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Author: Steve Mackay

Mayor’s Week: 29 April – 4 May 2018

Mayor’s Week: 29 April – 4 May 2018

By the time you read this I will know whether or not I am remaining a city councillor. No matter what the outcome of this week’s election, I know I will continue to enjoy living in this wonderful city. I detailed once before in an earlier blog the reasons why ‘I’m Backing Worcester’ – I meant it then and I mean it now. Worcester is a great city.

In spite of the approach of the election this week, I have continued to attend some really nice events.

The first was at the Guildhall, where four people from Worcestershire received their British Empire Medal. Presented on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen by the Lord Lieutenant, Lt. Col. Patrick Holcroft, the decorations reflected their work within the community. This included the work of Worcester Acute Hospital and Organ Donation, the setting up of a Trust Fund in respect of Leukaemia, as well as supporting those who are visually impaired and taking part in sport and services for the community of Bromsgrove. It was a lovely ceremony with some very proud (deservedly) recipients.

Alongside other local Mayors I was able to attend a charity event supported by the Mayor of Droitwich, Councillor Shaun Best. While he provided an evening of entertainment, a raffle and auction raised a considerable amount for his charities, the Droitwich Challengers Gateway Club (supporting people with learning difficulties) and St Richard’s Hospice.

The following day, all councillors were reminded of a particular responsibility they hold as “corporate parents” to those children who are “looked after” within our county. The Chairman of the County Council, Councillor Ann Hingley, held her Civic Service at the Cathedral and the theme was our care for those children, be it by foster parents or in residential homes. The Cathedral choir provided some lovely singing, ably accompanied by the Franche Community Primary School from Kidderminster.

Mayor’s Week: 21 – 28 April 2018

Mayor’s Week: 21 – 28 April 2018

My mayoral year is rapidly drawing to a close; however, the engagements continue and I’m pleased to say Alison and I are still welcoming some fantastic groups of volunteers at the Guildhall.  One of our latest groups of visitors was supporters of Cherry Orchard Primary School, who take it upon themselves to organise various events to provide extra funding.  Having children either at or having previously been to the school, they are keen to secure a bright future for all the pupils in attendance there.

On Friday evening we went to the Guildhall to take part in the Mayor’s Charity Quiz Night.  The questions were quite varied and there was a section all about Worcestershire.  I thought I knew a bit about our County, but it was surprising how many of the competitors knew a lot more!

Saturday morning was very interesting; I was asked to open the Young Enterprise Fair in the High Street.  The concept is brilliant – teach youngsters how to come up with entrepreneurial ideas, form a company, market and sell the product.  There were 14 stalls in the High Street, each manned by students from different local schools with some great ideas.  I got there quite early on in the morning, but they had all sold some of their items that they had made or bought by the time I arrived.

That afternoon, with my daughter Karen as Consort, I visited a local hotel where the Worcester South Rotary Club was celebrating its 50th anniversary.  It was a pleasure to be able to see their exhibition describing the many projects they had been involved with over the years.  Continuing to raise money and using different initiatives to provide services for those in need, both home and abroad, is central to their ethos.

The following day we were again at the Cathedral, this time to take part in the St. George’s Day service.  A small but very vibrant band provided the music for the afternoon and their performance really did add to the enjoyment.  After the service marching bands together with scouts and other youth organisations processed along the High Street.  Judging by the numbers of onlookers I really think that the people of Worcester do appreciate traditional pursuits.

Tuesday saw the last of the Mayor’s charity events with the Civic Society’s Lecture, which was given this year by Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Mark Jackson OBE.  The talk was all about the Worcestershire Regiment’s history and its connection with the county.  Some interesting facts were revealed, including how in 1770, a future US president, John Adams, defended British soldiers who were involved in the infamous Boston Massacre.  It was a fascinating talk, with money raised for my chosen charities as a welcome addition.


