From Zambia to Osgathorpe

Teachers from Zambia


Zambia visitJust a couple of weeks ago I mentioned in this blog that I had hosted a small group of teachers from India. Continuing the international education theme, I was pleased to welcome another small teaching group; this time from Zambia.

The visit came about as part of a project involving a group of schools in Leicestershire and ten in Luanshya, the Zambian copperbelt, who have been partnered for a couple of years now.

There have already been reciprocal visits between the two countries and this particular visit was made possible through a British Council grant – which will also fund a group of Leicestershire teachers going to Zambia in January – some for the second time.

The schools are working together on a project called Connecting Classrooms with pupils exchanging work on daily life, environmental issues and there is a particular focus on water conservation.

The schools involved are: RedmoorHigh School, Hinckley; ManorHigh School, Oadby; Stafford Leys Primary, Leicester Forest East; Mountfields Lodge Primary, Loughborough; and Stonebow Primary, Loughborough.

It is very encouraging that our schools continue to see the benefits of the international dimension in the curriculum, which will benefit everyone involved, particularly the pupils.

Inter-Cultural Evening

Leicestershire PoliceOn Wednesday I joined the Chief Constable at his annual Inter-Cultural Evening at Police Headquarters. This event celebrates the diversity of the communities it serves, and the theme this year was youth engagement.

I enjoyed learning more about how Leicestershire Police works with young people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and much more besides. It was also a great opportunity to meet the many community and civic representatives who attended the event. It was a very informative and relaxed evening, and I congratulate the Chief Constable and his team for kindly making it possible.

Canine Partners

Canine fun!My visit to Canine Partners at Osgathorpe on Thursday really did show how a dog is man’s (and women’s) best friend! We are all familiar with how dogs can transform the lives of people with visual impairment, but you may be surprised to learn that our four-legged friend can also sort out your washing, help with the shopping and take cash out of a cash point machine!

The specially trained Assistance Dogs are able to help people with disabilities enjoy greater independence as they help around the home and out and about.

Dog trainingThis brilliant charity trains dogs to assist people with disabilities to enjoy a greater independence and a better quality of life and, where possible, to help them into education and employment, through the provision of specially trained dogs for the disabled, whose well-being is a key consideration.

Canine Partners is always grateful for donations as it receives no government funding. To learn more about Canine Partners visit:  or watch a video at:

Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets


The Lord-Lieutenant, Lady Gretton, is supported by three cadets, drawn from each of the services: Sea, Army and Air. The cadets serve a one-year term of office, and on Thursday we witnessed the outgoing cadets handing over to the new.



I was delighted to be able to host the short ceremony at County Hall, which was attended by the cadets’ families and their cadet leaders.

We are fortunate in Leicestershire to have a marvellous cadet movement, providing young people with great opportunities for personal development whilst giving service to their community.  Cadets learn new skills and develop as individuals, and as members of teams, whilst getting involved with worthwhile and exciting activities.

I have had the pleasure of witnessing the very high standards of cadetship demonstrated by the outgoing cadets – Jake, Molly and Ravi – on a number of civic occasions and I am looking forward to getting to know the new Lord-Lieutenant’s cadets: Kieran, Rachel and Bradley, over the coming months.

This ceremony, and other awards evenings I attend as Chairman of the County Council, opens my eyes to the great good that young people do for the benefit of our community and I am only too happy to lend my support to events that celebrate the achievements of our young citizens.