People

THE HIGH SHERIFF, David Wood

David whilst fulfilling the traditional roles of the High Sheriff will focus particularly on two issues: reducing loneliness and isolation and also bio-diversity and sustainability initiatives. To do this he hopes to visit every village in Rutland as well as the two towns, meeting as many people in the community as possible

My wife and I have lived in Wing in Rutland since 1985. We have a daughter, Rachel, who is a sculptor and lives in Herefordshire and a son, Ben, who is a corporate lawyer, living in Brisbane Australia. We have five grandchildren.

My career had been spent in retailing until 1991 and then as an operational director of Lloyds TSB. I was a Trustee of the Lloyds TSB Charitable Foundation. 

I became a non executive director of the Melton Mowbray Building Society in 2002, becoming non Executive Chairman in 2007 until I retired in 2014. 

I am Chairman of Trustees of the Foundation for Conductive Education based in Birmingham – a specialist centre for movement disorders – a charity which I am passionate about and have been involved with for over twenty years. I am also a trustee of a number of other charitable trusts.

In July 2014 I became Chairman of the Rutland Agricultural Society. At this time the Society had just moved to the new site presented a huge opportunity to develop the Society and the New Showground for the benefit of agriculture and the whole community in Rutland. 

I am a Churchwarden for St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Wing.

Jeffy, my wife, was Rutland County Organiser for the NGS for 17 years until 2012.

David’s main interests are gardening, music and fishing.

I am very much looking forward to my High Sheriff year and meeting as many people in Rutland as possible most particularly those working in voluntary organisations

THE UNDER SHERIFF, Kate Blank

I am a Rutland girl, my parents having moved to Preston in 1969. I went to Oakham school then studied law with French LLB Hons at the University of Birmingham and gained my Master of Laws (LLM) at the University of Leicester. I practised as a solicitor for all my working life, mostly at firms in Birmingham and Leicester. I specialised in corporate and business law for private companies, businesses and individuals.

I am very honoured to have been asked every year since 2010 to be the Under Sheriff, as the High Sheriff makes their own appointment each year.

I live in Rutland, I am married to a very patient Michael and my children who keep me fit are a springer spaniel and a Labrador !

CHAPLAIN, Reverend Dr Pippa Madgwick

Rev’d Pippa Madgwick has been Rector of the Rutland Water Benefice since 2017 and lives in North Luffenham. Before coming to Rutland she was working as a molecular biologist in agricultural research. She is married to Graham who runs the IT department of an insurance company in Peterborough. They have 3 adult sons and 2 young granddaughters.

High Sheriff’s Police Cadets

Mephee O’Leary
Hello, my name is Mephee and I have been an Emergency Service Cadet for 4 years – something I’m
happy and proud to be a part of. Through the cadet programme I have been able to develop my
personal skills and practical skills whilst gaining an insight into working in the services. I am planning
on studying Adult Nursing and know that the skills and abilities I have gained from cadets will
support me in doing this. One of the most important things for me has been developing my
confidence, this has been done through the encouragement from our leaders and guiding fellow
cadets. I hope that being appointed as a new High Sheriff of Rutland cadet will allow me to continue
to grow my skills and support others in the cadets programme and community.

Chad Young
Hi, I’m Chad one of the new High Sheriff of Rutland cadets. I’ve been a member of the Leicestershire
Police Cadets programme for nearly 4 years and have made many relationships with the community,
cadets and leaders and have learned new skills. My goal in the future is to join the police service. I
am very excited to attend the duties in the future and make more relationships with the community
and other organisations.

Mephee O’Leary and Chad Young – Police Cadets 2021 – 2022

High Sheriff in Nomination for 2022-23, Geoff Thompson

Geoff was born in nearby Lincolnshire and retired from a Risk Management career in 2016. He has lived in Rutland with his family since 2011 and is heavily involved in the voluntary sector through 11 different organisations mainly in education and health in

– governance of primary, secondary and sixth-form schools in Rutland

– mental health needs of Rutland’s young people

– help for local churches

– patient feedback to the NHS

– educating impoverished children in Palestine

– a local youth housing project

He loves walking, cycling, singing, travelling, photography and meeting people.

High Sheriff in Nomination for 2023-24, Geraldine Feehally


I’m an English teacher working for the last ten years in the city of Leicester. Now
retired, I realise I was not so much teaching, as learning.
From 2010, I lead the development of the first girls secondary school in the Maasai
Mara, establishing a sustainable school for rural girls, who otherwise face child
marriages and teenage pregnancy.
I’m still learning from the interests of my family and friends, reading and my
Christian faith. I’m a trustee for Rutland Community Ventures. I love my allotment
and exploring Rutland by bike.