It was a humbling experience to be voted in as the new Mayor of Worcester at the Annual Council meeting. It is an honour to serve the city and residents that have given me so much, and helped to get me to where I am today.
It’s going to be a busy year. The challenge of work, council business, mayoral engagements and family life will be testing, but the motivation and opportunity of giving back and helping local people will offset and outweigh any minor inconvenience.
My theme for this mayoral year is “Love not Hate”, with the aim of uniting communities and strengthening this great city of ours.
There will be plenty of events this year that promote and bring us together and I urge you to join in and support my three charities – Worcester Live, St Richard’s Hospice and Worcester Community Trust.
The importance of my theme was hammered home at one of my first events at Cafe Bliss, the Belizean café based at Worcester Arts Workshop. This was an event aimed at celebrating the contribution this little cafe had made to the city.
In eight years of trading, Café Bliss has done more to bring together communities than any initiative I have known in recent times. It is a true melting pot of cultures where everyone is welcome with open arms and no one is judged for their looks, beliefs, the way they dress, speak, physical disability, colour of their skin or sexual orientation. That shows to me that the residents of Worcester are tolerant and welcoming and also that it is possible for us all to get along with each other perfectly well, respecting each other’s views without compromising our own personal beliefs.
Remember to love not hate and spread the message of peace to your family, friends and your neighbours.