The Mayor gets invited to all sorts of things. I get to go to so many interesting events and meet such fascinating people. Too many to list and I don’t want to give just a rundown of everything in my diary, so here’s just a couple of things from my week.

I recently attended a new member’s Rotary Lunch. The Rotary club was founded in Chicago USA in 1905 by Paul Harris. Rotary International is a worldwide organisation of business and professional people. Rotary’s motto is ‘Service Above Self’. Its lofty mission is to provide service in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world to build goodwill and peace, provide humanitarian service, and to encourage high ethical standards in all vocations. They are famous for their work in raising money for the goal of eradicating polio. Here in Worcester, they raise money for various charities but the thing that caught my eye was not the money raised but something perhaps even more valuable, the time they give to their youth work.

Members of the Rotary Club of Worcester have for many years been patiently going into schools to spend time just listening to children read. This is a big deal, not every child has a parent that will spend time listening to their child reading. This is levelling up in action. Great work, but the Rotary Club have taken this much, much further by creating opportunities for primary school children to take that scary step of speaking in public with their Junior Youth Speaks competition.

Year Six children are asked to either read a poem or write and then deliver a short speech. This week I had the pleasure of being part of the judging panel at Hollymount School. I’m in awe of these eleven-year-old children speaking so confidently with a microphone in front of the whole school. As a shy child I can’t imagine doing that. What an opportunity to grow confidence – public speaking is an amazing life skill. Thank you Emma Train, Head of English at Hollymount School, and thank you to Sheila Sonley, Rotary Club Youth Lead, for all the fantastic work you do.



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