Awarding somebody the Freedom of the City happens extremely rarely, as there has to be a very large majority on the Council to approve it. So it was most extraordinary to have two ceremonies in one week, firstly for former Councillor Mike Layland, and then for the Queen’s Royal Hussars. I was honoured that my signature is on the Scrolls that I presented.
Wednesday was a very education day, starting at RGS The Grange’s assembly, where I presented the prizes to children who had won the Name the Bridge competition in Gheluvelt Park and whose suggestions are now on the plaques. Then, after officially opening the Archway Academy, I was shown the range of practical skills being taught there, the carpentry and brick-building being especially impressive. Many of the students had made enormous progress since starting.
Being in my own Ward, I was also particularly happy to have opened the new Sport England Play Space at Oasis Academy in Warndon. The £30,000 outlay will provide the children with state-of-the-art facilities – and I can think of no children who need and deserve them more.
So much is going on in our City at the moment. I attended the opening of the Carden St. Cafe, a very interesting social enterprise providing training and employment opportunities for people to develop their skills and help them into jobs. I saw the success of this in the Training and Enterprise Centre, with some beautifully restored furniture which would be a delight in any house. A few days later, I opened Practical Car & Van Rental, yet another new business enterprise creating jobs.
Always delighted to be asked to present sporting awards, I was really excited to give out prizes at the Worcester Swimming Club Open Meet to the winners of the “Skins” competition, in which our youngsters did Worcester proud with the best results overall. In presenting the prizes at the Droitwich Archery Society Annual Double Worcester, I did so as their ‘Lord Paramount’ – an absolutely fantastic title.
At the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Launch I urged people to live for the future, but also to remember and never forget the past.