Hurrying to Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living this morning, late for a meeting of REDP's Core Partners scheduled to start at 0930, I see a single-decker Arriva bus parked in Upper Brown Street, just across the road from LCIL. Nothing out of the ordinary there, although it's not a bus route and there's no bus stop at that spot. Then I notice Sophie and Tej from LCIL photographing (and, it turns out, tweeting the pictures of) people boarding the bus. On closer examination, I recognise some of them - quite a lot of them, actually - including Steve Cooper, in whose office our 0930 meeting is supposed to be taking place!
This bus, provided by Arriva, is there to promote Leicestershire Constabulary's Stamp It Out! anti-hate crime campaign, challenging verbal abuse, bullying and violence. Covering the full range of Protected Characteristics, today's Stamp It Out! event is especially focused on people with learning difficulties.
I persuade Diversity Officer Darren Goddard and Chief Inspector Rich Keenan to pose for a photo, then they bundle me on to the bus, where Deputy Mayor Cllr Rory Palmer, Chief Constable Simon Cole and a select band of other local luminaries are gathered. A photographer form the Leicester Mercury is there, getting a better class of picture than I've been able to. (An article and photo appeared in the Leicester Mercury the next day, which I also blogged here).
A nice opportunity to get involved in a worthwhile occasion - and proving that there can be a good reason to be late for meetings, once in a while!