We managed to snatch a few days away in Torquay at the beginning of the week and so my able Deputy, Pat Agar, stood in for me on two occasions. Unfortunately our weather was rather misty but we enjoyed the break and return fresh for the fray!
We attended the Annual General Meeting of St Pauls at Maggs’ new activity centre in Copenhagen Street. I was impressed by the large attendance and the genuine support there is for this vital charity. In my speech I was able to recount my experiences as a social worker, which fuelled my engagement in politics and promoted my support for the disenfranchised in society. I am genuinely concerned at the funding prospects for local charities with regard to some of the more detailed points contained in the Government plans for “welfare reform”.
After attending a funeral in Stratford of a distant relative, we helped organise a fundraiser at Spires Restaurant in the Worcester College of Technology. I was hosting a gourmet evening with the cooking and service provided by second year students. They are only to be praised for the quality and variety of the food, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The County’s Poet Laureate Maggie Doyle delivered a meaningful poem on homelessness and Robbie Porter, Chair of St Pauls, debunked many of the myths about homeless people. Yes, we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and also raised nearly £700.
On Friday, Jill and I attended a fundraiser for Breast Cancer UK at The Firefly in Lowesmoor. John James from Stamford Cakery had organised Cakoustic, with live bands who all gave their services free to raise funds for Breast Cancer. Great to see the spirit of fundraising embraced by so many younger people.
Jill and I joined members of Worcestershire Royal British Legion the following day to launch the Annual County Poppy Appeal for 2012 at the Guildhall. The atmosphere on a cold but bright morning was unbelievable, especially when the poppies floated down on those assembled, and were swept away in a gust of wind.
We were impressed with the attendance, particularly passing local people who stood to attention when we had two minutes’ silence. It is so important that we contribute to this vital cause.
Later we attended a fundraiser for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity held at St Stephen’s Church in Barbourne. The singing from the Hereford Police Male Choir was exceptional, as were the two soloists Sian Haines and David Coulson. It was pleasing to see so many local people enjoying the evening and at the same time raising much needed funds for The Air Ambulance, which receives no government or lottery funding.