Our History.

We are proud to be a unique organisation with core aims and objectives to help make Worcestershire a great place to live, work, invest, visit and do business. The Board are all volunteers working in partnership with or in support of established leading county organisations such as the County/District/City Councils, the Chamber of Commerce, the Local Enterprise Partnership, University and more recently the One Worcestershire campaign.

Worcestershire Ambassadors timeline:


  • PSA testing is hosted for the first time since the pandemic with over 175 men tested.
  • 8 sponsorships are given out to support activities and events that promote Worcestershire totalling £4,000.
  • The annual charity ball is held at West Midlands Safari Park raising £35,000.
  • £22,000 donated to St Richard’s Hospice in partnership with The Great Waddle of Worcester 2024.
  • Jim McBride takes over as Chair with Isla Buchanan as Vice Chair.


  • Events restart following the pandemic and lockdown with the first event being a Business Showcase to Mount Battenhall Retirement Village, hosted by Enterprise Retirement Living.
  • An audience with Nigel Owens raises £5,000.
  • The first annual charity ball since 2019 is held at West Midlands Safari Park raising £40,000.
  • £100,000 Foodbank Campaign receives cross-county support in aid of 5 Foodbanks – Droitwich, Kidderminster, Malvern, Redditch and Worcester. The total amount was raised in less than 11 weeks with the cheque handed over at the annual Drunch in time to fund all 3-day Christmas Food Parcels at these foodbanks.


  • 2021 Walk Challenge sees members of the community join the Worcestershire Ambassadors in walking/jogging/running 238,900 miles to the moon.
  • Worcestershire Ambassadors officially partner with Worcester City Runs for the 10km and half-marathon.
  • £10,000 raised and donated to Worcester Community Trust for mental health projects and initiatives in the County.
  • £10,000 raised to be donated within the community for further mental health projects and initiatives.
  • Worcestershire Ambassadors continue to volunteer and signpost throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Chair taken over by Julia Williams.
  • Worcestershire Ambassadors support the local community through volunteering and signposting throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Chair taken over by Kevin Powell.
  • £20,000 donated to St Paul’s Hostel.
  • £10,000 donated to Worcester Community Trust.
  • £13,000 donated to Acorns Hospice.
  • £20,000 donated to several other county charities.


  • Chair taken over by Phil Dutton.
  • Charity ball raises £56,000 for Worcestershire Prostate Awareness Group and St Richard’s Hospice.
  • 50km charity walk for St Richard’s Hospice raises £58,000.


  • Charity ball raises £55,000.
  • An evening with Sir Ian Botham raises £30,000.
  • £60,000 donated to Rory the Robot Appeal.
  • £15,000 donated to Worcestershire Prostrate Cancer Awareness Group.
  • £20,000 donated to St Richard’s Hospice in partnership with Worcester Stands Tall Giraffe Trail 2018.


  • Rule Britannia charity ball raises in excess of £52,000.
  • 3rd Chinese delegation from Hezhou consisting of business delegates arrives in Worcestershire.
  • £20,000 donated in sponsorship of events promoting Worcestershire.


  • Vince Hopkins takes over as Chair.
  • Charity ball raises £55,000.
  • Worcester signs Friendship City Agreement with Hezhou.
  • £10,000 donated in sponsorship of events promoting Worcestershire.


  • Charity ball held at Treetops raises £40,000 for charities.
  • Onside, Worcester Live and Spectrum Days supported.
  • Second trade mission to Guangzhou, Hezhou and Huizhou in China led by Phil Dutton.


  • Chair taken over by Granville Orange.
  • Charity ball held at Treetops raising £35,000 for New Hope Worcester Children’s Charity.
  • First inward trade mission from Hezhou, China hosted in Worcestershire.


  • Phil Dutton leads first trade mission to China visiting Guangzhou  Hezhou and Nanning.
  • Charity ball held at Treetops raises £35,000.


  • Chair taken over by Phil Dutton.
  • Charity ball held at Treetops raises £50,000 for the Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign Trust.


  • Charity ball held at Treetops raises £7,775 for St Richard’s Hospice, £7,775 for Kemp Hospice and £2,775 for Primrose Hospice.


  • Chair taken over by Louise Hewett.
  • Charity ball held at Treetops raises £23,000.


  • Charity ball held at The Heath Hotel in Bewdley raises £21,000.


  • Charity ball held at Sixways Stadium raises £20,810 for The Prince’s Trust.


  • Charity ball held at Sixways Stadium raises £7,430 for Acorns Children’s Hospice.


  • Charity ball held at Witley Court raises £6,315 for St Richard’s Hospice.


  • Worcestershire County Council hand over control to the membership.
  • Ivan Knezovich becomes the first Chair.
  • Charity ball held at the Chateau Impney raises £6,520 for the Noah’s Ark Trust.


  • First charity ball held at Witley Court.


  • Worcestershire County Council formed the Worcestershire Ambassadors.

Current Chair:

Jim McBride, BEM.

Past Chairs:

History_Julia Williams

Julia Williams – 2020 & 2021.

Kevin Powell – 2019.

Phil Dutton – 2011, 2012 & 2018.

Vince Hopkins – 2015, 2016, 2017, 2022 & 2023.

Granville Orange – 2013 & 2014.

Louise Hewett – 2009 & 2010.

Ivan Knezovich – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008.

Creating links between China and Worcestershire.

Links with China started from very humble beginnings in 2011 when Frankie Tsang and Phil Dutton organised a seminar on trading with China at The Kings School, Worcester. Since the Seminar Phil Dutton has led two successful trade missions to China in 2012 and 2014, and hosted four inward delegations made up of Chinese Government Officials and businessmen in Worcester.

In 2015 Worcester and Hezhou executed a Friendship City Agreement at the Guildhall. In 2017 Worcestershire County Council entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Huizhou with a view to executing a Sister Relationship Agreement in 2018.

What does a Friendship City Agreement entail?

It sets out the areas the two cities will work together and co-operate on.


Each city will support businesses to establish links in the UK and China to aid trade. In practical terms this involves organising business meetings with potential suitable partners. Each city will provide translation support and transport. Over eighty business meetings have taken place since 2012.


There are two threads:

  • University Links

    The University of Worcester and Hezhou University are currently in negotiations for Hezhou students to study in Worcester.

  • High School Links

    The two cities are looking to establish links between students in Worcester studying Mandarin and students in Hezhou studying English to create friendships and support each others language skills.


Each city will promote it’s counterpart to encourage tourism. To support this, links and translation have been provided to visit Worcestershire and Hezhou websites. In 2018 Worcester City took part in a joint Chinese National TV programme promoting tourism to Worcester.

Inward Investment

A number of the Chinese business people have expressed a desire to invest in the UK. Through the Ambassadors Gary Rouse of BDO and Andrew Manning- Cox of Gowlings, both of whom have offices in Guangzhou, we are investigating how we create appropriate investment structures to facilitate this.

How do I become involved?