The Office of High Sheriff is an independent, non-political, Royal appointment for the period of one year. After the monarchy, it is the oldest secular office in country, dating back to before the Norman Conquest. Today, the role is now largely ceremonial but carries the status of being the Queen’s highest judicial officer in the county. The role involves a mix of ceremonial, charitable, and community functions.
I am honoured to have stepped in to the role on 13 April 2022, having that day made my declaration of office as High Sheriff for the County of Worcestershire and the County of the City of Worcester in the presence of the Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division of the High Court, in the Shirehall, Worcester and in the presence of so many distinguished guests, friends and family. It is a particular honour to be in post at the time of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
This is also my opportunity to pay warm tribute to my predecessor, Richard Amphlett, for his tireless work in supporting communities and organisations across the county over his year of office, despite the remaining effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic is far from over. Its effects, directly and indirectly, will impact us all for many years but it is so important that, never complacent, and always looking out for our fellow human beings, we all do what we can to live with it and not allow it to define us. I am looking forward greatly to getting out and about in our glorious county and to getting back to “business as usual” for the High Sheriff.
So many individuals and organisations in Worcestershire have gone the extra mile over the last 2 years to support people through the severest of challenges and have done so largely unsung. If my Shrievalty year has a theme it would be “the unsung heroes and heroines”. I want to shine a light on them and celebrate them and therefore seek out and help individuals, communities, and organisations across the county in particular need as a result of the effects of the pandemic. I share Richard’s concern at the impact on people’s mental health, and like him I will be particularly aiming to support mental health charities, organisations, and initiatives assisting all age groups and communities.
During my year in office, I will be working closely with the Worcestershire Community Foundation, as the charitable hub for the whole county, and which hosts the High Sheriff’s Fund. They are a source of great support to the county and have stepped up to the plate magnificently during the pandemic.
Please do contact me if you or your organisation would like to discuss how I can help or if you have any ideas or suggestions about how I can help others.
High Sheriff of Worcestershire 2022-23