We near the time when lots of people will be saying what they will do for this and that and people I know have convinced me it is appropriate to evidence WHAT I ACTUALLY do, especially for school governing, and highlight how we all can do our bit. Candidates sometimes talk about being passionate about education. Well, if so are you a school governor? I was actually motivated to become a Councillor because of my work as a governor for Monkspath J&I School and, at that time, also a governor at Alderbrook. At one of my earliest council meetings I heard an experienced councillor talk about the improvement made in one area of the borough between Key Stage 1 and key Stage 2, stating the improvement had been made in one year. I had to convince that experienced councillor the difference between KS1 and KS2 was in fact FOUR years. I had to leave Alderbrook School because I became a councillor and new regulations meant you could not be a councillor and a parent governor at a school in the same borough. I was therefore asked to join Forest Oak Special School, now federated with Merstone Special School. In numbers:
Monkspath Junior and Infant School – 25 years (and counting)
Forest Oak & Merstone Federated Special Schools – 9 years (and counting)
Alderbrook – 4 years.
Triple Crown – Chair of management Board – 3 years.
The year serving as mayor for Solihull was superb and the blog I created for that term of office is still available for viewing: https://solihullmayor.wordpress.com/ .
During the year Janet and I were asked to take part in fund raising for the Poppy Appeal and Royal Air Force Association (tin shaking). I saw other people, young and old, actually doing this so I have continued to do so since then; committing to the Poppy Appeal, Marie Curie and Age UK_Solihull every year, and RAFA three times a year. It is great for the soul but also an enjoyable way to spend an hour or so. All charities need people to collect for them – why not volunteer? I can point you in the right direction.
In respect of Marie Curie: During our Mayoral year Janet and I raised about £31,000 for charity (a record), with the main donations to the two charities that were most dear to us; Marie Curie, West Midlands Hospice and Skin Cancer Research at The QE. Both charities were presented with cheques £13,500.
I have since retained my connections with Marie Curie West Midlands Hospice by joining its Development Board just over 12 months ago.
Please consider volunteering. I know only too well that with kids and a full-time job there might not always be the time or opportunity. However, volunteers, whether collecting on the High Street, being school governors or running sports clubs, are at the heart of the community and serve us all.