I was privileged when out and about in the city last weekend to witness a number of great initiatives that make a huge difference to people’s lives. Often these initiatives begin their life as a simple idea, a thought, a kind intention; a spark that came deep from the heart.
These then develop and morph into invaluable and integral services that embed themselves within the community. The best ones are often the simplest. They tend to originate from personal tragedy, heartache or pain, where people are determined to ensure that never again will they or other people suffer because of the trauma or pain that they had previously suffered. So, they endeavour to make a difference.
The Make Time Friendship group has been going for ten years in Worcester, and was started by a group of volunteers that had been hurt or affected in different ways. They set out to make new friends and to try to find solace and an outlet to heal the wounds of past trauma. It has been a tremendous success; I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of dance and song with the members of the club and the Worcester Ukelele Band.
The Worcester Leg club, in a different way. achieves the objective of reducing isolation and loneliness, through the health in the community agenda. The club meets twice a week at the Tolly centre and helps scores of visitors with leg problems and ulcers. I commend it and its volunteers and helpers for going an incredible 13 years, with the help of Cllr Andy Roberts amongst others.
On Friday afternoon I stood shoulder to shoulder with Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester and members of all faiths and none at a vigil organised by the Worcestershire Inter Faith Forum. The event was to show solidarity with the victims and families of the terrible terrorist atrocities in New Zealand. This simple act goes a long, long way to show what a great, tolerant and understanding city ours is.
I, along with High Sheriff Cassian Roberts, attended the West Midlands Ambulance Excellence in the Community Awards. I heard about the incredible efforts and heart-breaking stories of staff, volunteers and the public when saving lives. The High Sheriff quite rightly paid tribute to the service and the volunteers, describing them as the glue that bonds the fabric of the county and Country. It is this glue that runs deep within the veins of this City, weeping from the heart in times of need. It forges and becomes unbreakable, causing Worcester to unite in times of hardship, adversity and unprecedented events. It is this glue that is very essence of the beauty and joy of life and the soul. I hope you will have a wonderful weekend.