Mayor’s Week: 15 – 23 April 2018

Mayor’s Week: 15 – 23 April 2018

Some days ago we entertained in the Parlour a group of volunteers who run the Callow End Village Hall.  On hearing all that they do in order to keep a hall going within a community, it’s apparent that they do need a good volume of people to help out.  I suspect this may be the same with many village halls, so if you do live in a location with one, I’m sure their committees would be pleased to hear from you if you are able to help.

More recently we met another group of volunteers who keep visually impaired residents of Worcester updated with the news.  A local student, Beth Rabjohn, has been assisting the Talking Newspaper group by making Podcasts of the news.  This of course will make a huge difference to both the group itself, who will not have to send out USB sticks, but also to recipients who will be able to listen to the news on any number of devices.

And the same day we were treated to the ‘big band’ sound of the Worcester Concert Brass, who with the Phoenix Singers performed for our audience at the Guildhall.  The evening was a great success and once again raised a significant sum for my chosen charities.

Last Saturday saw us at the Cathedral again…but for a very different reason.  On this occasion we were there for the annual Pet Blessing Service.  Many greyhounds and other dog breeds were there, along with a cat or two, rabbit and hamster.  It is apparent that so many of you love your pets and get a great deal of comfort from looking after them.

Then on Sunday it was a visit to the Country Park to support the Worcester Lion group in their ‘Stride’ programme.  This is to promote the awareness of diabetes in society and to encourage people to get checked.  At the park the Lions organised a Safari, entailing a walk around the woods while gathering clues to solve a puzzle.

On Tuesday Dr Will Foster kindly presented the 7th Annual Mayor’s Lecture and gave a fascinating talk on the take up and use of Pacemakers.  It’s apparent that great strides are being made in Worcestershire, particularly because of his and his colleague’s presence at the Worcester Royal Hospital.

The following day we were visited at the Guildhall by some forty international guests of the Worcester University.  They were particularly struck by the history of the building and our distinctive Sword and Maces.  The Chinese members of the party kindly presented us with a mural of a Chinese Village scene of some 1,000 years ago.  It was a most delicate and beautiful piece of work.

Finally on Thursday we visited the Swan Theatre to watch the WODS performance of “Into the Woods”.  This was a very professional performance with brilliant singing by the entire cast.  For one member it was a particularly auspicious evening; Lesley Hart, the show’s ‘prompt’, received recognition from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association’s President for her 50 years of service with the company.



Mayor’s Week: 7 – 14 April 2018

Mayor’s Week: 7 – 14 April 2018

As I come to the end of my Mayoral year, I took the opportunity last Thursday to hold a small reception to thank so many of those who have been able to assist and support me during this past year.  It’s not easy walking into a role that has no real ‘job description,’ so I really appreciated the assistance and steer that people have given to me.

More recently Alison and I met with a group of volunteers who run the ‘Repair Café’ at Unity House in Stanley Road, Worcester.  They meet on the second Saturday of the month and receive all manner of broken items which they attempt to repair with a high success rate – they seem to do very well.  Certainly a great way to meet people and get out, f you would like to consider helping – and apparently the actual café makes great cakes too!

It’s also been nice for us to support other mayors, and so on Saturday we went to Stourport where Cllr. Vi Higgs was also raising money for her chosen charities.  She had booked a local singing group, who performed a medley of songs from the sixties.

On Sunday we were invited to the Commandery where one of the Battle of Worcester Society’s patrons, Lord Faulkner, launched the Monument Appeal.  The idea is to raise funds for a statue to be placed in Fort Royal Park of the two American presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who visited Worcester in 1786.  The presidents were passionate in their views of Worcester, which having seen the first and last battles of the English Civil War, they viewed as the birthplace of modern democracy.

Finally, next Tuesday evening the annual Medical Lecture will be held at the Guildhall, presented to raise funds for my charities.  The talk this year is about ‘the electrics of the heart’, so if you would like to learn more it’s a 7.00pm start and tickets cost £10 (including wine or a soft drink).  See you there!

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