Monday 27th: “Fair Trade” fortnight began today. We live in a world generally of “Free Trade” but with that privilege comes a responsibility to ensure that trade is fare. This is especially important for populations in developing countries where poverty is way outside our experience in the “West”. I have observed this at first hand in countries like Ghana, Rwanda and Uganda. We must do all we can to ensure that producers of goods and products in these countries receive a sufficient and fair price so provide at least the basic necessities of family life: health, education and a home. That is where the “Fair Trade” organisation plays a vital part. Worcester is a “Fair Trade” City where numerous retailers, restaurants, schools and churches ensure that they have a range of “Fair Trade” goods available.
More information on www.fairtrade.org.uk
Tuesday 28th: My older son, Mark, had been a pupil at Hawford Lodge School (now King’s Hawford). He always remembers his time there thirty years ago with such joy and pleasure. Jane and I had been invited to the school for lunch with the pupils. However before sitting down to an excellent meal I was asked to read a story. I chose “In which Pooh goes visiting and gets into a tight place” from “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A.Milne. It is amazing how these books published in the 1920’s still hold affection with children and adults alike. Then it was our turn to listen to three of the children read a passage of their choosing. We also met with the pupil members of the School Council. They really took this seriously with all sorts of ideas to improve things at the school and ways of raising funds for charity.
A most enjoyable afternoon entertaining a group of 21 friends from the Whittington Church congregation. It is always a great pleasure to reveal what is “behind the scenes” historically in the Guildhall. Jane had baked a number of cakes for tea.
Wednesday 29th: This evening I really wanted to go the lecture at the University given by Dr. Jeremy Dawson (University of Sheffield) with the title “Team working in health care: Implications for staff well-being and patient safety”. Unfortunately the traffic was so heavy that I managed less than half a mile from home in thirty minutes…in the end I gave up.
Thursday 1st: “NAKED AMBITION. My Quest to Row an Ocean” was written by Richard Wood. It tells the story of his rowing solo across the Atlantic in 2004: an astonishing achievement. In 2006 Richard suffered a stroke paralysing his left side. But nothing, even a physical disability, will stop this courageous man. He has learnt to walk and still has challenges to pursue. I met him with Kath Wood (no relation), a neurological physiotherapist, in the Parlour, to discuss their quest to set up a charity to “enable individuals with long-term neurological disabilitiesthe opportunity to access further, on-going rehabilitation”. Neurological conditions result from damage to the brain, spinal column or nerves, caused by illness or injury. The first aim is to create a physiotherapy-led hydrotherapy exercise service for these people. This seems like an important initiative to me.
The British Medical Associationwas founded on July 19th 1832 by Sir Charles Hastings in the Board Room of the Worcester Royal Infirmary (WRI). A reception was held in that historical Board Room and Jenny Lind Chapel and hosted by Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor of the University of Worcester. It was attended by almost a hundred doctors and guests many of whom were old colleagues from my days of working at the WRI. It was a wonderful occasion to see how the old hospital has been brought back into use as the City Campus of the University. We all then attended a “Black Tie Dinner” in the Assembly Room of the Guildhall to celebrate 180 years of medicine in Worcester.
Friday 2nd: Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham has an exchange arrangement with a school in Dresden in Germany. Twelve students, aged around 17 years, on this year’s exchange came for a tour of the Guildhall. I never fail to be impressed by the command of English acquired by these young folk: certainly makes giving a talk much easier since my knowledge of German is nil!
We continue to plan and gain more ideas for the marking of the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in 2014. The team met this afternoon. Soon we will be putting a box in the Guildhall for people to place their thoughts and perhaps contributions of memorabilia.
Saturday 3rd: The forecourt of the Guildhall was the scene today of a stall to promote “Fair Trade”: there were many examples of products to try and taste.
The hope is that this will highlight the importance of “Fair Trade” and to encourage people to look for items when doing their weekly shopping. Over 3,000 “Fair Trade” products are now available. Over the ten years 2001 – 2011 the retail turnover of these goods has risen from £50.5 million to £1,319 million.
While I was at the Guildhall this morning there was an exhibition of a variety of health related initiatives. These included sessions on “meditation” and the organiser took a bet with the “Zumba” lady that I wouldn’t take part…well I did! The trouble was I could not hear the relaxing words that drifted across the group while we had our eyes closed. So I had to peep from time to time to make sure I hadn’t been left alone.
Then the “Zumba” organiser bet the “meditation” organiser that I wouldn’t do the “Zumba” exercises on the Guildhall forecourt. Well, you can guess what happened next…. at least it brought in the crowds!!
I am not a football fan but my son, Mark and his wife Sarah, persuaded Jane and me to go to the match at St. George’s Lane this afternoon. Worcester City was playing Boston United. In fact it was most enjoyable. Worcester won 3 – 0. Before the match Worcester was ninth (out of 22 teams) in the Blue Square Bet North Table only one above Boston United. If Worcester City continues to play as well as they did today they should advance up the Table. I wish them well.