Grand Tour by Elisabeth Skinner MBE – Midlands

29 June 2022

“On Tuesday 28 June I met up with two more students within reach of my Gloucestershire home. First I joined Jules Owen, the clerk of Ashchurch Rural Parish Council, for coffee in Winchcombe, where we chewed over the two assignments that Level Six students are starting to work on. One of her projects is about decision making in town and principal councils, while the other will reflect on a management and leadership challenge. I was particularly grateful to Jules for fitting me in as she moves house on Friday! Later my colleague James Derounian, a Winchcombe resident, popped in to contribute to the conversation.

After lunch with James I set off for Hunnington in Worcestershire near Birmingham to see Ruth Mullett, another Level Six student. All went well on the M5 until approaching Worcester when a stranded car meant that three lanes had to shrink into two and the hold up of several miles made the journey at least 45 minutes longer than it should have been. Unfortunately I couldn’t let Ruth know as I had forgotten to bring my mobile phone with me. She was clearly rather anxious when I finally rolled up on her doorstep. It was one of those days. She generously made me a cup of tea and after a tour of her beautiful garden and a visit to her magnificent hens, we sat down to chat about her assignments – the same assignments that Jules and I had discussed earlier in the day. The management and leadership assignment was presenting Ruth with particular challenges so we explored possible solutions. Hopefully this has proved helpful.

My visits to Jules and Ruth were numbers 44 and 45 respectively. I plan to visit two more students within reach of a one-day trip from home in July and August. My final trip (to the Midlands, the North and Wales) still feels a long way off in late September but the weeks (and the summer) will no doubt disappear very quickly.”

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By Elisabeth Skinner MBE. Follow her progress on Twitter – @lisabethski.

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