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Greater Manchester

County News

2015-2016

April 2016

Thursday 14th April
The day has arrived when I must hand over the mantle to the Incoming High Sheriff, Lady Joy Smith. I feel very sad to be leaving the role, however I have to say it has been a huge privilege to have spent the last twelve months meeting very many marvellous people and visiting such varied and interesting places. Grahame & I have so many wonderful memories and we will spend countless happy hours re-reading this diary. 

Sharman & Grahame wish the new High Sheriff every success.


The “Handover” from one High Sheriff to the other.

The Installation of Lady Smith was very enjoyable and commenced with refreshments for the Platform Party and Partners. The Mayor of Wigan then welcomed everyone to the Ceremony before handing over to the Under Sheriff who conducted the proceedings with great aplomb. Following the Installation and photographs Afternoon Tea was served.


L to R Standing: Under Sheriff David Cam, Chairman of the Council (Duchy of Lancaster). Mark Hudson, Commissioner Hilary Spragg, Hon. Recorder of Manchester HHJ David Stockdale, Magistrate Maureen Bilsbrough, Chaplain Revd Dr Bill Baldwin, Commissioner James Maloney. Seated: Outgoing High Sheriff Sharman Birtles, Lord Lieutenant Warren Smith, Incoming High Sheriff Lady Smith, Wigan Mayor Susan Louden.

Wednesday 13th April
The High Sheriff & Grahame were honoured to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to Greater Manchester when she visited the Wigan& Leigh Carers Trust. The Princess was given a tour of the Centre and met with a number of Carers, Advisors, Support Workers and Therapists. She then unveiled a plaque to commemorate the visit and was presented with a posy by a Young Carer. Before leaving, the Princess signed the Visitor’s Book.


HRH The Princess Royal arriving.


HRH The Princess Royal talking to Carers.

Monday 11th April
The High Sheriff attended the Making a Difference Charity in Ashton UnderLyne. This Charity, which helps people with Mental Health problems, is one which the High Sheriff admires and has had previous contact with. They have recently moved premises to a building where all their services can be under one roof, which includes a café, lounges, craft/work rooms, kitchens, dining room, therapy room and office space. Outside there is what will be a lovely courtyard garden. Janice Hogg, who runs M.A.D., has recently been awarded a well-deserved Point of Light by the Prime Minister.

Saturday 9th April
The High Sheriff & Grahame spent the afternoon working at the COTE (Church of the Epiphany) Charity Shop in Droylsden. This is something they normally do every six weeks but have not been able to for the last few months due to the heavy programme of events which the High Sheriff has been attending. 

Friday 8th April
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended a wonderful Ceremony at Rochdale Town Hall which was to confer the Honorary Freedom of the Borough upon Major Edmund Gartside TD, MA, DL. Major Gartside, born in 1933, has led a remarkable life. After completing National Service he attended Cambridge University before returning to Rochdale to work in the family Mills, starting at the bottom and eventually becoming Managing Director. However, throughout his business career he maintained his contact with the Army. Having been commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant during his National Service he continued service with the Territorial Army, becoming Company Commander in 1967 and being awarded the Territorial Decoration in 1968. He was President of Rochdale& District Fusilier Association until 2013 and served as President of the Rochdale Royal British Legion. Edmund also became Finance Director (Voluntary) of the Fusilier Museum until retiring in 2015. He was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester in 1990 and served as High Sheriff 1995/96. Major Gartside and his wife Valerie were joined by their family and friends as well as a number of local Dignitaries.

Following the Ceremony the audience was entertained by the fabulous Drum Corps of the Fusiliers before enjoying a marvelous buffet.


Major Gartside with his wife Valerie.


L-R Cllr Dearnley, Cllr Farnell, Leader of the Council, Major Gartside, Valerie Gartside,
Steve Rumbelow, Chief Executive of Rochdale MBC, Mayor &Mayoress, Cllrs Surinder
& Cecile Biant.


Thursday 7th April
Following a most generous bequest to the High Sheriff’s Police Trust Fund from the late Ken Taylor, the High Sheriff, the Chief Constable and other GMP staff met with family, friends and the executor of Mr Taylor at the beautifully restored Lowry Mill in Swinton. Mr Taylor was the son-in-law of the late John Armstrong Welch who was an ex Deputy Chief Constable of Salford. It was an opportunity for the High Sheriff & Chief Constable to thank everyone concerned for this wonderful legacy and also to explain what sort of projects the money would be used to help. 


Lowry Mill in Swinton.

The High Sheriff then attended a meeting of the Cotton Districts Convalescent Fund & Barnes Samaritan Charity, of which she is a Governor.

The High Sheriff then visited Rochdale Children’s Moorland Home which has been providing free holidays to underprivileged children for over 120 years. The Home, which receives no statutory funding, relies entirely on donations.

Outside school term times children are selected by the local Social Services Department, who bring the Children to the Home on a Monday morning and then return on Friday afternoon to collect the Children and deliver them safely home. The Home also offers services during term time, with Children attending from schools in underprivileged areas or which provide extra support for Children who have learning or physical difficulties.
The Staff are responsible for the care and entertainment of the children and besides giving them tasty nourishing, home cooked meals each day, they ensure that their young charges experience a variety of trips such as the circus, the seaside, the cinema, Hollingworth Lake and local parks. The children love going on the trips but they also love local walks on the moor where they can see a variety of animals and playing outdoors on the swings, trampolines, slides and large wooden adventure play equipment. These, along with the wooden fort, the football pitch and the fresh air, really ensures they get plenty of enjoyment and exercise. Come bedtime they are ready for a good night’s sleep.
The High Sheriff’s visit coincided with the regular Thursday Party Night which the children were really looking forward to, having been practicing their dancing and party pieces.

Wednesday 6th April
The High Sheriff attended a Citizenship Ceremony at Dukinfield Town Hall in Tameside where eighteen new Citizens were sworn in. Also in attendance were the Civic Mayor &Mayoress, Councillor Vincent Ricci and Julie Ricci. Following photographs with each of the new citizens, tea & biscuits were served whilst the Mayor, Mayoress and High Sheriff chatted with everyone.

In the evening the High Sheriff visited the Fire Cadets at Leigh Community Fire Station. Despite this only being the second week of their two year course the Cadets were already being trained in a number of practical procedures such as how to carry an injured person on a spinal board through a tunnel and over an obstacle. They were also shown how to use cutting and spreading gear which is used when someone is trapped, such as in a car. The Cadets then showed off their newly acquired Parade skills.

The High Sheriff was most impressed with the new Cadets and also with the Adult Leaders who all give their time voluntarily.


Fire Cadets being shown how to use Cutting & Spreading Equipment.


New Fire Cadets with, Cadet Trainers, Firefighters & the High Sheriff.

Saturday 2nd April
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended a party held for Father Jack Hemsworth and his wife Margaret who are retiring from St Andrews/Church of the Epiphany in Droylsden. There was plenty to eat and drink, a lot of the food being provided by Elizabeth Welbeck, originally from Ghana and a stalwart at the Church. A very good number of her friends from the Ghanaian Choir entertained everyone with some native songs before they presented Jack with a beautiful hand-made chair and flowers for Margaret. Jack thanked everyone for attending and then the Bishop of Middleton spoke very movingly about Jack’s ministry.





Friday 1st April
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended the Stockport Civic Charity Hatters Ball which was held at Stockport County Football Club. Eight of the other Boroughs were represented by their Civic Heads and initially they all met at a private Reception, hosted by the Mayor &Mayoress. All guests had been requested to wear hats and there was a fabulous assortment ranging from beautiful feathers and bows to crash helmets! The Mayor welcomed everyone to the Ball and thanked all those who had helped to make it such a special night. The guests were then served a delicious Dinner following which they were richly entertained by The Bloomsbury Cellarmen, traditional Ukrainian Dancers and vocalists Keith Pemberton and Ben Taylor. Guests were invited to dance the night away and a great time was had by all.


L – R The High Sheriff, The Mayoress & Ceremonial Mayor of Salford, The Mayor of Stockport, 
the Consort of Salford and the Mayoress of Stockport.



The Mayor & Mayoress of Stockport with one of the Young Carers from
their nominated Charity.


March 2016
Thursday 31st March
The High Sheriff had a most enjoyable Lunch with her Chaplain, Revd Nigel Ashworth of St Ann’s Church in Manchester. 

Wednesday 30th March
The High Sheriff attended a Meeting & Meal with Audenshaw & Denton Rotary Club at Denton Golf Club. Following the delicious meal she spoke to the Group about the history of the High Sheriff and also the modern role.

Tuesday 29th March
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Relief In Need, Children’s Relief in Need and the Manchester District Nursing Charities. The High Sheriff is a Trustee of these three Funds.

Saturday 26th March
The High Sheriff, Grahame & Tallulah attended the Stalybridge Sci-Fi Saturday as guests of Hyde Fundraisers, a voluntary group established in 1985 to raise money for charity. The High Sheriff was asked to present cheques on behalf of Hyde Fundraisers to a good number of local Charities, including Willow Wood Hospice, Reuben’s Retreat, Our Kids Eyes and Baggy Trousers. She was also asked to judge ‘Best in Show’ at the Tame Valley Vintage & Classic Car Club and present the Winners with a plaque having chosen a beautifully preserved Riley RME (1954). Back inside the Civic Hall the High Sheriff was then asked to judge the Fancy Dress Competition. She gave 1st Prize to Jawa (Star Wars), 2nd to Doctor Who& 3rd to Princess Leia (Star Wars). Although neither the High Sheriff nor Grahame have any knowledge as far as Sci-Fi is concerned they certainly enjoyed meeting some extremely dedicated fans!



Friday 25th March
The High Sheriff attended a production of The Passion performed by Streetwise Opera in partnership with the Booth Centre and The Sixteen. The Booth Centre is a day centre that offers activities, advice and support to homeless people in Manchester. One of the activities on offer is opera singing at workshops run by Streetwise Opera, an organisationwhich gives these people a voice by building their confidence and in turn helps them to regain some self-respect. The Sixteen is recognized as one of the world’s greatest ensembles and comprises both choir and orchestra. 

The performance showcased the talents of the homeless in conjunction with professional singers and musicians. The High Sheriff found it incredible and moving to watch those who have lost everything shine with enthusiasm and delight when they realised that they do, in fact, have something to offer. This world premiere was hugely enjoyed and appreciated by the very large audience at Campfield Market in Manchester.

Thursday 24th March
The High Sheriff visited Start in Salford, a Charity which uses creativity to help vulnerable people, suffering from mental health issues, to improve their skills and gain confidence. She was taken on a tour of the facilities by the CEO and Founder, Bernadette Conlon, a most inspirational lady. As well as Visual Arts, they run courses on Photography, Horticulture, Calligraphy, Ceramics, Textiles and Woodwork. Each of the studios is fitted with modern equipment and tools, allowing the members to learn new skills which eventually may help them to gain employment 

Start also has a commercial arm where products, which are hand crafted and made to the highest quality, can be bought online or at craft fairs and exhibitions. All materials are ethically sourced from within Greater Manchester, so each product benefits the local community and is environmentally sound.The volunteers at Start are very much part of a team and work in all aspects of the business, from sales and customer service to manufacture, packaging and stock control, all of which helps to improve their wellbeing by raising confidence and building self-esteem.

Wednesday 23rd March
The High Sheriff had a meeting with Jackie Dawson from Marie Curie.

In the afternoon the High Sheriff attended a Citizenship Ceremony in Manchester where twenty one new citizens were sworn in.

Tuesday 22nd March
The High Sheriff accompanied the Deputy Lord Mayor of Manchester on a visit to see the work being carried out at the site of the sinkhole on the Mancunian Way. The Victorian main sewer which travelled from Tameside through to Trafford had collapsed and United Utilities are now in the process of diverting the system through three new huge sewers which will cut out the old pipeworks. It is a mammoth task which has been going on since the hole appeared in August 2015.

The High Sheriff was fascinated to learn about the very complex nature of the repairs and can now appreciate why the work is taking so long.


The two cranes mark the sites of 2 of the new sewers.


Inside one of the new sewers.


The loose stones mark the site of the original sinkhole.

In the evening the High sheriff attended a Governors Meeting at Fairfield High School for Girls, her old school.

Sunday 20th March
The High Sheriff attended a special service at Stockport Parish Church to mark the restoration, conservation and reordering of the Church. Also in attendance were the Lord Lieutenant and the Mayor &Mayoress of Stockport. The service was officiated by the Bishop of Stockport, RtRevd Libby Lane and the Rector, Revd Roger Scoones. Music was provided by the Stockport Youth Orchestra, Offerton Methodist Choir and Guest Organist Peter Williamson. It being Palm Sunday all the congregation were given Palm Crosses. There was also a presentation to RevdScoones who is leaving the Church after 19 years.

Saturday 19th March
The High Sheriff worked at the Donkey Sanctuary Spring Fair. The money raised will go to help the Donkey Assisted Therapy which is one of the High Sheriff’s chosen Charities. Whilst there, Grahame & Tallulah came to visit!

 

Friday 18th March
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended the Bolton Mayor’s Charity Ball held at the Macron Stadium. Each of the other Boroughs was represented by their Civic Heads and initially they all met at a private Reception, hosted by the Mayoress. Official photographs were taken before everyone was led into the hall where they joined other guests. The Mayor welcomed everyone to the Ball and thanked all those who had helped to make it such a special night. The guests were then served a delicious Dinner following which they were richly entertained by a Linacre & Knight who sang a great selection of music from the Shows and Gary Ryan, a tribute act to Neil Diamond. Guests were invited to dance the night away and a great time was had by all.



Thursday 17th March
The High Sheriff visited the Furniture Station in Hazel Grove, a charity which supports anyone experiencing financial hardship by providing good quality, pre-loved furniture at extremely low prices and delivering free. The warehouse is not open to the public and all customers must be referred.

The furniture provided comes via donations and must be of good quality. Volunteers are on hand to make any small repairs and students from Stockport College assist in repainting/varnishing as necessary before putting the items up for sale. A sofa costs in the region of £15 whilst wardrobes start from £20.

The High Sheriff was most impressed with the service, which not only helps people with very limited means but also helps to reduce environmental pollution by collecting and re-using items that might otherwise go to landfill. The Furniture Station also provides training opportunities and work placements to help unemployed people re-enter the labour market.

In the afternoon the High Sheriff attended a Deputy Lieutenants District Committee Meeting at Dukinfield Town Hall.

In the evening the High Sheriff and Grahame hosted a Wine & Canapes Reception for Crown Court Judges, Magistrates, Deputy Lieutenants and other guests which was held at Fairfield High School for Girls, the High Sheriff’s old School. During the evening guests were able to participate in guided tours of Fairfield Square, the Moravian Settlement in which the School is situated. Dean Lehan, the Fingerless Magician, was also on hand to entertain the guests. Dean, who contracted meningitis as a child and lost a leg as well as his fingers, is most accomplished and impressed everyone with his card tricks. The wonderful catering was supplied by Tameside College.



Wednesday 16th March
The High Sheriff & Grahame were invited to the Royal Yacht Association Clubhouse at Hollingworth Lake in Rochdale in order that the High Sheriff could name and launch a specially built Sailing Dinghy bought with funds raised by Rotary Rochdale East Club. The boat “Gracie” has been adapted for use by disabled sailors and will be used by over 1,000 people. The High Sheriff was honoured to carry out this task on such a particularly beautiful morning. Also in attendance were the Mayor &Mayoress of Rochdale, members of the Council, representatives of the Royal Yacht Association, the Commodore of Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club and, of course, members of Rotary Rochdale East. Click on the Link below to watch a short video of the day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP5jLib5YcI&feature=youtu.be


L – R Graham Knox (Rotary), Gary (Hollingworth Lake Water Activities Centre),
High Sheriff, Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale.



The High Sheriff with some of those who will benefit from using the Sailing Dinghy.


“Gracie” on her maiden voyage on the beautiful Hollingworth Lake.

In the evening the High Sheriff, accompanied by a friend, attended the TamesideMayoress at Home event, held at Dukinfield Town Hall. It was a most enjoyable evening, attended by eight other Mayoresses& guests and Janet Evans, Deputy Lieutenant and her guest. The entertainment was provided by two Choirs, the first from Denton Community College and the second was the Monday Mondays, an A Cappella Choir. Both were marvellous and enjoyed by all. 



Tuesday 15th March
The High Sheriff attended a Meeting of the District Chairmen’s Meeting at the Lieutenancy Office. Each Borough of Greater Manchester has a Committee of Deputy Lieutenants and the Chairmen of those Committees attend this Meeting. The High Sheriff is the Chairman of the Tameside Committee.

In the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame visited the Terence O’Grady Social Club in Oldham. The Club which is for people with learning disabilities has been open since 1961 and it aims to encourage them to enjoy quality leisure time once a week. There are about 120 members and a team of helpers, some of whom have been volunteering for over 50 years. Apart from the weekly socials the Club organizes a three day holiday in Blackpool for 45 members plus helpers.


The High Sheriff with some of the entrants for the St Patrick’s Night Fancy 
Dress Competition, together with the Chairman & Manager.



Setting up for Bingo.

Monday 14th March
The High Sheriff attended the premiere showing of a short film called SEXT made for and by young people in Tameside showing the dangers of sharing compromising images of each other. Sending indecent images is an offence which can carry a prison sentence and entry on the Sex Offenders Register for the offender resulting in a lifetime of humiliation and embarrassment for the victim. The film was extremely well made and it is hoped that it will be shown in local schools. 

Saturday 12th March
The High Sheriff attended the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition at Trafford Courthouse. This event was jointly organised by the Magistrates Association and Citizenship Foundation. Teams from Greater Manchester Secondary Schools took part, the winning team coming from St Patrick’s RC High School in Eccles. The High Sheriff was delighted to present the Certificates to all entrants in addition to a Cup to the winning team.

In the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame attended the Rochdale Civic Charity Ball at the magnificent Rochdale Town Hall. Eight of the nine other Boroughs were represented by their Civic Heads and initially they all met at a private Reception, together with the Vice Lord Lieutenant and her husband and other local dignitaries. Official photographs were taken before everyone was led into the wonderful main hall where they joined other guests and were served a delicious six course Dinner.

All the guests were richly entertained by a wide range of performers before the Mayor of Rochdale presented a number of ‘Proud of You’ certificates to a variety of people who hail from the Borough. The Mayor also spoke about his chosen Charities before drawing the winning raffle tickets, the first prize being won by the Mayor of Tameside.

Following all the formalities the audience was encouraged to dance the night away to the live band, Soul City Sounds. An excellent night was had by all present.


The Greater Manchester ‘Chain Gang’ with the Mayor & Mayoress of Rochdale
in the centre of the front row.


Friday 11th March
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended the Whitemoss Youth Centre in order to present a cheque for £550 on behalf of the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund. The money will be used to take a group of children and young volunteers on a residential weekend at Ormside Mill in the Lake District. After being met by John Biggs BEM, Centre Manager, the High Sheriff & Grahame were given a guided tour by one of the children, Paige Duffy and they were shown, amongst other facilities, the Sports Hall, the Craft Table, the Music Room, the Computer Room and the Café. Grahame challenged a couple of the youngsters to a game of Pool and a good time was had by all.


The High Sheriff makes the Presentation to John Biggs BEM.

Thursday 10th March
The High Sheriff visited the offices of Barnabus, a Christian based Charity offering support to the Homeless, and met with the Chair of Trustees John Price and several members of staff. Barnabus, which started life in a converted double decker bus has been in existence for 25 years. In addition to running the Beacon Café the staff is also on hand to give practical advice and to provide, amongst other things, sleeping bags, clothing, toiletries, showering facilities and a laundry room.

The staff talked about one of their biggest concerns which is dealing with clients who are using so-called ‘legal highs’ which are cheap and therefore popular amongst the young and poor. These stimulants cause massive character changes and normally mild mannered people can in a moment become violently aggressive and a danger to the staff. Of their clientele, 87% are male and over 40% are in the 18 – 35 years age group.

In the evening the High Sheriff was delighted to attend the combined High Court and Circuit Judges’ Mess held at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. There were four Honorands - HHJ Anthony Russell QC, former Recorder of Preston, HHJ Richard Pearce HHJ Richard Pates and HHJ Elizabeth Nicholls, all newly appointed Circuit Judges. Each of them, plus Andrew O’Byrne QC Leader of the Northern Circuit, gave excellent speeches and it was a most enjoyable evening.

Wednesday 9th March
The High Sheriff & Grahame had a most enjoyable morning at the Greater Manchester Police Museum where they were given a private tour. The Museum is full of the most interesting artefacts, including a wide range of truncheons - some of them beautifully painted, weapons of corporal punishment, a wonderful photographic history, various police uniforms, a marvellous replica police box and a complete court room moved in its entirety from Denton Police Station and beautifully renovated. We also had a tour of the police cells and front desk still in situ from when Newton Street Police Station was operational. It is a place one could visit many times and still find something new to look at. The High Sheriff & Grahame will certainly be revisiting.


The High Sheriff in the Cell area holding a ‘blacked-out’ Police helmet.
Photo courtesy of Chris Oldham (GMP).


L-R Katie Brown (Museum Officer), Duncan Broady (Curator), Grahame & the 
High Sheriff standing in the Courtroom Photo courtesy of Chris Oldham GMP.


The High Sheriff with Grahame & Katie and some of the exhibits on the 
original Charge Desk. Photo courtesy of Chris Oldham (GMP).


In the afternoon the High Sheriff & Grahame visited the Canada Street Project which is part of the Walking with the Wounded resettlement programme for ex-Servicemen with disablilities. They were met by Gary Lamb who is the Regional Team Leader who showed them round the Training House and Offices and explained about the concept. Back in September last year the DIY SOS programme renovated and adapted a number of houses in two streets to be used for army veterans and their families. Princes William & Harry visited the Project and also helped to work on the renovations.

In the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame were delighted to host a Dinner at Dukinfield Town Hall for three High Court Judges and six other guests, including the Police Commissioner & Interim Mayor, Tony Lloyd. The evening was a great success with some lovely comments being written in the Visitors Book.

