Worthing on the Sussex coast, a popular retirement spot, was recently visited by representatives of the Russian city of Kurst. The principal of the medical university, the town administrator, a teacher, and someone visiting on behalf of the Russian Peace Foundation spent a week in Worthing.
The intention of the visit was to create stronger mutual cultural connections, act as an educational exchange and improved relations. Fire Safety Friends, a Worthing-based charity that already has visited Kurst in its goal of promoting fire safety globally, was the event organiser.
The charity’s first goal is towards fire safety standards, but it also sees outreach with improving cultural connections abroad to be a worthy secondary goal too. Chris Holgate organises similar visits to promote both of these objectives.
The stay in Worthing took in a visit to the local Worthing Hospital, a guided tour around the centre of the city, a town hall visit and out to Lancing to view the Sir Robert Woodard Academy. It is hoped that the local school and a local branch of the sea cadets will both be working with the visiting delegation in the near future.
The visit to Worthing allowed the visitors from Kursk to ask pointed questions of the medical staff and other professionals about their processes and procedures. For the principal from the medical university, the cardiac care unit was of special interest to learn just how it was run so efficiently.
The delegation of four people none of whom had ever visited the UK before had a final dinner at the Ardington Hotel before their flight back to Kursk. The city of Kursk has a population of around 400,000 people. The branch administrator from the Russian Peace Foundation found the visit especially useful, particularly the different approaches to teaching compared to back in Russia, she noted.
It is expected that more trips will be undertaken in the future as the bonds between Worthing and Kursk grow stronger over time. This was certainly the hope of all the participants involved in organising this special visit.