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Category: 2018-2019 Mayor Jabba Riaz

Mayor’s Week: 13 – 19 October 2018

Mayor’s Week: 13 – 19 October 2018

Last weekend offered the chance to visit the magnificent Cathedral twice: firstly on Saturday, when it was an honour to be invited by the Royal Life Saving Society to their annual awards ceremony, which recognises the incredible bravery of scores of members and volunteers from across the country. It is a real honour that the City and Cathedral were chosen to host this event.

The second occasion was on the summons of the High Sheriff; I was able to witness the Lord Lieutenant, law makers and judiciary in all their finery for the annual Shrievalty service.  This is an occasion which celebrates the High Sheriff’s office and marks the beginning of the legal year: an experience indeed.

On Monday I held a reception for all the volunteers and organisations that made the Worcester Stands Tall Event such a brilliant success. It was heart-warming for Sajeeda and I to hear from the unsung heroes and the army of dedicated volunteers and supporters who helped massively to brighten up the city this summer.

Tuesday was National Restart the Heart Day; volunteer organisations and the NHS Ambulance service were at the Guildhall teaching vital lifesaving skills.  In just under 15 minutes I was confidently able to learn the basics of CPR; it’s such a vital skill that can be crucial to saving a life, yet surprisingly many people lack the basic knowledge. I urge you to spare 15 minutes to learn the technique – if you can’t get to an event then there are many online resources out there too.

This summer saw over 500 young children complete the annual reading challenge at the Hive.  I was there to present the awards to children who had completed six books or more.  Reading is such a valuable skill; it’s more important than ever to recognise the effort of the children and their parents!

As always, I am humbled and grateful to be a servant of this wonderful City.  Have a safe and brilliant weekend.


Mayor’s Week: 6 – 12 October 2018

Mayor’s Week: 6 – 12 October 2018

We are truly blessed to live in a wonderful, caring and compassionate city – something which I am proud to tell residents about on a daily basis.

We have had a brilliant summer in Worcester and our High Street has been a buzz with shoppers and excitement.  So it’s no surprise that it has been shortlisted for the prestigious VISA Best High Street award! Judging took place on Wednesday and the results will be announced in early November.  The public element of the vote is vital – you can help by searching for #GBHSWorcester on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and re-tweeting or sharing posts that come up.

It was a pleasure to host the Deputy Lord Lieutenant at a British Empire medal awarding ceremony at the majestic Guildhall this week.  It’s always heartening to see residents recognised for their years of service to the city; well done to Worcester resident Mrs Cecilia Denlegh-Maxwell for her services to the community.

I teamed up with County Council Chairman Brandon Clayton for a visit to Acorns Hospice.  They have done amazing work over the years, and are now celebrating their 30th birthday in Worcester. The charity has beautiful facilities and provides an excellent service.

It was an honour to team up with veterans later in the week, and enjoy a coffee at the breakfast club in the Postal Order.  We had a catch-up on the good work that is being done to help them – as well as the reintegration issues they face, and their battles with mental health.

This week I also had the pleasure of attending the Worcester Stands Tall auction, where the beautiful giraffes that brought so much joy and happiness to the city were auctioned off individually.  A staggering £210,000 was raised for St Richards Hospice.  All credit to the organisers of this initiative, which attracted so many new tourists to Worcester from across the nation!

As always, I am grateful for the opportunity to see so many fantastic people and attend their events in this great City.

Mayor’s tribute to World Mental Health Day

Mayor’s tribute to World Mental Health Day

…based loosely on ‘Lullaby’ by Professor Green:


Being a Man 

It’s been a while since I last dreamt

Finding it hard to get to sleep, too stressed

Pretending this crap don’t get to me

I suffer in silence when I’m hurt

A man’s problems are his own

mental health issues leave you out on your own.

Too proud, or scared to talk, all pent up inside.


And it’s my burden

But I find it hard to switch off, my mind’s in overdrive

Going through all the scenarios at full speed

Off the rails, my train of thought is in need


Sick of pretending to be so happy

My anxiety’s inside’s killing me

I look up to the sky

It comes down crashing,

the walls close in and the ground swallows me up

As if all the good in my life in a flash disappears

In an instant, that thing is just so distant


I see the ones who I love, the ones who love me

But how can I tell them, in case they judge me?

It’s just meee, wish I could let somebody in

But I have never been too trusting


Sick of all these nightmares

I hide everything that’s going on inside


Guess it’s been a while since I’ve been honest,

I need help, but I deny it and even lie, to myself


I just wish someone would tell me it would be great

I just want to see a glimmer of hope, in this darkness , okay!


It’s hard, depression is a slippery slope

I don’t wanna do what many have done , with a rope,


Damn gotta get out of the trap I set in my mind.

All this negative self talk , all these eyes watching me

If I only I could escape into reality, but years and years of

Being stuck in this black hole, its going to take some time so make a note.


I just need a friend to love and take care of me, keep me going and be there for me, to listen understand and try to connect the dots, if they can.


As life never works the way you plan especially When you’re trying to be a man.

Mayor’s Week: 28 September – 4 October 2018

Mayor’s Week: 28 September – 4 October 2018

It was with great sadness that I received the news that a body had been recovered from the river a week last Friday. It was later confirmed that this was the body of the missing teenager Tom Jones – or Jonah, as he was affectionately known. On Sunday evening I was humbled to have been part of a candle lit vigil held in Tom’s memory, organised by his friends.

Approximately a thousand or so friends, family and residents of the City and further afield stood by Sabrina Bridge in what can only be described as a sea of light from mobile phones and candles, which spread across the bridge and both banks of the river. The love and outpouring of grief could be felt by all.

Tom’s parents, whom I am in awe of for their bravery and gracefulness under the circumstances, addressed the crowd to say thank you.  They lifted people’s spirits and reminded us of Tom’s joyful and happy character. I addressed the gathering too, saying that the city had adopted Jonah as one of its own sons.  My mayoral theme of ‘Love Not Hate’ was in full display, with so much empathy shown.  Everyone felt a sense of belonging and togetherness – a proud moment for the City.

On a lighter note, it was an honour to host the Worcestershire Rapids at the Guildhall last week.  Together we celebrated a fantastic achievement that will be etched in Worcester’s memory for eternity.

The Rapids are a young enthusiastic, down to earth squad, built on strong foundations of, trust, hard work, belief, teamwork and determination.  They are ably led by the cool, calm and collected Moeen Ali, who showed that David really could beat Goliath!  An enthusiastic crowd greeted the team on the doorsteps of the Guildhall, before they lifted the T20 trophy and signed autographs.  It is a great example of what can be achieved without big money and mega star signings.