The University of Worcester has had a major impact on our city in both economic and social terms. Last week I was privileged to be amongst those students who have been working toward a Worcester Award. They have given up their time to help others as well as taking part in paid employment while studying.
All the more, companies are looking at their potential employee’s social skills and commitment to tasks as well as their academic achievements. 253 students attended the Worcester Award ceremony where they received certificates for taking part in these extra-curricular activities. These are awards they will be able to rely upon as a testament to their commitment when they come to do job interviews.
Coming at a time when I have just announced that my year as mayor will celebrate the idea of Valuing Volunteers, being present at this ceremony was my first opportunity of actually supporting the concept.
The charities I am supporting in my year as Mayor also show the value that volunteers bring.
Victim Support provides assistance to those targeted by criminals and helps them recover from the traumatic effects. To look after young and elderly victims and provide specialist support, the charity requires considerable resources.
Being treated fairly and not suffering discrimination is something most of us take for granted. Onside Advocacy ensures that those who are disadvantaged through learning difficulties or mental ill-health will be represented to safeguard their rights.
My third charity is Headway Worcester, which provides a hub for sufferers of brain injuries. With the likelihood of 1,000 people in Worcestershire receiving such an injury each year it is important that carer support, rehabilitation programmes and social re-integration are in place to help.
As Mayor I’m hoping to attract funds for all three of these excellent causes, but I am also planning an exciting fundraising initiative of my own – and a most unusual one for a Mayor too! I’ll be revealing more very soon.