Tuesday 8th March
The High Sheriff & Grahame were invited by the Ceremonial Mayor of Salford to join him, the Mayoress and the Consort together with other guests aboard the Emmeline Pankhurst at Salford Quays to celebrate International Women’s Day. All the women on board were given sashes to wear which were in the colours of the Suffragette Movement, white, green and purple. The boat cruised round the Quays whilst everyone enjoyed a delightful meal. Following the meal the High Sheriff was invited to speak about how women’s equality has improved over the last few years.

Everybody on board agreed that it had been a fabulous afternoon out.


L-R: Alan Davies (Mayor’s Consort), Claire McCourt (Mayoress), High Sheriff, Grahame, 
Cllr Peter Dobbs (Ceremonial Mayor) and Brighid (personal friend of the Mayor).


Monday 7th March
This morning the High Sheriff attended a meeting at Bradshaw House which is a Probation Service Hostel in Bury. She met with David Croall (Approved Premises Manager) who works for the National Probation Service and Dr. Janet Evans (Psychologist) who is employed by the NHS. Bradshaw House is operated under the Psychologically Informed Planned Environment (PIPE) scheme which is a joint initiative undertaken by the Department of Health and Ministry of Justice and is an innovative way of working with offenders, providing a pathway for those who have undertaken intensive offending behaviour treatment programme/s. A proportion of these offenders will be, or have been high risk and present with complex criminogenic needs.

PIPEs are specifically designed environments where staff members have additional training to develop an increased psychological understanding of their work. This understanding enables staff to further develop a safe and supportive environment which can retain the benefits gained from treatment, test offenders to see whether behavioural changes are retained and support offenders to progress through the system in a planned and pathway based approach.
PIPEs are designed to have a particular focus on the environment in which they operate; actively recognising the importance and quality of relationships and interactions. They aim to maximise ordinary situations to support, development and to approach these in a psychologically informed way, paying attention to issues relating to Personality Disorder for example. PIPEs form a significant part of the pathway for PD, and it is proposed that these could eventually feature in all levels of security, both in custody and the community.

In the afternoon, the High Sheriff visited the Creative Living Centre in Prestwich who last year were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The philosophy of the Creative Living Centre is their belief that it is important to create a safe environment in which people experiencing mental and emotional distress are supported as individuals.

They offer a safe space and give practical advice and support, they offer a wide range of sessions such as Relaxing Art, Creative Writing & Reading, Zumba Gold, Tai Chi, Group Counselling and a Film Club. Also available are various therapies including aromatherapy massage, psychotherapy and auricular acupuncture.

The members come from a wide range of backgrounds, some require support for long term conditions that have led to depression and isolation whilst others have social, relationship or family difficulties and some need support to develop a successful and productive life.

The Centre has a lovely, warm and welcoming atmosphere and the High Sheriff very much enjoyed meeting some of the Staff, trustees, volunteers and members. She was delighted to be presented with a picture by one of the members. 
Sunday 6th March

The High Sheriff & Grahame had Lunch with the incoming High Sheriff & Spouse!

Friday 4th March
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended the Mayor of Trafford’s Civic Reception which was held in the wonderful surroundings of the Imperial War Museum North. Eight of the nine other Boroughs were represented by their Civic Heads and initially they all met at a private Reception, together with the Vice Lord Lieutenant and her husband and other local dignitaries before being led into one of the main halls where they joined other guests and were served a delicious Dinner. Before and during the meal the Greater Manchester Police Jazz Ensemble richly entertained the guests. An auction and raffle were held in aid of the Mayor’s Charity Fund. A very enjoyable evening was had by all!

Thursday 3rd March
The High Sheriff attended the Lord Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at Manchester Town Hall along with other Civic Leaders and representatives of industry, commerce, the professions and Church Leaders. Following Introductions, a welcome by the Lord Mayor and a delicious breakfast, the Police Commissioner & Interim Mayor gave his political perspective on the Northern Powerhouse and the benefits he believed would come with devolution. The High Sheriff then read a passage from the Bible after which the Bishop of Bolton gave a spiritual perspective and the CEO of the Mustard Tree gave his charitable perspective. The meeting finished with a hymn and prayers and a tribute to Dennis Wrigley, one of the founders of the Prayer Breakfast, by his son Simon.

In the evening the High Sheriff, accompanied by a friend, attended as guests of Siemens a Dinner and Evening with the Halle at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. Siemens is one of the major sponsors of the Halle and as a significant local employer is eager to make Manchester a better place to live and work.

The musical programme included Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Barber’s Adagio for Strings and the rousing Coronation March by Walton. 

Wednesday 2nd March 2016
The High Sheriff attended A Service of Thanksgiving at The Whitworth Hall in Manchester University. The service was dedicated to those who have donated their bodies for medical and scientific teaching and research. 

The Medical School at the University is the largest in Europe and each year approximately 850 of their students commence their studies in medicine, dentistry, nursing, speech & language therapy, audiology, optometry, anatomical sciences or biomedical sciences. An important component of their training involves the study of human anatomy and each year a large number of generous and public-spirited individuals donate their bodies to the University so that it can provide high quality teaching to its students.

This year 44 people donated their bodies for this purpose and each of their names was read out and a candle was lit for each by representatives of the undergraduate students. The Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church and the Humanist Movement were all represented at this beautiful and moving Service.


February 2016

Monday 29th February
The High Sheriff met with Jude Boyles, Manager of Freedom from Torture in Manchester. This organization provides medical consultation, forensic documentation of torture, psychological and physical therapies as well as practical assistance to help survivors recover and begin to rebuild their lives. Asylum seekers and refugees arrive in this country, often with nothing other than the clothes they stand up in. They have suffered appalling violence and need help in gaining status so that they can live and work here. This process can take years and FFT support them throughout. 

Saturday 27th February
The High Sheriff, accompanied by friends, attended the 90th Charter Dinner of Soroptimist International of Manchester held at Gorton Monastery. Also in attendance were the Lord Mayor & Lady Mayoress of Manchester and the President of Soroptimist International who, like the High Sheriff, is a member of SI Ashton UnderLyne. The main Speaker was the Immediate Past President of SI.

Friday 26th February
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended the Mayor of Oldham’s Civic & Charity Ball which is the main charity fundraising event of the year. Each of the nine other Boroughs were represented by their Civic Heads and initially they all met at a private Reception, together with the Vice Lord Lieutenant and her husband and other local dignitaries before being led into the main hall where they joined other guests and were served a delicious Dinner.

All the guests were richly entertained by Failsworth School Choir which had some wonderful soloists, followed by a Bollywood Duo NrytaJyoti. The Mayor then spoke about his chosen Charities and also about a Zip Wire Challenge in Wales that he and a good number of others are soon to undertake. Attendees were asked to sponsor the team to make sure plenty of money is raised.

Following all the formalities the audience was encouraged to dance the night away to the live band, Stax of Soul. An excellent night was had by all.



Thursday 25th February
The High Sheriff spent a very interesting and exciting afternoon with Greater Manchester Police in an ANPC Intercept Car with two very experienced Officers before being shown round their Intelligence Collecting Room at Stretford Police Station.

The High Sheriff spent the evening with the GMP Force Events Unit and learned about how plans are drawn up to police a football match at Old Trafford. After attending a video conference briefing meeting of the Gold Commander who was at Police HQ and the Silver & Bronze Commanders at Stretford Police Station the High Sheriff then attended a further briefing meeting of all the Officers who would be working at the Ground that evening for a Europa Cup match. She then went with the Officers to Old Trafford and walked the perimeter of the Ground with PC Ponton who was her guide for the evening. She then spent some time on the raised platform outside the ground watching the crowds arriving. Also on duty were 8 Mounted Police Officers who do a great job in marshalling the crowds. Shortly before kick-off the High Sheriff was taken into the briefing room inside the Ground before going onto the Terraces to see somewhere in the region of 55,000 supporters in good spirits waiting for the game to begin. The evening was most interesting and informative and an excellent evening was topped off by a 5-1 win for Manchester United!

Wednesday 24th February
The High Sheriff and Grahame were honoured to welcome His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex to Greater Manchester again when he visited Wright Robinson School in Manchester. The Earl took time to talk to a good number of the pupils who were lining the drive and waving their flags enthusiastically, despite the very cold weather. He then went inside to speak to a large number of pupils who are taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. The Students were eager to display and explain to the Earl the various projects they were involved in. Before leaving he was presented with a memento of his visit and he was asked to cut a very special cake which had been baked in his honour.



                                     

In the evening the High Sheriff visited the Fire Cadets at Ramsbottom Community Fire Service. She watched a Presentation made by some of the young people which highlighted what they enjoyed about being Fire Cadets. They spoke about a recent visit they had been on to Poland, where they had met new friends from a number of different countries and learned about the various cultures. They also spoke about the practical things they learned and how they had gained not only knowledge but also confidence and a sense of pride in what they are doing.

The High Sheriff then went outside to watch a practical demonstration of the Cadets climbing ladders with a hose reel before spraying the area with water, thankfully avoiding the High Sheriff! They then refilled the Fire Tender with water from a nearby hydrant.

The High Sheriff was most impressed with the Cadets and also with the Adult Leaders who all give their time voluntarily.

Tuesday 23rd February
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Relief In Need, Children’s Relief in Need and the Manchester District Nursing Charities. The High Sheriff is a Trustee of these three Funds.

She then travelled to Broughton House, Salford to meet with the Chief Executive Ty Platten, the Board Chairman Sir NetarMallick and one of the Trustees, George Almond & his wife Liz.

Broughton House, which opened in 1916, is the only Residential and Nursing Care Home for veterans of the armed forces in the North West. It is a beautiful building in tranquil surroundings but there are exciting new plans to rebuild the home so that it remains fit for purpose for the next 100 years (and more). The new building will be able to cope with a larger number of residents and also provide all the latest methods of caring for and serving those who served us. 



Monday 22nd February
The High Sheriff attended a ‘photo-shoot’ outside Manchester Town Hall in order to promote the Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal which will be held in March. This wonderful Charity is very close to the High Sheriff’s heart as she is their Greater Manchester Patron. Marie Curie Nursing is also one of her chosen Charities during her Year of Office.



In the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame were delighted to attend the 81st Anniversary Charter Dinner of the Rotary Club of Ashton UnderLyne. Also present were the Civic Mayor &Mayoress of Tameside, the President of Soroptimists Ashton UnderLyne and the Rotary District Governor Elect. Following a delicious meal and a number of Toasts the High Sheriff, as Guest Speaker, spoke about her role, both the historical and modern aspects. She was also delighted to present the Paul Harris Fellow Award to Ron Fletcher, member of AUL Rotary since 1998. The award is made in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.



Sunday 21st February
The High Sheriff was pleased to attend the Transformation Community Resource Centre in Manchester which is home to theCommand Prayer Centre Ministries International. The Church aims to promote the Christian faith and supports inter-faith work aimed at achieving community cohesion and good citizenship. Every month they hold a Community Meal which brings together Refugees, Asylum Seekers and local residents in order to eat together, learn about different topics and make new friendships. 





Today’s meal was co-hosted by Manchester City of Sanctuary whose mission is to unite everyone and to ensure that Manchester is a hospitable City which is open and fair for all. It is a non-religious organisation, welcoming those seeking sanctuary and hoping to make Manchester their home. They hold Conversation Clubs which helps the newcomers to integrate and form social networks, whilst decreasing social isolation. 

The High Sheriff was delighted to meet many people from different backgrounds and cultures and to share the delicious meal with them. 

Saturday 20th February
The High Sheriff & Grahame were very pleased to attend a Civic Service at the Whitefield Hebrew Congregation Synagogue. Also in attendance were the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, the Mayor and Consort of Bury and the Bury South MP Ivan Lewis. The Service was most interesting and the Cantor & Choir sang beautifully. Before and after the Service the guests and congregation enjoyed refreshments. The Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff were delighted to be presented with mementos of their attendance today.

Friday 19th February
The High Sheriff visited the Good Deeds Trust in Atherton which was holding its monthly Dementia Café Coffee Morning currently held in Atherton Library, but soon to move to the presently disused Atherton Town Hall. People are welcomed to the morning with cakes, scones and hot drinks and today they were given a brief presentation about the local services of Age UK before a wonderful hour spent with a lady from Wigan Library who had brought many exhibits of household items from days gone by. The audience happily joined in the conversations remembering all the different items such as carbolic soap, a washday posser and a whip and top. They then moved on to talk about food ‘from the old days’. When the Morning was over they all left in buoyant moods and it was a pleasure to see.

The Dementia Café was started some time ago by a group of people led by Cllr Mark Aldred, a former Mayor of Wigan, following the death from dementia of his Father. One element of the work they do is the Guardian Angel Device which is a contact system for people with Dementia or ill health. Supported by Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, they supply the device which takes the form of a wrist band, a badge, a key ring or a Tag, free of charge, to those in need. Many groups in the Wigan area such as the bus companies, Police, Ambulance Service and Cadet Forces have been instructed in their use so that if they see someone who looks confused or needs help they simply tap their I-Phone across the device and the person’s first name and an emergency contact number will be displayed.

These devices not only increase the quality of life of people with Dementia but also save hundreds of Police man-hours in searching for missing vulnerable people. The High Sheriff believes this system must be extended to cover the whole of Greater Manchester and she will be contacting those people who should be able to assist. 

Wednesday 17th February
The High Sheriff & Grahame were privileged to host a Dinner at Dukinfield Town Hall for two High Court Judges, one of their wives and five other guests, including the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester. The evening was a great success with some lovely comments being written in the Visitors Book.
Tuesday 16th February

The High Sheriff had a very interesting meeting and Lunch with Lydia Chan, Chief Executive of The River Manchester, a Charity which provides support to people who have suffered or are in danger of suffering from Domestic Abuse. Most clients are referred to The River by Refuges in the area and the help on offer includes decorating their newly acquired accommodation, providing a basic welcome to your new home package, training and advice on gaining meaningful employment, befriending, mentoring and confidence building. 

The River’s offices are above their Charity Shop and Living Waters Café, both of which help to fund their main projects.

In the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame attended the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet Poppy Appeal Awards ceremony. Sadly, due to urgent and unforeseen circumstances, the Lord Lieutenant was unable to attend and asked the High Sheriff to represent him and make the presentations to the Cadets which she was delighted to do. The Cadet Poppy Appeal was introduced in Greater Manchester in 1996 and has since been taken up by other British Legion counties throughout the Country, however Greater Manchester Sea, Army and Air Cadets together with their volunteer adult leaders consistently raise more than any other county. This year the GM Cadets have raised in excess of £148,000, money that is used by the Royal British Legion to provide financial, social and emotional support to the millions who have served and are currently serving in the Armed Forces, and their dependents. Presentations were made to the winning units, detachments and squadrons, and also to those individuals from each Service who had raised the most money. The overall winner was a Cadet from 2200 Oldham Squadron who raised a wonderful £3,275.12. Following the presentations the High Sheriff made a short speech on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant, praising and congratulating the marvellous young people who joined the various Cadet forces, all of them a great credit to their families.

Monday 15th February
The High Sheriff visited Reuben’s Retreat in Glossop which, although (just) outside Greater Manchester, has its registered office in Tameside. Reuben’s Retreat was set up by Nicola Graham following the death in August 2012 of her 23 months old son, Reuben, from a brain tumour. Following the care and support the family received and the families they met along the way inspired them to launch the Charity. 

By April 2014 they had raised sufficient funds to buy the Victorian buildings which had been a cottage hospital in Glossop. Left empty for a good number of years the buildings are in a poor state of repair and Nicola & her team need to raise a huge amount of money to complete their 10-phase project which they anticipate will happen in 2020. 

Reuben’s Retreat will be a place to relax, recharge and build memories for families that have a child with a life limiting/threatening illness. They will be able to take short breaks there at no cost to the family. Stages 1 and 2 are already complete which means that the bereavement counselling and support centre for parents and siblings who have suffered the loss of a child is already open. In one year they have already supported 97 families.

Despite the enormous hurdles ahead the High Sheriff has no doubts that Reuben’s Retreat will succeed and fulfil Nicola’s vision of a lasting legacy for her very precious son, Reuben.

In the evening the High Sheriff attended a Speaker Meeting at her branch of Soroptimists International which was quite a strange event, in that she was the Speaker! The High Sheriff is very used to speaking in public but usually doesn’t know many people in the audience, however on this occasion she was a little
daunted by the fact that she knew everyone! She spoke about the role of the High Sheriff and some of the curious features about the position. Thankfully the Club members appeared to enjoy the talk!

Friday 12th February
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended the Civic Mayor of Tameside’s Annual Valentine’s Ball which is the main charity fundraising event of the year. Each of the nine other Boroughs were represented by their Civic Heads and initially they all met at a private Reception, together with the Vice Lord Lieutenant and her husband, the Council Leader & his wife and two of the Borough’s MP’s together with their partners.

After official photographs had been taken all the dignitaries were led into the main hall where they joined other guests and were served a delicious Dinner. Following the meal the Civic Mayor had a wonderful surprise waiting for everyone in the room including the Mayoress. The Mayor, Cllr Vincent Ricci took to the dancefloor with a professional dancer and performed two very skillful dances. It appears that the Mayor, unknown to his wife, had been taking lessons from the professional for a few months in preparation for the Ball. Meanwhile the Mayoress thought he had taken up keep fit!



                                                        

Following the dance demonstration, loyal toast, raffle and auction all the guests were invited to take to the floor and dance the night away. Everyone had a wonderful evening and were delighted to learn that the event had raised in excess of £5,000.

Thursday 11th February
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended a meeting of the North West High Sheriffs at the beautiful home of Bill Holroyd, High Sheriff of Cheshire. Following the meeting everyone enjoyed a most delicious Lunch.

Wednesday 10th February
The High Sheriff visited the Contact Hostel in Manchester which provides care, support and accommodation for girls aged 16 – 19 years who are homeless and who have suffered neglect and deprivation during childhood and in many cases are the victims of physical, emotional or sexual abuse
Contact helps the young women to re-connect with society and get back into education, employment or training. Contact helps these young women to come to terms with the past and to build a better future for themselves.
Each girl is allocated a ‘Key worker” who meets with them on a regular basis. They develop a ‘Personal Plan’ which includes learning skills such as house-keeping, shopping, cleaning, cooking and looking after themselves.
Although life at Contact is based on living with support, there is great emphasis on developing personal responsibility and skills needed for independent living. Each resident has a fully furnished bedroom, where they can have privacy but there is also a beautiful communal living space and kitchen where each girl has her own fridge.
There is a wonderful atmosphere at the house and the girls certainly seem to thrive there. The High Sheriff met one very articulate young lady who is now ready to move into her own flat, having been at the Hostel for almost twelve months. After being homeless with very little to look forward to she now has a job which she loves, has won Employee of the Month awards, and she has a wonderful optimistic attitude to life. 
The High Sheriff was most impressed, particularly with the small workforce who do a brilliant job in giving these girls all the skills they need to live independently and successfully. She thoroughly enjoyed the visit. 

Tuesday 9th February
The High Sheriff visited Walthew House in Stockport which is an independent local Charity supporting people who are blind, visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing or who have dual sensory loss. 

The High Sheriff met with Kay Kelly who is passionate about the clients and the work done. With only three part-time paid staff the Charity depends on over 100 volunteers to provide a full range of services including a not-for-profit resource centre which sells equipment to aid independence such as talking watches, kitchen gadgets and large print items. There are also social activities and classes including a steel band, a luncheon club, trips out and tandem cycling. There is also a weekly youth club, an information helpdesk, a free counselling service and one-to-one support for anyone experiencing problems, practical or otherwise, because of their sight or hearing loss. 

Walthew House caters for children as young as five to older clients who are in their nineties and Kay’s philosophy is that their clients should be enabled to take part in any activity they choose.

Monday 8th February
The High Sheriff & Grahame were again guests of the Federation of Chinese Association of Manchester at their Gala Dinner to celebrate the 2016 Year of the Monkey New Year. The delicious banquet was held at the Ocean Treasure Restaurant in Middleton. During the meal they were richly entertained by the Dragon and Monkey and various dance and acrobat groups.




Sunday 7th February
The High Sheriff & Grahame were delighted to be guests of the Federation of Chinese Association of Manchester at their 2016 Year of the Monkey New Year Celebrations. They joined the Lord Lieutenant, the Chinese Consul General, the Police & Crime Commissioner, Deputy Lord Mayor of Manchester & his Consort and the Mayors &Mayoress’s of Stockport, Salford, Trafford, Oldham, Bolton and Bury. They were also pleased to meet the Mayor of Douglas (Isle of Man), Sarah Hackman and her Mayoress Carol Malarkey. Following a delicious lunch at Tops Restaurant everybody made their way to a Pavilion in the centre of Chinatown from where they were able to enjoy the celebrations, including the Dance of the Dragon and the release of hundreds of red balloons. Kung Hey Fat Choy!



                                             

Thursday 4th February
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Police Cadets at Hyde Community College where she sat in on a discussion about Thefts and Burglaries. It was obvious from the debate that the Cadets are quite knowledgeable and were able to answer most of the questions posed by the Team Leaders. Towards the end of the session the High Sheriff was asked to speak to the Cadets about her role, which she was happy to do.

Wednesday 3rd February
The High Sheriff visited Ashton UnderLyne Police Station to meet the Phoenix Team in Tameside. This team tackles Child Sexual Exploitation in the area and is made up of Detectives, Police Officers, Social Workers and Support Workers. They are currently working with about 80 children who are at risk or who have been or indeed are currently a victim of Sexual Exploitation. The High Sheriff was very interested to hear about the work which includes raising awareness of the exploitation, helping people to recognise the signs, encouraging the public to report concerns and providing support to victims and those most as risk. The Phoenix Team at Tameside is very obviously passionate about the work and the High Sheriff was most impressed by all those she met.

Monday 1st February
The High Sheriff & Grahame spent a wonderful morning visiting Great Manchester Police Dog & Horse Unit at Hough End. They were met by two mounted Police Officers who, with their horses, were in full ceremonial gear. One of the Officers, having gone through a very thorough selection procedure has just completed her training and tutorship programme. The High Sheriff & Grahame were then shown round the very well-appointed stables and met more of the magnificent horses, all of whom are named after Dickens characters. They were also shown all the ceremonial saddles and other accoutrements. Sadly due to huge cuts in police budgets there are now only 23 horses but they do a marvelous job in all areas of policing.


