After the crown, the role of High Sheriff is the oldest in the UK, but the last year has proved that it remains very relevant to modern day society.

I took office as the eight-hundredth High Sheriff of Surrey and the tenth woman to hold the role as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, with the country in a partial lockdown. This meant that, for the first time in history, the installation ceremony was held with no audience, and was instead streamed online from the University of Surrey.

It is the duty of the High Sheriff to support the Judiciary, all those who keep the Queen’s Peace, and the voluntary sector. As we all know, the pandemic has touched every aspect of our society: the courts, the prisons, the police, fire and rescue services and the charities in Surrey have all risen to the challenge, unwavering in their essential support of those most in need. I was honoured to be in a position to thank their hardworking staff members on behalf of the county.

As restrictions eased, I was able to arrange more in-person meetings and events, which felt particularly special after such a long period of virtual events. That said, Zoom became a useful addition to my toolkit, as it enabled a great deal of ‘convening and connecting’ from my own home, saving both time and unnecessary environmental impact. The combination made me something of a hybrid sheriff!

Another silver lining of the post-pandemic recovery was the emergence of a great collective will to move past bureaucracy and work together to achieve ambitious goals. This swell of energy meant that the ‘convene and connect’ aspect of the role really came to the fore, particularly surrounding my theme for the year: ‘Every Child Included’. With the ultimate goal of reducing the number of permanent exclusions in Surrey, I began by initiating an independent research project with Royal Holloway, University of London to establish the facts surrounding children and young people at risk of exclusion. My shrieval year was bookended by two summits centred around this research, which convened the educational sector, the local authority, the police and the voluntary sector. The first was held in July 2021, at which we shared the new data and collaboratively developed a set of holistic recommendations for change, and the second in March 2022, when we shared the results. We were delighted to see some material changes: an enhanced Alternative Learning Programme has been rolled out across Surrey; a new evidence-based Risk of Permanent Exclusion Index will guide early intervention and support for those most at risk; a new £1 million mental health fund for young people has been created by the Community Foundation of Surrey. I am very pleased to report that we are already seeing the impact of these interventions, and the number of permanent exclusions has reduced across Surrey.

As we negotiated the pandemic, logistics have not always been easy, but I was able to continue working alongside the Surrey Lieutenancy to support the Royal Family and very much enjoyed playing an active role in Surrey life. Ultimately, the role of High Sheriff came into its own, adapted to rise above the challenges of today, and continues stronger than ever.

Event archive

Learning how Leatherhead Fire Station fights crime

25 March 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Well-deserved award for Guildford Crown Court

23 March 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Fascinating tour of Surrey’s new Eco Park

21 March 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Warm welcome from Wey Valley College

14 March 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Six young people graduate from empowering programme

12 March 2022/by Olivia Lucas

High Sheriff joins in International Women’s Day

9 March 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Joining Surrey Care Trust in volunteer celebration

9 March 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Meeting school leaders and pupils in person

8 March 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Reigate and Banstead welcomes High Sheriff

7 March 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Surrey Police and Take the Reins saddle up to help young people

5 March 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Shining a light on the Hideaway café

3 March 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Second summit celebrates Surrey school inclusion progress

2 March 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Include Choir hits high note with award nomination

24 February 2022/by Olivia Lucas

HMP High Down team receives High Sheriff’s Award

21 February 2022/by Olivia Lucas

A day in the life of the Woodhouse Centre

17 February 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Men in Sheds visit is a ‘cut above’

17 February 2022/by Olivia Lucas

YES, young people can achieve!

4 February 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Learning about Surrey Police youth engagement

2 February 2022/by Olivia Lucas

The Fordway Centre – A a short stay school and centre of excellence

2 February 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Christopher’s hospice makes an impression

28 January 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Guildford Police team take High Sheriff on patrol

25 January 2022/by Olivia Lucas

School chooses pastoral officer for a High Sheriff’s Award

25 January 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Bulldog spirit strengthens Skillway

17 January 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Ockford Ridge project benefits make an impression

10 January 2022/by Olivia Lucas

Let’s Create Jubilee Fund opens in January

22 December 2021/by Olivia Lucas

Learning how Eikon helps youngsters to thrive

15 December 2021/by Olivia Lucas

Well-deserved Unsung Heroes Award for Stanwell charities

14 December 2021/by Olivia Lucas

High Sheriff commends Spelthorne Youth Awards finalists

7 December 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Joining the Countess of Wessex at Disability Initiative

1 December 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

High Sheriff visits the Royal Alexandra & Albert School

30 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Day of visits strengthen ties in Reigate and Banstead

