The office of High Sheriff gives its holder many opportunities to support and promote charitable causes. I am just 3 weeks into office and have already attended an awards ceremony that recognises the unsung heroes of our communities. It was a truly humbling experience. We are blessed to hold this privileged office but we must make sure we make good use of it.
There is so much I would like to do during my year in office. I shall try to focus on disadvantaged members of our communities. There are so many worthy causes that go un-noticed as we go about our daily lives. I want to support as many local projects as possible.
One of my main focuses will be supporting charities and other community groups to enable them to raise awareness, educate and support those more vulnerable members of society. The office of High Sheriff is an appointment by Her Majesty The Queen and one of the main duties is to support the judiciary. As a solicitor of almost 30 years and a second generation lawyer too, I have seen many changes in the legal system over the years. One of the greatest challenges facing the judiciary is the increasingly serious nature of crimes.
Knife crime and drug offences, often linked with “county lines” present a very great problem in society today. My vision is to raise awareness of these problems by engaging with schools and youth projects. In so doing it will hopefully make a difference to the younger generation so they can be aware of the problems, identify local issues and engage with the police and other support networks to reduce the levels of crime and the targeting of the more vulnerable elements of our own communities.
Bullying is another focus cause which can really be linked to my main focus, and it is those more vulnerable people who are often targeted by bullies. Again working with schools will highlight the problems and raise awareness – hopefully helping to reduce bullying and/or protect the bullied from the bullies.
I have already had great support and interest from the police, and working together with various partner organisations and the voluntary sector, I really do want to make a difference during my year.
Each year the High Sheriff acknowledges the enormous contribution which volunteers make to society through the High Sheriff Awards.There are so many volunteers who are making a real difference to communities and the lives of others by giving up their time freely and without expectation of reward. The High Sheriff awards provide an opportunity for the selfless dedication of our volunteers to be acknowledged and celebrated.
Many young people devote significant amounts of time to volunteering, sometimes within circumstances where their own personal life can be difficult. A High Sheriff award which recognises the impact of their volunteering can give young people confidence in their abilities and inspire the next generation.
The contribution of adults who support young people is also recognised through the awards which can be given to individuals or groups.
There are therefore two categories of award:
• For adults VOLUNTARILY helping young people
• For young people VOLUNTARILY helping their local community
These awards are an effective way of recognising the unsung heroes in our community. Please note that nominees must be working voluntary in the community for an extended period of time, either with young people or be a young person themselves.
Your assistance in promoting the awards within Neath Port Talbot and Swansea would be greatly appreciated.
The awards are normally presented in mid-March with a closing date for applications in mid-February. If you know of anyone that you would like to nominate for an award, applications forms can be downloaded and printed from the High Sheriff’s website: www.crimebeatwestglam.org.uk
The forms (which are also available in Welsh)are quite simple to complete and simply requires a maximum of 250 words to explain why your nominee should receive an award.
Completed nomination forms should be forwarded to:
The High Sheriff’s Award Panel
c/o Sian Morris
Community Safety Team
Neath Police Station
Gnoll Park Road
NEATH SA11 3BW
(Electronic applications can be sent to email@example.com)
For further forms, information or advice, please ring Paul Evans (Swansea) on 01792 562710 or Siân Morris (NPT) on 01639 889161.
The last High Sheriff’s Award ceremony was held on Saturday 10th March 2018 at the Baglan Community Church in Port Talbot.
The awards were presented by the High Sheriff, Louise Fleet JP, and the day proved to be a great celebration of individual, group and organisations’ voluntary achievements.
The following table shows the High Sheriffs Awards presented for the year 2017/18.
|Amy Brown||Young Person Award|
|Zara Evans||Young Person Award|
|Azhar Hussain||Young Person Award|
|Charlotte Millar||Young Person Award|
|Sophie Millar||Young Person Award|
|Jordan Pyles||Young Person Award|
|Anastasia Stockton||Young Person Award|
|Kim Bass||Adult Award|
|Sara Harries||Adult Award|
|Lt. Kyle James||Adult Award|
|Mark Jones||Adult Award|
|Eleanor Merrels||Adult Award|
|Matthew McLaughlin||Adult Award|
|Paul Llewellyn||Adult Award|
|F S Christopher Roberts||Adult Award|
|Geraint Thomas||Adult Award|
|Bronwen Williams||Adult Award|
|Eleanor & Cathy Jenkins||Joint Award|
|Richard & Matthew Johnson||Joint Award|
|Clydach Army Cadets||Group Award|
|Discovery Student Volunteers||Group Award|
|Morrison Hospital League of Friends||Colin Rees Award|
In addition to the above, there were also two awards presented to witnesses who, in the opinion of the Crown Court had made a special contribution to a successful prosecution.
The County of West Glamorgan
West Glamorgan is a preserved county and former administrative county of Wales. It contains Wales second largest city, Swansea, the principal towns of Neath and Port Talbot, and Britain’s first declared area of outstanding beauty, the Gower Peninsular.
West Glamorgan has a land area of 320 square miles and a population of approximately 400,000; about 13% of the Welsh population.
West Glamorgan was created on the 1st April 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 from the county borough of Swansea, the municipal boroughs of Neath and Port Talbot, the urban districts of Glyncorrwg and Llwchwr, Gower rural district, Pontardawe rural district and all of Neath rural district except the parish of Rhigos.
There were four districts within West Glamorgan until 1996, namely:-
• Swansea – Swansea County Borough and Gower rural district
• Lliw Valley – Llwchwr and Pontardawe rural districts
• Neath – Neath and Neath rural district
• Port Talbot – Port Talbot and Glyncorrwg
Following the Local Government (Wales) Act, 1994, West Glamorgan County Council was abolished on the 1st April 1996 and its area sub-divided into the two unitary authorities of The City and County of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot County Borough.
West Glamorgan remains in existence as a preserved county for some limited functions such as the Lieutenancy and the Shrievalty. The historical links of the ancient county of Glamorgan, once an early Welsh Kingdom, are such that the High Sheriffs of the three preserved counties of West Glamorgan, South Glamorgan and Mid Glamorgan have close informal ties and support each other wherever possible and appropriate.
The Links directly associated with the High Sheriff are set out below:
The High Sheriffs’ Association of England and Wales
High Sheriff of West Glamorgan’s page on the High Sheriffs Assoc. website
High Sheriff of West Glamorgan’s Facebook Page
Crimebeat (High Sheriff’s Official Charity)
Mumbles RNLI (High Sheriff’s Personal Charity)
St. John Cymru – Wales
The Prince’s Trust
Other very useful Links which are associated with the role of High Sheriff are:
Skewen and District Historical Society