The High Sheriff & Grahame were then introduced to officers from the Dog Unit who gave a display of the dogs being trained in apprehending suspects. It was quite spectacular to see the wonderful control the officers have with just hand signals so that even if the dog is a distance away they can follow instructions. The dogs are trained to attack only if the suspect refuses to stand still. Despite the fact that they can look quite ferocious the dogs are wonderfully friendly when up close and not ‘on duty’. Again, because of budget cuts the numbers of dogs have decreased drastically over the last few years which is a great shame when you consider the marvellous work they do.



In the evening the High Sheriff attended a Dinner hosted by the Bishop of Manchester at his official residence, Bishopscourt. The Dinner was organized to welcome Jim Brown as the Chief Executive of Williams & Glyn Bank, a new Bank which will have its Head Office in Manchester. Also present were the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, the Lord Mayor of Manchester, the Dean of Manchester Cathedral, the Police & Crime Commissioner and representatives from business, the Universities and other aspects of Manchester Life.


January 2016

Saturday 30th January
The High Sheriff & Grahame were honoured to attend the 75th Anniversary of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade. On their arrival they were greeted by their Host, the Consul General of the Republic of Poland, Mr Lukasz Lutostanski. Also in attendance were the Lord Mayor of Manchester and the Mayor of Trafford but even more importantly there were a small number of veterans from that first Regiment – all of them now in their nineties.



The High Sheriff was invited to unveil a plaque which commemorates the life of Major General Stanislaw
Franciszek Sosabowski CBE who, during his service in World War Two, displayed great bravery and outstanding leadership skills. In 1941 he formed and led the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade which was originally designated to fight on Polish soil against the Nazi Occupation forces. The Brigade fought with distinction during Operation Market Garden in September 1944 and earned great respect from its comrades in the British Airborne Forces.

A good deal of the training of these brave men took place at RAF Ringway – known today as Manchester International Airport.

Before unveiling the plaque the High Sheriff spoke of the great debt of gratitude owed to Major General Sosabowski and all Polish troops for their help in finally overcoming the repugnant spectre of Hitler and his appalling regime. She stressed that the close links between the two nations, forged in the 1940’s, remain today and are still cherished. 
There were a great number of people at the event including representatives from the British Parachute Regiment and other branches of the armed forces and following the Ceremony we were invited to try a wonderful array of traditional Polish food.





Thursday 28th January
The High Sheriff & Grahame had a meeting with a fellow Deputy Lieutenant.

Wednesday 27th January
The High Sheriff & Grahame were privileged to host a Dinner at Dukinfield Town Hall for four High Court Judges and four other guests. Everybody was on sparkling form which meant the evening was a great success. There were some highly flattering comments written in the Visitors Book.

Monday 25th January
The High Sheriff had a meeting with Richard Marsh CEO, Phil Ascott Development Manager and Joanne Tomlinson Finance & Grants Manager, all from The Factory Youth Zone in Manchester. The meeting was set up to update the High Sheriff on the progress being made in the various groups since she last visited in 2013. 

The ward in which The Factory is located ranks 2nd worst in England for the effect of long term deprivation on children. Many young people in the surrounding area are vulnerable to poor educational attainment, future worklessness and to developing antisocial or offending behaviour. With a lack of social provision in the area, The Factory aims to provide young people with opportunities to make constructive use of their leisure time, raise their aspirations and choose a positive, independent lifestyle.

Despite all the problems in the area there is an average of 995 weekly visits by members, with an increased membership particularly of young people with additional needs. Over 18,000 hot healthy meals have been served at a cost of never more than £1, with 4.5 tonnes of fruit served but no fizzy drinks. In twelve months volunteers have contributed over 8,300 hours and 31 young people have gained employment through the mentoring programme. A large number of activities are provided including a good number of sports, cooking, art, dance and drama.

The High Sheriff was most impressed with the work being carried out and offered advice on obtaining some additional much needed funds.

In the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame attended a Civic Dinner hosted by the President & Vice-Chancellor of Manchester University, Dame Nancy Rothwell. In all 22 guests sat down to Dinner, including the Lord Lieutenant, The Lord Mayor & Lady Mayoress of Manchester, The Honorary Recorder of Manchester & his wife, the Bishop of Manchester & his wife and the Police & Crime Commissioner. Dame Nancy was keen to inform her guests about the EuroScience Open Forum which is being held in Manchester later in 2016 as part of its European City of Science celebrations.

Thursday 20th January – Sunday 24th January
The High Sheriff was On Leave

Wednesday 20th January
The High Sheriff visited the Oasis Centre in Gorton, Manchester in order to present a cheque on behalf of the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund. The aim of the Centre is to help and support vulnerable and disadvantaged people who are wishing to escape the cycle of deprivation which is endemic in East Manchester. The current objectives are to provide services which alleviate the clients immediate needs such as food, clothing and assistance with housing. They also give advice which addresses the root causes of those immediate needs. 

The Oasis Centre offers a three strand service which is to Rebuild, Re-engage and Restart by offering basic adult life skills training programmes and employability skills programmes. No-one is turned away and everyone is treated with great courtesy and respect. 

Monday 18th January
The High Sheriff attended the Reading of the Proclamation at Manchester Crown Court and then spent the day sitting in Court with the Honorary Recorder of Manchester. She found the occasion to be most interesting and informative.

Saturday 16th January
The High Sheriff & Grahame spent the afternoon working at the COTE Charity Shop in Droylsden. This is something they normally do every six weeks but have not been able to for the last few months due to the heavy programme of events which the High Sheriff has been attending. 

Friday 15th January
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended a Charity Event held at a local social club to raise funds for Believe & Achieve Trust, a Tameside Charity which aims to increase the physical and mental health of those affected by meningitis and support sufferers wishing to succeed in sport. The evening, which was instigated by Grahame, raised a very impressive £1,239.

Thursday 14th January
The High Sheriff was delighted to attend the Passing Out Parade for 22 new recruit Firefighters who have completed their rigorous sixteen week training programme. These are the first new recruits to Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service for over eight years and over 75% of them were previously either volunteers with GMFRS or had worked for the organisation in some other capacity. Other guests at the Parade were the County Fire Officer Peter O’Reilly, the Chairman of the GMFRS Authority Cllr David Acton, Lord Lieutenant Warren Smith and Head of North West Ambulance Services Steve Hynes. Following a parade of the new recruits, the Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff, County Fire Officer and Chairman of the Authority were invited to inspect the new Firefighters.

Family, friends and guests were then given demonstrations by the Trainees, which included the most modern and innovative equipment such as an Ultra High Pressure Cold Cut Lance which rapidly reduces the temperature of a fire to ensure conditions are cooler for firefighters who have to enter the blaze. Then tactical ventilation is used to remove fire gasses and smoke which allows the crew to rescue casualties faster than traditional techniques. Greater Manchester is the first Fire & Rescue Service in the Country to have this equipment on all its Fire Appliances.

Following squad presentations, the Lord Lieutenant presented each recruit with their individual Certificates and then awards were presented for endeavor, academic achievement and fitness. The High Sheriff was honoured to present the most prestigious Silver Axe Award to Ben Ward who was deemed to be the trainee Firefighter who had displayed and maintained exemplary standards in all aspects of the training course throughout the sixteen weeks.

Peter O’Reilly closed the formalities and then everyone was invited to share a wonderful buffet.



The High Sheriff later attended the Passing Out Parade of Police Cadets at Greater Manchester Police Headquarters. The 27 Cadets, all from the Blackley area of Manchester, were an absolute credit to their families who were also in attendance. Certificates and berets were presented to each Cadet by the High Sheriff, the Lord Mayor Cllr Paul Murphy and Ch Supt Chaudhry, Divisional Commander for North Manchester. Also in attendance were Jim Battle, the Assistant Police & Crime Commissioner and two local Councillors. Following the presentations and refreshments the Cadets demonstrated their marching skills before being brought to attention whilst the High Sheriff inspected the ranks. 



Wednesday 13th January
The High Sheriff attended a Citizenship Ceremony in Stockport where fifteen new Citizens were sworn in. Also in attendance was the Town’s Mayor, Councillor Andy Verdeille.

Monday 11th January
The High Sheriff & Grahame were delighted to be given a guided tour of the John Ryland’s Library in Manchester. This most beautiful building was designed as a lasting memorial to her husband by Mrs Enriqueta Ryland. It took ten years to build, at a cost of £250,000, and opened in 1900. In recognition of her remarkable contribution to the City, Enriqueta became the first woman to be awarded the Freedom of the City in 1899.

Sunday 10th January
The High Sheriff & Grahame visited the Chadderton Park Cerebral Palsy Football Squad to watch their fortnightly training session at Oldham Academy North. The High Sheriff was also there to present a cheque for £1000 on behalf of the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund. Chadderton Park Sports Club run 78 amateur Football teams, 7 Netball teams, 2 Rounders teams and Veteran teams as well as the Cerebral Palsy football squad. The CP Squad is open to all ages from three to sixteen and the great fun the participants have is readily apparent. It is the only Club of its kind in the North West and welcomes youngsters from a very wide area. 



Saturday 9th January
The High Sheriff & Grahame, following their visit to the East Lancashire Railway last November when they managed to purchase two of the last remaining tickets, were delighted to travel on the newly refurbished Flying Scotsman. Despite the heavy rain it was wonderful to see the 92 years old steam train arrive in Bury, following its £4 million restoration.

Thursday 7th January 2016
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Cotton Districts Convalescent Fund & Barnes Samaritan Charity, of which she is a Governor.

She then attended a Lunch for former Greater Manchester Bench Chairmen.

The High Sheriff was on Leave from 19th December 2015 – 6th January 2016


December 2015

Thursday 17th December
The High Sheriff attended the Lawyers Carol Service held at St Ann’s Church in Manchester City Centre. The excellent Choir was made up of the ‘Thursday Singers’ who come from Manchester Grammar School, Manchester High School and Withington Girls School and the service was conducted by the High Sheriff’s Chaplain and Rector of St Ann’s, Nigel Ashworth. The preacher was the Revd Canon Alma Servant. The High Sheriff, in her capacity as a Magistrate, has been attending this service for many years.

In the evening the High Sheriff attended the Greater Manchester Police Christmas Concert at Manchester Cathedral. Following a welcome by the Dean of Manchester the audience of over 1,000 people was treated to some fabulous music provided by the Greater Manchester Police Band. The music ranged from Walking in the Air, sung beautifully by chorister Joel Colyer, a number of tunes provided by the GMP Big Band & Singers and a fabulous rendition of Schneewalzer by the GMP Oompah Band. There was a guest soloist, Penny Nicholls, who has the most wonderful, haunting voice and there was also plenty of Christmas music. The audience, which included Ian Hopkins, the Chief Constable, a number of Mayors, the Deputy Police Commissioner and the High Commissioner of China, got the chance to sing several Carols. It was a most memorable evening. 


























Wednesday 16th December
The High Sheriff, accompanied by two friends, attended the Trinity Church of England High School Carol Service which was held at Manchester Cathedral. Before the Service began there was introductory music performed by the Trinity Steel Band and then the congregation was welcomed by the Dean of Manchester, the Very Revd Rogers Govender. Throughout the service there were performances by the School Brass Ensemble, St Thomas CE Primary School Choir, Trinity School Choir, the School Gospel Choir, the School Orchestra and the School Chamber Choir, each and every one of them very accomplished. There were also seven readings, one of which was undertaken, jointly, by the High Sheriff and the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Edith Conn.

Tuesday 15th December
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended a Duchy of Lancaster Christmas Carol Service in the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy. The Choir sounded wonderful in this magnificent Chapel which dates back to the early sixteenth century.

The High Sheriff read one of six lessons at the service which was also attended by The Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Mr Justice Sir Alistair Norris, Vice Chancellor.

Following the Service was a most enjoyable Reception in the Queen’s Robing Room.



Monday 14th December
The High Sheriff & Grahame travelled to London.

Sunday 13th December
Following a weekend away, the High Sheriff, accompanied by a friend, attended the Greater Manchester Royal British Legion Christmas Concert held at the magnificent Gorton Monastery. The contributors to the Concert were the brilliant Band of the King’s Division, the hugely talented mezzo soprano Iona Fisher and the excellent Wright Robinson College School Choir.

Also in attendance was Warren Smith, Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, a good number of the Mayors of Greater Manchester, the National Vice Chairman of the Royal British Legion, Greater Manchester County Chairman of the RBL, David Brown and a number of other dignitaries.

The Concert was extremely enjoyable, as were the mince pies and mulled wine served in the interval! 

Thursday 10th December
The High Sheriff & Grahame were privileged to host a Dinner at Dukinfield Town Hall for three High Court Judges, one of their wives and five other guests. Everybody was on sparkling form which meant the evening was a great success. There were some highly flattering comments written in the Visitors Book.
Wednesday 9th December

The High Sheriff attended a meeting at the Greater Manchester Lieutenancy Office.

In the evening The High Sheriff & Grahame, together with some friends, attended the Charity Christmas Party & Dinner held to raise money for the High Sheriff’s four chosen Charities. There were representatives from each of the Charities as well as somewhere in the region of 200 guests. The venue was the Portland Hotel, where the food was very good and the staff most accommodating. Glen Lockett, who works for the High Sheriff’s Police Trust Fund, did most of the hard work in organising what was a very good night, enjoyed by all. 

Tuesday 8th December
The High Sheriff attended the Royal Northern College of Music Congregation for the Conferment of Awards held at the College. Following Lunch the conferment of awards to students, plus Honorary Memberships and Fellowships took place. The President, Sir Willard White, then gave an address.

In the evening The High Sheriff & Grahame were delighted to be invited to Dinner at the Judges Lodgings. There were four High Court Judges and two of their wives present. It was a lovely evening with superb company and food and great wine.


Monday 7th December
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund which gives grants to Charities in Greater Manchester.

The High Sheriff then attended a meeting of the Manchester Guardian Society. She is a Trustee of this Benevolent Fund which also gives grants to Charities in Greater Manchester.

In the afternoon, the High Sheriff attended a meeting with representatives from Marie Curie, of which she is the Patron for Greater Manchester.

Saturday 5th December
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended a wonderful Concert of Seasonal Music at the Albion Church in Ashton UnderLyne. The Concert was organised by Soroptimists Ashton UnderLyne Branch, of which the High Sheriff is a member, to raise money for the President Lesley Walker’s chosen Charity which is Alzheimer’s Society. The performers were the Dovedale Singers (of which Lesley is a member) together with the Salford Royal Choir, conducted by Philip Thornley, and the Chapel en le Frith Male Voice Choir conducted by Roger Briscoe. Both Choirs were absolutely marvellous and the choice of music was just right, ranging from Rudolph and Frosty to Softly as I Leave You. The combined Choirs gave a magnificent performance of The Hallelujah Chorus and then the audience joined in for a rousing Hark, The Herald Angels Sing. During the interval, Refreshments were served and raffle tickets sold and the High Sheriff was delighted to win a beautiful Christmas Hamper! Also in attendance were the Civic Mayor &Mayoress of Tameside and the National and Regional Presidents of Soroptimist International.





Friday 4th December
The High Sheriff attended ‘The Dean’s Business Lunch’ at Manchester Cathedral where there were a mix of about twelve people from business & commerce, academia, the media and charities. Over a delightful lunch there was a most interesting discussion about the large numbers of people living in poverty in Manchester.

On the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame attended the Mayor of Bury’s Civic Reception, Dinner and Ball at the Longfield Suite in Prestwich. The Mayors/Mayoresses/Consorts from Bolton, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford&Wigan were all present. Also attending were the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Edith Conn, accompanied by her husband, Stephen. Following the Reception and Dinner, quite a number of the Civic guests were seen to be taking part in the dancing, some more enthusiastically than others!



Thursday 3rd December
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended a production of Singin’ in the Rain at Droylsden Academy. The student cast, orchestra and backstage staff were all wonderful and it was a truly entertaining and professional Show.

Wednesday 2nd December
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended a Light This Christmas Celebration Carol Concert at Albion Church in Ashton UnderLyne. This very special evening was organised by the Williams Family from the Believe & Achieve Trust who wanted to celebrate and bring together some local Charities and allow everyone to remember special people who have touched their lives. The Charities highlighted as well as Believe & Achieve were Willow Wood Hospice, Meningitis Now, Reuben’s Retreat and Tameside 4 Good. At the Pre-Concert Reception we were fabulously entertained by Stalybridge Old Band and “The Fingerless Magician” (Dean Lahan) a wonderfully talented young man who has overcome the effects of meningitis despite losing a leg and all his fingers to this dreadful disease. The Concert featured School Choirs from the East Manchester Academy and Broadoak School Super Singers, local vocalists Peter Sarsfield, Carlo Sax and Kathleen Gough, an excellent rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas from the Oldham Athletic Football Club Youth Team and readings from Abbie Williams and her best friend Faith Gisburn and the High Sheriff. Carols were heartily sung by the audience and prayers were said by the Minister, Rev Alan Wickens. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley Cropper from Coronation Street) who did a brilliant job.



Tuesday 1st December
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended a Memorial Service for Michael Meacher MP who died on 20th October. The very moving Service was held in the beautiful Parish Church of Oldham where Mr Meacher had been Member of Parliament for 45 years.

In the evening the High Sheriff, accompanied by a friend, attended the Manchester and Districts Hospital Choir’s Christmas Carol Concert held at the Bridgewater Hall. This annual event is held in support of CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading Cancer Charity for Children. In addition to the Choir, which was conducted by Clark Rundell, there were the Greater Manchester Police Trumpeters, a Percussion Ensemble and Jonathan Scott on the Organ. It was a very special evening.


November 2015

Sunday 29th November
The High Sheriff spent the day writing the Citation for Tameside Community Voices and also catching up on a mountain of paperwork!

Saturday 28th November
In her capacity as an Assessor for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service the High Sheriff met with members of Tameside Community Voices to work through the necessary paperwork. She then spent the entire evening completing the necessary paperwork.

Friday 27th November
The High Sheriff attended a Conference celebrating 100 years of Women in Policing. The event took place at Greater Manchester Police Headquarters and including speeches from the Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, Jim Battle, and a good number of current and past female police officers. Assistant Chief Constable of GMP told of her own journey through the ranks and then Claire Light, Head of Profession for Neighbourhoods, Confidence & Equality, spoke about how her police officer Father influenced her choice of career. Ch Insp Joanne Marshall told of her journey from the Royal Military Police to GMP and then Chief Constable of Humberside Police, Justine Curran, spoke of how she had reconciled the fact that she was never going to be Audrey Hepburn! There were then speeches from 4 “firsts” for GMP – The first female Asian Sergeant, Nita Jhanji-Garrod, the first female TAU and PTI Officer Sgt Cecelia Oakley, the first female in the Mounted Unit, Karen Corcoran, and the first transgender woman in GMP, Catherine Poulton. 

Following the speeches Jim Battle unveiled a commemorative photograph which will be hung in GMP HQ. It was a most interesting and informative day. 

In the evening the High Sheriff attended a Dinner for the Antz Charitable Organisation as the guest of SAFE, a Charity she has a great deal of interest in. She was pleased to meet members of the Ainscough Family who are behind the AntzOrganisation.

Thursday 26th November
The High Sheriff was delighted to present Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards to Greater Manchester Police Cadets at a Ceremony held at GMP Headquarters. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Sgt Chris Corbett who is Development Officer for GMP Volunteer Police Cadets. Paul Griffiths, Operations Manager from the D of E, spoke about the prestigious Awards and then the High Sheriff spoke briefly about her role. Onkar Singh then gave a presentation about the High Sheriff’s Police Trust Fund. Over 25 Cadets were presented with their Pin Badges and Certificates before they enjoyed a Hot Pot Supper followed by lots of cake! 



Wednesday 25th November
In her capacity as an Assessor for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service the High Sheriff met with a number of volunteers at Willow Wood Hospice in Tameside to work through the necessary paperwork. She then spent the entire evening completing the forms and writing a Citation!

Tuesday 24th November
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Relief In Need, Children’s Relief in Need and the Manchester District Nursing Charities. The High Sheriff is a Trustee of these three Funds.

In the afternoon the High Sheriff attended a Ladies Afternoon Tea, organized by local business Mary Haworth Beauty Culture to celebrate 60 Years in Business. The event was organised to raise money for Marie Curie Nursing, the Charity of which the High Sheriff is Patron for Greater Manchester. About 150 ladies were present and a very good time was had by all.

Monday 23rd November
The High Sheriff attended at the offices of the Anthony Seddon Fund in order to present a cheque on behalf of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Anthony Seddon Fund seeks to educate the general public, particularly young people, about mental health. They also want to improve the quality of life for people with mental health issues by providing workshops where they can meet with others and lessen their feelings of isolation.

Later in the day the High Sheriffattended a meeting to discuss the final details regarding the forthcoming Charity Christmas Party being held to benefit the four Charities she is supporting during her year.

Sunday 22nd November
The High Sheriff & Grahame had a very enjoyable afternoon when they visited the East Lancashire Railway at Bolton Street Bury. The High Sheriff had been invited to read the Lancashire Day Proclamation for 2015. Following the Reading the audience was entertained by the Britannia Coconutters accompanied by the Stacksteads Band, the Horwich Morris Dancers and the Littleborough Folk Dancers. The High Sheriff & Grahame were introduced to many of the wonderful volunteers who have made the East Lancashire Railway such a tourist attraction for Bury. Before leaving the High Sheriff & Grahame visited the Bury Transport Museum where there are quite a number of most interesting exhibits. They will definitely return so that more time can be spent enjoying the whole experience. 



              

Friday 20th November
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended the Greater Manchester Sports Awards at The Point, Old Trafford Cricket Club. There were eight Awards given with nominees from all ten Boroughs of Greater Manchester challenging for each Award. Following a Drinks Reception the evening, which included a delightful Dinner, commenced with a welcome from Yvonne Harrison, CEO of GreaterSport, the main Sponsors of the event. The Host for the evening was BBC North West Tonight Presenter, Roger Johnson and the guest Speaker was Beth Tweddle MBE who gave a fascinating speech about her career. The High Sheriff, alongside the Chairman of GreaterSport, Chris Brindley, announced the Winner of the Be Inspired Award, Glen Ragou from Manchester, who had earlier won the Coach of the Year Award. Both the High Sheriff & Grahame enjoyed the evening and were honoured to be among such inspirational people.



