Worthing gets approval of guests from Russia

Worthing mayor Bob Smytherman show Russian visitors his mayoral chains ''          W48611H13
Worthing mayor Bob Smytherman show Russian visitors his mayoral chains '' W48611H13

VISITORS from Russia toured Worthing last week in a trip aimed at creating civic, cultural and educational links.

A teacher, town administrator , medical university principal and a representative from the Russian Peace Foundation travelled from the city of Kursk for a week-long stay.

The visit was organised by Chris Holgate, of Worthing charity Fire Safety Friends of Russia, which pays regular visits to the Russian city to work with the city’s fire department.

But as an offshoot of its duties, the charity also helps to create cultural links .

Mr Holgate said: “The visit went very well. In every country, people are always looking for new ideas to improve.

“We have built some positive links and secured commitments.”

Visits to Worthing Hospital, Sir Robert Woodard Academy in Lancing and tours of the town centre and town hall were part of a busy programme of events.

Commitments to work with the school and the local branches of the sea cadets were also sought.

Mr Holgate said: “During the visits, they were able to ask lots of questions. The medical university principal said he got a lot out of the hospital visit, where he learnt about the administrative side of cardiac care.

“All four of them had never been to the UK before.”

The delegation returned to Russia on Saturday, after a farewell dinner at the Ardington Hotel, in Steyne Gardens.

Russian Peace Foundation branch administrator Irina Agapova said the group, who are all members of the foundation, found the trip useful for a variety of reasons.

She said: “We were very impressed with the approaches to teaching at the school, and the organisation at Worthing Hospital. Health and education are the most important things in life.

“2014 is an important year, as it is Russia and UK Year of Culture, and I am sure this is just the starting point of our friendship with this wonderful city, and we thank everyone for their wonderful hospitality.”

Kursk is a city with an approximate population of 400,000 people.

The charity’s primary work is in the city, along with other Russian city, Archangel.