Voluntary Sector Support

April 2023 – Kate Hill-Trevor

Making a Difference.

I have to admit to being totally shocked when I was asked if I would consider being High Sheriff.  The initial feeling of honour wore off incredibly quickly and my thoughts rapidly turned to that fact that this was my chance to make a difference but the question was, and still is, how to do it and can I ? And what can I achieve in just one year ?

Previous and current high sheriffs from Clwyd and other counties have all been incredibly helpful in talking through their experiences and The High Sheriff Association has been equally supportive with informative meetings and seminars.

In a world of gadgets and technology, the importance of community and communication mustn’t be forgotten. Many previous HS have talked about being humbled and inspired by the people they have met during their year and I had a small glimpse of this whilst preparing for the role. There is also a strong sense of community amongst all the other High Sheriffs I have met so far and particularly between my fellow High Sheriffs in Wales.

As you will have already seen from other pages on this website, High Sheriffs are appointed by his Majesty the King to represent him in the county in matters of law and order and this is certainly one of the key objectives promoted by the High Sheriff Association although they encourage you to “do it your own way”.  I plan to support and learn more about the many elements of law and order within the county such as the Police, Emergency Services, the various aspects of the Judiciary, and the Prisons and Probation Services. I hope that I will be able to visit and see for myself the issues faced daily by all of these services and thank personnel who work hard to keep the communities in which we live safe.

I also look forward to working with Janet Phillips – High Sheriff of Gwynedd 2023-24 when appropriate (for example North Wales Police covers both our Counties).

As the role of High Sheriff has evolved and adapted to keep its relevance in today’s society, supporting, promoting and encouraging the voluntary sector and, particularly those involved with crime reduction and social cohesion, has become a large part of the position. I certainly want to visit as many local charities as possible and meet the wonderful people who are giving their time and making a difference to the lives of those they are supporting and helping.

One recurring piece of advice regarding my year in office was to do something that interests you, and I am a Country girl at heart who appreciates how lucky I am to have grown up in and to continue to have access to plenty of green space.    I decided to start with charities relating to the Countryside and I hope that I can help our rural communities have a voice in an increasingly urban world.

Clwyd covers approx. 2,990km2 (or 1,128 miles2) and is home to approx. 500,000 people. The number of people living and working in the countryside generally is shrinking but they form a significant part of the population here in Clwyd with about 40% of these people living in the less populated areas with their own set of issues.

I will be looking into projects in the county for rural communities dealing with issues such as poverty and isolation. I am particularly interested in those offering mental health support as this is an increasing concern in the agricultural sector.  I also hope to raise awareness of the incredible people who work and volunteer for emergency services such as the Fire Service, RNLI,  Mountain Rescue and Blood Bikes.

Returning to a law and order theme, Rural crime continues to be an problem and as issues such as County lines spread further outside the urban areas, I am hoping to spend some time with police units to see how they are helping both rural and urban communities and if there is a way the High Sheriff role can help too.  I will of course also be visiting Clwyd’s urban areas and learning more about the problems these areas face across the County and the inspiring projects happening within communities in our towns and built up areas.

I have already had the privilege of seeing first hand an incredibly powerful and informative education workshop called Justice in a Day. Run by Theatre Clwyd in partnership with North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT), it gives children an insight into the workings of the justice system. Its’ hands on and interactive approach helps children to understand the consequences of a criminal action and I hope to help raise the profile of this project and allow more young people to make informed decisions.

I also plan to continue the wonderful work of previous High Sheriffs in support of Crime beat, the High Sheriff Association’s national charity and in particular Crimebeat North Wales (www.crimebeatnorthwales.co.uk) which has just celebrated its 20th Anniversary.

Crimebeat helps young people develop projects which make their communities a safer place to live. Providing small grants to community-led proposals, Crimebeat supports young people to develop projects that aim to:

  • Cut local crime and keep young people out of trouble
  • Provide support to victims of crime
  • Stimulate an interest in voluntary work
  • Improve school attendance and behaviour
  • Improve the quality of life in communities

A High Sheriff’s Role is largely to thank people and I must start as I mean to go on by saying a large thank you to the Clwyd Nomination panel for giving me this opportunity, I hope I can rise to the challenge.

To anyone reading this, please get in touch and point me in the direction of worthwhile individuals and organisations within the country and help me to do what I can to make a difference.

County History

Clwyd is a preserved county of Wales, situated in the north-east, bordering England with Cheshire to its east, Shropshire to the south-east, and the Welsh counties of Gwynedd to its immediate west and Powys to the south. It additionally shares a border with the metropolitan county of Merseyside along the River Dee. Between 1974 and 1996, it was a county with a county council, and it was divided into six districts. It is named after the River Clwyd, which runs through the region. It was also a Royal Mail postal county before the postal county scheme was abolished in 1996.

Clwyd County Council and its districts were abolished by the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, and local government was replaced by the four unitary authorities of Flintshire, Wrexham County Borough, Denbighshire, and parts of Conwy. At the same time, some smaller communities moved to Powys. The Act also abolished the County, and states the term “county” would be synonymous with the “principal areas” created by the 1994 Act. However the Act then created a further set of “preserved counties”, which were based on the eight created by the 1972 Act. These Preserved Counties, similar in respect to English Ceremonial counties, would be retained for a variety of purposes, including Lieutenancy and Shrievalty.
Clwyd County Council and its six districts ceased operations at midnight on 1 April 1996, and local government was immediately transferred to the new principal areas of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. The Preserved County of Clwyd also came into effect as of that date.

The area of Clwyd covers approx. 2,990km2 (or 1,128 miles2) and is home to approx. 500,000 people. North Wales is one of the safest places to live in the United Kingdom.

What is Clwyd famous for? There is lots of stunning countryside throughout the county, with some great beaches and fabulous walking trails including part of the Offa’s Dyke.

Tourism is an important source of income in Clwyd, with Llandudno, Betws-y-Coed, Snowdon and Llangollen & the International Music Festival being particular focuses.

Many people come to visit the multiple amazing castles here including those at Flint, Rhuddlan, Mold, Conwy (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Chirk. We also have some incredible bridges for example Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and canal built by Thomas Telford (another UNESCO site).

Oh and did someone mention Football !…..The Racecourse stadium is the oldest stadium in the World and Wrexham Football club is the 3rd oldest club in the world. Wrexham was also granted city status as part of The late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee and Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla came recently to help the city celebrate.