High Sheriff celebrates county’s charities

27th March 2023

High Sheriff of Cumbria, Alan McViety, welcomed people from around the county to an award ceremony recognising their tireless efforts to enhance and enrich the places where they live.

Individuals, community and voluntary-led groups, who often go unrecognised for their outstanding efforts, came together on Tuesday 21st March to celebrate their achievements and receive recognition and awards from the High Sheriff.

Mr McViety has visited voluntary organisations around the county during his year of office, learning more about their work.

Around 40 guests attended the ceremony, held at Roundthorn Country House Hotel in Penrith. The High Sheriff handed out 16 certificates alongside grant awards of £8,000 and issued three recipients with the prestigious High Sheriff’s Shield.

Ending his shrieval year with a celebration, Mrs McViety, said: “I was delighted to hold my awards where I had the opportunity to recognise the dedication and hard work of the various recipients. During my time as High Sheriff, I have met some wonderful volunteers dedicating their time to enhancing the life of their communities and making a difference to people’s lives. It is a privilege to have had this opportunity to recognise and honour just a few of them.”

Right2Work was recognised for its work with young people. Director, Sue Green, said: “The Youth Futures programme has been an excellent springboard for many young people who have been experiencing personal difficulties or setbacks. Mandy Morland, who has lead responsibility, has delivered a personalised and effective programme that has changed the lives of many young people and their families. We are all extremely proud at Right2Work of receiving the High Sheriff Award.”

The awards are part of the High Sheriff’s Fund, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, and publicly recognise both charities and individual volunteers who help improve their communities.

Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants & Programmes Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “There are an extraordinary number of voluntary and non-profit organisations working at the heart of our communities, and this is an opportunity for them to receive the recognition and support they deserve.”

The High Sheriff is one of the oldest Crown Offices, dating back to before the Battle of Hastings. As the Sheriff’s powers increased, they were considered to be a threat and in 1540 Henry VIII created Lord Lieutenants to take over the military duties. To this day, both the Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff are appointed by, and are representatives of, the Sovereign with the High Sheriff being responsible for law and order – keeping the King’s Peace.