An interesting mix of sporting and cultural events last week. Attending the Official Draw for the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships 2015 was quite something – I know they used to play tennis inside the Guildhall centuries ago but I never thought I would watch international basketball being played inside the Cathedral!
It was with pride and a twinge of sadness that I opened and introduced some of the speakers at the Community Foundation Celebration at the Cricket Club. Looking back over the four year life and work of the Community First Funding Panel, which I chaired, its task was to give grants to local community and voluntary groups to deliver projects in areas of deprivation in Warndon and Rainbow Hill.
The Panel allocated £84,000 to over 60 projects, using more than 6,000 hours of volunteering. Although the Community Development Foundation is a national organisation, it was our local Panel that made local decisions on how to spend the money and it was heartening to hear from some of the recipients what a big difference these grants had made to the local community.
Another milestone was set with the launch and book signing of The Swan Theatre Worcester written by Chris Jaeger, looking back over the past 50 years of the institution – and looking forward to the next 50. I can recommend the book – it is a very good read.
Meeting with representatives of Worcester Concert Brass to plan a mayoral charity evening in April was most enjoyable. We discussed what music to put on, although I did struggle to curb my own preferences since the whole point of the event was to provide the audience with what they would like, which we have done.
I really love hosting tour-tea-chats in The Parlour as part of my “Be My Guest” programme. The most recent guests included the Head Boys and Head Girl from Bishop Perowne School – Joseph Long, Tom Maiden, George Fuller, and Jessica Key – how nice to meet such polite and interested young people. It was a pleasure also to welcome a group of pupils from New College (formerly The Blind College) and it was great to let each one be Mayor for a few minutes by putting on the robes and chain of office.