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February 24 News

February was dominated by visits to 19 #libraries across Hertfordshire.  A safe, non-judgemental warm space, libraries are vital to our communities - they are often the only time an individual talks to anyone else all day.  Did you know that anyone with a library card in Hertfordshire can download the Borrow Box, Libby and Press Reader apps and read most newspapers, magazines, and audio books AT NO COST.

Libraries are a wealth of information with regard to:

  • local activities

  • services for medical needs

  • somewhere to make new friends

  • meeting your local Councillor or your PCSO

  • tracing your genealogy or practicing your driving theory test – for free!

  • activities ranging from 3D printing to craft skills, Lego, Cyber or poetry – and much more


Faith – I was very fortunate to be shown around Amaravati Temple by The Abbot, Amaro Bhikkhu and to join in meditation and share a meal.  The Watford Interfaith AGM was an opportunity to hear from faith leaders and the head of the new Watford Police Station.

Police – it was a great pleasure to present Long Service and Bravery Awards to members of Herts Constabulary. The citations highlighted the dedication of our police, and their ongoing desire to serve their community.  The new police station in Watford was formally opened by the Lord-Lieutenant – it’s near the town centre and has a front desk for those needing help.

Football – my first visit to Vicarage Road and having been born in Leicestershire I was fortunate to watch the Hornets play Leicester City, although neutrality was essential!

Shannon Trust – kindly ran an online training session and training in St Albans library for a number of charities to help improve #literacy in the local community, and hopefully we can continue to make progress.

Civics – Welwyn Hatfield held a multi-faith Civic Service, and an excellent Community Awards evening.

Cathedral – an evening of musical favourites, held at the Cathedral, with students from Tring Park School for the Performing Arts taking part.

School – Bushey Mead School have opened a Special Resource Provision, which is excellently equipped for children with a diverse range of special needs, and it was good to see the outdoor area where pancakes were being cooked.

Charities – Verso Vineyard in St Albans offer meals, clothing, an area for children to play and enjoy books, as well as classes to adults to help them with their wellbeing amongst other areas.  I visited Citizens Advice in St Albans which is well situated in the Civic Centre and had lots of enquiries while I was there.  It was a pleasure to join the Lord-Lieutenant as he opened a new Playskill Hub in Hemel Hempstead – parents of children with complex needs each have a tailored programme and access to help over the phone during the week.

Speaking – I enjoyed talking to the Watford Writers Association about my year as High Sheriff and the daily challenges faced by those who struggle with literacy.


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