Published on 10th May 2013
From 27 July – 2 August 2013, Cheltenham will be welcoming over 100 visitors from its German twin town of Göttingen for a week at the end of July but some currently have nowhere to stay.
The council is appealing to local residents to open up their homes and offer accommodation.
Annette Wight, twinning officer, says: “This is a wonderful opportunity for local people to become involved in Cheltenham’s twinning and international activities and to gain an insight into German culture.
“Many people are coming to Cheltenham for the first time and do not have any contacts and I need over 16 new families to host people. We have couples, singles and families, from youngsters with their mum or dad, to an active 76 year old, all seeking homestays and wishing to make new friends! And people don’t have to be able to speak German as nearly all our visitors can speak English.’’
Many of the visitors have formed firm friendships from previous visits and will be staying with their friends; others will stay in Cheltenham’s hotels and guest houses. Payment is not made for hosting as there is the opportunity to visit Göttingen in two years time and stay over there with families free of charge.
The visitors are here from Saturday 27 July to Friday 2 August and a full programme of events and activities is arranged which host families can also participate in. The programme this year includes a visit to Cardiff and St Fagan’s and Cheddar Gorge and Wells as well as a Cotswold tour. In Cheltenham tours of the town, parks and gardens will be organised, plus a welcome reception at Cheltenham Ladies College and an evening get-together for guests and hosts at Dean Close School.
An officer from Göttingen City Council will be exchanging information and knowledge with officers from Cheltenham’s recycling and street cleaning team. The deputy mayor and councillors will be heading the delegation of 120 Göttingen residents.
Garth Barnes, chairman of the Twinning Association, says: “We are delighted that so many Göttingen people want to visit their twin town of Cheltenham and take part in this Göttingen festival. We urge local people to offer their spare rooms as accommodation and to become involved in what is always a very memorable week.’’
For further information, contact Annette Wight, twinning officer, 01242 264311, email [email protected] or visit http://cheltenhamtwinning.wordpress.com/ to download the letter of information and offer of accommodation form.
For press enquiries contact: Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154 or email [email protected]
Cheltenham has been twinned with Göttingen in Lower Saxony since 1951.
These large scale visits started in 1976 and take place every 2 years alternating between Cheltenham and Göttingen. The last Cheltenham Festival in Göttingen took place in July 2011. An active programme of smaller visits and exchanges continues to take place throughout each year.