I was up early on Sunday to speak at the start of the annual Worcester Race For Life event, starting at Pitchcroft. What a well organised event, with well over 3,000 participants helping to raise a target of £199,000.
Jill and I were transported to the finishing line, where we distributed medals and congratulated the runners.
Later at the Chateau Impney hotel in Droitwich we attended the annual Worcestershire Army Cadet League lunch. We learnt a great deal about this movement, which plays a valuable role in engaging with young people.
On Monday I welcomed a visit from the Rotary Club of Worcester South with French visitors from London. This was a part of an annual twinning trip with visitors each year enjoying the city’s historic buildings.
At 12 noon we raised the Armed Forces Day flag in the Guildhall forecourt. Afterwards, I enjoyed a chance to chat with some of the veterans over a cup of coffee. Briefings for the following night’s council meeting followed, then a chance to meet and discuss flower arrangements for the annual banquet in July.
I met Helen King on Tuesday to learn about plans for the Worcester Music Festival in August. Later, I signed the official pledge as Worcester became one of the first UK Heart Cities. Meeting representatives from the British Heart Foundation gave me an opportunity to learn about the preventative measures that the city can help provide.
That afternoon we welcomed HRH the Duke of York for his visit to the Worcestershire Training Association HQ in Barbourne. It was great to meet young apprentices and to witness the training that is taking place. If only some more companies could engage in the training and development of our young people.
I chaired the full council meeting in the evening, discussing among other things a policy on social media and the IT needs of councillors. The world has changed so much in my 35 years’ experience as councillor and almost 50% of my communication with constituents relies on IT.
The city’s Homecoming and Freedom parade took place on Wednesday. What an experience to join others in taking the salute and to talk to the soldiers and many visitors. I believe this was a tribute to Worcester, with so many members of the public turning out and expressing their spontaneous support.
It was a great opportunity to engage with the army and we were pleased to receive mementos of the event to add to the city’s collection.
In the afternoon I attended a board meeting of Worcester Community Trust, which is doing so much to support areas in the city.
The evening brought a visit to an exhibition of work by art and design students at Worcester Sixth Form College in Spetchley Road. The standard of the work is incredibly demanding.
I paid a visit to the delightful village of Elmley Castle on Thursday, to the home of the new High Sheriff, Penelope Lewis. We enjoyed afternoon tea in a lovely setting.
On Friday, we attended the funeral of John Davenport, the husband of the chair of the city standard committee, Mrs Christine Davenport. It was an emotional event with a lovely choice of music and readings; an excellent tribute to a delightful person.
We opened the Community Fun Day at the King George V Playing Fields on Saturday. This excellent venue boasts some of the best football pitches in the city, which are maintained to a high degree. There were a wide variety of activities and stalls to enjoy.
Later I attended, with John Everest, the Act 1 Theatre Company showcase, sponsored by the sixth form of Tudor Grange Academy. The standard of performing arts is high, with many of the sixth form going on to further studies in full-time education. This will be the last production before the school moves to its new purpose-built theatre in the autumn.