Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Hounslow
Maria Pedro DL
Appointed Rep DL: 2012
Maria Pedro is a communications and fundraising expert for the voluntary and private sectors. She worked for the NSPCC for 12 years and was the architect of the celebrity strategy for their FULL STOP campaign. She plays bridge and runs in her spare time.
More information on the London Borough of Hounslow at http://www.hounslow.gov.uk
A visit to the Feltham Food Bank
Sunday 9th April 2017
It’s a sunny Sunday morning and many people are enjoying a lie in, going for a jog, perhaps taking the kids to football or another activity. Here in Feltham households suffering financial hardship, who are struggling, and in some cases failing, to put food on the table are collecting parcels of food from the Feltham Food Bank, a supply of tinned and other goods that will last them for three days.
I saw a steady stream of families and children, met the remarkable trustees and volunteers like Lorraine and John Calvert and Aisha Rahman, and listened to how they started the food bank, the referral process for the people who need their services and the food bank’s food drives at the local ASDA and Tesco.
No one should go hungry in London, one of our wealthiest cities. But in the last 12 months the number of food parcels the Feltham Food Bank gives out has doubled and demand is growing. This reflects the worsening financial circumstances in which many people now find themselves.
Feltham Food Bank and Hounslow Community Food Box are two of the London Borough of Hounslow food banks and there are many more in Greater London. So if you can, support your local food bank, or next time you’re in the supermarket and see a food bank food drive if you can spare it perhaps you can donate something.
Maria Pedro Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Hounslow.
Freedom of the Borough honour for ‘dedicated’ Royal British Legion branches
Tuesday 4th April 2017
Fanfare and applause was rightly given as the seven local branches of the Royal British Legion [RBL], were given honorary Freedom of the Borough of Hounslow, the highest civic honour.
Hounslow is the first Council to present the accolade to all of the RBL branches in its borough: Bedfont & Hatton, Brentford, Chiswick, Hanworth, Heston, Hounslow and Isleworth
Andre McGill, Hounslow branch chairman and Poppy organiser for RBL, said: “It was a great honour for the seven RBL branches in the borough to receive the Freedom of the Borough. The branches have worked tirelessly for over 90 years around the borough raising awareness of the RBL and we’re proud to serve our borough at Remembrance Day and all year round.
“A big thank you to Hounslow Council and everyone in the borough from all our branches for this honour.”
His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester cements a place in Brentford’s history for Pocahantas
Monday 20th March 2017
His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester cemented a place in Brentford’s history for Pocahontas, by unveiling a plaque in her memory on Monday.
This month marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Pocahontas and to commemorate this, The Duke was joined at a special event by local dignitaries including representatives from the Richmond Virginia Indian Tribes.
The plaque has been installed in a niches in the wall of Syon House, close to the location where Pocahontas and her family lived for a short time. The theme of the event was From the James to the Thames, charting Pocahontas’ journey from her native America, where she was raised along the banks of the James River to the River Thames, here in London. She died and was buried at Gravesend in March 1617.
Hosted by Hounslow Chamber of Commerce the 2017 Hounslow Festival of Business took place at the Hilton Hotel Syon Park on 26th January 2017
Created to support Hounslow and West London’s vibrant economy the Festival of Business provided businesses of all types and sizes with an opportunity to showcase their products and services, attend a unique opportunity to network and make valuable connections, and get an insight how to grow in 2017.
Hounslow Festival of Business was officially opened by Maria Pedro, Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Hounslow and Cllr Ajmer Grewal, Mayor of Hounslow.
The Festival is a business to business event and the inaugural Festival had just under 90 exhibitors and a footfall of around 600 people. The day started with a stakeholders breakfast attended by Maria Pedro, the Mayor, two local MPs, the Leader of the Council and other members of the Cabinet. During the day there were workshops ranging from Social Media to Developing Unique Selling Proposition. The networking lunch was sponsored by Hounslow Council to launch fully subsidized business support, from Branduin Business Support, for small businesses employing 10 and less people.. The day saw two speed networking sessions and ended with a drinks reception sponsored by Heathrow.
Mayor’s Charity Dinner Dance 24th February 2017
The Mayor of LB of Hounslow, Councillor Ajmer Grewal hosted a Charity Dinner and Dance on Friday 24 February. The evening was attended by Maria Pedro, Representative Deputy Lieutenant, and the Mayors of LBs of Barnet, Havering and Redbridge and their consorts. Over £3,000 was raised for the Mayor’s chosen charities, The Alzheimer’s Society and Hounslow Association for the Blind.
