Discovering how farming is helping to cut crime

I was recently invited by the Diocese of Worcester Criminal Justice Affairs Group to Willowdene Open Day which is a residential farm facility run in conjunction with Warwickshire and West Mercia Probation Service. It offers a 12 week placement as an alternative to a custodial sentence for drug or alcohol related offences. A wonderful opportunity offering new skills ranging from growing vegetables, cooking, looking after livestock, craft courses and gaining nationally recognised qualifications. Some of the current residents expressed their delight at discovering a new way of life and learning to cope with drug and alcohol dependency.

Getting up close with the animals at Willowdene Farm

Getting up close with the animals at Willowdene Farm

I was also delighted to attend one of the many Worcester University graduation ceremonies in Worcester Cathedral when not only were the many talents of students rewarded but an Honorary degree of Doctor of Law was awarded to Patricia Scotland now Baroness Scotland of Asthal. She is  an amazing lady who arrived in this country from Dominica in 1956 at the age of two, one of ten children. She became the first black, female QC in 1991, was made a peer in 1997,  appointed a judge in 1999 and raised to the Privy Council in 2001. She is also a very modest lady who gave thanks to her husband for coping.

Graduation ceremony at the University of Worcester

Graduation ceremony at the University of Worcester

On November 21 I had the pleasure of taking part in the annual celebration of the birthday of Bahaullah, the founder of the Bahai Faith which was held in Pershore’s Riverside Centre offering musical entertainment from not only adults but children demonstrating awesome talents. After which the usual menu of delicious food was presented – as always a great evening.


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