Give the city a feel-good factor

Speaker's Corner columnists -  Peterborough Telegraph -, @peterboroughtel on Twitter,
Speaker's Corner columnists - Peterborough Telegraph -, @peterboroughtel on Twitter,
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In May last year Cllr Fox was elected Mayor, and I Deputy. The year has flashed by and it reminds me of a saying my father would often use. Time flies we cannot they so quickly fly – anybody heard it (or similar), says Mayor of Peterborough councillor Chris Ash.

I think with the support of the civic office we had a pretty successful year last year.

The unusual role reversal (I am now Mayor with cllr Fox as my deputy) helps us all to continue to work together and expand and learn from our experiences to make the good stuff just as good this year.

We started in late May 2017 with remembrance services for attacks in London and Manchester and the Grenfell Tower disaster . We remember those a year on.

While we should never forget tragedies we must also celebrate the good things out there and what our city has to offer.

I do want to be able to highlight the great things going on around us by working on last year’s theme of communities together, promoting even in a small way a feeling of harmony, a feeling that local groups and communities can bring harmony, working together to give Peterborough that feelgood factor.

So, if I can I will showcase the groups and events the Mayoress and I have visited so that we can tell you all the worthwhile things that are going on in the background around us, and perhaps even encourage some of you to get involved . That involvement can help to raise awareness.

Our first visit was to the Eco Education awards at at bright new, shiny school in Hampton – quite different from the old Edwardian building I attended.

The awards are now in the 8th year and it’s good to see new sets of youngsters taking an interest in the natural things around them. I do hope today’s youngsters will carry that enthusiasm forward through their lives.

At an event at Aspire in Bridge Street we learnt a lot about the offender programme - people that not only benefited from the programme but were also helping others to get something out of the scheme . There are a lot of people who are down on their luck.

We are not long back from an event expressing appreciation for the work of the Family Action volunteers and I thought they too, are worthy of a mention .

It’s essential that we have these groups out there to help give people a steer and help guide them back up and away from a feeling of despondency.

Many volunteers have been through tough times themselves, and found support. In turn, they find it rewarding to give something back, guiding others to overcome difficulties.

The other Saturday we cut the ribbon to open the Lido for this season.

I did say I had a note from my Mum and was excused going in (I think they believed me). Though it was not the sunniest of mornings, there were quite a few people ready to take a dip. Mind you, the water was heated, not like when we were kids and the water in our local outdoor pool was pretty cold until the summer sun warmed it up a bit. It’s a great facility.

Many events rely heavily on the services of volunteers. St John Ambulance volunteers provide first aid at many of them . We were lucky enough to get the chance to drop by their awareness and recruitment drive outside the Town Hall, last Sunday. We were quite impressed with the gear on show, ranging from a bright new shiny wagon, fully equipped with emergency equipment, and a first aid room, to a bike also packed with first aid equipment stowed neatly away .

Choosing just three organisations for the mayor’s charities was a difficult 

I am glad though I chose the Alzheimer’s Society as one of them.

These days there can’t be many that aren’t touched by the onset of dementia. So it’s a privilege to work with them too.

With that in mind, along with others including our MP, we attended an awareness session put on by the Friends of Dementia,

One of the things they encouraged us to do was to tell five people about the Friends of Dementia initiative – hopefully I have five readers, so that will giv have given me a good start to being a good dementia friend.

Why not get in touch via the website or call them.