Launch of the Personal Support Unit Feltham 19 January 2017
Official Launch of the Personal Support Unit, Feltham January 2017
On January 19 2017 the Personal Support Unit launched officially in Feltham, West London the latest of their 17 national groups. The Feltham unit is based at the West London Family Court in the London Borough of Hounslow. The court serves 11 London boroughs. The PSU HQ is in the Royal Courts of Justice and its trustees and supporters are a roll call of the great and good of the legal profession.
The Personal Support Unit helps those who face the civil and family courts without legal representation and often with little understanding of the complexities of the court system. PSU assistance is given for as long as needed, free of charge. They do not give legal advice.
Since it began operating in September 2016 the Feltham PSU has already helped over 100 at the Court who all said they would recommend the service. Some 40 have visited the PSU a number of times for support. PSU has also exceeded its initial target of 30 volunteers and recruited 38 new volunteers, including law students from both Brunel and West London Universities.
The evening’s venue was generously made available by the London Borough of Hounslow.
Attendees included Judge Judith Rowe QC, Designated Family Judge at the West London Family Court, Nick Gallagher, CEO of the Personal Support Unit, Jonathan Jelley MBE JP Chair of the London Appeal, Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of the Council, Councillor Ajmer Grewal Mayor of LB of Hounslow, various councilors and Representative Deputy Lieutenants from four of the boroughs covered by the court – Martin Russell (LB of Barnet), Captain Peter Baker (LB of Haringey),Maria Pedro (LB of Hounslow) and Gillian Norton (LB of Richmond-upon-Thames)
Hounslow Foster Carers’ Awards 25th November 2016
Lieutenant shares her story at Hounslow Foster Carer Awards
25 November 2016
Hounslow’s Representative Deputy Lieutenant, Maria Pedro, shared her story with the borough’s foster carers when she was a VIP guest at November’s Foster Carer Awards event.
At the awards ceremony, she gave a moving speech about her own experiences and praised the work of the borough’s foster carers and the help and support they provide to some of the most vulnerable young people in Hounslow.
Ms Pedro said: “I met some wonderful foster carers at the dinner. I felt it was important for those attending to hear and see what a difference they can and are making to the young people in their care and reference my own experiences of foster care as evidence of their priceless contributions.”
Her comments were greatly appreciated by the foster carers, members and council officers who were in attendance.
The annual Foster Carer Awards recognises the work of those supporting the borough’s looked-after children.
Royal Household workshops at West Thames College of Further and Higher Education 25th November 2016
All Rise for the Royal Visit
West Thames College of Further and Higher Education for 6,000 students in Hounslow receives visitors from industry on a regular basis but few have royal credentials. On Friday 25 November 2016 the college welcomed members of the Royal Household staff, Miss Olivia Smith, senior footman, and Mr Phillip Pagels, junior sous-chef. The pair were joined by Maria Pedro, Representative Deputy Lieutenant, who had worked with the college careers and employability team to arrange the session, and leader of London Borough of Hounslow Council, Councillor Steve Curran.
Olivia and Phillip dispensed quickly with the formalities to deliver two informative employer insight workshops to a group of catering and business students. As senior footman Olivia is responsible for taking care of the ‘front of house’ for The Queen. Duties include serving at banquets and receptions and often involve travelling with the Royal Family. Whilst tending to the needs of Royalty and foreign dignitaries might appear challenging, the visitors were keen to dispel some of the misconceptions about working at Buckingham Palace. It came as a surprise to many that the Royal Household has a very diverse workforce, comprised of people from all over the world. The team is united not by having the best qualifications but by having the right attitude to deliver an exceptionally high standard of service.
For example Phillip joined the team from South Africa with no experience of working in a kitchen. However he did possess a willingness to learn and with the help of an apprenticeship with the University of West London, he has progressed through the ranks to a senior position.
Council leader, Steve Curran, re-emphasized this message, using his own work history to highlight the importance of interpersonal skills. In the question and answer session students reflected on the need to put both interpersonal and employability skills into practice when they enter the workforce.
The sessions wer warm, engaging and packed with useful information. Reece, a year 2 Business student summed up the feeling of many when he commented that, ‘I thought they (Olivia and Phillip) would be strict, like the military, but they were relaxed, friendly and funny’. Steve Curran closed the session with the statement, ‘Our students can get any job, if they show the right attitude.’