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January 24 News

Each year the High Sheriff is fortunate to present awards to charities and individuals across the county, and over the past few months panel members have been busy visiting the charities that we shortlisted.  The opportunity to do this has been invaluable and we look forward to the Awards Ceremony in March.

Between January and March, I’m visiting all 46 Hertfordshire libraries.  To date ‘Herty’ and I have been to 14 libraries – it has been an eye-opener to learn about the varied community activities that are on offer, and last week we saw first-hand the difference that these warm, sociable spaces make to individuals.  Did you know that anyone with a library card and the Press Reader apps can download a number of papers/magazines at no cost?  I didn’t realise and I now have the Borrow Box, Libby and Press Reader apps on my phone!  Information about the tour, which is also raising funds for Herts Community Foundation, and raising awareness of the work of Shannon Trust can be found here.

Other activities have included:

Peace: in these difficult times it was good to attend a Peace Vigil at St Albans Cathedral, and to attend a number of Holocaust Memorial Day events in different parts of Herts.  There were some very moving speakers, and it was good to see schools taking part.  A Hertfordshire Faith Covenant, organised by Herts County Council, was signed by a number of faith leaders and it was important to meet and talk together.

Civic: it was a pleasure to present Citizenship certificates to over 40 individuals at County Hall and to chat to them about the difference having official Citizenship will make to them.  I sat in the Crown Court in St Albans and hosted lunch for the judges and for representatives from a number of charities, and I was fortunate to sit with judges at Watford Family and Crown court and listen to civil and family cases.

Charity: Peter and I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Morecambe gang show’ which was an excellent evening of music and drama, performed by members of Harpenden & Wheathampstead Scouts – there are no auditions and over 150 young people took part.  With my Shannon Trust volunteering role, I either visited or spoke to a couple of the prisons in my area to see what we can do to improve literacy, and it’s positive to see improvements are being made. I also visited For Baby’s Sake and Charis Tiwala charities, who both carry out vital work helping vulnerable individuals.

Education: a Ukrainian School for school age children in Welwyn Garden City began last September and we enjoyed visiting, talking to parents and seeing the four different activities that take place every Saturday.

Tring: I thoroughly enjoyed joining the Mayor of Tring to visit local landmarks including Tring Museum on Brook Street, which is run by volunteers and is open on Fridays and Saturdays. The visitor centre receives over 3,000 enquiries each year.


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