Thursday 19th November
The High Sheriff attended a Coffee Morning organised by the Council of Christians & Jews and held at Manchester Reform Synagogue. Also in attendance was the Lord Mayor of Manchester, the Mayor of Trafford and the Deputy Mayor of Bury. The occasion was most enjoyable with the guest Speaker, the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker. He highlighted the very important work undertaken by the CCJ in bringing together the two faiths in order to help and fully understand each other, something so important in light of the atrocious events which have taken place in Paris.

In the evening the High Sheriff was delighted to attend the combined High Court and Circuit Judges’ Mess held at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. There was one Honorand - HHJ John Appleby who was a Family Judge in Manchester until his retirement. Both he and Lady Hale of Richmond gave excellent speeches and it was a most enjoyable evening.


Wednesday 18th November
The High Sheriff visited the Wellspring in Stockport where she was given a guided tour by Jonathan Billings, the Project Manager. The Wellspring gives, 365 days a year, free of charge, a non-judgmental service to homeless people and those in need. They provide a hot meal each day to all who turn up and also give advice but their main aims are to get people into their own accommodation, addressing problems such as addictions, helping with educational needs and giving people back their sense of self-worth. Medical staff are available most days and a GP twice a week. Hot showers are on offer and for those moving into their own accommodation, food parcels and kitchen starter packs are given. 

In 2013 the number of people presenting as homeless at The Wellspring was 149. Sadly in 2014 this number had risen to 324. This Charity moved into its current warm and welcoming premises in the centre of Stockport in 2009. It is a most impressive place and does tremendous work for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

In the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame attended a very enjoyable 6 Military Intelligence Battalion Reception at the newly refurbished Army Reserve Centre in Manchester. The guests, including the Lord Lieutenant, were welcomed by the Commanding Officer, Phaedra McLean. These reservists undertake extremely important work including analysis which is focused on providing decision makers with the information and understanding they need. 

Tuesday 17th November
The High Sheriff and Grahame were honoured to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex to Greater Manchester when he visited the Bolton School. Unfortunately, due to poor weather, his helicopter was unable to land in the School grounds as planned and was diverted to Manchester Airport which meant that some of the programme of events at the School had to be cut. Despite that the Earl took time to talk to a good number of the pupils who had come out to line the drive and wave their flags very enthusiastically. He then went inside to speak to pupils who are taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme before watching a shortened presentation from students who are taking part in the School’s volunteering scheme. The Earl then spoke briefly before unveiling a plaque commemorating his visit.



After the Earl had left to go on to his next engagement, the High Sheriff and Grahame went back into the Arts Centre to listen to the Presentations in full. Both were hugely impressed by the Presentations and the High Sheriff spoke briefly to congratulate the Students on their confident and professional manner. The Bolton School is a most inspiring place of learning set in truly imposing buildings and it is hoped that the High Sheriff will be able to return at a later date. 



Monday 16th November
The High Sheriff met with Andy Hamill from Greater Manchester Boys & Girls Clubs to discuss various issues before going to visit Whitemoss Youth Centre in Blackley. This Club was built in 1967 when John Biggs BEM was the Leader in Charge and he still runs the Club today at the age of 67. The Club, which was awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2008, is open 5 days a week and in addition to a whole range of activities for the young people they also have an over 50’s Lunch Club once a week. 

The High Sheriff & Andy then moved on to visit Barton Athletic Club in Eccles which has been operating since 1953, although in a number of different premises. The Club specialises in boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, running and general fitness training and is open to all ages from 8 years old through to the President who, at 87 years old, still trains!

The Club has been working very hard to raise funds which will allow for a new Club to be built and owned by the members. They have had land donated by Salford City Council and are hoping for the building to commence very soon with an anticipated opening in Spring next year.



Saturday 14th November
In her capacity as an Assessor for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service the High Sheriff met with a group called Hyde Fundraisers to work through the necessary paperwork. She then spent the entire afternoon completing the forms and writing a Citation!

Thursday 12th November
The High Sheriff had a meeting with Cheryl Peet, Youth Engagement Programmes Manager for Greater Manchester fire Services together with two of her colleagues. They discussed the Fire Service Cadet Programme which is available to 14 – 16 year olds. If they wish to stay on beyond 16 years they can become volunteers and trainers for the Cadets. There are currently 41 Fire Stations in GM with 15 Units of Cadets linked to the stations. Cheryl will organize for the High Sheriff to visit 2/3 of the units so that she can see the work which is carried out.

The High Sheriff attended a Buffet and Presentation of Certificates Evening at Fairfield High School. The Guest Speaker was Chief Inspector Andrea Graham from the Transport Police who spoke about her career and how determination is the key to everything. A great number of Exam Certificates were awarded with an impressive 86% of the girls achieving 5 or more A* GCSE grades. Perhaps the most impressive award went to Hannah Knowles who achieved 100% Attendance with no late marks and no detentions over the five years she spent at the School.

Wednesday 11th November
The High Sheriff attended a Remembrance Ceremony, including a two minute silence, at Ashton UnderLyne. The Ceremony was well supported by members of the Royal British Legion, The Mayor &Mayoress, TamesideCouncillors and Executive Officers and a Deputy Lieutenant. The was a good number also of members of the public.

Tuesday 10th November
The High Sheriff & Grahame hosted a small cocktail party in the Ann Bland Room at St Ann’s Church in Manchester, before enjoying a Concert in the Church performed by students from the Royal Northern College of Music Jazz Collective. The students, who have only been working together for six weeks, were excellent with a varied programme including works by Ted Heath, Fats Waller and John Dankworth.

Monday 9th November
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended a Charity Dinner for 50 people at the Grosvenor Casino in Salford. Following a very pleasant Dinner there was a Raffle and Entertainment which resulted in over £1,200 being raised for local Downs Syndrome Charities.

Sunday 8th November
The High Sheriff attended the Remembrance Service at St Peter’s Square in Manchester. After the most moving Service she joined the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, the Vice Lord Lieutenant, veterans, serving servicemen and women, representatives of the Royal British Legion, Cadet forces, members of various Faiths, The Honorary Recorder, the Chief Constable, the County Fire Officer, Magistrates, City Councillors, MP’s and Honorary Aldermen, Consuls and Deputy Lieutenants inside the Town Hall for refreshments.



Saturday 7th November
The High Sheriff attended a Civic Remembrance Service at the South Manchester Synagogue in Bowden. Also at the Service was the Lord Lieutenant, the Lord Mayor of Manchester and a number of Civic Mayors and Graham Brady MP. Following the Service and refreshments at the Synagogue she was invited to a most enjoyable Lunch at Rabbi Dovid and RebbetzenNachi Lewis’s home where she met their two delightful young daughters who were both very inquisitive about the role of the High Sheriff. 

Friday 6th November 
The High Sheriff attended a Ceremony at Dukinfield Town Hall which was held to present an Order of St John Memorial Plaque for Organ Donation. Jack Essex was an 18 years old man from Mossley who was killed in a road accident just over a year ago. Jack donated his organs and five people have benefitted from his wonderful gift. His Mother, Donna Unsworth, received the Plaque from Chancellor of The Order Paul Denby and a Certificate from the Mayor of Tameside. A close friend of Jack’s and his Head Teacher both spoke movingly about Jack. Also present were Jack’s Stepfather, Graham, and two good family friends, the Mayoress of Tameside, the Head of Priory & County Priory Group Affairs, Tony Shepherd, Tracy Rhodes, the family’s Liaison Transplant Nurse and Darren Clark DL, Chairman of St John for Greater Manchester. It was an extremely poignant and emotional Ceremony.

In the evening the High Sheriff took part in the Manchester Sleepout, an event organized by the Booth Centre to raise awareness of the great difficulties facing homeless people. The evening started at Manchester Cathedral at 8pm for about 300 people when Amanda Croome, Chief Executive of the Booth Centre, spoke about the Charity and the work they undertake with the Homeless. She then introduced us to Dave who spoke movingly about his time sleeping rough and how the Booth Centre had helped him to get into stable accommodation, and with their support he’s been able to live in his own flat for 4 years now. He went on to say that although he’s no longer homeless the staff at the Booth Centre still help him every day. He now volunteers in the kitchen which gives purpose to his day, a reason to get up, and it’s his way of helping other people like the Booth Centre helped him. Following Dave, there was a performance by Streetwise Opera, a Choir made up of clients from the Booth Centre, during which the High Sheriff, much to everyone’s amusement, assisted with the ‘miming’ of the song ‘Three Cornered Hat’! At 9pm all those taking part in the Sleepout went into the grounds of the Cathedral to find a spot for the night. The High Sheriff, together with the Mayor of Trafford, found some space and started to make themselves as comfortable as possible. It was a lovely mild night until 4am when the heavens opened and it continued to rain heavily for the rest of Sleepout. Fortunately, Grahame had bought the High Sheriff a waterproof survival bag so she was snug enough until she sat up and then got quite damp round the edges! She remained outside until 5.30am when she needed a comfort break and a hot drink so went back into the Cathedral, where she stayed until Grahame collected her at 7am.

The Sleepout doesn’t pretend to be an experience of what it's really like to be homeless, but what it does do is raise awareness of the issues faced by homeless people night after night. The High Sheriff is delighted to report that she raised a total of £1,175 and the overall so far is in the region of £56,000.



Thursday 5th November
The High Sheriff attended Altrincham Girls Grammar School to meet two young girls, Jade & Olivia, who have done some amazing things on behalf of SAFE (Standards Against Female Exploitation). When the PHSE tutor Emily Bowyer told the class about the work being done by SAFE, Jade was inspired to get in touch and learn more. With her help and that of Emily and her Assistant Kate and a lot of other contributors at AGGS, a six lesson national curriculum education pack has been developed for Schools Year 9 pupils (14 year olds). This will help young people to avoid becoming victims of trafficking. Jade’s friend, Olivia, wanted to help so organised a Prom which made £440 for SAFE. In the presence of the Head Teacher, Stephanie Gill, The High Sheriff thanked both girls and presented them with Certificates, together with a Certificate also for the Prom Committee.



In the evening the High Sheriff, together with Commander Janet Evans DL, visited the Sea Cadets in Ashton. Also visiting the Unit was serving Royal Navy Officer, Captain Philip Russell, who has been seconded and is the overall Officer in Charge of the Sea Cadets in this Country. The Ashton Unit is a fantastic facility due, in the main, to the endeavours of the Commanding Officer Lt Cdr (SCC) Graham Broadbent RNR, a volunteer who until recently worked full time at an engineering company. He has been volunteering with the Sea Cadets for many years and in February he will be honoured with the First Sea Lord’s Commendation.

Wednesday 4th November
The High Sheriff & Grahame were delighted to be invited to Dinner at the Judges Lodgings. In addition to the Judges there was Tony Freemont, Professor of Bone & Joint Pathology at the University of Manchester and Head of the Manchester Medical School and his wife Dr Cordelia Warr, Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Manchester, retired Judge Brendan Hegarty and his wife Irene, retired Deputy Head of the Manchester Hearing Impaired Service – all excellent company. It was a lovely evening with superb food and great wine.

Tuesday 3rd November
The High Sheriff took part in a Question and Answer Session at a Pioneering Women event organized by TiE which fosters Entrepreneurship globally and provides mentors for newly fledged businesses. This was a first for the High Sheriff and was something she really enjoyed. She was interviewed by Vikas Shah who is the Managing Director of the Swiscot Group.

Monday 2nd November
The High Sheriff & Grahame were given a guided tour of Manchester Cathedral. Whilst both have been in the Cathedral many times they had an awful lot to learn regarding the history of the building and they were very fortunate to be shown round by Mike, a volunteer guide who certainly knows his stuff! The Cathedral which was formally known as the Cathedral & Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys & St George, was badly damaged during the Manchester Blitz in 1940. A German bomb demolished the Lady Chapel and the Stanley Chapel and it took almost twenty years to complete the repairs. Sadly the Cathedral was again damaged in the IRA Bombing in 1996. Manchester Cathedral can boast two records, it is the widest Cathedral in the Country and also the ‘greenest’. 

Sunday 1st November
The High Sheriff & Grahame were delighted to attend the High Sheriff of Cheshire’s Judges Service at Chester Cathedral. Before the Service, the Judges and Civic Dignitaries congregated in the Town Hall for Refreshments. In addition to The High Sheriff of Cheshire, Bill Holroyd and his wife Julie, the High Sheriffs of Clwyd, Cumbria, Merseyside, Shropshire and Staffordshire were also present. Following the Service, refreshments were again served in the Town Hall.



October 2015

Friday 30th October
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended an excellent Concert organised by the Rochdale East Rotary Club in aid of RYA Sailability which enables anyone, regardless of age or disability, to enjoy the sport of sailing. Rochdale East Rotary Club is to be congratulated because it has succeeded, through its fundraising, to purchase a boat for Sailability. The Concert was held at The Riverside in Whitworth and featured the Whitworth Vale & Healey Brass Band and the Hindle Wakes. The Brass Band was superb and featured a wide range of musical pieces including “Soul Bossa Nova” and “Crown Imperial”. Hindle Wakes, a three piece Folk Group, specialises in traditional, contemporary and self-written songs. Their performance was also enjoyed by the packed audience. Also in attendance were the Mayor & Mayoress of Rochdale and the Mayor of Whitworth.

Thursday 29th October
The High Sheriff met with Yvette Jeal, Engagement Manager, at the John Rylands Library in Manchester in order to present a cheque on behalf of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Wednesday 28th October
The High Sheriff visited the Operational Communications Branch of Greater Manchester Police at Claytonbrook where she was met by Force Duty Officer, Inspector Michael Eddleston. She was shown round the Communications Room and sat with one of the Radio Operators, listening in to some of the calls. GMP have two further Communications Suites, one in Ashton Under Lyne and the other in Trafford. The work undertaken by these Radio Operators is vital to ensuring the best deployment of Police Officers working in all the Divisions of GMP. The High Sheriff then visited the Tactical Firearms Training Unit where she met a number of highly skilled Officers and was shown an Armed Response Vehicle. Finally she had a look round the Public Order Training Arena where a wide range of scenarios can be simulated and used to train Officers in dealing with all situations deploying advanced methods of modern day Policing. The High Sheriff thoroughly enjoyed her visit and learned a great deal about Police tactics. She found everything about the visit most interesting and worthwhile. 

Tuesday 27th October
The High Sheriff & Grahame were privileged to host a Dinner at Dukinfield Town Hall for two High Court Judges, their wives and four other guests. One of the Judges, who had been entertained previously, was presented with an old photograph of Blackley Tram Stop, something he remembered from his youth. The evening was a great success with some highly flattering comments being written in the Visitors Book.

Monday 26th October
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Greater Manchester High Sheriff’s Police Trust Fund. The meeting was chaired by the new Chief Constable, Ian Hopkins, on his very first day in the job. The High Sheriff welcomed him and wished him well for the future. 

Sunday 25th October 
The High Sheriff attended the Manchester Regimental Parade of the Church Lads’ & Church Girls’ Brigade at the beautiful St Ann’s Church in Manchester. It was a wonderfully rousing Service led by Rev Roger Scoones from St Mary’s in the Marketplace in Stockport who gave a stirring and thought provoking Sermon. The Church was full so the lovely upbeat Hymns were sung with great gusto. There was a surprise in store for the Commanding Officer, Col John Corbishley, who was presented with a Service Medal by the Chief Executive Officer, Audrey Simm. Following the Service the Brigades took part in a March Past before processing to the Cathedral. Also in attendance were the Deputy Lord Mayor of Manchester and the Mayor & Mayoress of Rochdale. 



Saturday 24th October 
The High Sheriff, accompanied by a friend, attended a Variety Show entitled ‘The Shining Stars of Stockport’ at the Plaza Stockport. The Show was a fundraiser for The Wellspring, a Charity which helps people in need by providing a hot meal, companionship, a hot shower and clothing as well as advice on a full range of matters such as addiction, homelessness and educational requirements. The High Sheriff will be visiting The Wellspring in November.

The Concert was absolutely wonderful with plenty of talent on show including a Drum Group from Brinnington, two school choirs, a group of Cheerleaders from Bramhall and probably the best Elvis Impersonator the High Sheriff has ever seen! In his day job, Robert Morris is a Solicitor from Bramhall – perhaps he should consider a career change? Also at the Concert were the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Stockport, along with Patrons of The Wellspring.

Friday 23rd October
The High Sheriff undertook a “shift” with the Manchester Street Angels, joining up with them at 9pm at their Headquarters on Deansgate. After brief introductions, they were off to a Police briefing at the Town Hall Police Station. Back at HQ the Angels were split into two teams before starting out on their tours of duty, patrolling the Streets of Manchester in their bright coloured jackets. The High Sheriff joined one of the teams who were constantly on the look-out for young people who may be in distress or trouble following too much alcohol. They were also giving advice to people and with their ‘hawkeyes’ were removing glass bottles and glasses off the streets to ensure that they couldn’t be used as weapons. They also text and telephone the Police advising them of any potential ‘hot spots’ or criminal activity.

Manchester Street Angels are about to celebrate their first year working on the streets although they were formed earlier and undertook various training courses such as First Aid, Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Skills before hitting the streets. There are about 70 volunteers of all age groups who work on Friday Nights from 9pm until 2am, although they are often still out until 3.30am helping young people to make their way home safely. This caring group of people also keeps a mindful eye on the street sleepers, knowing many of them by name. They do an extremely valuable job and there are many very grateful parents whose sons and daughters return home worse for wear but at least safe.

Thursday 22nd October
The High Sheriff attended the premiere showing of the film ‘Betrayal’ at Stockport College’s Peter Barkworth Theatre. The film was made by the students of the College and is a very powerful and moving portrayal of how easily young people can find themselves in trouble because of taking indecent images of partners and then sending them on to their friends and others. These are offences which can carry prison sentences and entry on the Sex Offenders Register for the offender and a lifetime of humiliation and embarrassment for the victim. The hard-hitting film, which was the brainchild of Police Officers in Glossop, the College and Len Howarth (who had previously worked together to make the film ‘Malicious’ which was created to break down barriers between Police and the local community) was extremely well made and it is hoped that it will be shown in schools not only in Derbyshire and Greater Manchester but also throughout the Country. The High Sheriff would certainly recommend it to all Schools. 

Also present were the Mayor and Mayoress of Stockport, The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, the Deputy Chief Constable of Derbyshire, The Crime & Police Commissioner of Derbyshire and the High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Oliver Stephenson.



In the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame, together with friends, attended the Manchester &Salford Bench Quiz. The team came a respectable 5th (out of 11)!!!

Wednesday 21st October

The High Sheriff attended a Meeting of the James Thomas Blair Charity of which she is a Trustee.

The High Sheriff then attended a Meeting with Anne-Marie Wynne, North West Fundraising Manager for Marie Curie the Charity for which the High Sheriff is a Patron. Anne-Marie is new to this post, however she has worked for Marie Curie for a little while so it was good for the High Sheriff to have a catch-up meeting with her and a number of topics were discussed, including possible events to mark HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday next year.

Tuesday 20th October

The High Sheriff attended a Citizenship Ceremony in Salford where fifteen new citizens were sworn in. Also in attendance was the Ceremonial Mayor of Salford, Cllr Peter Dobbs and his Consort Alan Davies. The Ceremony took place in the Council Chamber at Swinton Town Hall. Tea & Biscuits were served following the Ceremony.

In the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame met with the High Sheriff of Lancashire and her Husband, the High Sheriff of Merseyside & his Wife and the Under Sheriff & his Wife for an informal Dinner at Angels, an extremely good Restaurant in Ribchester, near Preston. 

Monday 19th October
The High Sheriff attended a meeting with Ruth Ibegbuna, the Founder of Reclaim, an organization with young people at its core. Delivering its first project in Moss Side in 2007, Reclaim works towards a society in which working class young people are positively seen, authentically heard and can lead meaningful social change. They have delivered the LEAD Programme 17 times over four Greater Manchester boroughs and plan to expand to all areas of Greater Manchester. Ruth, who started her working life as a Teacher, is an inspirational woman who is totally committed to creating lasting change for young people aged 12 – 15 years by supporting them to become powerful and significant local role models and activists for social justice at a national level.

The High Sheriff then attended a meeting with Kathryn Sheldon of Action on Hearing Loss (formerly known as the Royal National Institute for the Deaf). Kathryn told the High Sheriff about various projects that the Charity is undertaking including “Hear Us Out” which aims to educate young people about deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss. They offer a number of educational sessions which covers different age groups from 3 – 16 years old. They also work with young people who attend loud pop concerts and explain the various dangers to their hearing. The Charity often have a stall at a Concert offering free ear plugs to help protect the audience’s hearing. The High Sheriff and Kathryn also discussed the embarrassment that a lot of people seem to experience over loss of hearing; there appears to be a reluctance of people to wear hearing aids whilst most people will happily wear spectacles.

In the evening the High Sheriff and Grahame attended a Drinks Reception at Victoria Baths in Manchester. The beautiful building, which is over 100 years old, featured in 2003 in the television programme, Restoration. Victoria Baths won the competition and were given sufficient funds to repair and restore the outer fabric of the building. This has allowed the building to be used as an arts, heritage and events venue and the Trust now want to develop further. Phase 2, which now requires funding, involves restoring the Turkish Bath Suite and making provisions for modern treatment rooms, re-opening one of the three swimming pools and converting the Baths Superintendent’s 4 bedroomed flat into modernized Apartments to provide an income stream for further renovations.



After a Presentation outlining the plans, the High Sheriff & Grahame were taken on a short guided tour of the building. The wall tiles and stained glass windows, amongst other features, are stunning and it is imperative that Victoria Baths are renovated as it is a vital and meaningful part of Manchester’s social history. 

