My year as High Sheriff
The Youth in Herts Programme has 3 core pillars.
Pillar 1 - Young Leaders Award
Partnering with The Archbishop of York Youth Trust, the project will bring the Young Leaders Award to the county. This school-based programme empowers young people to practice key leadership skills and character virtues, involving them in transforming communities through social action.
Pillar 2 - 'Be Your Own Boss Hertfordshire'
Tackling the issue of increased employment opportunities for young people, the Youth in Herts programme will support budding young entrepreneurs through the ‘Be Your Own Boss – Hertfordshire’ project. The High Sheriff seeks to developed this opportunity working with The Youth Group, a UK organisation which works to improve the odds for young People all over the world. The programme seeks to raise sufficient funding to put 400 young people through the support system of starting their own business. A complementary mentorship programme supported by international entrepreneurs and the embracing of youth friendly engagement methods for introduction to national employment schemes, will seek to ensure that no one is left behind as we move confidently through the current economic challenges caused by the pandemic.
High Sheriffs are responsible for supporting visits to their counties by members of the Royal Family and High Court judges. They also encourage engagement with crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and to the voluntary sector.
Young people are completely underrepresented in the Magistracy as illustrated in Figure 1 which Lionel has developed with the assistance of data published or made available from the Judicial Statistics Office. Many young people are perhaps not aware of this very key community role, which is an essential part of our Criminal Justice System. Most people over the age of 18 years old can apply and no legal qualification is required. Lionel is therefore launching the 30’ Under 30 project, the third pillar of Youth in Herts, which will seek to promote, attract and support the appointment of more young magistrates to the bench by the Local Advisory Committee”
The 30’ Under 30 project has already received the support of key stakeholders and has received the confirmed support of the University of Hertfordshire Law School who have also agreed to part fund a pioneering Ph.D research project to obtain further insight into what the inhibitors are that prevent young people from engaging in the community as Justices of the Peace.
Should you wish to contribute to any of Lionel's themes for the year, please click here.
The Archbishop of York, The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell said: “Now, more than ever, we must invest in young people, giving them opportunities to grow in confidence, faith and character. I am therefore delighted that the Archbishop of York Youth Trust are working in Hertfordshire with the incoming High Sheriff, Lionel Wallace, to help young people to be confident, committed and community minded.”
Jackson Parsons, CEO of The Youth Group and ‘The UKs Chief Youth Officer’ said: "Let’s find that ‘Duvet Flip’! – the thing that gets young people inspired and moving, then we will work with the High Sheriff and other stakeholders to match it with a solution as part of this Hertfordshire programme".
Luke Rigg JP, Chair of the National Young Magistrates Group, who became a Magistrate at the age of 20 joined The High Sheriff’s Steering Committee on this initiative earlier in the year and has recently moved to Hertfordshire.
Luke said: “As a Magistrate under 30, I am really pleased to be supporting ‘30’ Under 30’ in Hertfordshire. The initiative will aim to increase representation of young magistrates in the county, which is vital for the health and diversity of the justice system”.