The sun shone when it mattered in June and I was pleased to be able to welcome to my Garden Party some of the many people who give so much to making Hertfordshire a better place for us all. Guests represented a variety of different groups, organisations and agencies that all strive to give each resident of our county community the best possible experience – whether through the administration of justice, through keeping us safe and tackling crime, through providing a good environment in which to work and live, through rehabilitation and integration and through care and support of others in its many and varied forms. It is my privilege to try and support them, and to be able to thank them, and to encourage them to work together.
Here I am with one of the Police cadets who helped on the evening, and Under Sheriff Richard Taylor with his wife Shirley and past High Sheriffs Fergus McMullen and Suzy Harvey.
The new Chairman of Herts County Council Colette Wyatt-Lowe hosted a lunch at County Hall for the newly appointed Mayors and Chairs of the Boroughs and Districts and we helped promote National Clean Air Day.
I was delighted to help Chief Constable Charlie Hall present some of the Citizens in Policing awards, celebrating the Police Support Volunteers who play a crucial role in working with local communities to reduce crime and keep people safe. I also got out and about with Sgt Duncan Wallace in East Herts to learn about the challenges of rural policing and attended, with 2 others representing Herts Police, a conference on Faith Groups and Police working together in a whole community approach to tackling the big issues.
I was invited to attend a meeting of the Herts Interfaith Forum to speak about my role and how I hope to support their work. The Hertfordshire Asian Women’s Association kindly included me as one of the speakers at their AGM where I joined the Countess of Verulam and the Mayor of St Albans in talking about what has motivated me in my life.
It was a pleasure to attend the annual reception and Sunset ceremony at RAF Henlow, just over the border in Bedfordshire, with pipers, flag lowering and precision timed fly past.
Back in Hertfordshire we celebrated Armed Forces Day with a flag raising at County Hall.
I was delighted to attend the end of year Fashion Show at Oaklands College and to wear my uniform to showcase the talent of the graduating students who helped with its design.
I spent a day at Watford County court with the judges who hear the Family law cases and as always learnt so much from watching how they deal with difficult issues with sensitivity, professionalism and expertise.
The last weekend of June was a busy one! Many local people came to see the opening of Resolve’s Night Shelter and Sparks Community café in Hatfield, the result of many months of hard work and a great team effort. I was pleased to see friends from the Hertfordshire Community Foundation who had supported the work with a grant. The night shelter will take 12 and be open all the year round and this supports Resolve’s work on providing services for people and their families suffering an alcohol or substance misuse problem.
The Polish Saturday School in Welwyn celebrated their 5th anniversary with a beautifully organised morning of talks, activities, food and a quiz. 120 children attend each week to learn about their Polish heritage and practise the language and many parents support and volunteer too. There was a happy and inclusive atmosphere, and I had a go with some of the children in the giant bubble!
Finally, to Watford to help present the Herts Inclusive Theatre annual Heart of HIT awards, celebrating participants achievements and hard work over the past year. We were treated to a performance of a specially composed HIT song and ‘This is me’ from The Greatest Showman – not a dry eye in the room! The adults, young people and children taking part had learnt the sign language for the song too. There was a special award for Pat Moloney who served as Chair for an amazing 17 years.