Sunday 18th October
The High Sheriff & Grahame were honoured to attend the High Sheriff of Merseyside’s Judges Service held at the truly magnificent Liverpool Cathedral. Following a wonderful Service, including some tremendous organ music, we joined the High Sheriff of Merseyside and his wife together with a number of their guests at a lovely Lunch held in the Sir Giles Gilbert Scott Suite within the Cathedral.



Saturday 17th October
The High Sheriff attended a Meeting of Greater Manchester Deputy Lieutenants, held at the St John Ambulance Headquarters in Manchester. There was a most interesting range of topics discussed at the meeting which was led by the Lord Lieutenant, the vice Lord Lieutenant and the Clerk to the Lieutenancy.

In the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame attended, at the invitation of the Lord Mayor, the 2015 Manchester Sports Awards Dinner held at the Hilton Hotel. Following Dinner there were a number of Awards and the High Sheriff was delighted to present the Award for Achievement in Sport to sprinter JonaEfoloko who has won a number of races including the 200m English Schools Athletics Championships for the third time and he was selected to represent English Schools. He has maintained his top UK ranking through persistent hard work, commitment and enthusiasm.

Thursday 15th October
At the invitation of Tony Lloyd (Interim Mayor of Greater Manchester and Police & Crime Commissioner) the High Sheriff attended an all-day Modern Slavery Summit Conference at Manchester Town Hall. Many agencies, Charities, local Authorities and Governmental Offices were represented.

There were contributions from a number of people including the Chief Constable, the Head of the Modern Slavery Unit at the Home Office, the Anti-Slavery Commissioner and the Chief Executive of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.

The whole Conference was most enlightening and everyone was called upon to spread the word about this insidious and vile trading of human beings. In many ways Greater Manchester is taking the lead and has introduced Programme Challenger which includes a Modern Slavery Response Network which meets regularly to work out strategies for tackling the associated problems.

Wednesday 14th October
The High Sheriff attended a farewell party for Debbie Coombes, Manager of the Donkey Assisted Therapy Centre - one of the High Sheriff’s nominated Charities. A good number of staff and volunteers were on hand to say goodbye to Debbie who has been at the Centre since it opened twelve years ago. She will be missed!

Tuesday 13th October
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Lieutenancy QAVS Committee in Manchester.

In the afternoon, she attended a Citizenship Ceremony in Rochdale where eight new citizens were sworn in. Also in attendance was the Mayor of Rochdale, Cllr SurinderBiant. The Ceremony took place in the Registrar’s Suite within the magnificent Rochdale Town Hall.

In the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame were privileged to host a Dinner at Dukinfield Town Hall for two High Court Judges and five other guests. The evening was a great success with some highly flattering comments being written in the Visitors Book.

Monday 12th October
The High Sheriff attended a meeting with Col Underhill and Col Glover at Holcombe Moor, GM Army Cadet Force County HQ. Before the meeting they had a super Chicken Curry lunch in the company of Major Cornmell. Following the Lunch Col. Underhill briefed the High Sheriff on the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA), starting with a brief history of Volunteers/Reserves/RFCA’s. Col Underhill explained how the North West RFCA is organized, who constitutes the membership and the Board and the nature of the Estate. He also talked about the sources of income and the numbers which make up the combined Cadet Forces. 

As has previously been noted the High Sheriff believes very strongly in the whole issue of uniformed youth groups, so she was most interested in the whole Presentation and thanked Col Underhill for taking time to give the presentation.

Sunday 11th October
The High Sheriff & Grahame were invited to and attended the Presidents Cocktail Party at Aldwinians Rugby Union Football Club hosted by David Taylor. There were a great number of guests and a very enjoyable time was had by all. The most wonderful Buffet was served which the High Sheriff & Grahame took much advantage of!


Friday 9th October
The High Sheriff & Grahame visited the wonderful new facilities at Fairfield Golf Club, Audenshaw, in order to officially start the Charity Golf Tournament held in aid of the Greater Manchester High Sheriff’s Police Trust Fund. The weather could not have been better and despite her lack of knowledge of golf the High Sheriff could certainly appreciate the beautiful partially newly designed Course. Members of the Police Cadets were on hand to welcome and assist the golfers as they arrived and a quartet of the GM Police Band were playing superbly in the marvellous sunshine as the golfers prepared for their day of golf.



In the evening the High Sheriff & Grahame returned to the Golf Club for the formal Presentation & Dinner.
Everyone was welcomed by the Club President before the Chief Constable, Sir Peter Fahy, thanked everyone for their attendance. Following a delicious Dinner the High Sheriff spoke about the work of the GMHSPT and thanked everyone for their contributions to what had been a wonderful day. She and Sir Peter then presented the prizes before assisting with the raffle.



Thursday 8th October
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Cotton Districts Convalescent Fund & Barnes Samaritan Charity, of which she is a Governor.

In the afternoon the High Sheriff attended a Deputy Lieutenant District Committee Meeting. During the Meeting the High Sheriff was delighted to present the Civic Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Vincent Ricci, with a cheque for his nominated Charities on behalf of the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund.



Wednesday 7th October
The High Sheriff & Grahame were delighted to attend the Walkden Rotary Club Charter Dinner at Worsley Courthouse. They were greeted by the Club President Emma Turnbull and were pleased to be reacquainted
With Bill Shepherd, John Worsley, Arthur Critchley and Leon Bacchus, originally met at the Citizenship Day back in June. After a lovely meal and a number of Toasts and Responses the High Sheriff was called upon to make a Speech which she was pleased to do. At the end of the evening the High Sheriff was presented with a beautiful arrangement of flowers. 



Tuesday 6th October
The High Sheriff met with Christie Spurling, CEO of N-Gage, a small Charity based in Manchester which gives young people at risk of educational or social exclusion opportunities and skills to achieve their full potential. They work in partnership with schools, the Police and the City Council to provide successful, flexible and targeted approaches to anti-social behaviour and educational exclusion.

Apart from a kitted out ‘mobile’ Youth Club they have recently taken over a purpose built Youth Centre in Burnage, where local young people are offered a range of services including Homework Clubs, a Community Café, a Food & Clothes Bank, a Youth Advisors Panel and Craft Sessions.

In the evening the High Sheriff and Grahame attended Withington Girls School Founders Day held at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. Also in attendance were the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Manchester. After a Reception in the Circle Bar, the Chair of Governors, Elisabeth Lee welcomed everyone before the Headmistress Sue Marks spoke about the great successes of the last year including the completion and official opening of the new Junior School and Central Hub. She then introduced the Guest Speaker, Irene Dorner, former President and CEO of HSBC USA who, after presenting Founders’ Day Books to the Upper Sixth Forms, gave a wonderfully inspirational Speech. Following Ms Dorner was a very confident speech made by the Head Girl, Radhika Saggar. Throughout the evening were beautiful musical interludes by the School Choir, accompanied by piano and harps. At the end of the Ceremony, further refreshments were available for the Platform Party, Governors, Upper Sixth formers and their Parents. 

Monday 5th October
The High Sheriff and Grahame were honoured to attend a Presentation of the British Empire Medal Ceremony at Dukinfield Town Hall. The Citations were read out by the Clerk to the Lieutenancy, Canon Paul Denby MBE, JP, DL and the Presentations were made to the five recipients by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr Warren J Smith. Also in attendance were the Civic Mayor & Mayoress of Tameside, the Mayor & Mayoress of Trafford and the Deputy Ceremonial Mayor of Salford. Each recipient was supported by family and friends and following the Ceremony refreshments were served.



Sunday 4th October
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended her Judges Service which is held to mark the beginning of the Legal Year. The first Procession into Manchester Cathedral was made up of the Chief Constable, the Lord Mayors of Manchester and Salford and the Mayors of the eight Boroughs, together with their Heads of Legal Services. The second Procession included the President of the Manchester Law Society, the Junior and Leader of the Northern Circuit, Deputy Coroner, District Judges, Circuit Judges and the Honorary Recorder of Manchester. The third Procession was the Under Sheriff, the High Sheriff’s Chaplain, the High Sheriff, High Court Judge the Hon Mr Justice Stewart, the Vice Chancellor of the County Palatine of Lancaster The Hon Mr Justice Norris, the Clerk to the Lieutenancy and the Lord Lieutenant. These Processions were followed into the Cathedral by the Choir and members of the Clergy.

The High Sheriff read one of the Lessons and a most interesting Sermon was given by The Rev’d Jane Walker, Barrister at Law and Hon Curate at the Cathedral.

The congregation included personal friends, the High Sheriff of Merseyside Robert Owen and his wife Patty, former High Sheriffs of Greater Manchester, Deputy Lieutenants, Civic Dignitaries, members of staff from HMCTS and representatives of many Charities visited by the High Sheriff. 

Following the most moving Service the members of the Processions were invited into the Regimental Chapel for refreshments. It is an occasion that will long live in the memory of the High Sheriff.



Friday 2nd October
The High Sheriff & Grahame attended the High Sheriff of Lancashire’s Judges Service at St John’s Minster in Preston. Also in attendance were the High Sheriff of Merseyside, Robert Owen and his wife Patty. Following a lovely Service, including some wonderful musical solos, we processed to the Sessions House where the Proclamation was read. The Ceremony was followed by coffee and biscuits where we were able to mingle with many of the guests. Grahame was delighted to have a chat with renowned ex-Captain of the England Football Team, Jimmy Armfield. The High Sheriff, Amanda Parker JP and her husband Robert, then hosted a delicious Lunch at the nearby Restaurant, the Olive Press. 


In the evening the High Sheriff attended the Greater Manchester Annual Presentation of Service Awards to volunteer members of St John Ambulance. The Ceremony, which took place in Stockport, celebrated the contributions made by the wonderful volunteers, some of whom had given over 1,000 hours in the previous year and some who have achieved over 25 years’ service. They truly are a marvellousorganisation. Following the Presentations the High Sheriff made some Closing Remarks before a delicious supper was served.

Thursday 1st October
The High Sheriff visited the Booth Centre in Manchester. The Booth Centre provides a warm welcome to anyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness by providing a Drop In Café Advice Hob which is open five days a week. There is the opportunity to talk to trained volunteers, get advice on a whole range of subjects, have a shower, pick up essential toiletries and get a free healthy cooked breakfast and lunch in a friendly atmosphere. Many of the clients, having benefitted from the facilities, go on to become volunteers. The philosophy is that, given the right support and opportunities, homeless people can resolve their problems, be they alcohol or drug related or family and social issues.

Incidentally, next month the High Sheriff is taking part in the Manchester Sleepout where she will experience sleeping on the streets of the City. This is a sponsored event and she hopes to raise some money for the Booth Centre, a most worthy cause.

In the afternoon the High Sheriff attended the Annual General Meeting of the Manchester &Salford Retired Magistrates Association, followed by a final Planning Meeting for the forthcoming Judges Service.


September 2015

Wednesday 30th September
The High Sheriff and Grahame were honoured to welcome HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, accompanied by her Lady in Waiting and the Lord Lieutenant, to Greater Manchester when she visited Withington Girls School to open the wonderful new Junior School and Central Hub. She also visited the new Zochonis Laboratory, one of the school’s three state-of-the-art Chemistry laboratories, which have been upgraded to university specification as part of an overall enhancement of Senior School facilities at Withington. Also there to greet Her Royal Highness were the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Manchester, the Chair and Deputy Chair of Governors and the Chair of the WGS Trust, the Lord Lee of Trafford. The Headmistress, Mrs Sue Marks, escorted the Duchess around the School and introduced her to the Staff and Girls. She was also treated to a marvelous music recital by the Junior School pupils. After the official Opening and Unveiling of a plaque Her Royal Highness was presented with a book and a posy.


In the evening the High Sheriff, accompanied by her friend Meg, attended the Diocese of Manchester Mothers’ Union End of Triennium Celebration. After a hymn and opening Prayers, there were a number of speakers including Revd Angela Dand and Mrs Chris Haworth, Revd Sian Gasson, the Worldwide President - Mrs Lynne Tembey and closing remarks from the Diocesan President – Mrs Catherine Hilton. The speeches were followed by a closing hymn and a blessing from the Bishop of Manchester. We were also entertained by the Rufus Garside Worship Band.

Tuesday 29th September
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Relief In Need, Children’s Relief in Need and the Manchester District Nursing Charities. The High Sheriff is a Trustee of these three Funds.

Monday 28th September
The High Sheriff attended a Dinner hosted by Professor Malcolm Press, Vice Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University. Also present were six of his senior management team. The High Sheriff had a most enjoyable and interesting time, learning more about the University and its commitment to working with local Charities and Voluntary Organisations. The High Sheriff pledged to spread the word and felt sure that a great number of organisations would be delighted to use the assistance, support and advice of the various Faculties. 

Friday 25th September
The High Sheriff and Grahame visited Droylsden Youth Centre where three swimming hopefuls for the Rio Paralympics next year were doing some training with the Head Boxing Coach, Ian Harrison and his Assistant Mick Moran. The girls, multiple medal winner Ellie Simmons, Rose Bancroft and Alice Tai, together with their Coach, Michael Jones are off to Colorado in the morning for six weeks training in the hot climate.



In the evening the High Sheriff and Grahame attended a Charity Swing for Victory Ball held on behalf of Lavender Ribbon Cancer Support, a new Charity set up in Tameside in memory of two local people. LRCS will provide a programme of post-treatment supportive care, including counselling services, diet and nutritional advice, physical rehabilitation, moderate exercise training and stress management. The Charity is also opening the area’s first ‘pay as you feel’ café which will turn surplus food from local supermarkets into nutritional meals that everyone can afford.

Thursday 24th September
The High Sheriff attended a Lunch at the Salford Ceremonial Mayor’s Parlour which was held for the five school teams who took part in the Citizenship Day competition held on 18th June. The Mayor and his Consort were in attendance together with committee members of Rotary Club of Walkden. The Mayor’s Attendant gave a most interesting talk on the history of the Town Hall.

Wednesday 23rd September
The High Sheriff and Grahame, along with the Deputy Mayor of Manchester, Carl Austin, were delighted to welcome HRH Prince William and HRH Prince Harry when they arrived at Manchester Piccadilly Station. The Princes were in Manchester to visit a BBC DIY SOS Project being undertaken in Newton Heath where a number of houses in two streets are being renovated to house army veterans and their families.

In the afternoon the High Sheriff visited the Seashell Trust which provides education and residential care for profoundly and multiply disabled children and young people aged 2 to 25 years who additionally are unable to communicate verbally. The High Sheriff is very familiar with the work undertaken because one of the Charitable Board’s that she sits on has supported the Seashell Trust for a number of years by paying a sum of money each month to a number of residents which allows them to buy personal things for themselves.

Through the generosity of a number of benefactors and the general public the Trust has raised almost £10 million to build 17 houses for the young people to replace the ‘dormitory’ style housing previously available. The High Sheriff was shown round one of the houses and was most impressed. The Seashell Trust is a remarkable place doing exceptional work. It is truly a Centre of Excellence.

In the evening the High Sheriff and Grahame hosted a Dinner for the former High Sheriffs of Greater Manchester at the Droylsden Academy which opened in 2009 and is a most attractive building. Following a champagne reception twenty seven sat down to a delicious meal.



Tuesday 22nd September
The High Sheriff visited the office of the You Can Community Club, based at Oakwood School in Eccles. The Charity develops the personal, social and emotional well-being of young people aged 11-24 years old and they are passionate about raising awareness of disability and achieve this by creating a safe and inclusive environment where all young people can flourish. They cover four main areas which are Sports, Arts, Outdoor Pursuits and Life Skills. Their programmes are designed to allow the young people to express themselves, to give them confidence, improve communication skills and explore life. They also help them to develop skills relevant to various work environments.
In the evening the High Sheriff and Grahame attended a Gala Dinner to celebrate the 66th National Day of the People’s Republic of China and also the Mid-Autumn Festival. Also in attendance were the Vice Lord Lieutenant, the Lord Mayor & Lady Mayoress of Manchester, a number of Mayors & Mayoresses from Boroughs throughout Greater Manchester, the City Mayor of Salford and the Interim Mayor of Greater Manchester and also a good number of Chinese Dignitaries. 
There was some excellent Chinese entertainment including dancing, singing and kung fu displays and there was also a very enjoyable Buffet.



Monday 21st September
The High Sheriff had a further meeting with John & Kirsty from SAFE (Standards Against Female Exploitation) where she learned more about human trafficking. She was shown the literature and presentation packs which are currently being shown in six schools in Greater Manchester. 

Human Trafficking is a growing problem in this Country and one which must be tackled head-on. The High Sheriff is committed to doing whatever she can to help spread the message.

Sunday 20th September
The High Sheriff and Grahame attended the Harvest Service at St Andrew in the Church of the Epiphany. Included in the Service was a Special Parade, when the new Colour was dedicated which has been brought about by the amalgamation of the Church Lads’ & Church Girls’ Brigades. It was a lovely Service, led by Fr Jack Hemsworth who explained to the Congregation what the Colours were all about in that Armies stayed by and followed their own Colour (Flag/Banner). He went on to say that Christians throughout the World also have a “Colour” to follow - the Cross, which everyone follows into Church. The High Sheriff read a Lesson and took part in the Dedication of the Colour. After the Service, the newly combined Brigades played two marches on their bugles and drums. We then went back inside the Church for refreshments and the High Sheriff was delighted to be presented with some flowers.

In the afternoon The High Sheriff, Grahame and their Welsh Terrier, Tallulah, attended a Bark in the Park Community event at Shepley Park in Denton. In addition to various attractions was the Dogs Trust Charity stall, where they were offering free microchipping for Dogs and showing pictures and information about a number of dogs available for adoption. The High Sheriff was very tempted but didn’t succumb! Tallulah made a few new friends, she was particularly taken with a Staffie!



Thursday 17th September
The High Sheriff met with Nick Massey DL who is Chief Executive of what was formerly known as the Community Foundation for Greater Manchester but since 2012 the Charity adopted the snappier name of Forever Manchester. Nick gave the High Sheriff a full history of the Charity which he joined in 1999. Forever Manchester is a Charity that funds and supports grassroots community projects across Greater Manchester. They strengthen communities and enrich local life by inspiring local people to do extraordinary things together. Nick is a ‘born and bred’ Mancunian and is fiercely proud of and passionate about Manchester. His passion is infectious and inspiring and he carries that passion through to his work for Forever Manchester. The High Sheriff very much enjoyed the Meeting.

In the evening the High Sheriff was invited to attend the Prize Giving Evening at Audenshaw School. After being met by the Headteacher, Jeanette Saw and the Chair of Governors, Terry Hall, the High Sheriff joined the Stage Party with other members of staff. Mrs Saw gave her Opening Address which was an overview of the year’s successes, of which there have been many. The High Sheriff then gave out a number of prizes for Academic Excellence, Subject Prizes, Academic Learning, Sporting Excellence, Contribution to Music, Outstanding Effort & Outstanding Progress. These awards were followed by a number of Tribute Prizes given in memory of members of the School Community. During the evening there were musical performances from Joshua Cheung (Violinist), Luke Piper (Pianist) and Jonny Winbow (Singer). The High Sheriff was then invited to make a Closing Speech which was followed by the singing of the School Hymn, Jersualem. Everyone was then invited to take refreshments.

Wednesday 16th September
The High Sheriff gave a presentation to a Funders Forum organised by Community & Voluntary Action Tameside (C-VAT) about the various funding streams available to local Charities. She also took the opportunity to speak about the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, a cause close to her heart. She is particularly eager to get more groups from Tameside put forward for this prestigious honour. Following a Q & A Session, the High Sheriff was asked about her role so she then spent some time talking about the ancient and historical aspects of the position as well as the modern interpretation. As she sat down she was very warmly thanked for what the participants found to be a most interesting talk.

In the afternoon the High Sheriff visited the Street Pastors in Stalybridge where she met with Rev Tom Parker of the Management Committee and Abigail Marabicio who is the Team Co-ordinator. Street Pastors are volunteers from local Churches who respond to urban problems by engaging with primarily young people on the streets and in night-time venues to offer care and practical help. The volunteers, who work on Friday and Saturday nights through to 3am, are highly trained in using a non-confrontational approach which has the ability to absorb aggression and offer reassurance. The group is well respected by Greater Manchester Police and there is proof that their presence has lowered the fear of street crime and has reduced actual incidences of crime. Though their Christian faith is at the heart of what they do it is not at the forefront of what they say. The Street Pastors were established in 2004 and there are now 10 units in Greater Manchester with other new groups in the pipeline.

In the evening the High Sheriff, together with Commander Janet Evans DL, visited the Sea Cadets in Bolton. After being met by the Officer in Charge, John Holmes, the High Sheriff took her position on the Quarterdeck whilst the Armed Guard paraded and the Colours were presented. She then inspected the Ships Company after which there was a seamanship demonstration, presentations regarding recent activities and a performance of the Hornpipe. After a refreshment break the High Sheriff was taken on a tour of the Unit and she was then invited to address the Ships Company and those family and friends present. The High Sheriff told the audience how impressed she was with the Cadets and how they were a credit to their families and to the Officers and Staff of the Unit. On leaving she thanked everyone for a most enjoyable visit.

Tuesday 15th September
The High Sheriff visited HMP Buckley Hall in Rochdale where she had a most informative meeting with the Governor, Mark Livingston. As a trained Forensic Psychologist, Mark had some refreshing ideas on the way he wanted his Category C Prison to progress. Buckley Hall houses some 455 Prisoners who are serving quite lengthy sentences so they normally arrive after serving their first year elsewhere and, as it is not a Resettlement establishment, they stay until 6 -12 months before their release date. Consequently, the inmates are reasonably settled and accepting of their situation. The Governor insists they are treated with respect and they respond by causing very few problems. Trust plays a huge part in the regime and it certainly seems to pay off. 

A very successful pilot scheme has just been completed where some long term Prisoners have acted as Mentors to young lads who are on the verge of criminal activity. By talking about their own lives and some of the poor judgements and decisions they have made, the Inmates make a powerful case for the young people to think carefully before embarking on the ‘wrong’ path.

Mr Livingston was very keen to tell the High Sheriff of his great pride in the staff who work at Buckley Hall, many of them having been there for up to twenty years. 

