It’s become a standing joke with both the commander-in-chief and my accountant that I’m a veritable sucker when it comes to youth sponsorship.
Sucker’s probably not the right word – when I can I will help, because I firmly believe, as many others do, that investment in the youth in the town can only benefit the long-term future of Worthing.
All the time our youngsters are doing something constructive, and ultimately enjoyable, be it sport, drama, music, arts and crafts, whatever, they are not getting in bad company and getting up to all kinds of bad things, and that can be only be good for all of us.
A case in point is this week’s Connaught Theatre production of Annie by Worthing Muscial Comedy Society (WMCS), an organisation which so does so much great work in developing youngsters. I attended the opening night and, along with a near sell-out audience, was treated to a top-quality evening of entertainment.
Specifically Annie and her fellow orphans produced performances that would not be out of place in the West End. But development is again the key, the WMCS youth company has nurtured a large number of youngsters in music and drama for more than 20 years.
Annie director Mandy Chapman herself has far more years on the clock with her sterling work with her team at Glendale. How many of our young people’s lives are all the better for the hard work and dedication of WMCS and the likes of ‘Miss Mandy’?
I certainly know of one – 16 years ago, a shy eight-year-old called Amy joined the WMCS youth company. While I don’t think Sue and I have done too bad at parenting, a large number of good people at WMCS have helped her develop into the young lady she is today, and looking at the friends she’s made in the society she’s not the only one.
So while town planning and other related topics are imperative for Worthing, youth investment is also important, because it clearly pays all the right dividends.
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