The Week: 13 to 18 May

Our second week in post and an interesting mix of engagements. We began by opening the new Rowan’s Hospice charity shop in Market Parade, Havant – meeting the staff and volunteers and wishing them well in their new enterprise.

On Wednesday we were guests at Gosport Mayor Making to welcome my fellow retired Naval Officer ,John Beavis, into his year as Mayor. We enjoyed the celebration with John and Christine and look forward to working with them during the year.  A bright, sunny Thursday morning saw us at Staunton Country Park for an event organised by Hampshire County Council – Special Educational Needs department called ‘Breakthrough at the Barn’.  This was an opportunity for organisations who provide support or services to young people with special needs to promote and showcase their work to parents, carers and young people. As well as meeting many of the young people, we were inspired by the commitment and dedication of the many people working in this sector and the help they are able to provide. It was a fascinating insight into their work.

On Wednesday evening we were guests at Hayling College Prize Evening – an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the pupils. After a rest day on Friday, we were up early on Saturday morning to join the Hayling Island Twinning Association to meet their visitors from Gorron in France. Over an enjoyable English breakfast we were able to welcome them, exchange gifts and wish them a very enjoyable stay with their host families.

Saturday lunchtime and we were at Emsworth Sailing Club for the official opening of the Clubhouse Redevelopment. The opening of these impressive new facilities was done by Helena Lucas MBE, Paralympic Gold Medallist for sailing which gave us the oppportunity to see her medal close up – very impressive!

The Mayor with Helena Lucas and her Gold medal

The Mayor with Helena Lucas and her Gold medal

From Emsworth we were back on the Arts Trail, this time the Waterlooville section with visits to Arnold Bisset, Angela Oakley at Springwood Community Centre, which also had an impressive display of work created by pupils from Waterloo School, then on to Widley to meet Samm Mackinnon, Sue Colyer, Barbara Jones and Brenda Potter at Christchurch Scout Hut – with some superb watercolours!

With the artists at Widley

With the artists at Widley

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