Nottinghamshire is to be honoured with a prestigious European award, in recognition of the work by people from throughout the county in promoting friendships with our continental cousins.
The Council of Europe has selected Nottinghamshire as the only UK winner and one of just eight places in the entire continent to receive their Plaque of Honour.
The prize recognises the relationships formed by the county’s schools, communities, businesses, individuals and local authorities in fostering unity, sharing culture, promoting economic growth and exchanging expertise.
In Nottinghamshire, this has included:
Establishing 23 different twinning arrangements between areas of Nottinghamshire and places in six different European countries
Scores of school visits and exchanges with a wide variety of European locations as part of developing language skills
Hosting annual visits and providing gifts for children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster
The Nottinghamshire-based Police Aid Convoy distributing vital supplies to countries affected by war, famine and deprivation. Nine young volunteers from Notts joined the last aid mission to Albania
The Plaque of Honour will be presented by a representative of the Council of Europe at a special celebration event at Westfield Folkhouse Young People’s Centre on Thursday 24 October.
Coun Joyce Bosnjak, Deputy Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “It is a fantastic achievement for Nottinghamshire to receive the Plaque of Honour. It speaks volumes about our welcoming and friendly county and how good we are at getting on with people from different countries and cultures.
“Only a handful of these awards are made in the whole of Europe each year and the fact that Nottinghamshire is the only place in the UK to receive one this year makes it extra special.
“The many people and organisations who have been involved in developing relationships with our European cousins over many years have done a fantastic job in enriching the lives of people in both Nottinghamshire and overseas. They are fantastic ambassadors for Nottinghamshire and thoroughly deserve this accolade.
As well as the formal presentation, the event will include European food prepared by local trainee chefs, a showcase of local services and groups a wide variety of dance and music and a light show performed and designed by young people from Nottinghamshire.
Westfield Folkhouse has been selected as the venue for the event because of its long-standing links with Europe. A group of young people from Westfield Folkhouse help first establish the twinning links between Mansfield and Heiligenhas, Germany in the 1950s after meeting a group of German youngsters on holiday.
More recently, a student from Heiligenhaus in Germany spent two weeks working with young people from Nottinghamshire at the Folkhouse as part of her studies.