I visited the Christmas Shelter on the 25th December. This project operates for five days over the Christmas period providing food, shelter and companionship for those in need. It was so heartening to meet the volunteers who were giving up part of their Christmas Day. There was a real variety of people; Mums and daughters, married couples whose children had left home, a good representation of church folk and people just dropping in with home-made goodies. Ken, who was organising, soon had me slicing onions and bagging up sandwiches and then meeting and greeting folk with a cup of tea.
My next engagement was just as friendly. I had been invited by his family to Richard Crittenden’s 100th birthday party at the Gild Hall in Formby. His children, grandchildren and great grandchildren had laid on a brilliant afternoon including their own version of the old television favourite ‘This is your life’. Richard has certainly led an eventful and good life. My role was to present him with the birthday card from The Queen.
Before I went to Formby I popped into Sandgrounder Radio to chat with Neil Newton about what I have been up to so far as Mayor and my plans for 2017.
One thing I talked with Neil about was how impressed I have been with the young people I have met. A couple of visits stand out in my memory. Readers of the Visiter will know of my interest in mental health. I have been keen to engage young people in discussions about this once taboo issue. The
11th Sefton East troop of scouts invited me to their meeting. One of their leaders, Antony Dowell, works with me at a mental health charity has put together some materials for scouts to use. My evening with them was a great success and they ask me some seriously searching questions. I have written up a full account on: http://themayoralblog.blogspot.co.uk where you can also find some photographs
The second group of young people I met were at Chesterfield High School. They had undertaken a course with the UK Military School Academy -a group of former service personnel. It was clear that the students had enjoyed the experience and parents I met were enthusiastic about the benefits of attending.
Next week Afternoon Tea in the Mayor’s Parlour in aid of an Alzheimer charity and a traditional panto to attend amongst other engagements