August 2019

Here are just a few of the events and activities that I have been involved with during August.

Take a look on the Events page/Photography competition, to see the winning photographs of the first Capture Rutland for the High Sheriff photography competition.

Leicstershire Police patrols

This afternoon and evening we were hosted by Inspector Mark Botte to see more of the activities of Leics Police in Leicester. We went to the Contact centre where 999 and 101 calls are received, and listened to some of the calls as they came in. It is impressive to hear and see how efficiently incoming calls are managed and how speedily relevant data and images are retrieved to support the case. We also visited the police vehicle repair centre, the custody centre and attended their 5 pm Briefing session where happenings/resources for the past and future shift are shared. We were taken out in a couple of patrol cars where we learnt more about the rationale for the policing methods employed. Two blue light rides also demonstrated the excellent driving skills of those trained to attend an incident at speed. The professionalism shown by our police is impressive – whether talking to each other, to us, members of the public or those verbally and physically resistant to the police. Their new patrol cars, together with their phones, ensure that the police can be very well informed when out in their cars. The latest cars are fitted with number plate recognition devices so that passing cars are automatically checked for insurance, ownership etc within seconds. A really insightful day for us . Once again we are in full admiration for the work done by our police, often in very challenging circumstances.  Photo with PC Greg Cook, Inspector Mark Botte and PC Lara Lang.


This morning we enjoyed a fabulous sail out on Rutland water with Sailability. Robert and I each went out in a Skud with a sailor with some disability and a sailing instructor, as neither of us are regular sailors! It was a wonderful experience to skim across the water on a beautiful sunny day, feeling the warm wind and appreciating the surrounding beauty of the water and countryside. I can really appreciate how liberating this must feel to those with challenging disabilities – Roy from N Yorkshire, told me that it was the highlight of his month to come down here for a few days’ sailing.  Thanks to a grant for £23,400, Sailability has been able to purchase a new safety boat and a launch & recovery vehicle. I had the privilege of ‘launching’ these two vehicles with some prosecco.  Many thanks must go to all those who helped to obtain this grant from the Leader funding programme, managed by Opportunity Peterborough with support from Rutland County Council. Also congratulations to all those at Sailability who make the sailing possible for all by managing the club, maintaining the boats, adapting the boats to meet varying needs, training instructors etc . Sailability is a great club where all members work together to help one another.


A really enlightening meeting today with Lydia Patsalides, Regional Manager (East Midlands) for Crimestoppers, together with the High Sheriffs from Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire. Crimestoppers is an independent charity that helps to keep our communities safe. You can contact Crimestoppers by phone or email, to pass on information about a crime, totally anonymously.  They won’t ask your name, they won’t judge you and no one will know that you contacted them. They will then pass on the information to the Police or relevant agency. Crimestoppers’ information can, and does, help to solve and prevent crimes – the statistics evidence their success. The Commissioner of the Met Police Service says: “Crimestoppers is invaluable”. 

They have also developed Fearless as a youth wing of Crimestoppers. As well as guaranteeing anonymity for anyone giving information online about crime, Fearless provides educational resources and tools covering everything from gangs to child sexual exploitation, illegal drugs to weapons. You can also become a Crimestopper volunteer or ambassador from age 16 years. Speak up. Stop crime. Call 0800 555 111

Uppingham Business Forum AGM

This evening I attended the AGM of the Uppingham Business Forum in the Falcon Hotel.  This is an association whose purpose is to provide a non-contributory, voluntary forum for all businesses trading for profit in and around the town of Uppingham. It was great to hear the attendees discussing their ideas, issues and challenges for their businesses and for the local community. The discussions were very positive, supportive and demonstrated a real ‘can do’ approach.  Topics covered included the Neighbourhood plan, community safety and policing, the Craft Trail, the Uppingham Hopper and other economic development issues. A pleasure to meet all there including the re-elected Chairman Ron Simpson. Thank you for inviting me to join you this evening. 

Whissendine Church Flower Festival

Fascinating to see the floral displays interpreting “On the Move: Life in Motion” in St Andrew’s Church, Whissendine. These displays, together with a lovely produce stall , completed a weekend of activities for the Flower Festival. Well done to all involved in making this happen.

St Philip’s Centre, Leicester

Today we joined 25 Police Recruits (and one Fire recruit) at the Philip’s Centre for their Religion and Belief training day in Leicester.  St Philip’s is an organisation that aims to help communities to understand that ‘people of difference can live well together’. The recruits learnt about the ways of the many different faith communities in Leicestershire and Rutland. We met and talked with different faith practioners in order to understand how as police officers they can most respectfully work within these communities. It was a real pleasure to talk with the police recruits who are nearing the end of their training and looking forward to starting their roles for real. We wish them all the very best as they take on their demanding and challenging – but hopefully rewarding – roles in keeping our communities safe.

