A busy and interesting week, it started with a tour of Acorns Hospice which, whilst very sad, was certainly inspiring. The facilities, colour schemes and architecture are superb, providing support, engagement and comfort for the residents, and the staff are incredibly committed and caring. It is ten years since Acorns opened and the gardens are becoming quite mature; there are areas of fun, colour and solace and walking around the grounds one feels as if one is away from everything, no hint that the location is in that of a city!
The Mayoress and I had the opportunity to visit ASPIE, a social self-help and motivation group for adults with Asperger’s Syndrome, providing a drop-in point and place of comfort. ASPIE was founded in 2011 by the late Sarah Micklewright with the aim of providing a place where Aspies can meet one another and the good work is now continue by her mother, Julia.
The theme of “good work” continued when Harry Turner, Chairman of Worcestershire NHS Trust, allowed us an opportunity of being shown around the new Oncology Unit and the new Birthing Unit, both of which were amazing. It didn’t feel like a normal hospital environment as it was so colourful, light and beautifully designed. Encouragingly we saw the plans to extend the A&E Department and to further extend the car parking facilities. This is one hospital that is reaching out and succeeding, to improve services and facilities, giving patient stays a more beneficial outcome and making them a more pleasant experience.
The finale of our visit to the Worcester Royal was to meet and thank the volunteers who so admirably support the work of our hospital staff and management. They are a great group of people who deserve our praise and thanks. So much more is achieved because of them!
It was a pleasure to attend the 800th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Charter being granted to Droitwich by King John in 1215, with a re-enactment of the King’s visit to the town. The charter gave the burghers the right to produce and market salt from the remarkable natural brine springs which emanate from subterranean beds of pure rock salt 200 feet below ground level.
Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and the re-enactment was great fun. I’m not too sure about the authenticity of King John arriving on a canal barge, but it added an additional fun element to the day.
The Worcester Foodie Festival was great. We had 60 stalls of which 25 were city centre businesses and many others were suppliers to city centre businesses. 15 businesses are signed up to our Food and Drink trail with 20 running activities, offers and competitions. As part of the Foodie Fortnight which runs until 9 August we have 10 businesses running ‘Breakfast Club’ offers and 12 doing the same for Lunch. 12 are also doing either a special £5 or £10 menu. The aim of the Foodie Fortnight is to get people to venture into places they might not have tried before and do so without needing to doing on the Foodie Festival weekend when it will be busy anyway.
Footfall in the High Street was up by some 45% – now that’s what Icall a success story!
Anecdotal feedback from the traders and the public has been fantastic with a wonderful atmosphere and Jean-Christophe Novelli ‘stirring’ up a frenzy to melt the hearts of some Mademoiselles who met him during and after his Masterclass sessions.
The last evening of the 2015 Three Choirs Festival was marked with a reception in the Bishop’s Palace Garden in Hereford, a delightful setting by the riverside bathed in sunshine and set amongst some glorious trees.
The Three Choirs Festival is a national treasure, champions of the British choral tradition; it represents the greatest and largest works in classical music night after night during a festival which has been a spiritual presence at the heart of the nation’s cultural life for 300 years. Look here for more information:- http://www.3choirs.org/