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International Visitors

One of the first twinning events for 2018 took place during the third week of January with a Mayor’s Reception in the Council Chamber for further education students from Japan, and from Cheltenham’s twin towns of Annecy in France and Göttingen in Germany.
The ten students from Annecy were on the return leg on an exchange visit between the CFA (Centre de Formation des Apprentis) based at Groisy near Annecy and the hospitality department of Gloucestershire College, who visited Annecy in the autumn. We are delighted this link has been established.

The Japanese group were from Carriere College in Kyoto, Japan, in Cheltenham from 14 January until 10 March before heading onto Bournmouth.  They are all studying hospitality in Japan and are at Gloucestershire College improving their English, learning about the UK hospitality industry and studying with GlosCol’s hospitality department.

Two students from Göttingen are currently enjoying 2-month work experience placements at a primary school in Cheltenham assisting teachers with young pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Cheltenham Twinning Association is proud to promote and foster friendship and understanding between the people of Cheltenham, its twin and friendship towns and overseas visitors. Cheltenham’s Mayor, Cllr Klara Sudbury, highlighted the importance of welcoming visitors from around the world to the beautiful Spa town of Cheltenham as part of her mayoral role.


Twinning Trip to Weihai 2018

To celebrate over 30 years of friendship with our Chinese twin town of Weihai and 20 years since the two towns were officially ‘twinned’, a trip to Weihai is being organised in the autumn of this year.

As Twinning Officer, I am currently working on the organisation of this visit, which we hope will be led by the Mayor of Cheltenham, and will be open to anyone to participate in – local residents, educational and business reps.   I would welcome receiving expressions of interest from anyone who might be interested in joining the trip and receiving further detailed information.

Information to date:

  • A 9 / 10 day trip during the second half of October 2018, (from 15 Oct onwards).
  • BA flight to Beijing and onward to Weihai
  • 4 nights (3 full days) in Weihai, with a programme arranged by the Municipality of Weihai
  • Accommodation in a 3 / 4 star hotel in both Weihai and Beijing
  • Bullet train journey from Weihai to Beijing.  This is a 6 hour journey during the day time.
  • 3 nights (2 full days) in Beijing with organised tours to the principal sightseeing places, including the Great Wall of China.
  • BA return flight to UK

OR  anyone wishing to extend their trip and visit other places in China, would be put in touch with the travel agent to make their own onward arrangements from Beijing.

Cost : Around £1,700 per person based on a twin share (approx. £230 single supplement)

Price is dependent on numbers, exact timing of trip, hotels selected etc, but does include:

  • International return flight to Beijing with BA
  • Transfers and transport in China to/from Weihai (flying one way, train the other)
  • Hotel rooms for twin share in Beijing and Weihai, including breakfasts.  (Some other meals may be included, still to be arranged)
  • Tours in Beijing and a programme in Weihai (there may be some additional costs towards transport costs and the programme in Weihai – still to be arranged)
  • Visas

Excludes:   Other meals; Insurance; Tips; Personal spending.

The trip is subject to a minimum of 10 people travelling together and at this stage the price and itinerary are all subject to change.   If you would like to receive further details, please email the Twinning Officer by Friday 9 February 2018.

Summer work in Annecy 2018

Two summer work placement jobs are available in Cheltenham’s beautiful twin town of Annecy this summer from 2 July to 2 August 2018.  One is working with the Parks and Gardens team maintaining and keeping Annecy’s wonderful green spaces tidy.  The other is working in the Youth Information Office giving advice and helping visiting students to Annecy.  A high level of French is required for the office position.  The posts are remunerated and accommodation is provided.

If you have A level French and see this as a great opportunity to improve your language skills, please send your CV and letter of motivation to the Twinning Officer.  Further details of the positions can be viewed here.

AGM & Transforming Lives in African Schools

The recent Annual General Meeting of the Cheltenham Twinning Association held at the Municipal Offices presented an opportunity to highlight just some of the many positive twinning events and activities, which have taken place during the past year.

Over 400 people from Cheltenham and its twin towns have actively participated in events organised by the Twinning Association. Some of the benefits for the local community include the opportunities for young people to participate in school exchanges. For example, through student exchanges by Balcarras School, Belmont School and Pates Grammar School and educational visits, such as 37 University of Gloucestershire students attending the annual Annecy Animated Film Festival and 13 Gloucestershire College hospitality students visiting a catering College in Annecy.

We thank all those who have been involved with the many and varied successful activities of the Twinning Association and look forward to another successful year ahead.

An engaging talk at the AGM by Nigel Linacre, a Trustee of WellBoring, highlighted the valuable work of this charitable organisation in providing water solutions across Kenya. Based in schools, the simple water wells encourage better school attendance and performance, improve the health of children and enable food to be grown for school lunches, as well as benefiting the wider local communities.

We are pleased to support WellBoring’s tremendous work in Kisumu, which as the third largest town in Kenya, has been a friendship town of Cheltenham since 1985. For further details please visit

Twinning Chairmanship Relinquished after 15 years

At the Annual German Meeting of the Cheltenham Twinning Association on 23 November 2017, Cllr Garth Barnes stepped down as Chairman of Twinning after 15 years.   He was presented with a picture as a token of appreciation for his devoted hard work and support over so many years.  Garth has been involved with twinning for over 40 years and has also received the Göttingen Medal of Honour for his commitment and dedication towards developing the very strong link  with our German twin town.  He has been an excellent Ambassador for Cheltenham in all of our twin towns and everyone involved with twinning thanks him very much for all that he has done.  Garth will remain on the committee and Cllr Diggory Seacome was elected as the new chairman.

Off to Sochi

On Tuesday 14 November 2017, the Mayor of Cheltenham, cllr Klara Sudbury, handed a letter of greetings destined for the Mayor of Sochi to Mark Smyth and Michael Lazarev as they embarked on a 3,200 mile road trip to Cheltenham’s twin town of Sochi, Russia.  The two men, Mark from Gloucestershire and Michael from Sochi, left Cheltenham with a letter for the Mayor of Sochi expressing our wish to continue co-operation between the two towns.  The purpose of their journey is to gather and test data collected on their on-board micro-computer device in urban and rural environments where broadband signals may be poor.  The journey will also raise awareness of the link with Sochi and rekindle exchanges and dialogues between the two towns.  The journey will finish towards the end of the month in Sochi Autodrom where the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix is held.

Top Twinning

Over 420 Cheltenham people have taken part in visits and exchanges during 2017 and this figure doesn’t include all the host families, members of local clubs and societies, Twinning Association members, local companies, volunteers and helpers who are all involved in some way or other to make it so successful.  Please see the summary of all our 2017 twinning events with a big thank you to all who have supported Cheltenham town’s twinning links.