Here you can read about a few of the activities that I have been engaged with during the month. Please do contact me if you would like further information about any of these organisations or events
Friday 26th April. Rutland Community Hub
Robert and I enjoyed a fascinating visit to Rutland Community Hub today, kindly hosted by Carsten Piggott (Chairman) and Lindsay Henshaw-Dann(CEO). The Hub (on Lands’ End Way) consists of many rooms, both large and small that are used for a wide range of community activities. The rooms are beautifully clean, light and well-kept and are used for activities such as the Brownies, Tae Kwon Do classes, counselling sessions, meetings etc.. The Hub offer room hire to community groups and business – providing facilities for the disabled, easy access to public transport and free parking. This is definitely a place to consider for your activities. Additionally they run a transport scheme for the frail, elderly, disabled or vulnerable people of Rutland. Volunteer drivers take people in their own cars (with reimbursement for fuel costs) or they can drive one of the centre’s minibuses or cars. Last year the volunteers covered 184,000 miles on requested journeys ! This very busy centre runs with just 5 full-time equivalent staff and of course many many volunteers. Additionally we met a number of staff and volunteers including Jim (i/c the transport scheme) and Richard (i/c premises ) – they are a very enthusiastic, dedicated and cheerful group of people. We were so impressed with what is on offer at the Hub and the hard work that so many put into making it a real service for the county They are looking for some more volunteer drivers – it is a great way to support the community and you can be flexible with the hours that you volunteer. If interested, then do take a look at their website. Thanks to the whole team that we met for such an interesting and informative visit.
Thursday 17th April Jigsaw Festival by Oakham in Bloom
Oakham in Bloom opened its first Jigsaw Festival which runs from 19thto 22ndApril at Victoria Hall, Oakham. Masterminded by Mrs Joyce Lucas, the volunteers of Oakham in Bloom are raising funds through selling gifted jigsaw puzzles. They have over 200 for sale. These funds are used to enable the volunteers to create many of the floral displays that we all enjoy around Oakham town. Teams of enthusiastic volunteers plant the displays twice each year and maintain them during the year, with the help of contractors to undertake the watering. Recently they have purchased their own greenhouse, where they are nurturing plants for the displays. A very active and busy group of volunteers who work so hard to create some really colourful displays around Oakham.
Wednesday 16th Hope against Cancer
Enjoyed a fascinating visit to the Hope against Cancer Clinical Trials Facility at Leicester Royal Infirmary. Hope against Cancer is a charity that works for the people of Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland by funding cutting-edge research for early detection, treatment and prevention of cancer. Hope works in partnership with Leicester University and the Leicester hospitals, and together they have achieved the prestigious position as a Centre of Excellence for cancer research within the UK. It offers local people with cancer, the opportunity to take part in clinical trials to help develop new cancer drug treatments. Hope helps to fund a Hope nurse and provide funding for training clinicians and researchers.
We were given a tour of the Research facility, including various laboratories where staff were working on many of the projects that Hope helps to fund. A current project is aiming to develop ‘liquid biopsies’ whereby through blood tests, cancers could be diagnosed earlier and so treatment started earlier. We were shown around the facility by a range of dedicated staff including Professor Anne Thomas , Director of the Hope against Cancer Trials facility and a number of her enthusiastic colleagues. We also met Nigel Rose, CE of Hope against Cancer who works with colleagues and a large group of volunteers to raise such invaluable funds for this research.
A really informative visit and an extremely worthwhile charity. More details about Hope against cancer can be seen on their website. Many thanks to Jenny Smith , a local volunteer with Hope who arranged the visit.
Monday 15th Rutland Morris Men
This evening I had the pleasure of meeting the Rutland Morris men who were rehearsing in Ashwell Village Hall. They have been invited to attend a Folk Dancing Festival in Albania in May, which is an exciting ‘first’ for them. Their dance looks fairly energetic, so a 45 minute session, would certainly be classed as a good physical workout! I am looking forward to watching them perform in Uppingham market place at 5.17 am on May 1stas they welcome in the dawn….. others are invited to spectate then too.
Sunday 14th Barmstedt twinned with Oakham
Today I met some members of a group of visitors to Oakham, from our twin town of Barmstedt in Germany. They were being hosted on a visit here by the Mayor of Oakham, Adam Lowe and his wife. Today some of the visitors were taking part in the Half Marathon Run at Rutland Water . It was good to meet the runners and a few others who were there to support them as they set off around the water on a cool but sunny morning. . The partnership between Oakham and Barmstedt (about 30km km northwest of Hamburg, with a population similar to Oakham) has been in existence for many years and both sides clearly enjoy the friendship that has built up over those years. It was a pleasure to meet our ‘twinning’ visitors and I hope that visits between the two towns continue for many years to come.
Thursday 11th April 2019. Declaration at Oakham Castle
In the wonderful venue of Oakham Castle , I read my statutory Declaration of Office, witnessed by Andrew Brown JP and so became the High Sheriff of Rutland for 2019-2020. It was a very special occasion for me and I was delighted to be joined by so many: representatives from our Police, Fire and Rescue services, military services, judiciary, prison and probation service, Rutland County Council as well as our Lord-lieutenant, previous High Sheriffs of Rutland, friends and family.
In preparation for my shrieval year, I have received great support and guidance from many past High Sheriffs, in particular from my predecessor, Mrs Sue Jarron. Sue has been a dedicated High Sheriff and has truly ‘made a difference’ to our community by her involvement in a wide range of activities and events. At the end of Sue’s speech which highlighted just a few of her many activities , she presented a number of High Sheriff awards. These were given to: Finley O’Riordan (Police Cadet), Katie Marshall, Helen Oliver, Pippa Owen, Helena Hield and Jessie Evison.
My own speech highlighted my areas of focus in the coming year as ‘law and order’ and the young people of Rutland. The ceremony concluded with a light lunch and an opportunity for people to meet with one another.