• Melina Rauter

Boris Johnson visits residents at Options The Old Vicarage to plant a wish tree

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson paid a surprise visit to residents at the Options The Old Vicarage, during the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

The residential home, situated on The Greenway Road in Uxbridge, is a home for people aged 18 and above who have an Autism Spectrum Condition and may also have a learning disability or require similar support.

Manager Dr. Roda Jeylani, who wrote the letter inviting the Prime Minister - MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, to their home said: “I was thrilled beyond belief when I received notification from the Prime Minister’s aide that Boris Johnson would indeed be visiting our home.”

The purpose of the visit was to plant an Arbutus Unedo strawberry 'wish tree' in the home's gardens, whereupon residents can pin their hopes and desires.

According to Dr. Jeylani these trees are identified as having special religious or spiritual value to which people come to and make offerings in order to have a wish granted or a prayer heard.

She was determined to restore positivism in her residents following the lockdown which ended numerous trips they had enjoyed, posing a difficult time for the many.

“His visit made us all feel really valued,” said 21 year old, Simon, who along with other residents and his mother were given the opportunity to pose questions to the Prime Minister.

Picture Credit: The Old Vicarage

Jenny, one of the residents, asked the Prime Minister if they could have more plants and mentioned how much she had been looking forward to having a wish tree in the garden where she could hang her wishes and have them come true, by magic. They went on to laugh together when the Prime Minister asked her what type of music she liked, and she replied whale noises.

Commenting on his visit, Mr. Johnson , said, "It’s been a great privilege to visit the home and, having met the residents, I can clearly see Roda that you and your staff are doing a great job and indeed making their wishes come true. I’m fortunate to have this opportunity. I will visit again."

Picture Credit: The Old Vicarage

Boris Johnson’s visit to WLIoT at Uxbridge College campus

BORIS Johnson was “bowled over by the knowledge and enthusiasm” of students at West London Institute of Technology (WLIoT) when he visited on National Thank a Teacher Day.

WLIoT is part of Harrow College Uxbridge College (HCUC), with its primary base at Uxbridge College in Park Road, Uxbridge, which Mr Johnson visited on May 26.

In addition to meeting students and staff and seeing demonstrations of WLIoT’s technology, the Uxbridge and South ruislip MP took the time to leave a message on the Thank a Teacher website, stating: “To all the teachers at Uxbridge College and the West London IoT I just want to say what an amazing job you have been doing.

“I am bowled over by the knowledge and enthusiasm of the students I have met. You are the future! Best wishes Boris Johnson.”

Captured by Liz Driscoll at Uxbridge College

Mr. Johnson visited three of the WLIoT workshops where he saw a showcase of a 3D composite printer, solar power and wind power systems, as well as meeting with students undertaking surveying and field procedures outdoors.

The Prime Minister also said: “It was a real pleasure to meet staff and students at the West London Institute of Technology here in Uxbridge. Backed by £8.6 million of Government funding, it is closing the skills gap in key STEM areas and boosting opportunities for students, trainees and apprentices across Uxbridge and South Ruislip.”

Dr Darrell DeSouza, CEO and Principal of HCUC said: “We would like to thank our local MP Boris Johnson for taking the time to visit us at West London Institute of Technology – and for his kind words on the Thank a Teacher website. I am sure it goes without saying that everyone at HCUC would echo their sentiments!”