December 23 News
After a long weekend away with family, December began with a Royal visit when His Majesty The King visited The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre in Stevenage. It was 10 years since his last visit and there was high demand for tickets. I was honoured to be part of the receiving line and to join the service.
Carol services/concerts featured heavily during December, and other activities included:
Charities – visit to CHEXS (young people and family support) HQ and Lee Valley Park to chat to some young people who spend time each week clearing areas of woodland, Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Reception, being one of ‘Santa’s elves’ in Tring for Rennie Grove Peace Hospice, Youth Talk in St Albans, Ngorli in Watford, Gratitude in Borehamwood and Feed Up Warm Up in Stevenage to drop off socks, meet clients and help, Women of Grace in Bishop’s Stortford, Sawbridgeworth Homes for Ukraine Support, The Living Room in Stevenage, New Hope in Watford and DENS in Hemel Hempstead.
I hope that going forward I can help some charities to improve the literacy of some of the people they care for, and raise awareness of the valuable work of our Herts charities. Many of our charities have a large number of volunteers, and it’s clear to see the pleasure they gain from helping individuals in our communities.
Carol services/concerts – The Willow Foundation, AgeUK Herts, St Albans High School for Girls, Hertfordshire Constabulary, Isabel Hospice, and St Albans Cathedral, where I was delighted to read the first lesson.
Police – the Award ceremonies are always very special, and this time awards from the Royal Humane Society were included. I was very lucky that my evening with the National Police Air Service was dry and clear, which, when called out, enabled us to go flying over Essex, Herts and London.
Visits to Hertfordshire libraries – fundraising for Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF).
Between January and March, I aim to visit all 46 Hertfordshire libraries to showcase the wide range of community engagements they undertake, as well as highlight the joy and benefit of reading and literacy. HCF award grants to small Hertfordshire charities and I aim to raise awareness of both HCF and Shannon Trust, who help those in prison teach others to learn to read, and who are now taking their model into the community, both through probation and individual charities. It’s not easy to admit that you can’t read, and we will try and reach those in the community who would like to learn. Good literacy is proven to have a positive benefit on health & wellbeing, as well as greatly benefitting an individual on a daily basis. We take being able to read for granted, and we need to do what we can to help those who struggle.