LIONEL Wallace DL has been appointed as Hertfordshire’s new High Sheriff at a declaration ceremony held at St Albans Cathedral. He succeeds Henry Holland-Hibbert in the ceremonial role.
The office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political royal appointment made by the Queen. While the role dates back to Saxon times, it has evolved to include a mix of ceremonial, charitable and community functions and is voluntary and unfunded.
Lionel was born and brought up in Hertfordshire, and he has been a Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire for over 12 years. He plans to use his year in office to highlight and encourage opportunities for young people to advance, be confident, committed and community-minded.
“One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me was the freedom to explore opportunities and be involved in community and leadership activities from an early age. I did not appreciate its value fully at the time, but I do now. It is for this reason I am convinced that strong and consistent investment in developing the leadership and civic responsibility attributes of young people will transform both their lives and our entire society’s cohesion.”
High Sheriffs are responsible for supporting visits to their counties by members of the Royal Family and High Court judges. They also encourage engagement with crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and the voluntary sector.
At his declaration ceremony, the new High Sheriff launched his Youth in Herts Programme, which has 3 core pillars: The Young Leaders Award, ‘Be Your Own Boss – Hertfordshire’ project and 30’ Under 30 project:
- The Young Leaders Award is a school-based programme empowering young people to practice key leadership skills and character virtues, involving them in transforming communities through social action.
- ‘Be Your Own Boss’ project aims to increase young people’s employment opportunities by supporting budding young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.
- 30’ Under 30 will seek to promote, attract and support the appointment of more young magistrates to the bench by the Local Advisory Committee.
The High Sheriff also introduced his themes for the High Sheriff Awards, which complement the work of the High Sheriff. These are:
- Empowering Young People to become today’s leaders
- Supporting Young People to serve in unique or new areas of community life.
- Promoting Youth engagement in the Magistracy
The awards will seek to recognise Hertfordshire voluntary groups and charities supporting these activities. Nominations are to be submitted on the 12th August 2021 (International Youth Day) online or in-person at the High Sheriff’s Youth in Herts Fun Day taking place at the St. Albans Cathedral.
Successful applicants will be invited to attend an awards ceremony in March next year.