Sunday 13th September
The High Sheriff and Grahame attended a wonderful Service at St Thomas’s Church in Pendleton to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen becoming the longest reigning Monarch in our history. They were met by Church Wardens Irene Booth and Lee Craven as the bells were ringing at this beautiful Church, built between 1829 – 1831. The inspiring Eucharist Service was led by the Team Rector, Revd Canon Daniel Burton, assisted by Fr Luke Maguire who gave a splendid Sermon. Following the Service there was cake and a glass of wine with which to toast Her Majesty. We all then sang Happy Birthday to Daniel. The Parishioners at this Church are a lovely group of people and the High Sheriff and Grahame spent time chatting with a number of them before taking their leave. 



In the evening the High Sheriff, accompanied by a friend, attended a fund raising evening held on behalf of the Stroke Association. The very successful event, Purple Hope, was organized by Kareena Alam, a young primary school teacher who herself had suffered a Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (a blood clot in the brain) which is a rare form of stroke, in November 2014. Thankfully, Kareena is now on the way to making a full recovery. The evening had a Bollywood theme, with Asian cuisine and entertainment, including a Dhol group, dancers and a Bollywood singer.

Thursday 10th September
The High Sheriff attended the Time of Your Life Club which is for Older People and held in Droylsden. Her visit coincided with a project called Tameside Home Security Initiative, the objectives of which are to reduce burglaries and improve home security safety awareness as well as encouraging more residents to get involved with Home Watch groups and to give assistance to the most vulnerable. The initiative was partly funded by the Greater Manchester High Sheriff’s Police Trust Fund and was very well attended. Advice was given from many sources including the Local Authority, the Fire & Rescue Service, Age UK, Health Improvement Services and the Grafton Drama Group.

Wednesday 9th September
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund which gives grants to Charities in Greater Manchester.

In the afternoon the High Sheriff attended Fortalice, a Women’s Refuge in Bolton. Fortalice was established in 1978 and it provides frontline services for women and children affected by domestic abuse. The High Sheriff was most impressed with the building which was purpose built with lovely self-contained flats but also communal areas where the women and children can receive advice, support and guidance in all aspects of starting to live independently. Children and young people who have witnessed domestic violence are worked with therapeutically to enable them to work through their issues and they are supported emotionally and practically. Each member of staff impressed the High Sheriff hugely and they are trained to the highest standards. If anyone reading this piece feels that they or someone they know needs help on issues of domestic violence go to www.fortalice.org.uk or telephone 01204 365677. 

In the evening the High Sheriff and Grahame attended the launch of the Wood Street Mission History Exhibition entitled ‘Queues, Clogs & Redemption’. The exhibition charts the work of Wood Street Mission down through the years from the days of ‘rescuing’ street children in the nineteenth century, sending tens of thousands to the seaside in the early twentieth and running a city gym in the 1980’s. Much of the work was brought to life in an excellent presentation given by Julie-Marie Strange who is Professor of British History at Manchester University. Some of the guests then embarked on an Historic Walking Tour, led by Suzanne Hindle, a Manchester tour guide, from Wood Street to the Marble Arch public house in Ancoats where there was a tasting of the one-off ‘Wood Street Bitter’ courtesy of the Marble Brewery.

Tuesday 8th September
The High Sheriff and Grahame were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of York to Greater Manchester when he visited the Sharp Project in Newton Heath, Manchester in order to launch Pitch@Palace, a concept that up until now has always been held in London. A number of budding entrepreneurs were tasked with pitching their creative digital business ideas to a panel of successful businessmen who then chose a winner. That person will be invited to a ‘boot camp’ at Kensington Palace where they will be able to connect with others who will be able to assist in growing their business.

The High Sheriff and Grahame, together with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress took the opportunity to have a look round the Sharp Project to meet and speak with a number of young people who have set up their businesses at the site.

In the evening the High Sheriff attended a meeting to further discuss details regarding the forthcoming Charity Christmas Party being held to benefit the four Charities she is supporting during her year.

Monday 7th September
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Manchester Guardian Society. She is a Trustee of this Benevolent Fund which gives grants to Charities in Greater Manchester.

In the afternoon the High Sheriff visited the Ambulance Control Centre in Manchester. There are similar Control Centres in Liverpool and Preston and between the three centres they handle calls from Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Cumbria and Lancashire. They receive over 1,170,000 emergency calls per year, with emergency crews attending more than 952,000 incidents each year, with around 800,000 of these requiring emergency transport. All calls are categorised as red (life threatening/emergency) amber (not quite so urgent) and green (non-emergency). Where applicable they have a call back service which is manned by medical professionals who can triage the calls and best utilise the ambulances.

Each call centre consists of a call taking suite in which the 999 calls are taken and a dispatch centre, from which the most appropriate and nearest vehicle to the incident is dispatched to the patient. While each of the control centres will primarily take calls from those people in the surrounding areas, if the nearest control centre is inundated by 999 calls, the call will be taken by the first available operator across the region. The vehicles, however, are always dispatched by the local dispatch centre.
The centres have a call pickup target which is set nationally and aims to answer 95% of all 999 calls within five seconds. NWAS (North West Ambulance Service) has one of the best pick-up rates in the country.
They also provide non-emergency patient transport services for those patients who require non-emergency transport to and from hospital and who are unable to travel unaided because of their medical condition or clinical need.
The High Sheriff was invited to sit alongside an operator and listen in to some incoming 999 calls which was most interesting and she was truly impressed by the members of staff and the service they are providing.

Sunday 6th September
The High Sheriff and Grahame attended a Solemn Evensong for the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Installation of Honorary Canons at Manchester Cathedral. There were four new Canons to be installed, Revd Alison Hardy, Revd Anne Edwards, Revd Lynne Connolly and Dr Martin Boulton and the High Sheriff welcomed them to their new roles on behalf of the people of Greater Manchester.

Saturday 5th September
The High Sheriff attended a Fun Day in Droylsden Town Centre where there were a number of stalls and activities as well as some funfair rides for the children. Also in attendance was Angela Rayner MP, a number of DroylsdenCouncillors and members of the town Team.



Friday 4th September
The High Sheriff and Grahame had a meeting at Droylsden Academy to discuss the forthcoming High Sheriff Dinner which will be held at the School.

In the evening they both attended the Chief Constable’s Concert, fund raising event for Retrak, at the GMP Headquarters in Newton Heath, Manchester. The entertainment, which comprised of show music from all around the world, was provided by the inimitable GMP Symphonic Band and the excellent Manchester Show Choir. The evening was rounded off in Last Night at the Proms style with rousing renditions of the Sea Shanties, Jerusalem and the Dambusters Theme. 



Thursday 3rd September
The High Sheriff and Grahame were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester to Greater Manchester when he visited Willow Wood Hospice in Ashton Under Lyne. The Duke was introduced to some members of staff and a good number of the volunteers who make Willow Wood the very special place that it is. It was an honour for the High Sheriff and Grahame to also meet these wonderful people.


In the evening the High Sheriff attended the Official Launch of an extremely moving video “Telling Their Stories” commissioned by Home Start, a Charity which the High Sheriff visited and wrote about on 27th August. The Launch, which was very well attended, was held at the Lowry in Salford. There are currently seven branches of Home Start in Greater Manchester and it is their intention to collaborate more closely whilst remaining independent.

Wednesday 2nd September
The High Sheriff visited the Police Station in Ashton under Lyne and was shown round by an Officer who explained about the work undertaken by each of the Departments. Following the tour the High Sheriff was taken to Hyde Police Station by another Officer who introduced her to a number of members of staff. She had a lengthy conversation with an Inspector and a Detective Inspector regarding policing in the very varied areas of Tameside. The High Sheriff was then taken back to Ashton UnderLyne where she spent a very interesting hour with Superintendent Donna Allen and Ch. Insp. John Mazzolai.

In the evening the High Sheriff and Grahame hosted a Dinner at Gorton Monastery to thank the soon to retire Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, Sir Peter Fahy for his great service to the County over the last seven years. Also in attendance were eleven former High Sheriffs with their partners. After a delicious meal the Lord Lieutenant (and previous High Sheriff) Warren Smith spoke about Sir Peter and presented him, on everyone’s behalf, with a multi depiction print of Manchester and a brass desk tidy. Sir Peter is moving on to become Chief Executive of Retrak, a Charity very close to his heart.

Tuesday 1st September
The High Sheriff attended the Launch of the Prospectus for Manchester Cathedral in the Regiment Chapel.

This event was very well attended by members of the Commercial and Business Sectors of the City and was hosted by Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester Cathedral, Warren Smith, Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester and Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council.


August 2015

Monday 3rd August
The High Sheriff and Grahame spent a wonderful afternoon at the Presentation Ceremony for the Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service (QAVS). The Ceremony, which was very kindly sponsored by Paul & Elaine Griffiths, was held at the beautiful Gorton Monastery. Twenty two groups from Greater Manchester were recognised for their outstanding voluntary service and the High Sheriff, alongside the Lord Lieutenant, Vice Lord Lieutenant (who chairs the QAVS Committee in Greater Manchester) and Martyn Lewis CBE (who chairs the national QAVS Committee) were delighted to meet each of the groups. A number of Deputy Lieutenants (including the Vice Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff) who are QAVS Committee members, read the Citations for each group before they were presented with their Awards by the Lord Lieutenant, Warren Smith. Certificates were presented by the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Edith Conn. Following the presentations Afternoon Tea was served and group photographs taken. Greater Manchester is very proud to be the most successful County for the number of QAVS awarded and today demonstrated why we lead the country in the excellence of our voluntary services. The event will live long in the memories of those present.



Wednesday 5th August
The High Sheriff attended a Citizenship Ceremony in Bolton where twenty new Citizens were sworn in. Also in attendance was the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Carole Swarbrick.

Later in the day the High Sheriff attended a meeting at Manchester Cathedral to discuss plans for the Judges Service to be held in October.

Thursday 6th August
The High Sheriff and Grahame attended the Emergency Services Open Day at the intu Trafford Centre. The Day was extremely interesting, with demonstrations from the Fire Service, many emergency vehicles, old & new, and a great number of stands from various organisations. As well as Fire, Police and Ambulance Services, there were representatives from Hand on Heart, Bolton Mountain Rescue, Institute of Advanced Motorists, Salvation Army, various Cadet Forces and many more. Also in attendance were the Mayor & Mayoress of Trafford, Paul Argyle - Deputy County Fire Officer, Jim Battle – Deputy Police Commissioner, Sir Peter Fahy – Chief Constable, members of the Fire & Rescue Authority and the General Manager of the intu Trafford Centre – Richard Paxton.




Sunday 9th August
The High Sheriff, accompanied by her friend Meg, had a wonderful time at the Yanks Parade in Uppermill. First they had refreshments at Betty’s Fish & Chip Shop where the High Sheriff was presented with a lovely bunch of flowers and then they watched the Parade go by from a great vantage point outside the town’s Post Office. There were some wonderful old vehicles driven by people wearing British & US forces uniforms, as well as others dressed in fabulous fashions from the 1940’s. Also watching the procession was Cyril, one of the few remaining veterans of the Dambusters Raid. It was a privilege and honour to meet him. You can see him in the centre of the first photograph.



After the Parade they made their way up to Saddleworth School where there was a huge variety of stalls, etc including an area for dancing where there was an Instructor for those who wished to learn how to Lindy Hop and Jive. The High Sheriff would have loved to join in but unfortunately she felt it was not quite appropriate whilst wearing her ceremonial outfit! During her tour of the stalls the High Sheriff met up with Flight Sergeant Ryan Hope, aged 18, of the Oldham Air Cadet Unit at Lees.


Monday 10th August
The High Sheriff and Grahame attended Adam Day at the Sheridan Suite in Manchester. Adam Day was started by the Azeemia Foundation in Manchester in 2002, the purpose being to remind mankind that each and every human being whether they be of Hindu, Muslim, Jewish or Christian faith or a follower of any other religion or a non-believer is an Adamite – a son or daughter of Adam and Eve. They promote peace, harmony and love and want to rid the World of hatred and prejudice. 

Following the introductions we were entertained by a number of artistes including a very talented Manchester Sufi singer called Sarah Yaseem and three dancers from the NrytaJyoti Supplementary School. This was followed by a Vigil whilst a candle was lit in memory of all victims of extremist atrocities and we watched a video message from Khawaja Shamsuddin Azeemi who is Patron-in-Chief of the Azeemia Foundation. DrShazia Ali then explained the theme of the 13th Anniversary of Adam Day.

All Civic guests were invited to say a few words of support for Adam Day. They included the High Sheriff, Kabir Ahmed DL, Mayors of Oldham, Rochdale and Trafford, Deputy Mayor of Stockport, Deputy Lord Mayor of Manchester, Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh, Chairman of Ng Yip (UK) Association, President Jewish Council of Greater Manchester, a representative of the Jain Community, a member of the Somalia Faith Network, Afzal Khan MEP and Gianni Pittella MEP (President of the Group of Socialists and Democrats EU).

Following all the speeches we were served a most delicious meal whilst we were further entertained by Ghulam Abbas Qureshi.



Tuesday 11th August
The High Sheriff had a most thought provoking meeting with John Redmond and his colleagues at the Charity SAFE (Standards Against Female Exploitation). It is estimated that there are 20,000 victims of trafficking in the UK, of which only 1% ever escape. Traffickers prey on legitimate businesses such as hotels and clubs as well as illegal business such as brothels to sell the services of trafficked victims. SAFE helps businesses by putting into place self regulatory mechanisms and standards which will ensure that victims cannot be exploited within their companies and they also educate employees to recognize possible victims.

They also educate young people to prevent them from being victims through a six lesson national curriculum education pack for Schools Year 9 pupils (14 year olds).

By undertaking this work they aim to close down entire sectors of business to traffickers and reduce the opportunities for them to profit from their crimes. They will also make recruitment of victims difficult. 

John and his colleagues are some of the most committed people I have met and are to be congratulated on this extremely difficult and complex and yet inspirational and valuable work.

Wednesday 12th August
The High Sheriff had an interesting meeting with Roz Hamilton, the North West Director of the National Probation Service who explained some of the many changes to the service since the High Sheriff had last sat as a Magistrate. A few years ago the Probation service was split into two separate areas, the NW National Probation Service which currently employs over 1,300 people of whom 371 are in Greater Manchester where they supervise over 6,400 high risk Offenders both in the community and in Prisons. They also deal directly with the Courts, writing reports and commissioning services for community based penalties. The other half of the work is now undertaken by private sector Community Rehabilitation Companies who deal with the management of community based penalties. 

During our discussions we were joined by Dr Joanne Wood who is a Psychologist working with high risk offenders with Personality Disorders. This project is funded by the NHS and NPS and it aims to support Probation Officers to have a psychological understanding of an offenders personality and the associated risks. The over-arching aims of the project are a reduction in repeat sexual or violent re-offending and offences against children; to improve the psychological health and wellbeing of offenders and to create a workforce across various agencies with the appropriate skills and confidence of working with these people. 

Thursday 13th August
The High Sheriff had a very interesting meeting with Debra Green, the Founder of Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) at their fabulous building, The FUSE in Partington. ROC was founded in 2004 and brings together community groups, Churches, the Police, the Fire Service, Local Authorities and voluntary agencies to encourage them to work together in positive partnerships for practical ‘on the ground’ change. 

Their first venture was ROC cafes, safe places for young people where positive activities and role models help them to discover purpose and value in their lives. 

The cafes were followed by ROC Restore which provides a range of Community Mediation, Youth Justice and Criminal Justice services to reduce conflict and offending. These include services to enhance community safety and to address the harm caused by crime, drawing on restorative justice principles.

ROC Care provides a whole range of ideas to assist older people who are plagued by loneliness. These include visits, social events and phone calls. Suitable volunteer visitors are matched to assist and provide assistance. Increased social interaction reduces the risks associated with loneliness such as hypertension, depression and developing Alzheimer’s disease can be dramatically reduced.

ROC Families provide Mentors to troubled families to assist with a wide range of problems such as debt, domestic abuse, school exclusion and family breakdown.

Debra is a truly inspirational lady and the High Sheriff was really impressed with the work being undertaken by the various elements under the ‘ROC Umbrella’.

Friday 14th August
The High Sheriff and Grahame were happy to attend the 69th Pakistan Independence Day Celebrations organized by the Saath Saath Group in Manchester. Also in attendance were the Lord Mayor & Lady Mayoress of Manchester, Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, Jeff Smith MP, Afzal Khan MEP and a number of local Councillors. After speeches by a number of people, including the High Sheriff, we were wonderfully entertained by a group of children and young people before being served a lovely meal. This was followed by further entertainment by Ali Imran. The High Sheriff and Grahame thank, most sincerely, Syed Azhar Shah, Chairperson of the Saath Saath Group, for the invitation to join their memorable celebrations.



Saturday 15th – Sunday 23rd August
The High Sheriff was on Leave

Tuesday 18th August
The High Sheriff attended the Funeral of Mrs Lena Eason JP who was an Honorary Alderman of the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside. Mrs Eason had been a Councillor, Civic Mayor and Mayoress during the year her husband was Civic Mayor. She was a well known resident of Hurst, Ashton Under Lyne and was on the Committee of many Charities, particularly those dealing with disabilities and she will be remembered as a lady who, whilst small in stature, had endless energy and an inimitable determination.

Monday 24th August
The High Sheriff visited Francis House Children’s Hospice in Didsbury, Manchester. This really is a most special place with a wonderful calm and welcoming atmosphere. The High Sheriff was met by Rev David Ireland, Chief Executive, who gave her a guided tour of the Hospice. The standard of decoration and furnishings throughout is extremely high and one could be forgiven for thinking they were in a high class Hotel. Every possible consideration is given to what will make life easier and more enjoyable for the children and young adults who use the facilities and nothing is too much trouble.

But Francis House is not just about the ‘patients’ – it gives just as much care and concern to their families, particularly their siblings. During the visit the High Sheriff met Gill Bevan, Director of Care and she and David make a formidable team – no wonder they have a very loyal band of fund raisers. David and Gill are determined to maintain Francis House as the best possible Children’s Hospice. Families in the North West are most fortunate to have this facility to use when they are at the very lowest ebb of their lives.

This evening the High Sheriff attended a meeting with representatives of the four Charities she is supporting this year – The Greater Manchester Police Trust Fund, Marie Curie Nursing, Donkey Assisted Therapy and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Manchester. The Meeting was arranged to discuss the organization of a possible Charity event which will support of all the four Charities. Ideas discussed included a Christmas Party, a Sponsored Bike Ride and an Afternoon Tea Party – watch this space!

Tuesday 25th August
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Relief In Need, Children’s Relief in Need and the Manchester District Nursing Charities. The High Sheriff is a Trustee of these three Funds.

This evening the High Sheriff and Grahame visited the Oldham Mountain Rescue Team where they spent a most interesting evening with Mick Nield – Team Leader, Andy Taylor – Team Doctor, Phil Beard, Matt Torr and Katie Johnson – Team members. The Team, which has over 50 members, works in partnership with GM Police, North West Ambulance Service and GM Fire & Rescue. Besides the obvious mountain rescue activities, the team is available as a back-up during severe weather, major incident or where their specialist skills and equipment may be of value and they cover a vast area of Greater Manchester as well as part of the Peak District. OMRT, who celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2014, are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and they are very well equipped with 2 4x4 ambulances, an ambulance/control vehicle and a minibus. They have been called to many tragic events including the aftermath of the terrorist attacked Pan-Am flight 103, blown up over Lockerbie. Additional team members include the wonderful Search & Rescue Dogs, who are much loved family pets when not working. 

These marvellous men and women work voluntarily at times and in conditions when most normal people are coming down off the hills or are fast asleep in their warm beds. They truly deserve their nickname ‘Angels of the Snows’. 

Wednesday 26th August
The High Sheriff attended a Citizenship Ceremony in Wigan where five new Citizens were sworn in. Also in attendance was the Mayor of the Borough of Wigan, Councillor Susan Louden. The Ceremony took place in the beautiful Mayor’s Parlour in Wigan Town Hall.

In the afternoon the High Sheriff met with Nick Buckley who started the charity Mancunian Way following the riots in the summer of 2011. Nick, after being made redundant from Manchester City Council, wanted to fill the gap left by budget cuts to the anti-social behavior programmes formerly run by the Council and Greater Manchester Police. Their mission is to make communities safer by reducing anti-social behavior and preventing young people from making the same mistakes as the small minority that went before. Their objectives are to promote personal responsibility and community safety and to encourage prevention and early intervention. Mancunian Way work with young people to ensure that the need of the community is put ahead of the demands of the individual by focusing on their strengths rather than their weaknesses and they challenge all poor behavior, whoever it may come from.

Although still a relatively new charity the work they do is vital and it has been rewarded with several national awards.
In the evening the High Sheriff visited Droylsden Youth Centre to present cheques totalling £500, awarded by the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund. Having visited the Club back in June, the High Sheriff is very aware of the great work being done and was delighted to hear that two girls football teams have been set up since her last visit. This evening the High Sheriff watched the senior Boxing Club members being put through their paces before watching some football coaching taking place.

Thursday 27th August
The High Sheriff visited Home Start Manchester South in Wythenshawe and was met by Jane Dewar, the Scheme Manager who gave an outline of the work carried out by herself, an Administration & Finance Officer and three part-time Co-ordinators. The Scheme is currently supported by 37 volunteers whose ages range from 18 to 74 years.

Home Start aims to empower parents to give their children an excellent start in life. This is done by highly trained volunteers giving peer support during weekly visits to the home. The volunteers offer advice, guidance and support on a whole range of issues such as families who face barriers or lack motivation to access support services or are having difficulties coping with a new baby or lack confidence in parenting skills, or are new to the area and perhaps feel socially isolated. Volunteers are matched to families and they maintain structured diaries of their contact which can last for as long as the family feels the need. The only criteria for assistance is that the family has at least one child under the age of five.

The High Sheriff was most impressed with the work being carried out by these very committed volunteers who are supported and monitored by the Co-ordinators. Lady Mary Mallick, who is the Chairman of the Trustees, joined the discussion and pointed out that there is no local authority or governmental funding available for this vital work and Home Start must rely on Grants and donations to enable them to continue their crucial role.

Greater Manchester is currently covered by seven Home Start branches: Trafford/Salford, Bury, Rochdale, Manchester North, Manchester South, Bolton and Oldham/Tameside/Stockport.

