Other visits and news in December
I have continued to visit some of the charities and voluntary groups that make such a difference to life in Hertfordshire and as always am so impressed and inspired at all that they do for others.
Mind in Mid Herts have excellent partnerships across the county and, along with Herts Mind Network, work hard to help those with mental health problems with a focus on prevention, social support and recovery.
Young Carers Crew offer support, friendship and fun to young people who are caring for others in Stevenage and North Herts.
Resolve opened its new service centre and many partner organisations came to celebrate the official opening. Already they have doubled the number of clients who come for a range of services that help break the cycle of drug and alcohol abuse.
Supported Activities Programme run all sort of activities for adults with learning disabilities in North Herts and Stevenage. I joined them for a happy knit and natter session.
Chatter tables are popping up all across the county to provide an opportunity for people to meet for coffee and company, and avoid loneliness and isolation. I dropped in to visit the Monday morning group organised by Buntingford Town Council and was pleased to find the town PCSO there too, listening to concerns and helping make the community stronger.
The awards for the Team Programme run by the Princes Trust and Fire Service are always wonderful occasions, and I was delighted to present the awards to the 9 young people who had completed the 12-week programme. They each made a presentation and bravely told their stories, and how the programme had helped build confidence, respect for others and empowered them to turn their lives around.
Archbishop Angaelos kindly invited me to visit him and see the beautiful Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of Saint George in Stevenage. We chatted over tea and he welcomed me graciously with wise words on reconciliation and unity.
The Lord Mayor of London hosted an interesting evening at The Mansion House and we heard from a number of organisations and charities who work with Clinks to do life changing work with those in the criminal justice system.
And so I come to the end of the year and it remains for me to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and good health and happiness in 2020!