30 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

HMP Bronzefield partners with local parish church and homeless charity to provide secure home for women on release from prison

29 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Brookwood Cemetery team receives award for care

25 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Employee awards for HMP Send team

23 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Joining the dots with Guildford Samaritans

22 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Moving tribute to people impacted by Covid

20 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Royal visit to Transform Housing and Support

18 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Princess Alice Hospice tour reveals outstanding care

17 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Celebrating Hambledon Community Fund’s success

17 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Happy visit to Gosden House School

17 November 2021/by Olivia Lucas

Transformative MASCOT Hub earns award

16 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Applause and certificates for deserving young dancers

16 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Visit to HMP Coldingley

15 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Building relationships to enrich pupils’ lives

15 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Honouring veterans at Brookwood American Military Cemetery

14 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Honouring the fallen on Remembrance Sunday

14 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Wreath-laying marks Armistice Day in Chertsey

11 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Opening our eyes to dramatic benefits

11 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Staines Rotary awards for six potential future leaders

9 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Investiture ceremony for Surrey honours recipients

9 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Historic Goldsmiths’ Hall hosts High Sheriffs’ AGM

4 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

High Sheriff awards family and community projects in Stanwell

3 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

High Sheriff admires exceptional care at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice

3 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Royal visit supports Changing Perceptions

2 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Return visit to reward Holy Cross Hospital

2 November 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Remembering people of Barbadian heritage who died of Covid

31 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Training at HMP Bronzefield impresses High Sheriff

28 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

High Sheriff hears how young people benefit from Change of Scene

27 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Seeing Guildford Family Centre’s excellent family support first-hand

27 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

An evening of recognition for Surrey’s firefighters

22 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Surrey Poppy Appeal launch marks event’s centenary

22 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Disabled adult support charity makes a lasting impression

21 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Intriguing visit to the historic Shah Jahan Mosque

20 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Fascinating visits to the Muslim Peace Garden and Brookwood Cemetery

20 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Impressive backdrop for Police passing out parade

19 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

High Sheriff opens Arts Awards celebrating women’s creativity

19 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Guildford fun day gives young carers a welcome break

16 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Crimestoppers visit focuses on youth service

13 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Community work earns award for Barnett Wood Pre-School

13 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Queen’s Award presented to Surrey Ethnic Minority Forum

13 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Team receives award for first-rate community work

12 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Dr Llewelyn celebrates Law Sunday with fellow High Sheriffs

10 October 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Supporting the lifesaving work of KSS

30 September 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

SMEF healthy eating and healthy living in Surrey communities

25 September 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Woking Street Angels are back!

25 September 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

High Sheriffs finally meet at East Sussex Judges’ Service

24 September 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Woking schoolchildren win International Day of Peace Awards

21 September 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

High Sheriff visits Gosden House School

16 September 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Summit to write home about

30 August 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Big Leaf Foundation Summer School

26 August 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Concerted effort for Afghanistan refugees

24 August 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Treehouse retreat opens for patients

11 August 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Project MindWaves

4 August 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Visited Guildford Nursery School and Family Centre

13 July 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Backpack packing at Stripey Stork

8 July 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Service for the Judiciary

6 July 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

High Sheriff’s first summit starts to ‘join the dots’ on school exclusion

2 July 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Saluting Armed Forces Day

26 June 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Hats off to Hambledon volunteers

14 June 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford—first live show post lockdown

3 June 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Camberley Heath Youth Engagement Officers visit

20 May 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

High Sheriff visits exemplary school

19 May 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Visited Hambledon Pre-School

17 May 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

School support and training on ADHD

10 May 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

First visit as High Sheriff

4 May 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

GASP Motor Project in Albury

4 May 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

Dorking for Surrey Day

1 May 2021/by admin_tulrqjve

2021-2022 High Sheriff Installation

30 April 2021/by admin_tulrqjve