churchill and the Mayor driving from the Mayor’s house at Bennett’s Dairies, the two of them standing up in the back of the car as they went through St John’s and on their way to the main event at the Guildhall. It’s great that there are still some people for which it’s not just a photo and I’m honoured to have heard that firsthand account – thank you.

MAYOR’S WEEK: 24 – 30 MARCH 2024

MAYOR’S WEEK: 24 – 30 MARCH 2024

My time as Mayor is rapidly coming to an end. I’ve met with dozens of community groups and attended several major events in Worcester which simply could not function without the support of volunteers.

People who volunteer tell me that they do it because they want to make a difference. However, what has also really struck me is just how much volunteers get out of the experience too – and this is something I think we do need to shout about to encourage others to come forward.

Volunteering helps to combat isolation as people make new friendships; and people who volunteer learn new skills and get a confidence boost, which can help them get a job or be beneficial in other areas of life.

Volunteering often involves physical exercise, but above all, I think it gives people a massive mental health boost to know that they are part of the community and are making a positive contribution to it.

Many volunteers I’ve met are extremely modest about their achievements, and they often have a tendency to shy away from the limelight. However, I think it’s high time we shouted about the enormous difference they are making both to Worcester as a place and to the people who live here.

I’ve tried to play my part – a thank you goes a long way. It’s been my pleasure to welcome many hundreds of volunteers for a guided tour of the Guildhall to be followed by tea in the Mayor’s Parlour.

Do you know of an unsung volunteer hero who might appreciate a thank you tea with the Mayor? Please let me know at

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