Ten students from Göttingen are experiencing working life in Cheltenham as they embark on either a 4 or 6 week placement with local companies, such as UK Naric, Abercrombie and Kent, local charities such as Sue Ryder and Oxfam and Cheltenham Borough Council. All are staying with families and enjoying being part of English family life as well. The photo is of the group on their first day during a guided walking tour of Cheltenham. They have also been on a trip through the Cotswolds and a visit to Oxford including Exeter College, Christ Church College, Oxford Castle, and for one of the students, entry to the beautifully curated JRR Tolkien exhibition. Lots more is planned!
With the support of Cheltenham Twinning Association and some determined fund-raising, six young people from Cheltenham together with two youth leaders from CMAS (Community Mentoring and Support CiC) had a wonderful opportunity to participate in the annual Peace Camp along with young people from France, Germany and Poland, in the historic city of Torún (Poland).
The group participated in a series of educational scientific research activities in the science labs of the Mill of Knowledge Modernity Centre in Torún, the birthplace of the famous astronomer Copernicus, and also enjoyed exploring the historic town including a visit to the Gingerbread Museum to taste delicious gingerbread cakes, a famous local delicacy!
The idea of organising international youth meetings originated from the authorities in Göttingen, who wanted young people from partner cities to join in activities to promote peaceful coexistence between people of different nationalities. We are delighted the summer holiday peace camps have been taking place for twenty years, each year, alternating between Cheltenham (UK), Göttingen and Wittenberg (Germany), Pau (France) and Torún (Poland).
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.
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.
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.
After four years of waiting, friends from our twin city of Göttingen, Germany, came back to Cheltenham to celebrate 66 years of twinning from 22-27 July 2017. A group of 13 students, 33 senior sports participants and 60 Göttingen residents, including the official delegation led by Rolf-Georg Köhler, Mayor of Göttingen, visited us for the ‘big party’!
After our German friends arrived on the Saturday evening, Cheltenham Mayor Klara Sudbury welcomed them at a reception at Chapel Arts on Sunday. Mr. Köhler presented a picture of the ‘Gänseliesel’ (goose girl), the most kissed woman in Göttingen, and gave it as a present to Cheltenham.
Many of our friends stayed with host families, friends saw each other again and new friendships were made. It was a happy and warm atmosphere which also seemed to influence the weather.
The visitors participated in fantastic day trips to Bath, Gloucester and Three Choirs Vineyard, saw the amazing Waterperry Gardens and took the steam train to Toddington to see the beautiful Cotswolds around the picturesque market town of Stow-on-the-Wold.
After a productive twinning meeting on Tuesday, our long partnership was celebrated with a twinning cake, English humour, interesting talks, entertainment by the Gloucestershire Morrismen and dancing at the Barbeque party.
Friends met again, new friendships were made and our twin cities got closer together. That’s what twinning stands for: bringing people from different countries together, having a cultural and linguistic exchange for a better understanding and standing side by side even in difficult and uncertain times.
We are glad to have this strong partnership with Göttingen and look forward to taking a large group of people from Cheltenham to celebrate the ‘big party’ in Göttingen in the summer of 2019!