My year in office as High Sheriff of Rutland was completed on 19th March 2020. I have had the great privilege of enjoying a most fascinating and enlightening year in our beautiful county. I have attended many events and gatherings, both informal and formal and have met numerous people. My overarching impression is that Rutland is full of amazing, generous and kind-hearted people.
At my Community Service held in Uppingham on 2nd May 2019 I said “Community cohesion is promoted and sustained by achieving a dynamic balance between a safe society, characterised by effective policing and a socially just society , in which all who are excluded from full participation are recognised and enabled to flourish.”
Our police, Emergency services, military, our judiciary, prison and probationary services work really hard to achieve this safe society. I have been able to meet many of these people ‘at work’ and to see their professionalism and dedication. Their challenges are many and Rutland is not immune from the national problems of cyber-crime, county lines or human trafficking.
There are estimated to be over 300 voluntary and charitable organisations in Rutland, where huge numbers of volunteers devote their time to supporting the needs of our vulnerable: those in poverty, the unemployed, those with disabilities or illnesses, victims of crime, abuse or trauma. There are also further organisations, again run by volunteers, who help our young people to enjoy life and to develop life skills. We have army and air cadets, Brownies and scouts, drama, musical and sporting groups – they each serve to develop their skills of communication, their self-esteem and teamwork capabilities. Again, I have been able to meet some of our volunteers and have been continually impressed by the time, energy, compassion and patience that they show in helping others.
I have also been able to meet with many young people both in their schools and beyond. Many are engaged in volunteering activities and seek creative opportunities to help others. It is worth reminding ourselves: “If you want to make others happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
In the monthly sections here you can read about some of the events that I attended and people that I met. At the start of the year I highlighted a few activities that I was taking part in or organising during the year. These are listed below and details and photos can be found in the relevant month.:
Declaration Service in Oakham Castle on 11th April 2019
Service of Celebration for the Community of Rutland in Uppingham Church on 2nd May 2019
Rutland Ride and Stride – cycling the perimeter of the county – on 14th September 2019
The Rutland Justice Service and Court sitting in Oakham on 2nd October 2019
Photography Competition Presentation evening at Goldmark Gallery on 26th February 2020
Charity Presentation evening in Oakham Castle on 12th March 2020
Rutland is without doubt a very special place to live. ‘Multum in parvo’ (much in little) is a very fitting motto. Thank you to ALL who work in our services to maintain ‘law and order’ and all who support our community through their volunteering. Rutland needs and values every one of you.
Thank you for the kindness and time that you have given to me in my year as High Sheriff – it has been a truly remarkable and humbling year for me.
With my very best wishes to all in Rutland,
High Sheriff of Rutland 2019-2020