One of the scariest things to be asked to do as a primary school child is to make a speech in front of an audience of class-mates and teachers. But self-confidence grows with practice, and is an important life skill. For this reason, The Rotary Club of Worcester has been running its Junior Youth Speaks competition in Hollymount and St Barnabas primary schools for several years.
So I was delighted to be invited to judge the St Barnabas competition and faced the very difficult decision of choosing the winners from six excellent finalists. Well done to all the prize winners and participants both here and at Hollymount.
Worcester has now been a Fairtrade City for ten years and – as the councillor who proposed this to the council a decade ago – I was extremely pleased to welcome Anthony Wood and other members of the Worcester Trade Justice Network, whose hard work and determination brought this about, to a special reception in the Mayor’s Parlour. Buying Fairtrade products means that some of the poorest workers in the world are not exploited, but paid fairly, so they can feed and educate their children. How well this idea fits my theme of “No community left behind”!
The mayoress, my wife Lynn, and I thoroughly enjoyed RGS The Grange speech day, celebrating the success and achievements of their pupils.
I was also able to tour St Richard’s Hospice with its chief executive Mark Jackson. We are extremely fortunate to have this superb service here, which supports those facing life-limiting illnesses and their families with amazing care and compassion, often in their own homes.
Two groups of language students from Italy toured the Guildhall and I was delighted to welcome them. Lynn and I also visited ASPIE, which supports people with Asperger’s Syndrome. This condition is poorly understood by most of us and ASPIE provides space and activities to make friends with others experiencing the same condition.