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July 23 News

I start the monthly update with a question – how can businesses and individuals help others to improve their literacy? Imagine being dropped in a country where no one speaks English, or any language that you know - how would you manage on a day-to-day basis - from reading a bus timetable or road sign, to knowing what food to order, or trying to explain a medical condition or understand instructions on a medicine bottle?

July has been a fantastic and varied month, which began and ended with young people as I visited the Polish Saturday School who celebrated their 10th anniversary, and I showed a group of Herts Police Cadets and their leaders round the Old Bailey (it was a bonus to be welcomed by one of the current City of London Sheriffs, Alderman Alastair King DL, and to have a talk in the iconic Court 1 by HHJ Sarah Munro KC).

In-between I enjoyed visiting:

a) Charities - amazing charities who work with people to help them with homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, food poverty, end of life care, back into employment, theatre for young people. Thanks to HACRO, Gratitude, Resolve, Herts Young Homeless, Community Alliance Broxbourne, Herts Inclusive Theatre, Feed Up Warm Up, Isabel Hospice, Royston Day Centre and Create Community (with apologies if I’ve missed anyone).

b) County Council - members of the County Council to chat about my theme and how we can work together. It was inspiring to attend their Step2Skills Adult Achievement Awards and to chat both to those who received awards, and those who work with individuals.

c) Medical – it was fascinating to visit the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, and in particular to be shown the ED and maternity wings, as well as meeting those who fundraise for specific projects.

d) Military – Peter and I ventured out of Herts by attending two excellent military events - the Annual Reception at RAF Halton, and the Royal Anglian Regiment Reception and Beating of Retreat at Bedford School.

e) Civic – it was a pleasure to be joined by my Under Sheriff for the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire’s Tea Party. I also gained some more knowledge of the criminal justice system when I visited Hertford Magistrates Court.

f) Faith – my Chaplain and I were honoured to visit the Coptic Orthodox Church and meet His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos.

g) Symposium – plans continue for our Symposium on 29th November at the University of Hertfordshire where we will bring people together to discuss how we can improve literacy across the county and help those with lived prison experience.

In-between enjoying all of the above we spent four very special days in Italy celebrating our daughter’s wedding! Thankfully ‘the young’ organise everything and all we had to do was turn up!


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