Being Worcester Mayor is not just about Worcester. It is about promoting the city for visitors, including through the International Students Team at the University. It’s also about supporting other local civic events and their charities and the valuable work they do.
Two examples this week – firstly, we went to the Ledbury Civic Service, where the mayor is supporting Strong Young Minds, a project for mental health amongst young people. Secondly we attended a charity dinner with Redditch mayor. The meal was all prepared and cooked by young students at HoW College, and in support of Touchstones, a local charity offering bereavement counselling to young people.
My own Charities On Side and Severn Arts received a boost this week from a concert given by the fabulous Elgar Chorale. Readings and carols went down well with a mince pie, and they even gave us an encore!
I was invited to honour individual work in the voluntary and community sector at the presentation of two British Empire Medals by the Lord Lieutenant. One for setting up an enterprise for people with learning disabilities, and the other for nursing innovation with kidney patients.
Other sorts of business and development have also been on show this week, including the transformation of the old Fire Station building into apartments. Then, wandering around the Victorian Fayre, both traders and visitors said how wonderful it was to be back in such a friendly place and numbers were certainly high over last weekend. Supporting Small Businesses, we visited several new and independent retailers making their mark on Worcester, from bread to chilli, bubble tea to botox.
And most inspiringly, the talent and enthusiasm at the Young Enterprise Trade event at the Cathedral where school students plied us with their ideas and products. Times are tough right now but there is some hope in their future.