Neil Morris

I arrived in Worcester in 1987 to play rugby and teach a bit. The intention was to stay for a while and thirty years later my appreciation of this beautiful city and its wonderful communities continues to grow.

Initially, my impression was of reserved, even unfriendly people, particularly in contrast to my beloved, blunt Yorkshiremen. I was so wrong. What I have in my professional and personal life is a variety of amazing, unsung heroes who adhere loyally and faithfully to the city's mantra, 'positively changing less fortunate people's lives'.

For example, Dave at Worcester Mobile Mechanics quietly supports five schools in Gambia by paying for teachers and driving container lorries out there to provide essential resources. In Worcester, he employs ex-Christopher Whitehead students, ensuring some who struggle academically are given respect and find a skill.

Or Terry Birt, who partially overcame the tragic death of his youngest son on the notorious A4103 and redundancy from a bank to run the Christopher Whitehead business, whilst organising Worcestershire youth cricket leagues and Worcester Nomads, providing opportunities for so many to thrive.

Carole Lorimer, whose infectious enthusiasm and generous support has given body confidence to so many through St John's sports lessons and aerobic sessions. Crucially, she has played a central part in reinvigorating the Worcester carnival.

Or Mark Regan, the cathedral bellringer whose tenacious dedication has ensured the sound of bells continues to be heard throughout the county as part of our city's and our county's essential culture.

At Christopher Whitehead, I have had the privilege of leading an outstanding school whose new £3 million backed Sixth Form has opened up exciting opportunities for so many Worcester young people to excel with results that will lead to further success. The school has played a huge part in my life with my three children and over twenty school staff trusting the 'fab' teachers to ensure their children have a successful education and, crucially, turn out as lovely people who know right from wrong. Sadly, this is written against a back drop of reductions in teaching services, teachers' salaries, erosion of morale and the worst educational funding in fifteen years. Nevertheless, despite the constant criticism of the young, I am confident that my school and my ex-students will ensure Worcester City continues to thrive and continues to be a fabulous family place, a place to be proud of.