AN organisation which promotes Worcestershire as a place to live, work and do business has appointed a new chair and two new directors for its 20th anniversary year.

The Worcestershire Ambassadors have appointed Julia Williams as chair with former mayor of Worcester Jabba Riaz and Chris Orr from Handelsbanken in Worcester both joining as directors. Ms Williams previously served as chair and organised Strictly Worcestershire on behalf of the Ambassadors in 2018 and 2019.

She said: "I’m delighted to welcome both Jabba and Chris to the board as their skills and experience will be invaluable in a landmark year for the organisation, which is committed to raising funds for good causes and promoting the message that Worcestershire is a great place in which to live, work and spend leisure time. We’ve decided to focus on Gheluvelt in 2020, raising both funds and awareness of this key World War One battle in Belgium.

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"Ambassadors Phil Dutton and Vince Hopkins will be leading this project and working closely with the Mercian Regiment Museum and the Royal British Legion.

"Our main objective is to raise £30,000 for the Royal British Legion through cycle sponsorship and various events and the funds will be spent in Worcestershire. Additional income will be generated by the sale of the specially commissioned Gheluvelt Soldier figure and booklet.

"This will help to fund bursaries for Worcestershire schools to enable pupils to visit the World War One battlefields and the Gheluvelt memorial in Belgium, which will be enhanced to highlight the significant role played by the Second Worcestershire Regiment."

Cyclists from across the county – some of whom have a family link to the regiment – will ride from Gheluvelt Park, Worcester to Gheluvelt to mark the anniversary of the battle, which took place on October 31, 1914.

The Battle of Gheluvelt was part of the First Battle of Ypres, which saw a gap open in the British and French lines, opening the way to a German victory. The 2nd Worcestershire Regiment counter-attacked and re-took the town of Gheluvelt, forcing back the Germans and saving the situation. For more information about the group and how to become a member, visit