Worcestershire Ambassadors have welcomed a new chair and two new directors for its 20th anniversary year.
Taking the helm is Julia Williams, who previously served as vice chair and organised the county’s biggest charity event Strictly Worcestershire on behalf of the Ambassadors in 2018 and 2019.
Joining the board of directors are Jabba Riaz, the former Mayor of Worcester and logistics senior distribution planner at Air Products, and Chris Orr, corporate banking manager at Handelsbanken in Worcester.
Ms Williams said: “I’m delighted to welcome both Jabba and Chris to the board as their skills and experience will be invaluable in a landmark year for the organisation, which is committed to raising funds for good causes and promoting the message that Worcestershire is a great place in which to live, work and spend leisure time.
“We’ve decided to focus on Gheluvelt in 2020, raising both funds and awareness of this key World War One battle in Belgium. Ambassadors Phil Dutton and Vince Hopkins will be leading this project and working closely with the Mercian Regiment Museum and the Royal British Legion.”
Cyclists from across the county – some of whom have a family link to the regiment – will ride from Gheluvelt Park, Worcester to Gheluvelt to mark the anniversary of the battle, which took place on October 31, 1914.
Ms Williams added: “Our main objective is to raise £30,000 for the Royal British Legion through cycle sponsorship and various events and the funds will be spent in Worcestershire. Additional income will be generated by the sale of the specially commissioned Gheluvelt Soldier figure and booklet.
“This will help to fund bursaries for Worcestershire schools to enable pupils to visit the World War One battlefields and the Gheluvelt memorial in Belgium, which will be enhanced to highlight the significant role played by the Second Worcestershire Regiment.”
For more information about the group and how to become a member, visit www.worcestershireambassadors.com