It’s been an interesting and at times poignant week for Oswestry Town Mayor, Councillor Olly Rose.

Councillor Rose first visited Derwen College, a specialist college that offers students with learning difficulties and disabilities the opportunity to learn vocational and independence skills. With sites across the county, in Gobowen near Oswestry, as well as Ludlow, Telford and Walford (near Shrewsbury), students can study at the Derwen on a residential or day basis.
Councillor Rose commented “I attended a meeting along with Councillors from Gobowen & Selattyn and Whittington and we were given a tour around the college’s expansive site with Andrew Smith, Director of Business and Finance. Although I’ve visited their top-notch garden centre and tea rooms many times, I wasn’t aware of the extent of their activities and achievements.”

“The Derwen has faced many challenges as young people with learning difficulties are increasingly accommodated into mainstream schooling. The focus has moved towards students with more complex needs, which has resulted in a need to refurbish many of their buildings. This has associated costs and so a huge fundraising task lies ahead of them.”

“The college has won awards for the variety of working opportunities it provides for students. On site there is a mini hotel affiliated with the Premier Inn, an orangery restaurant, tea rooms, garden centre and vintage shop, all run by the students. The grounds are beautiful and provide a lovely backdrop for the college meeting rooms, which they are keen hire out along with other facilities. They are looking for a sponsor for their new minibus and want to expand work experience placements for their students in hospitality venues, the performing arts and horticulture. If you might be willing to help with sponsorship or offer an opportunity to one of their students, please contact the Derwen.”

During the Bank Holiday weekend, the Mayor attended Oswestry BID’s beach event and spent time chatting to people from the local area and beyond. “It was a hugely successful event, so many thanks to BID for organising it. It was lovely to see so many families enjoying themselves. I met people who had come from as far as Birmingham and Swindon to visit family and enjoy some time in the sun. Local shops also noticed an increase in business so smiles all round. I also met residents who had just moved to Oswestry and were very pleased with what the town has to offer.”

On Tuesday, the Mayor visited Cae Glas Park to see the new defibrillator installed on the side of the Pavilion, as proposed by Councillor Les Maguire. “”We are really pleased to fit a defibrillator in the park, complete with one of the new bleed kits that we’ve recently added to all of the defibrillators in town. We have many large events in Cae Glas Park and although we hope we’ll never use it, we have the peace of mind knowing that it’s immediately on hand if necessary.”

The Mayor also installed a plaque by a tree that was planted in the park to commemorate those that were lost during the Covid 19 pandemic.  “The pandemic was hard for everyone and many of us lost family and friends. The Town Council wanted to provide the public with somewhere to reflect and often our parks provide those peaceful spaces.”