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June 23 News

Can we already be a quarter of the way through our year as High Sheriff? I’m in denial but June has been another busy and very enjoyable month and I have been fortunate to visit a number of the over 3,000 charities that are in Hertfordshire.

More photos are available on FB/Instagram/Twitter, (albeit with the limited number of characters available on Twitter, and a summary (as brief as I can make it) is below:

Charitable visits – the Herts & Essex Air Ambulance, centres for women in Watford and Hertford, and a women’s refuge in Welwyn Garden City, a charitable showcase at St Albans Cathedral, a film launch by Small Acts of Kindness, South Hill Community Centre in Hemel Hempstead and Red Shed in Stevenage.

Education visits – Benington primary school celebrated their 150th anniversary, Oaklands College, held an Open Evening, and I presented a Dragon Apprentice Community Award to JF Kennedy School in Hemel on behalf of Community Action Dacorum for their participation in the Dragons Apprentice Awards, which over the last 10 years has raised over £32k, as well as offering over 120 students some valuable life lessons. The Groundswell festival had some fascinating speakers about improving the soil, planting hedging, and so much more.

Court visits – I spent a day in both the Crown Court and the Family and County Court. The cases in both courts were very different, which brought home the depth of knowledge of the judges, and the reality of the emotional cases that come before them.

Police – it’s always good to visit the police and I attended both long service awards and recruitment achievement awards. I also met police community support officers at a number of events.

Council – the senior team at Stevenage Borough Council kindly presented their exciting plans for the borough going forward.

Windrush75 – I attended two events in Watford and Hemel Hempstead to mark Windrush75. There were excellent speakers at both events, as well as dance and poetry.

St Albans Cathedral – a rather hot day to be in full Court Dress but an amazing experience to take part in the annual pilgrimage of St Alban. Twelve-foot high puppets were the main attraction as the reenaction of the execution of St Alban took place with large numbers lining the High Street as the procession moved to the Cathedral.

Radio – it was fun spending a couple of hours with the Kaotic Angels who host a two-hour radio slot as well as carrying out a lot of charitable work, largely through food distribution.

Civic – the Mayor of Buntingford hosted his Civic Event and special awards were presented to a lady who has run the foodbank for 10 years, and a lady who, at the age of 100, still volunteers in a charity shop – incredible!

Plans are underway for a Garden Party to thank volunteers, and a symposium to discuss my theme of ‘Reading, writing and rehabilitation’. Through charities I’m trying to engage with groups/individuals who would benefit from improving their literacy and help from businesses with finance, office space (if well connected to public transport) or volunteers to help learners would be very welcome.


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