There was a television advert in the early 1990s, that focused on the seemingly very high brow location of ‘an ambassador’s reception’.
A neatly stacked array of Ferrero Rocher chocolates was brought out on a silver tray, alongside the slogan: ‘A sign of good taste’.
Well when Wolves Foundation revealed an extensive array of new ambassadors over recent months, there was alas, and much to Jacqui Oatley’s playful disappointment on Twitter, no sign of a Ferrero Rocher to accompany each announcement.
But Wolves’ official charity are certainly confident they have shown ‘a sign of good taste’ in appointing a variety of leading lights from the world of sport and entertainment to both support and inspire the Foundation’s ambitions and extend their sphere of influence.
Wolverhampton’s very own Queen of Codsall Jacqui, a renowned broadcaster and pioneer, was one of the new ambassadorial recruits, along with fellow footballing media guru Johnny Phillips, also a lifelong Wolves fan.
Another Molineux devotee from the world of music and television - Mark Rhodes - was added to the ranks, as well as leading TV presenter and furniture restorer Jay Blades, who has lived in Wolverhampton for the last five years.
From the world of current sport, former Paralympian football captain and inspirational speaker Jack Rutter was named an ambassador, along with the equally inspirational current captains of Wolves’ men’s and ladies teams, recent England international Conor Coady and Anna Price.
The ‘Magnificent Seven’ new arrivals over the summer of 2020 added to the similarly magnificent existing two ambassadors born and bred in Wolverhampton who were appointed last year, former promotion-winning Wolves captain Karl Henry and top music producer and singer S-X.
The reaction from all the new appointees produced very similar words.
Proud. Honoured. Delighted. Worthwhile. Important. Inspiring. Humbling. Setting the standard. This wonderful city.
So what now for the fantastic array of Wolves Foundation ambassadors? What will their roles involve? What will they do?
Moving forward to the future when hopefully life regains some form of normality all have pledged to attend and support events where possible.
Each has selected specific Foundation projects or areas of influence which fit neatly with their skills and experiences where they will be able to add particular value in terms of supporting and providing advice and guidance to participants.
Until such time when more populated events can take place and people can get together more often and with fewer restrictions, the ambassadors will be providing a more ‘virtual’ support for the Foundation, whether via social media or online-based activities to highlight the work of the charity.
Above all else, all are extremely keen to get involved, to ‘give something back’, and lend a helping hand to the Foundation’s over-riding aims of creating opportunities and changing lives.
With the ramifications of Covid-19 still evident and likely to be so for the foreseeable future, support from the ambassadors may cover other areas as the Foundation continues to adapt its strategy to meet the needs of the community, but however they can get involved is a huge positive for trustees and staff.
“We now have a really strong group of ambassadors who will be able to inspire both our staff and participants and help highlight the value and importance of our projects,” says Head of Wolves’ Foundation, Will Clowes.
“One of the main areas where they will really be able to help is by getting the message to a wider audience of just how much work the Foundation carries out within the local community in Wolverhampton, and how many people of all ages and abilities that we positively influence.”
And who knows?
When life does finally return to something more normal, there might just be the opportunity to stage ‘an ambassador’s reception,’ albeit perhaps slightly less lavish than the one which featured on the adverts.
Ferrero Rocher all round, Jacqui!