Christmas Day was a particularly memorable one for us. We had an enjoyable trip around the wards at Worcestershire Royal Hospital during the morning; it was fantastic meeting staff and many of the proud mums and dads who had had newborn babies in the maternity unit. Essential services rely on the dedication of their staff, particularly on Christmas Day!
After an enjoyable break, the New Year has begun with a succession of planning meetings. Last Monday, we met with the Worcester Rotary Club to make final plans for the annual Mayoral Charity Banquet on Friday 8 March. The theme will be musicals, and we are delighted that the Worcester Operatic & Dramatic Society’s cabaret team will be on hand to launch the evening. Tickets are now available from the Mayor’s Secretary, Susan O’Kane on 01905 722001.
The following morning I paid a visit to our U3A Local History Group, where John Stafford gave an excellent presentation on the Worcester – Birmingham Canal.
Over lunchtime, we welcomed representatives from local businesses and the voluntary sector to a new Year’s Drinks Party in the Parlour. It was great to meet so many friends and representatives from across the City.
On Wednesday I attended a meeting of the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust at Stourport Sports Club – part of my duties as a member of the County Scrutiny body for the local NHS.
Thursday saw me in the garden, doing some of the neglected winter jobs. What an excellent service there is at the local Bilford Road re-cycling centre!
The next day I welcomed members of Worcester U3A Walking Group, who enjoyed a tour of the Guildhall and Parlour. We then went to a most enjoyable buffet lunch at “Spires”, the training restaurant for the College of Technology, where students do all the catering and provide the service.
Later in the afternoon I chaired a meeting of the WW1 Planning Committee in the Parlour. We have submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery, and await the outcome. Plans are being developed for the centenary of World War 1. We really need to engage with members of the public and local voluntary groups and it was agreed to launch a further period of public consultation led by Paul Harding, starting on 9 February.
The morning was bitterly cold on Saturday. We helped St Pauls Hostel for the Homeless by collecting donations at Sainsbury’s in St Johns, in aid of their service and the local Night Assessment Centre at the YMCA. There was an excellent exhibition and shoppers were generous in their support of these essential projects.
It is particularly important to recognise that the problems of homelessness occur throughout the whole year and not just at Christmas. We are holding a “Homeless not Helpless” Action Day at the Guildhall on Saturday 26 January (10.00am – 4.00pm). Our aim is to showcase the statutory and voluntary organisations who are there to help, and we also hope to tackle some of the myths around the subject of homelessness. Please come if you can – the event is free and everyone is welcome.