As the Country plunged into Lockdown 2, the High Sheriff retreated behind his computer screen but with renewed confidence that you can still make a difference across the virtual airwaves. We are all in it together so if Zoom it is, then Zoom it must be.
During the month we made visits where permitted to Remembrance Parades at Hertford Castle and at the Police Headquarters where the High Sheriff laid a wreath. Sadly there were no visitors to either event and the normal crowds who support such an occasion were not permitted, but the gallant Heroes of the World Wars and other conflicts are not forgotten in these pandemic times and the appropriate tributes were paid.
We also managed to see the open-air garden and horticultural work being done at Earthworks and visit the wonderful Herts Inclusive Theatre at one of their workshops. Towards the end of the month we joined others at a warehouse in Watford to help pack and wrap 5,000 Christmas boxes to be distributed amongst the many in our county who do not have gifts to open on Christmas Day. The same was achieved by Hand on Heart Charity who packed and distributed many bags of goodies to the homeless in the county together with New Hope in Watford.
We enjoyed a very insightful visit to Playskill, a charity supporting pre-school children with special needs, and importantly their families too. They have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure continuity of care to their beneficiaries, including finding new and exciting ways to support the children remotely.
The highlight zoom must be to join Ron Green on his 100thBirthday and see him receive his telegram for The Queen via our Lord-Lieutenant. Ron is a volunteer at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum and over his birthday celebrations he has raised a staggering £26,000 which will be invaluable to the survival of this iconic museum during such a difficult year. The High Sheriff spoke at the annual St Albans Sleep Out in aid of the Homeless Charities but no gathering to sleep out this year, so those loyal and keen supporters chose to sleep in their gardens. I also much enjoyed a virtual visit to the Rothamsted Research Centre at Harpenden. Another reason to celebrate the high standard of research and education in Hertfordshire, Rothamsted lead the way with their agricultural research particularly on crops and crop management.
In normal times the High Sheriff would have been on tour in the County but these are not normal times and I must congratulate all the charities and voluntary groups who, once again, have adapted to the lockdown, moved to their screens but kept their services running and supported their communities. I am so proud of them all, and all they achieve.