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August 23 News

Whilst August is traditionally a quieter month for High Sheriffs, and we took the opportunity for a few days away, I thoroughly enjoyed a number of visits.

Charities – I visited Mill Green Museum where ELSA (Education, Learning, Skills & Achievement) were running a course to help young people, many of whom have been in care & the update on my visit will be in my September news. It was a pleasure to visit Hand on Heart in Watford and see young people (many of primary school age) help fill ‘back to school’ backpacks. Recover is a wonderful charity that helps up-cycle furniture and teach new skills to people who are recovering from addiction or mental illness.

Faith – despite the rain it was a joy to visit Camp Unity and see the fun that primary age children of all faiths were having in Borehamwood. A fabulous ‘welcome banner’ had been produced by the children and it was fun chatting to the children, many of whom were away from home for the first time.

Courts – I was fortunate to sit in the Youth Court in Stevenage, and grateful to those who had cases being heard for allowing me to be there. Talking to the judges brought home the care and preparation that go into each case.

Police – a fascinating visit to Luton to visit the Firearms Unit, who updated me on the different roles and training, before going to the Airport to visit the Control Tower and airport terminal. The weight of the body vests and weapons is far greater than I realised, and not surprisingly members of the unit need a good level of fitness.

Cadets – I joined the Lord Lieutenant and Chairman of the County Council at Pirbright where the Herts & Beds Army cadets were on a weeks camp. It was wet but that didn’t stop us being able to watch the cadets taking part in various activities, both on land and water. A large number of volunteers enable camps to take place.

Chamber of Commerce – it was good to meet three members of the Watford Chamber of Commerce to discuss local business, and their emphasis of supporting community activities.

Paradise Wildlife Park – this was my first visit to the Park and, as well as looking at animals both large and tiny, it was great to see the extensive charitable work and research they’re engaged with.

Other activities – outside my High Sheriff duties I took a full car of lap blankets that had been produced by volunteers for the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters ‘Knit for Community’ project to Small Acts of Kindness in Watford. The blankets will be part of the Warm in Winter packs that are distributed to vulnerable people in Hertfordshire (new knitters and donations of wool always welcome!). With my Shannon Trust role I visited two prisons and I was fortunate to be allowed to do an all-staff presentation in one prison about the reality of low literacy, and the challenges that result, as well as the benefit of improved literacy on many levels.


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