If you snooze, you loose and no High Sheriff wants to be a loser, so no pandemic is going to get in our way of seeing all that Hertfordshire has to offer. Life is beginning to slowly open up and, whilst exercising all social distancing requirements, I have been able to offer my support on the ground this month and leave the computer screen behind.
After just a few visits I soon realise that the wheels of this county would not turn without the dedicated voluntary sector. I continue to be amazed by the efforts and commitment shown by the few to care for the many – brought to life by the vibrant Feed Up Warm Up team at Hitchin led by Shane Cole. Here is a former addiction sufferer who has turned his life around to provide hope and encouragement to so many local homeless with food, shelter and sound advice. After only eighteen months their food centre is in high demand and they are providing a vital and valuable service to their community.
I also visited two other foodbank charities in Borehamwood – Gratitude and Borehamwood Foodbank. Their services are equally crucial to this community and the relief and hope they give to many cannot be over emphasised.
Turning to more traditional High Sheriff duties I have been able to visit the Family Courts in Watford and see first hand the work of the Judges and their teams. Family cases continue via telephone and video links – not easy but essential to provide these services with the safety and well-being of children being the primary concern. I was also able to visit the Stevenage Lister Hospital and met the Chief Nurse managing 2,500 medical staff in one of the busiest hospitals in the county and the country. The magnificent medical teams cannot be given enough praise for all their dedicated work and at this hospital alone they have treated 800 Covid cases.
In a year of staycation holidays do not overlook all that this county has to offer. My wife and I visited the Henry Moore Foundation and received an enlightening tour of the sculpture garden and saw the work of this famous artist and local Hertfordshire man. There is also a café, good local pub and excellent shop all of which can be visited, but best to book first.