Mark Jackson

Is it because it is a city of great historical significance in the evolution of our country and its liberal democracy and has such a rich religious, industrial and military heritage? Is it because it is an innovative city that has seen its major sources of income and industry change over the centuries from cloth to porcelain to gloves to metal bashing to its modern leadership in hi-tech businesses such as Bosch, G-tech and Mazak? Is it because of the high class sporting leadership of the the County Cricket Club and Worcester Warriors that encourages so many amateur sports clubs and individual participation across the county? Is it because of its excellent and forward thinking education opportunities exemplified by the University of Worcester, one of the fastest growing universities in our country? Is it because of its excellent geographical position in the centre of the country with access to very good national and international transport links? Is it because it sits in the middle of one of the loveliest parts of the United Kingdom?

Yes, to all of those, but most of all I love Worcester because of its people. For more than thirty years I had the privilege of serving in the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment with the excellent men of Worcester. As we travelled around the world we honoured the legacy of our forebears and met all the challenges of the Cold War, Irish terrorism and the growing instabilities of the modern world. The humour, dedication, self-discipline and loyalty to each other was in the finest traditions of our city, county and country. On leaving the Army I had the extraordinary privilege of working with a completely different set of Worcester people at St Richard’s Hospice for more than ten years. Watching the dedication and compassion that the staff and volunteers displayed every day when caring for the patients, their families and carers was truly awe inspiring. Our 1000+ volunteers personified the willingness of the people of Worcester to support a wide range of charities and its vibrant voluntary sector.

Worcester has so many reasons to be proud, and does not shout loud enough about what a superb city it is, but its greatest asset is its people.