Although the Mayor’s Charity Dinner and first ever Best of Worcester Community Awards Ceremony was long in the preparation, we were rewarded with a brilliant success. It was the result of my review of all the Mayoral functions to ensure they remained fit for purpose and relevant.
This traditional event was transformed into an enjoyable celebration of so many individuals and organisations that have done something for others. And with an amazing 173 nominations, it clearly struck a chord and met a need.
The winners included nine year old Ben Chadwick who swam 50km to raise funds for the hospital team which saved his life as a baby; Snoezelen, who provide support and help for those in need of a multi-sensory environment; Lyppard Hub which improves community spirit and goodwill; Clancy Radley and Jacob Watton of Deaf Direct for helping hundreds of young people who suffer from a hearing disability; Two Pennies Money Advice who provide free advice to local people with money problems; and Sue Wright/Dilys Round/Barbara Good of St. Clements Church for running a Saturday afternoon tea party for elderly and lonely people.
And the Mayor’s own personal commendation went to Hollymount School, in recognition of the dedication and commitment from the teaching and non-teaching staff and the achievement of the pupils for working so hard – often in difficult circumstances – to achieve success.
Another innovation was top caricaturist Mick Wright, who left guests with a unique memory of themselves – what a talent to capture people’s characteristics in a matter of minutes!
All the proceeds will go to local charities, including my Come On In project to tackle the problem of loneliness amongst older people by setting up a network of luncheon and film clubs/snack & chat/meet & greet groups; as well as Forces Support who provide practical help to families when it is needed most following the loss of a soldier in action; and the Cathedral Charitable Trust to help the poor and needy.
So, a huge thank you to everyone who nominated or was nominated. There are only winners in this situation – no losers – and I hope this starts the tradition of recognising and rewarding Worcester people for all the work they choose to do for others, without ever expecting or seeking anything for themselves.