November 23 News
The month had two main events within the space of a few days – my Justice Service at St Albans Cathedral and the symposium at the University of Hertfordshire. Two very different occasions and I hope we can continue to develop connections to help individuals in our communities to improve their literacy, which is at the core of so much of everyday life.
Justice Service - It was an honour to host the annual High Sheriff's Justice Service, which brings together, gives thanks for and supports all who administer law and order in the county, together with those who work to prevent offending behaviour, protect our society, provide support for all who need it and contribute in other ways to make Hertfordshire a county of opportunity for all. The choir and team at St Albans Cathedral were outstanding, my Police Cadets read beautifully, and my chaplain delivered a thought-provoking sermon. Thanks also to the Police and Army cadets who supported me before, during and after the service. It was a truly special day.
Symposium - I was delighted to partner with the University of Hertfordshire and the Police and Crime Commissioner to host a one-day symposium on my theme of 'Reading, Writing and Rehabilitation'. The day incorporated a great range of speakers and workshops, concluding with a keynote speech by HHJ Wendy Jospeh KC. There is definitely opportunity for greater collaboration within our communities and we look forward to making progress.
Courts and Civic – I had an interesting visit to the Corners Court and attended the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire’s Court Service.
Charities – I appreciate being able to visit charities, some of which I hadn’t previously known about. Community Action Dacorum arranged a day of visits which highlighted the wide range of services they offer. It was good to return to Sunnyside Rural Trust and to join the start of the St Albans sleep out. Other charitable visits included speaking to Harpenden Rotary Group, Ngorli, Playskill, Soroptimist St Albans, Mission Employable, Herts Community Foundation, Community Learning Partnership, and Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care.
Military – The Liberator Memorial Service was a first for me and I learnt about the sacrifice that the American pilot and his crew made on 12th August 1944 in order to prevent their plane crashing into many homes in Cheshunt.
Police – Peter and I enjoyed a super evening at their annual awards ceremony, and it was good to catch up with two of my cadets. I attended the Remembrance Day service at Police HQ remembering those who lost their lives and those who continue to lose their lives as serving officers.
Remembrance Day – I attended the Remembrance Day Service in Hemel Hempstead. Despite the rain there was an excellent turnout with people of all ages. A special mention to the cadets, guides, brownies and scouts and all those taking part in the parade.
High Sheriff Awards panel – we held our first meeting to discuss the nominations. The committee will be out and about visiting charities before we make our final decisions. There is so much good taking place in our communities, and it was not easy to shortlist.
University of Hertfordshire – the Chancellor's lecture saw Daniel Greenberg CB (Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards)' discuss 'Is Parliament Fit For Purpose?'. Baroness Hale drew a large audience to hear about her life and she answered questions honestly and with humour.
Faith – with so many troubles around the world it was important for me to take part in the Watford interfaith pilgrimage, and it was good to see so many people both taking part and welcoming us.
Fundraiser – from January until March 2024 (or possibly early April if I’m running over) I hope to visit all 46 libraries in Hertfordshire to highlight the importance of reading and literacy, and champion the amazing activities that lots of our libraries run. I’ll be raising funds for Hertfordshire Community Foundation who give grants to small charities across the county.