Barrowden and Wakerley Community shop – 10 year anniversary

Today Barrowden and Wakerley Community shop celebrated its 10th anniversary with a BBQ and bubbly outside the village shop. It was a real privilege to open the event at midday in the sunshine, to cut the magnificent 10thbirthday lemon cake and to meet many from the village and nearby. The idea of the community shop was conceived by Sheila Saunders over 10 years ago and is run by David Lewis (manager) and a team of around 70 local volunteers. It is open 7 days per week and sells predominantly local or fairtrade produce, as well as running a café that provides delicious lunches, sandwiches and cakes. It is wonderful to see how this shop brings together so many in the community whether as volunteer or customer. Definitely worth visiting if you haven’t been there already. 

Bird Fair at Rutland Water

On Friday we visited the infamous International Bird fair at Rutland Water. Despite the wet weather on Friday, the crowds were there to enjoy this fascinating event. There were continuous talks and debates in several marquees on a wide range of topics around birds, animals, nature and the environment. There were related goods for sale (art work, travel ideas, binoculars etc) and a new Wild Zone for the younger visitors. Definitely worth visiting. Delighted that the sun shone for them on Saturday and Sunday. Many congratulations to all those , including the many volunteers, who worked so hard to prepare for this event and to manage it over the weekend. This event brings in many visitors to our special County.

Heartwize: Basic Lifesaving training

A group of 30 adults received training in CPR, use of defibrillator and other basic first aid knowldege. The training was delivered at VAR, Oakham by the Heartwize Rotary 1070 team of volunteers based in Melton Mowbray. They provided manikins and test defibrillators for us to practice with. It was so worthwhile for us all to update our knowledge and skills in these areas. We now feel more confident should we encounter such situations as someone collapsing unconscious in front of us. A huge thank you to John Dehnel and his group of very helpful volunteers for taking the time to train us and answer our many questions.  If you would like to receive similar training then please do make contact with John Dehnel on:   

Charity Link

It was a real pleasure to meet Sue McEniff, Director of Fundraising and Marketing and Prof Surinder Sharma  (Trustee) in the office of Charity Link.  This charity assists those  in need living in Rutland, Leicester, Leicstershire and Northamptonshire.They believe that all local people deserve a decent standard of living, with a right to adequate food, shelter and the means to keep warm, clean and rested – no matter what crisis, illness, disability or difficulty they may be facing. They help by providing everyday items that many of us take for granted such as clothing, a bed to sleep in or  a cooker to prepare a hot meal. Their team have an expert knowledge of the thousands of benevolent funds and charitable trusts in the UK that have money to assist people in need. Last year they helped over 5,000 people and children and distributed over £700,000 in charitable grants. If you know of families or individuals who are experiencing hardship in Rutland, Leicester, Leicstershire or Northamptonshire, then please do help them to get in touch with Charity Link. They may be able to help with providing essential items such as clothing, beds, furniture, medical and mobility equipment. They aim to help within 20 days, but if the need is urgent , they can help on the same day. An amazing charity.

Family Courts in Leicester

We spent the day attending the cases in the Family Courts in Leicester. The Circuit Judges managed a number of cases – each one carefully considered and managed as fairly and justly as possible. Not an easy task at all. It was a real privilege to see the professionalism and integrity of our judiciary at work.

Rutland Museum in Oakham

Enjoyed a fascinating visit to Rutland Museum this morning. Read and heard about the Making of Rutland Water – an amazing story told by many involved with its design and creation. It is good to remember those that had to sacrifice their homes and communities for this Water. This is a great exhibition, which is well-worth visiting. Rutland Museum is celebrating its 50 year anniversary with another exhibition, titled Family Board Games. There are lots of games to play there – some you may recognise from the last 50 years and some of course totally new to the youngsters. A very creative and well-thought out display. Of course there are the fixed displays that capture much of life in Rutland over the years including farming vehicles, a Victorian coffee mill, a Game Larder and the ghastly gallows to name just a few. Certainly, worth visiting this lovely friendly museum, whatever your age.

Police patrol in Uppingham

One evening I joined PC Joshua Ace on an evening patrol around Uppingham. We talked with a few young people at the skate park and discussed the pros and cons for them of living in the area. Other events during the evening meant that our local PC was kept busy within the town responding to calls and following leads. It was really helpful to see and hear about the issues that our police face within the community. Thanks to Joshua for explaining the policing methods and for consistently working with great patience and care to aim for a fair and safe society.