What a week! Weather dominated much of the middle part, and was responsible for many cancelled events. We must spare a thought for those plucky souls who keep the city moving, often working through the night and risking life and limb to do their duty.
We started the week with a meeting of the Mayor’s charity partners in the Parlour. Our next event, a Homelessness Action Day, is to be held in the Guildhall next Saturday 26th January, from 10.00am to 4.00pm. It will be an opportunity for people to meet those with first hand experience of working with the homeless, and to find out about volunteering opportunities with these organisations.
I feel it is important not just to give to charities, but also to understand something about the cause of homelessness and to tackle some of the prejudices we all have. Our Action Day will be branded Homeless, not Helpless!
After the meeting we drove to London, in particularly challenging weather conditions. We had been invited by Robin and Charlotte Walker to visit the House of Commons for dinner the following evening. Thanks to my brother and his wife for providing overnight accommodation.
We very much enjoyed our visit to London, where temperatures were just above freezing. Robin and Charlotte entertained us to dinner in The House, and afterwards showed us around an empty House of Commons which had just adjourned for the day. I never cease to be amazed by Central Lobby and the atmosphere there. I enjoyed seeing the murals and statues, which are so much part of the nation’s history.
After the return journey across snow-swept scenery, we were able to undertake several pressing domestic tasks at home. Then on Thursday, I attended a meeting of the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s Community Engagement Committee at Shrub Hill House. It was good to meet voluntary representatives and members of the Executive, and explore some of the local pressing issues in more detail. This was part of my duties as an HOSC member.
The bad weather finally defeated me, and I was unable to attend a press briefing about plans for our Homelessness Action Day on Friday. I am grateful to those who did attend in such difficult weather conditions.
On Saturday I was able to attend the 55 plus retirement roadshow at the Guildhall. I was able to talk with many of the interesting stallholders who provide such a wealth of information to those approaching retirement. As a social worker, I always thought I had a good understanding of the role of different agencies, but I still found plenty more to interest me. The weather unfortunately had impacted upon attendance and the city centre appeared almost deserted at times!
During the evening, Jill and I attended The Eucharist for St Wulstan’s Day, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consecration and dedication of the Parish Church of St Wulstan in Warndon. The Right Reverend David Walker, Bishop of Dudley, was the preacher.
It was lovely to meet members of the congregation afterwards, and listen to their stories of the early establishment of the church, which originally met in a member of the congregation’s own house. Thanks to PCC Secretary Margaret Probert and members of the congregation for such a warm welcome on a cold evening.