2019 has been a great year for VECTA. In January, we had some changes to our committee with Tom Tarver becoming Chair, supported by Mick Hurst continuing as Vice-Chair and Natasha Wooldridge as Secretary. Karen Meadows, Adrian Nichols, Penny Preston and Charlotte Perry also joined our committee, which meets monthly to discuss and agree the agenda for meetings and how VECTA can support events and initiatives across the Vale of Evesham.
Supporting local events
This year VECTA has supported Evesham Festival of Words, the Battle of Evesham Medieval Festival and Evesham Cyclefest with grants going towards brochure printing costs, materials to make shields displayed around Evesham and award medals.
NEW Vale of Evesham Food & Drink Festival
We’re excited to be organising a brand new food and drink festival in 2020 which will be held in Evesham and feature some of the wonderful food and drink produced right here in the Vale of Evesham. We have been busy planning for this in 2019 and will have more news early next year.
Speakers at VECTA meetings
We’ve had so many interesting and inspiring speakers join us at our monthly meetings in 2019, informing our members about the latest events, initiatives and issues affecting the Vale of Evesham. Here’s a list of our 2019 speakers:
- Robin Walker on behalf of Cycle Evesham Vale
- Peter Lee-Smith on behalf of Citizens Advice 80th / Evesham Walking Festival
- Chris Haynes / Robin Walker from Greening Evesham.
- Clive and Gill Stewart on Evesham Light Festival
- Mick Hurst on the Battle of Evesham
- Sue Ablett from Evesham Festival of Words
- Fiorinda Tocchini and Helen Cameron from Worcestershire Food and Drink.
- Andrew Plimmer from Northwick Hotel on the new Worcestershire Business Expo
- John Porter from Evesham Food Group
- Barrie Baldelli from Evesham Abbey Trust
- Karen Robinson from Evesham United FC
- Cllr Mark Goodge, Mayor or Evesham
- Diane Bennett from Caring Hands in the Vale
Social and networking events
One of our objectives for 2019 was to increase our networking opportunities so we ran a number of events including our successful summer garden party (which took us indoors due to the rain but was still very well attended!). We also had an excellent social evening at Evesham United Football Club which included a tour of the facilities from Karen Robinson. We also had a lovely Christmas meal at Flavours of Evesham. All of these events were well attended with a mix of current members and new faces.
Social media training workshops
Our members were treated to two free social media training workshops this year. Stuart Allen, who founded #WorcestershireHour, gave an excellent session on how to use Twitter for business at Squab Storage’s brand new business centre in the Vale Park. Natasha Wooldridge also ran a Social Media Essentials course for members.
We jumped at the opportunity to take over #EveshamHour this year, which is a weekly Twitter hour where Vale of Evesham businesses, organisations, community groups and events can tweet with each other every Thursday from 8 to 9pm. This is a great way for VECTA to engage with the local business community and help to raise awareness of everything that’s going on in the local area.
Supporting local issues
VECTA works closely with both the Town Council and Wychavon District Council and councillors regularly attend our monthly meetings, giving our members updates on the latest developments. This has given us the chance to lobby the council and represent our members on various local issues. This year VECTA has been represented on Wychavon’s Transport Committee and have regularly given our input on the Evesham traffic situation.
We’ve also supported Evesham Anti-Litter Group with a letter to local businesses on Port Street highlighting a litter issue in Lower Leys.
Finally, we were proud to feature in a front page article in the Evesham Journal highlighting the success of independent businesses in Evesham, which featured our chair Tom Tarver on the cover!