Saturday 29th August
The High Sheriff and Grahame thoroughly enjoyed themselves when they visited the Big Curry Cook Off, an event organised by the Army Benevolent Fund, and held in Albert Square in Manchester City Centre. Three teams of Army Chefs were tasked with creating curries in their army field kitchens from food generously donated by Tesco and the Yorkshire Meat Company. The three teams were 103 Regiment Royal Artillery, 75 Engineer Regiment and 6MI Battalion and they started cooking at 9am following the Lord Mayor issuing the instruction to Ready, Steady, Cook. Each team had until lunchtime to complete their curries which is when the High Sheriff and Grahame turned up to start the tasting. For a modest donation members of the public were tasked with tasting each of the curries and voting for their favourite. All of the dishes, which included Butter Chicken Curry, Vegetable Dahl and Caribbean Pork Curry, were delicious but the High Sheriff and Grahame had the very hard job of picking their personal favourite before completing their voting card. Unfortunately they had to leave before the winning Curry was announced and the victors crowned King of the Curries.



July 2015

Wednesday 1st July
The High Sheriff and Sonia Alexander, a colleague from the Manchester Relief in Need Charity, met with a wonderful group of people who are volunteers with Care Concern, an organisation which offers a Loss and Bereavement Counselling Service. Although volunteers, these people are highly trained – some of them with over 25 years’ experience. Whilst the organisation, which is over 35 years old, comes under the umbrella of the League of Jewish Women, their services are open to people of all backgrounds and ethnicity and the sessions are offered freely. They see clients from all over the Greater Manchester area, and having no affiliation with the NHS or any other statutory body, they do not impose any time restrictions nor do they ration the number of sessions for each client. These marvellous people offer care and empathy in a safe and confidential atmosphere. It was a privilege to meet and talk with them.

The High Sheriff and Grahame had a most enjoyable evening when they attended the Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society’s Annual ‘Manchester Lecture’ which was given by Sir Howard Bernstein on the subject of the ’Northern Powerhouse’.

Thursday 2nd July
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Cotton Districts Convalescent Fund & Barnes Samaritan Charity, of which she is a Governor.

Later she had a meeting with local Councillor, Maria Bailey, to discuss a wide variety of topics, including the very broad range of charitable organisations in Tameside.

Friday 3rd July
The High Sheriff and Grahame attended the Chief Constable’s Charity Ball at the Hilton Hotel, Manchester. The event was held in support of two Charities – Retrak which helps street children in Uganda and Ethiopia and The Greater Manchester High Sheriff’s Police Trust (HSPT) which makes grants to local community groups working to reduce crime and offending and to give opportunities to vulnerable young people. Following a champagne reception, entertainment and a delicious meal, the High Sheriff spoke about the role of the High Sheriff and the work of HSPT. It is understood that somewhere in the region of £17,500 was raised for each Charity. 



Saturday 4th July
The High Sheriff and Grahame were delighted to attend the 1st Birthday Party of Believe & Achieve – a Charity set up by Alison & Wayne Williams following the tragic death of their son, Alex. Alex contracted meningitis in 2001 and was left wheelchair bound, in constant pain and memory issues. However he was determined to raise awareness of the disease and worked tirelessly for the Meningitis Trust. Alex died suddenly in August 2012 but the year before Alex became the first young Ambassador for the Meningitis Trust – a job he loved. He also won several national and local awards for his dedication to helping others. “Believe & Achieve” was Alex’s motto in life and it was an obvious choice for the name of the Charitable Trust that Alison, Wayne and his sister Abbie set up in his honour. The Trust aims to increase the physical and mental health of those affected by meningitis and support sufferers wishing to succeed in sport, a particular passion of Alex. They will also continue to raise the awareness of meningitis and its symptoms. 

Sunday 5th July
The High Sheriff attended a Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party in Widnes where she was greeted by members of the Fund Raising Group led by Debbie Hankin. The High Sheriff enjoyed a cup of coffee and bought some beautiful homemade greetings cards and some delicious homemade cakes. She even bought some fruit cake for Grahame!

Monday 6th July
The High Sheriff and Grahame attended a very touching Remembrance Service at Manchester Cathedral in Commemoration of Srebrenica Memorial Day. There were a number of poignant speeches, particularly one from DudiaZilac who arrived in Manchester as a refugee from Zagreb during the Bosnian conflict. The Lord Lieutenant and Interim Mayor of Greater Manchester Combined Authority also spoke movingly about the need to create a cohesive and safer society for all.

Tuesday 7th July
The High Sheriff attended a most interesting meeting with Steve Hynes, Head of Service at North West Ambulance Service. Mr Hynes was able to tell her about initiatives regarding ‘joined up thinking’ with the other emergency services as well as a scheme called the Frequent Caller Team, where the Ambulance Service is helping to provide more appropriate care for a number of individuals (& organisations) who access emergency healthcare on an abnormally high number of occasions. These individuals may be at risk, vulnerable or accessing the incorrect healthcare for their needs so the Team will talk to them in order to assess their health and social needs and, where necessary, introduce them to appropriate agencies, Charities or healthcare providers. The Ambulance Service is also heavily involved in the promotion of having Defibrillators in all public places, including supermarkets, offices and public transport. As Mr Hynes said, this piece of life-saving equipment should be just as visible and common place as fire extinguishers. 

Mr Hynes invited the High Sheriff to visit the Greater Manchester Ambulance Control Centre which she hopes to do in the near future. The Control Centre takes an amazing 600,000 calls per year, of which 40% relate to life threatening emergencies.

Later, the High Sheriff attended her first Governors Meeting at her old School, Fairfield High School for Girls.

Wednesday 8th July
The High Sheriff had a meeting with Sue Vickers of Community and Voluntary Action Tameside (C-VAT) in Ashton UnderLyne. C-VAT supports volunteers and the voluntary, community and faith groups in Tameside. This is done in a number of ways such as advising on funding issues, matching individuals and groups with appropriate volunteering opportunities and promoting good practice and policy in setting up voluntary groups. They also run a number of projects such as Timebanking in Tameside, Miles of Smiles, Tameside 4 Good, Healthwatch and Aspire. The High Sheriff discussed her concerns about the lack of applications from voluntary groups for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and it was agreed that she and Sue would work together to rectify this situation. There are thousands of wonderful volunteers in Tameside who deserve recognition.

Thursday 9th July
The High Sheriff paid an extremely informative and interesting visit to HMP Hindley. She was met by Simon Jarvis who is the Head of Reducing Reoffending who explained that the Prison is currently in the middle of some very major changes. 

Hindley opened in 1961 as a Borstal but in 1983 it was re-classified as a Youth Custody Centre. In 1997 it became a joint Young Offenders Institution and a Young Person’s (18 – 21 years old) Prison. However the Youth Justice Board has now withdrawn completely and the Category C Prison will now be populated entirely by male adults. The transition is not yet complete but will be within the next three months. The High Sheriff was given a tour of some of the accommodation and she also visited the Segregation Unit.

Before leaving HMP Hindley, The High Sheriff had a brief chat with the Governor, Peter Francis.

Friday 10th July
The High Sheriff visited the Haughton Green Young People’s Centre in Denton in order to present a cheque on behalf of the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund. Whilst there, she also cut the ribbon for and opened a new outdoor exercise area for the children. The Centre, which is run by local volunteers, is very keen on teaching the young people all about healthy eating and keeping fit. Apart from the outdoor area there are two computer rooms, a games hall, a relaxation area and a kitchen. The pictures below show the High Sheriff with the Manager of the Centre, Maureen Grundy, and local Councillor, Dawson Lane.



Later, the High Sheriff, accompanied by a friend, attended the Launch Evening of the 2016 programme of plays to be shown at Guide Bridge Theatre, a local amateur Theatre of which the High Sheriff is a member.

Saturday 11th July
The High Sheriff and Grahame spent a very enjoyable day at Dunham Park Scout Camp for the Greater Manchester West Scout Council’s Celebration of Excellence. Also in attendance was the Lord Lieutenant,
The Mayor and Mayoress of Trafford and the Mayor of Wigan. On arrival we were given refreshments before having a tour of the camp. A full range of activities was going on including a climbing wall, a shooting range, bouncy castles and assault courses, zorbing, face painting, a barbecue, kayaking, band workshop, tomahawk throwing and ‘soft’ archery (using arrows with suckers rather than sharp points!). The High Sheriff had a try at the last three mentioned activities. She particularly enjoyed the soft archery. Later in the afternoon the Presentation of Certificates to the young achievers took place, whilst proud family members looked on.





Sunday 12th July
The High Sheriff and Grahame were honoured to attend the Greater Manchester County Royal British Legion Annual Service at St Philip with St Stephen in Salford. The wonderful music was provided by the Band & Drum Corps of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire). Also in attendance was the Lord Mayor of Manchester, together with Mayors from other Boroughs. The Ministers involved were Rev. Huw Thomas, Bishop Frank Sargeant, who gave the Sermon, and Rev Hugh Bearn, Chaplain to HM The Queen. Terry Whittles, National Vice chairman of the Royal British Legion, spoke about his role and the Lessons were read by David Brown, County Chairman of RBL and the High Sheriff. 

Monday 13th July
The High Sheriff and Anna Addison, a colleague from the Manchester Relief in Need Charity, visited Cornerstones Day Centre which was established in 1990 to address the problems of adults living on society’s margins, including those with mental health issues and problems with alcohol and drug misuse. Cornerstones provides, amongst other services, meals throughout the day, shower and laundry facilities, a computer room, English and cooking lessons, telephone usage and visits from health professionals such as nurses, opticians and dentists. According to their Annual Report they provide 50,000 hot meals and 500,000 cups of tea per annum. Led by Sister Lucy, there are 12 members of staff and countless volunteers who give somewhere in the region of 40,000 hours per annum. A lot of their food needs are donated by very generous companies such as Costco, Nando’s and FareShare.

The dedication and commitment shown by staff and volunteers is outstanding as they provide a vital resource for those who need it most.

Tuesday 14th July
The High Sheriff & Grahame spent a delightful evening at the Crumpsall (Manchester) Detachment of the Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force where they were shown round by Second Lt Andy Pilling and Major Tom Cornmell. 2Lt Pilling has not been at Crumpsall very long however, with the help of the other Officers and Cadets, he has changed their building into a clean, bright, informative and inviting space. Several of the Cadets have done some excellent work and so the High Sheriff was asked to make some Presentations to individuals and she also presented a Cup for the whole Detachment for the vast improvements made in such a short space of time. Following the Presentations the High Sheriff was surprised and delighted to be presented with a bouquet of flowers.



Wednesday 15th July
The High Sheriff was very pleased to attend Bolton University for the Installation of the Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr Brett Warburton, and also for the Degree Congregation which included a number of Honorary Doctorates. Earlier in the day the High Sheriff took High Tea with a number of guests at the Senate House before moving on to Victoria Hall in the Town Centre for the Ceremonies. 



The High Sheriff later attended the Lower School Presentation Evening at Fairfield High School for Girls, where she handed out a large number of Awards. Before the Presentations the High Sheriff spoke of her love and admiration for her old School and encouraged the girls not to waste their time at the School but to take advantage of the motivational and inspirational teachers at this wonderful School. At the end of the evening the High Sheriff was delighted to be presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers by some of the Head Girl Team.



Thursday 16th July
The High Sheriff met with Jemma Halman, Fundraising Manager of Marie Curie, to discuss the progress of the Blooming Great Tea Parties which have been taking place and also to explore some ideas regarding fundraising events.

Friday 17th July
The High Sheriff was delighted to attend the University Campus Oldham Graduation Award Ceremony. Also in attendance were the Mayor and Mayoress of Oldham. After meeting at the University Campus a Civic Procession walked to Oldham Parish Church where the Award Ceremony took place. Somewhere in the region of 100 Degrees were awarded along with two Honorary Degrees. Following the Ceremony was a Principal’s Reception and Celebratory Luncheon which was absolutely delicious.





Saturday 18th July
The High Sheriff worked at the Annual Summer Fair at the Donkey Sanctuary in Gorton, something she has done for a number of years.

Sunday 19th July
The High Sheriff & Grahame were very pleased to attend the Booth Charities Annual Commemoration Service of Humphrey Booth at Sacred Trinity Church in Salford. Also in attendance were the Lord Lieutenant, the Ceremonial Mayor, his Mayoress and Consort, Rebecca Long-Bailey MP (Salford& Eccles) and the City Mayor of Salford and his wife, together with the Trustees, Distributors, staff and grant recipients from the Booth Charities.





Monday 20th July
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Greater Manchester High Sheriff’s Police Trust.

Tuesday 21st July
The High Sheriff was delighted to attend the combined High Court and Circuit Judges’ Mess held at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. There were six Honorands - HHJ Jonathan Foster QC, HHJ Robert Atherton and HHJ Diana Eaglestone - who have all recently retired from the Bench and HHJ Suzanne Goddard QC, HHJ Richard Harper who have recently been appointed and HHJ Lesley Newton who has taken up her new position as Designated Family Judge for Manchester. Each gave an excellent speech and it was a most enjoyable evening.

Wednesday 22nd July
The High Sheriff and Grahame were privileged to host a Dinner at Dukinfield Town Hall for four High Court Judges and five other guests. The evening was a great success with some highly flattering comments being written in the Visitors Book.

Thursday 23rd July
The High Sheriff attended a wonderful ‘Opera Hour’ at the Whitworth Gallery which was performed by Streetwise Opera, a Charity which uses music to help people who have experienced homelessness. Two workshop programmes are held each week in Manchester and Operas starring the performers are staged each year. For tonight’s performance excerpts from Carmen, Nabucco, Carousel and The Passion were performed beautifully, at times assisted by the audience!

Sunday 26th July
The High Sheriff and Grahame spent a very enjoyable and interesting afternoon at the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team Headquarters at Ladybridge Hall in Bolton. They were met by the Team President, Bob Hutchinson, and Team Vice President, Tony McNally who then introduced them to Team Leader, Garry Rhodes and other members of the Team. Members of GM Police, GM Fire & Rescue Service and North West Ambulance were also present. The Bolton Mountain Rescue Team was established in 1968 and currently has some 40+ members. They cover an enormous area stretching from Darwen in the North to Manchester Airport in the South and from Wigan in the West to Manchester City Centre in the East. They cover a very wide range of situations such as helping to rescue walkers, climbers, bikers and horse riders. They also help victims of accidents which have happened in remote areas and those places which are difficult for the police, fire and ambulances services to reach. They also help to search for people, particularly the young and elderly, who are missing from home. In fact, they work very closely with the other services and respond to something like 150 calls per year.

Once the introductions had taken place we were shown a couple of most informative DVD’s and a presentation about the work of the Mountain Rescue Service. Following a delicious buffet the Bishop of Bolton, Chris Edmondson, led a Dedication & Blessing Ceremony of the Incident Control Vehicle, named in the memory of Jenny Hoey, a much regarded supporter.

Garry Rhodes then made a number of Presentations, including Long Service Certificates to Geoffrey Seddon (45 years), Bob Hutchinson (35 years), Craig Lamb (20 years) and Chris Tennant (15 years).

Despite heavy rain it was a pleasure for the High Sheriff and Grahame to spend time with such a dedicated group of people who undertake their challenging work with immense professionalism and great good humour.
Nevertheless we’ve been providing a volunteer search & rescue service, covering an area of over 800 
Friday 24th July

The High Sheriff attended the Manchester Metropolitan University Ceremony of Awards held at the Bridgewater Hall. In addition to the presentation of graduation awards to students, an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters was awarded to Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council.



In the evening the High Sheriff and Grahame attended the Chancellor’s Dinner at the MMU Business School and Student Hub.

Monday 27th July
The High Sheriff was delighted to visit the FED/Heathlands Village in Prestwich, Manchester. She was greeted by Karen Phillips who is the Chief Executive of this wonderful charitable facility which offers Residential Care, Nursing Care, Respite Care, Dementia Care and Day Care Services. In addition there are apartments for Independent Living and excellent facilities such as a hairdressing salon, a very well stocked shop and a cafe. Also provided is a GP Surgery, Physiotherapy and Optician appointments.

In addition to the services for the elderly there is also Children & Family Services, supported by Social Workers who carry out Children & Family Assessments before offering support to the families.

The High Sheriff, together with Karen Phillips, had a tour of the facilities and met many of the residents, staff and volunteers. The atmosphere throughout was one of peace and contentment and everybody I spoke to told me how happy and well cared for they felt. It truly is a marvellous place.



Wednesday 29th July
The High Sheriff attended a Meeting of the James Thomas Blair Charity of which she is a Trustee.

Thursday 30th July – Sunday 2nd August
The High Sheriff was on leave.


June 2015

Monday 1st June
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Manchester Guardian Society. She is a Trustee of this Benevolent Fund which gives grants to Charities in Greater Manchester.

Tuesday 2nd June
The High Sheriff was very happy to attend a Citizenship Ceremony at Trafford. The Ceremony took place at Sale Town Hall which has a most beautiful entrance and staircase. Also in attendance was the new Mayor of Trafford, Cllr John Holden.

Later in the day, after presenting him with a cheque from the Manchester Guardian Society, went to visit two Youth Clubs with Andy Hamill from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Manchester – one of the High Sheriff’s nominated Charities. 



Firstly they visited Droylsden Youth Centre which the High Sheriff used to attend as a young teenager. It is a very different place to the one she remembers as they now have new very impressive purpose built premises. Here she met Alan Bradbury who has been involved with the Club since it started and Brendan Robinson, both very keen to talk about the work undertaken at the Club with a great number of young people. The main activities enjoyed at the club are football and boxing. The facilities for both are excellent and include a large outdoor, floodlit football pitch.

Later the High Sheriff and Andy visited the Salford Lads Club, which is a world renowned establishment, thanks to the connection with The Smiths. Here The High Sheriff was given a tour of the iconic building which was opened in 1903 by the founders James and William Groves. Anton Warmington, the Club Leader, spoke proudly of the children who have used the facilities over the years. The Club has retained a remarkable amount of archive items and boasts photographs of every annual camp the young people have enjoyed since 1904. 



Wednesday 3rd June
The High Sheriff attended a meeting of the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund which gives grants to Charities in Greater Manchester.

Thursday 4th June
The High Sheriff had a meeting with the Regional Major Gifts Manager of Marie Curie, one of the High Sheriff’s nominated Charities. They discussed a wide range of topics including a possible Year of Care 
Event to be held in Manchester.

Later in the day the High Sheriff was accompanied by Commander Janet Evans to visit Manchester (Trafalgar) Sea Cadets where she spent a very enjoyable evening. The Cadets are taught a wide range of skills such as first aid, marine engineering and meteorology. Demonstrations of some aspects of their work were given and the High Sheriff had the opportunity to speak to Officers, members of the Management Committee, Cadets and parents. Following the demonstrations there was a very nice buffet which everyone was able to enjoy. The young people were a credit to the Unit and it was a pleasure to meet them.

Saturday 6th June
The High Sheriff and Grahame were delighted to visit, as guests of Colonel Mike Glover, the Army Cadet Force at their wonderful Training Base on Holcombe Moor, north of Bury 

They started the day with a briefing about the Cadets, their purpose and their aims, which was most enlightening. They then were taken out to watch some training exercises taking place, after which there was the opportunity to speak to the Cadets. Both the High Sheriff and Grahame were struck by how confident the young people were and how easy they were to talk to. They were a credit to their Officers and Trainers.

Some of the Cadets were out on the Moor working towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards and they would be sleeping under canvas. Thankfully, whilst quite windy, there was no sign of rain.

After a delicious chicken curry for lunch The High Sheriff and Grahame were given a guided tour of the Centre, including the accommodation which is available and can sleep up to 220. The Dining facilities are also excellent.

Before leaving after a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting day, the High Sheriff and Grahame were taken to see the indoor shooting range and were offered the opportunity to ‘have a go’. Following a brief but thorough lesson on how to use the guns they did indeed ‘have a go’. It has to be reported that they were both quite dreadful but were eager to explain that the guns were far heavier than they had anticipated! 





Monday 8th June
The High Sheriff visited Forest Bank Prison in Pendlebury, a privately operated Prison which opened in 2000 on the site of the old Agecroft Power Station. There she met with Matt Spencer, the Director (known as the Governor in public Prisons). Some years ago The High Sheriff was a member of the Independent Monitoring Board at the Prison and was therefore quite familiar with it. Nonetheless she spent a most interesting time with Mr Spencer and was very impressed with some of the new innovations which have been introduced since she was a regular visitor. Before leaving the High Sheriff was shown the new Prison Wings which means that the establishment can now house almost 1,500 inmates. She also visited the workshops which she was pleased to note are fully utilized.

Tuesday 9th June
The High Sheriff was delighted to attend a ‘Relaxed’ Performance of The Ghost Train at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. Relaxed Performances are designed to welcome anyone who will benefit from a more laid-back performance environment. This can include, for example, people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, sensory and communication disorders or a learning disability. Small changes are made to the staging of a performance and there is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement. If someone begins to feel stressed there are break-out areas in which they can unwind.

The High Sheriff is a Trustee of The Duchy of Lancaster and the Manchester Guardian Benevolent Funds, both of which gave grants to allow the Royal Exchange to put on such performances.

The audience today was made up of groups from various organisations who may well benefit from relaxed performances. The High Sheriff thoroughly enjoyed the production, as did everyone else in the audience, and she hopes that these events become a regular occurrence, which will allow families with disabled members to visit and experience the Theatre in comfortable surroundings.

Wednesday 10th June
The High Sheriff spent a very interesting morning meeting with the retiring Chief Fire Officer of Greater Manchester, Steve McGuirk and his successor, Peter O’Reilly. She was very interested to learn about how the Service has grown and adjusted to meet modern demands. Thanks to much improved fire prevention education the number of house fires has reduced dramatically whilst there remains a significant number of large fires, although they have also changed because of the growth in recycling plants and factories using various chemicals.

Due to the budget cuts to all services, the Fire & Rescue Service is keen to share practices and technology with other facilities and they are constantly looking at ways of improving and modernizing their service.

Later in the day the High Sheriff met with a representative of Crimestoppers where she learned more about the way in which they operate. Their first priority is always to guarantee anonymity to those who call in. This Charity does amazing work on a shoestring budget. They receive something like 8,000 calls per annum, a lot of which result in positive information being passed on to the Police.

