A SPECIAL opportunity is offered to under 18-year-olds to be the Mayor's companion for a day.

The Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Jabba Riaz is giving the chance for youngsters in the city, who have a recognised medical condition, to accompany him on his official duties for a day.

The Mayor is hoping to recruit an official Companion for one day per month throughout his mayoral year, which ends in May 2019.

Last month 17-year-old Jessica Burden, who has Asperger’s syndrome, accompanied the Mayor one Saturday. She attended five engagements in Worcester – including the official opening of Henry Sandon Hall in the heart of the restored Royal Porcelain Works.

“It was a fascinating experience for both of us, as we caught a small glimpse of each other’s lives,” said the Mayor.

“Jessica really helped to keep me on track during the day. She likes a strict regimented schedule and as we had a lot of engagements to attend in a short time, that really helped.”

On 18 August the Mayor will be joined for the day by local teenager Claire Brunt. Claire went to Manor Park and Regency High Schools in Worcester, before training with her current employer under the Premier Inn (Whitbread) scheme to integrate disabled young adults into their hotel business. She now lives in supported accommodation in St. John’s.

Claire’s mother, Susan Brunt, says: “Claire has been given the opportunity to live a full life and to make a contribution to the community in which she lives. We feel that her accompanying the Mayor will be an acknowledgement of how Worcester has helped and supported her. We hope that Claire will be an inspiration to others with similar challenges.”

Anyone under the age of 18 who lives in Worcester, has a recognised medical condition and has received support from a recognised charity can apply to be the Mayor of Worcester’s Companion for a day. Full parental consent must be given. All applications will be considered carefully, and in all cases the need for support or parental assistance will be fully discussed. Anyone who is interested should contact the Mayor’s office at civicoffice@worcester.gov.uk or call 01905 722001.