Just over a year ago, I met Robert Napier at the annual Youth Awards event for the first time and we briefly discussed the idea of trying to raise awareness of the role of the high sheriff and helping people to understand his role through social media and a bigger online presence. Within a few weeks a new website was created with a new Twitter and Facebook feed and most importantly a blog where Robert could record his adventures and showcase the people and organisations he visited. A year and 228 blogs later we now have a great archive that will permanently reside on the High Sheriff of Surrey website enabling people to see exactly what the role entails. I learned many things about the role myself even having photographed many great High Sheriff’s previously and having a good idea what was involved. Like all before him Robert visited Charities, Youth groups, Prisons, community organisations, and much more but now it was recorded for perpetuity. Aside from the visits there were many meetings he attended where he would try and see how his role could add value or make a difference. At his Ex-tillation last night it was obvious that he had very much earned a great deal of respect from the community and I wanted to mark that with this blog today. He has not only successfully managed to increase the awareness of the role but his other legacies include his determined work to do something about the Exclusion in schools issue where he brought together a large amount of people to set changes in motion – something that will be continued by our new High Sheriff, Jim Glover whose position as Chair of University of Surrey will help further the progress made. It has been encouraging to see a great deal of interaction with young people who of course are the future and this year under Jim’s tenure we hope to look at more social media opportunities enlisting the help of that generation to ensure the future of the role is recognised and embraced by all generations of Surrey.
On a personal note I would like to thank Robert and Patricia for creating my role which now continues and for the tea and cake at Baynards, introduction to their amazing charity www.btz.org.uk which I am now also working with and of course their friendship. Having spoken with Colin last night – Robert’s driver and on site support person, Gill his PA who works tirelessly behind the scenes organising the many events he has instigated in the name of networking and thanks and of course the Under Sheriff, Caroline Breckell who guides the high Sheriff’s through their terms I can see his organisational and leadership skills along with his genuine appreciation and respect for those working with him have enabled him to make this Shrieval year a remarkable one. This all continues with 2018/19 High Sheriff – Jim Glover who will be submitting his first blog later today and I am certain this coming year will be equally as successful.
Thank you Robert and may you enjoy some well earned rest!