Thursday 11th June
Today was a big date in the High Sheriff’s Calendar as it was her Portrait Hanging at the Crown Courts in Manchester. The day started when the High Sheriff and Grahame were driven to the Judges Lodgings for coffee with David Cam, the Under Sheriff and His Honour Mr Justice Openshaw. From there, they were driven in convoy to the Courts where they were led into Crown Square by two beautiful grey Police Horses. 

Alighting from the car they were met by Rev Nigel Ashworth, the High Sheriff’s Chaplain, and Chief Superintendent Potts. In procession, they then made their way up the flight of steps into the Courthouse whilst a fanfare was played. Once inside the High Sheriff was met by the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Honorary Recorder, the Lord Mayor of Manchester and several Judges and Court Officials. Also present were a number of previous High Sheriffs, the Mayors and Mayoresses of the Boroughs and a number of personal guests. 

The Under Sheriff then read out the 'Commission relating to the signing of the Roll of Sheriffs and Portrait Hanging' after which the High Sheriff signed the Roll.

Following the Ceremony everyone was invited for coffee in the Judges Dining Room.





Sunday 14th June
The High Sheriff and Grahame were delighted to attend the Liberteas Magna Carta Celebration at St Edmunds Church in Falinge, Rochdale. The High Sheriff planted a Yew Tree Sapling which has been propagated from the Ankerwycke Yew Tree, believed to have provided shelter for King John and the Barons when Magna Carta was sealed at Runnymede on the 15th June, 1215. St Edmund’s Church is 142 years old and is a most beautiful and impressive Church building although it closed to religious services in 2007. The building, which is now looked after by a small group of volunteers – Friends of St Edmunds – is unique in design and was designated in 2010 as a Grade 1 Listed Building.

The High Sheriff also buried a Time Capsule which has within it a number of items related to the celebration of Magna Carta and the visit from the High Sheriff.

After all the hard work(!) and a very interesting tour of the building a delicious Afternoon Tea was enjoyed by the High Sheriff and Grahame.



Monday 15th June
The High Sheriff met with representatives of the Greater Manchester Bangladesh Association at their Community Centre in Manchester. She was very interested to learn about the voluntary work they do, not only with the Bangladesh community, but with the many communities in the surrounding areas. The organisation runs a Nursery and Playgroup for the very young, they run cultural classes, computer courses, they have Advice sessions to help with all manner of problems and they also run a Luncheon Club for the Elderly. The Centre Manager, Dr Islam was keen to take the High Sheriff on a guided tour of the premises which includes a beautiful Hall where they hold weddings and parties, etc. 

Tuesday 16th June
The High Sheriff met with Alex Whinnom, the Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation which supports voluntary action by local people. They work in partnership with other support providers and with the public, private, academic and faith sectors. A large element of their work is representing the views and needs of people involved in local voluntary action by sharing ideas and brokering relationships. 

Two projects they are particularly proud of are ‘Ambition for Ageing’ which will support older people in 24 neighbourhoods to build age-friendly communities, ensuring their contribution to civic, cultural and economic life is maximized and fully recognized across the region. The other is ‘Greater Manchester Talent Match’ which will enable 1,600 young people with multiple barriers to entering employment to progress along a pathway to work or start their own enterprise.

Wednesday 17th June
The High Sheriff attended and opened the ‘North West Meet the Shedders Event’ held at the Manchester Deaf Centre. Men in Sheds is an Association she came into contact with some months ago and was heartily impressed with the work they are doing. Men, particularly older men, are notoriously bad at dealing with and talking about feelings of isolation or loneliness, particularly after the loss of a partner, when they are newly retired or perhaps in the early stages of Alzheimers. They are also very poor at looking after their own health. This Organisation allows men to come together to pursue hobbies and practical interests, to share skills and learn new skills or simply to sit, have a cuppa and a chat or read the paper. It is a proven fact that when older men come together to connect, converse and create they stay healthier for longer and they make more contact with their wider community. As one ‘Shedder’ said “coming to the Shed is better than any medicine”.

Later in the day the High Sheriff visited an exhibition of Art, Film, Music and Drama at the Mustard Tree, a Charity which works with the homeless and the marginalized. Most of the work on display was produced by the clients of the Mustard Tree and the excellent music was provided by Kirsty Almeida.

Thursday 18th June
The High Sheriff had a marvellous time when she attended a Citizenship Day, organized by the Walkden Branch of the Rotary Club, and held at the Bridgewater Independent School in Worsley. Teams of pupils, aged 14 – 16 years, from High Schools in the area were asked to give presentations on subjects of their choice, so the morning was spent with the teams writing and rehearsing their presentations. The High Sheriff had the opportunity to meet and talk to the pupils after she had given a speech on her thoughts regarding Good Citizenship. After an excellent Lunch it was time for the teams to perform their presentations on such subjects as Legal Highs, Drug Taking and Politics. Once the performances were over they were then judged by their peers to find the winning team. The High Sheriff was delighted to present the winning team with a Shield. Good Citizen Certificates were also presented by the Deputy Mayor of Salford to five pupils who had demonstrated good work in the Community. 

These Citizenship days have been organised each year by Walkden Rotary Club since 2000 and are an excellent example of what good work Rotarians can do in the community.




Saturday 20th June
The High Sheriff and Grahame were hosts to the Lord & Lady Mayoress of Manchester and the Mayors and their Mayoresses/Consorts of Tameside, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Bolton, Wigan, Trafford, Stockport and Salford, for a Lunch at Droylsden Academy. Also in attendance were Nigel Ashworth, the High Sheriff’s Chaplain, Peter Ryder, Chair of Governors, Drew Duncan, Executive Head Teacher and Philip Wilson, Head Teacher. Pre-Lunch drinks were enjoyed on the Balcony as shown below. Unfortunately the Mayor and Mayoress of Oldham were unable to stay for the meal so in total 25 enjoyed an excellent Lunch prepared by the School’s Catering staff. After Lunch, Philip Wilson spoke about his future plans for the School and about his pride in the pupils. All who attended were most complimentary about the standard of food and service and a thoroughly good time was had by all. 





Tuesday 23rd June
The High Sheriff had a most interesting meeting with Perry Gunn, Development Worker and John Corbishley, Commanding Officer of the Manchester Regiment of the Church Lads & Church Girls Brigade. John and Perry gave some insight into the history of the Brigade and also about the modern day Brigade. Young boys and girls are welcome from the age of 4 years old and the aims are to encourage them to try new activities and explore new things and to develop a sense of co-operation in their group, all of this whilst having fun. Obviously as the children get older there is a whole range of activities and the young people are encouraged to take part in Duke of Edinburgh awards. The High Sheriff was most impressed with the work being undertaken by Church Lads & Church Girls Brigade.

Later in the day the High Sheriff visited Willow Wood Hospice in Ashton UnderLyne to present a cheque on behalf of the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund. This is not the first time she has visited Willow Wood, but the High Sheriff was delighted to be shown some further improvements which have been made since she was last there. The magnificent gardens were as impressive as ever and, as usual, Willow Wood is at the forefront of providing additional and varied services for their Day patients.



Wednesday 24th June
The High Sheriff was delighted to attend a Citizenship Ceremony at Chadderton Town Hall in Oldham. This building, opened in 1913 and like many of the small Towns Halls from the days of the District Councils, has the most beautifully renovated ballroom. Also in attendance were the Mayor and Mayoress of Oldham, Cllr Ateeque Ur-Rehman and Cllr Yasmin Toor.



In the afternoon the High Sheriff and Grahame attended a Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party at Heywood Cricket Club. The very successful fund raising group had created a lovely atmosphere in the Clubhouse and there were wonderful sandwiches and cakes available as well as copious amounts of tea and coffee. Both the High Sheriff and Grahame were successful on the Tombola stall and Grahame went on to win a raffle prize.

In the evening the High Sheriff attended a Farewell Reception and Dinner in Honour of the Chancellor of Manchester University, Tom Bloxham. The event, which was attended by over 130 people, was held at the wonderful Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. Dame Nancy Rothwell, Vice Chancellor, thanked Tom for his very considerable contribution to the work of the University over the last seven years and presented him with a painting and a hat. 


Thursday 25th June
The High Sheriff and Grahame were very happy to attend the Manchester Naval Officers’ Association Dinner held at Stanneylands Restaurant in Wilmslow. They were greeted by the Association Chairman , Commander Philip Russ, and other Officers and were made to feel extremely welcome. After a delicious Dinner The High Sheriff gave a speech about her role. She was later presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers whilst Grahame was presented with an Association Tie. 

Friday 26th June
The High Sheriff took a day off to celebrate her Birthday!

Saturday 27th June
The High Sheriff and Grahame were very pleased to attend the Armed Forces Day in Victoria Park, Denton. Following a Service of Commemoration, the Veterans were invited to a buffet lunch along with the Mayor & Mayoress of Tameside, the Council Leader of Tameside and his wife, a number of local Councillors and Deputy Lieutenants. The High Sheriff enjoyed chatting with some of the veterans, a number of whom were over 90 years old. One gentleman in particular told her all about his numerous abseils, including one quite recently, down the side of the Big One in Blackpool!

Following the Lunch everyone went back into the park to look at all the various stalls, some of them manned by various elements of the armed forces and other help groups for former service personnel. There was music provided in the band stand which attracted a number of dancers and a good day was had by all. The photo below shows the High Sheriff and the Mayor of Tameside holding shells, which, incidentally, were extremely heavy!



Sunday 28th June
The High Sheriff and Grahame were honoured to attend the Unveiling of the Gallipoli Stone in Rochdale. Others in attendance included the Lord Lieutenant, the Mayor & Mayoress of Rochdale, the Mayor & Consort of Todmorden, Col Mike Glover, Major Edmund Gartside (High Sheriff of Greater Manchester 1995/96) Wing Cdr David Forbes and Norman Armstrong-Kersh MBE KCOM, Founder of Life for a Life Memorial Forests who, along with Rochdale Borough Council and Community Convernant, sponsored the Gallipoli Stone.

The Gallipoli Stone was unveiled, following a very poignant Ceremony at the town’s Centotaph, by Major Edmund Gartside. The Lord Lieutenant spoke movingly about the contributions Major Gartside and his Father had made to the Lancashire Fusiliers. Wreaths were laid by the Lord Lieutenant, The Mayors of Rochdale and Todmorden, Col Glover and Major Gartside before they took the Salute. The Parade was led by the Kings Division Band.

After the Ceremony was concluded everyone was welcomed back into Rochdale Town Hall where they were treated to plates of Potato Hash and Eccles Cakes, washed down with Tin Mugs full of tea or coffee.
Martin Purdy, historian and author of The Gallipoli Oak, gave a most interesting talk about the Duckworths, a family who left a lasting legacy to their own Lancashire Fusilier.





Monday 29th June
The High Sheriff attended the Prince’s Trust Open Day at their Salford Offices. It was an informal drop-in session which gave her the opportunity to watch some team building exercises which are used to help young people build their trust in others and also to help them gain confidence. The High Sheriff was able to hear from young people and their experiences. She enjoyed speaking to a young man who had used the Prince’s Trust facilities and had, in just two years, grown from an anxiety filled person who hardly ever left his home into a confident and very capable young man who now acts as an Ambassador for the Trust.

Later the High Sheriff attended an Exhibition of Young People’s Art and Photography held at a school in Gorton, Manchester. A Charity called Creative Arts & Minds had previously applied for grants from the Duke of Lancaster Benevolent Fund and the Manchester Guardian Benevolent Fund, and it was through these applications that their work came to the attention of the High Sheriff. The Charity works with particularly difficult pupils and helps them through the various mediums of art. These young people had produced the work that was on show and the standard of their talent was incredibly high. It is believed that they will all attain their GCSE’s in Art when the results are published in a few weeks’ time. It is astounding how, in just a few weeks, Creative Arts & Minds have helped these pupils to channel their energies and frustrations into such beautiful pieces of art.




Tuesday 30th June
The High Sherifff attended a meeting of the Relief In Need, Children’s Relief in Need and the Manchester District Nursing Charities. The High Sheriff is a Trustee of these three funds.


MAY 2015
Friday 1st May
The High Sheriff and Grahame were very happy to attend the Manchester Consular Association Lunch. We were greeted by Peter Heginbotham CBE, President of what is the oldest Consular Association in the country.

Later in the day the High Sheriff was privileged to attend the Passing Out Parade for 28 Greater Manchester Volunteer Police Cadets. The Cadets were all from the Moss Side branch which was formed in November of last year. They were an absolute credit to their families who were also in attendance. The Chief Constable told the audience how proud he was of all the Volunteer Police Cadets in Greater Manchester, of which there are now 16 branches. 

The scheme was created in 2012 and developed by Inspector Jane Butler and Youth Strategy Officer PC Andrew Marsden. Aimed at 13- 17 year-olds, it provides a programme of weekly Cadet nights filled with activity, information and – hopefully – some fun.

Tuesday 5th May
The High Sheriff spent a truly memorable and interesting day on the Coronation Street set at Media City UK. She was accompanied by the Under Sheriff, David Cam and his wife JinEe. They met a number of cast members and saw many of the sets used for filming, including the famous cobbled Street itself. Their guide for the day was David Nugent, who seemed to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Corrie!



Wednesday 6th May
The High Sheriff attended the Women of the North Luncheon at the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool. The welcome was given by Arvinda Gohil, Chief Executive of the nominated charity for the year, Emmaus and the Guest Speaker, Liz McConnell, gave a very interesting and amusing account of her life (so far) and her career as a Pharmacist.

Friday 8th May
The High Sheriff and Grahame were honoured to attend the VE Day Anniversary Service at Ashton Town Hall. This was followed by the Lighting of the Beacon on the Town Hall steps. The occasion was also attended by the Civic Mayor and Mayoress of Tameside, Councillors, representatives of the British Legion, Representatives of the Scout Association and other Cadet Forces and members of the Public.

Tuesday 12th May
The High Sheriff and Grahame were privileged to host a Dinner at Dukinfield Town Hall for six High Court Judges, two of their wives and four other guests. The evening was a great success with some highly flattering comments being written in the Visitors Book.

Wednesday 13th May
The High Sheriff was delighted to attend a Citizenship Ceremony in Tameside. The ceremony was most enjoyable and was also attended by the Civic Mayor and Mayoress of Tameside, Councillors Dawson and Jackie Lane.

Tuesday 19th May
The High Sheriff attended at Manchester Civil Justice Centre for the Swearing In of 30 new Magistrates. Also in attendance were the Lord Lieutenant - Mr Warren Smith, the Hon Recorder - HHJ David Stockdale, together with Bench Chairmen and Liaison Judges from the eight Benches in Greater Manchester. 



In the evening the High Sheriff and Grahame were delighted to attend the Mayor Making Ceremony in the Council Chamber of Tameside when Councillor Vincent Ricci was sworn in. His wife Julie will be his Mayoress. Following the Ceremony there was a Buffet and Reception.

Wednesday 20th May
The High Sheriff and Grahame were very happy to attend the Mayor Making Ceremony in Oldham. Councillor Ateeque Ur-Rehman was sworn in as Mayor and his wife Councillor Yasmin Toor was sworn in as his Mayoress. The ceremony was followed by an enjoyable Lunch in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.



Thursday 21st May
The High Sheriff met with staff at Tameside College. It is hoped that the Students from the Catering Department may be involved in some of the High Sheriff’s future entertaining programme. As the High Sheriff was leaving she was presented with some Shortbread, Florentines and four loaves – all produced by the Students. We can report that everything was delicious!

In the evening the High Sheriff and Grahame were entertained at the Judges’ Lodgings in Manchester. The food was delicious and the company most interesting.

Saturday 23rd May
As the Greater Manchester Patron, the High Sheriff, accompanied by a friend, was delighted to attend a Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party in Denton. They both tucked into delicious strawberry cream teas and had several attempts at winning prizes at the Tombola stand. The High Sheriff did manage to win three lollipops!



Sunday 23rd May
The High Sheriff and Grahame attended the Oldham Mayor’s Civic Service and Procession. Despite drizzly rain the Parade was very well attended, as was the Parish Church Service which was conducted by The Reverend Derek Palmer who was assisted by The Reverend Jean Hurlston. The Preacher was the Mayor’s Chaplain, Mr Wasiq Toor. Following the Service and Procession, tea and biscuits were served at Oldham Civic Centre. 




Later in the day the High Sheriff and Grahame went to the Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force Parade which took place during the renowned 1940’s Celebration Weekend in Ramsbottom. This very popular event is attended by thousands of people, many of whom dress up in the very stylish clothes of the era. Both the High Sheriff and Grahame thoroughly enjoyed the occasion and will definitely attend again.

The salute of the Cadets was taken by Col. Mike Glover who is the Regimental Secretary, The Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr Warren Smith and the Mayor of Bury, Cllr Stella Smith.





Tuesday 26th May
The High Sheriff and Grahame were very happy to attend the Mayor Making Ceremony and Afternoon Tea in honour of the new Mayor of Stockport, Cllr Andrew Verdeille and his MayoressMs Cleo Cundall. After enjoying the delicious food we were entertained by pupils from Reddish Vale School who performed a selection of songs from the musical Grease.



Wednesday 27th May
The High Sheriff and Grahame travelled to London.

Thursday 28th May
The High Sheriff and Grahame attended a Lunch organized by the Duchy of Lancaster for the three High Sheriffs of the Duchy – Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. Also Attending were Tim Crow, Solicitor for the Duchy, his wife Jo and Assistant Solicitor Katie with her partner Ben. The Lunch was held in the Bentley Private Dining Room at Anton Mosimann’s Restaurant in Belgrave Square.



Following a delicious and most entertaining Lunch the Party walked the short distance to Buckingham Palace where they enjoyed the Royal Garden Party. In addition to Her Majesty the Queen, in attendance were HRH Prince Philip, the Princess Royal, HRH Princess Beatrice, HRH Duke of Kent, HRH Duke of Gloucester and HRH Prince & HRH Princess Michael of Kent. The High Sheriff and Grahame very much enjoyed conversations with HRH Prince Michael of Kent and HRH Princess Michael of Kent.

Friday 29th May
The High Sheriff and Grahame returned home from London.

Later that evening the High Sheriff and Grahame attended a rather chilly Tameside Brass Band Competition, an event they enjoy every year.



Sunday 31st May
The High Sheriff was delighted to attend the Salford Ceremonial Mayor’s Parade and Church Service which was held at St Clement’s in Ordsall, a most charming and attractive Church. Following the service, which included wonderful singing from Ordsall Acapella Singers, we processed to the beautiful Ordsall Hall where a lovely buffet was waiting for us.


APRIL 2015
Monday 20th April
The High Sheriff was very interested to attend a Seminar entitled ‘Why do we engage with homeless people and the arts?’ organised by Streetwise Opera.

Following the successful performance at the London Olympics of 300 people who had experienced homelessness, a delegation from Brazil was present to exchange ideas and practices in readiness for the Rio 2016 Games. As one former homeless person said ‘Art helps to give dignity and also hope for the future’.

The Seminar was held at the Booth Centre in Manchester which is acknowledged to be one of the best facilities in the Country for helping the Homeless.



Tuesday 21st April
The High Sheriff and her husband, Grahame, were delighted to attend the National Youth Advocacy Service in Dukinfield in order to present a cheque from the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund. They spent a very interesting afternoon speaking with the Senior Advocate, Karen Clayton, about the full range of activities they support for children in care. Children are encouraged to make the decisions about what sort of activities they want to be involved in and the Advocacy Service helps to give them a voice. They also train volunteers to become Independent Visitors who are long-term adult befrienders to children and young people in care.



Wednesday 22nd April
The High Sheriff and Grahame were delighted to welcome the Princess Royal to Manchester Central where she officially opened the Association of Surgeons in Great Britain & Ireland Congress of which she is Patron.



Thursday 23rd April
The High Sheriff and Grahame attended a St George’s Dinner organised by the Greater Manchester Branch of the Royal Society of St George. The evening was a great success, enriched by a Speech by Lord Howell of Guildford.





Sunday 26th April
The High Sheriff and Grahame were honoured to attend the Centenary of the Gallipoli Landing having been invited by The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire). A very moving Service of Commemoration was held at Bury Parish Church. Sadly they had to leave before the March Past of the Veterans but they will certainly attend this event next year.

They later attended a Service of Commemoration at Manchester Cathedral where they joined the Lord Lieutenant and Lt Col Christopher Goldston of the Australian High Commission and Mr Jeremy Palmer from the New Zealand High Commission.



They later attended a Service of Commemoration at Manchester Cathedral where they joined the Lord Lieutenant and Lt Col Christopher Goldston of the Australian High Commission and Mr Jeremy Palmer from the New Zealand High Commission.




Monday 27th April
The High Sheriff attended her first meeting of the Greater Manchester High Sheriff’s Police Trust.

Tuesday 28th April
The High Sheriff was very happy to attend St Luke’s TLC Centre in order to present a cheque from the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund. Sharman was delighted to meet members of staff who showed her round the various facilities. The Drop In Centre is used by a large number of local people living with mental health needs.

Alison Kershaw was keen to show me the Art Room where, alongside Rae Story, she introduces clients to a very varied selection of projects. Deborah Gregory, newly appointed as Centre Manager, is highly experienced in all aspects of voluntary organisations and she was keen for me to meet a number of clients. She also introduced me to Revd Eugeniah Adoyo who, as the Rector at St Luke’s, is a committed member of the Management Committee of TLC. Mark Greenwood was also on hand to receive the cheque and to introduce me to more clients.

Whilst I was in the Art Room a client produced a very lifelike sketch of me and I was also introduced to a chap who, when given a specific date can, within a second, tell you what day of the week it would have fallen on – a very impressive ability.





Thursday 30th April
The High Sheriff was honored to attend the Valedictory Speeches at Manchester Crown Court to mark the retirement of HHJ Robert Atherton. Following much well deserved praise Judge Atherton invited the High Sheriff to sit with him whilst he dealt with his final list.


Click here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Summer 2016 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Winter 2015 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Summer 2015 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Summer 2014 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the Greater Manchester News published in the Summer 2013 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

 

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