We celebrated the tenth anniversary of the High Sheriffs’ Fund at Sussex Community Foundation with a reception in the Kleinwort Room at the South of England Showground at Ardingly, in May. The event was planned with the invaluable help of Sir Richard Kleinwort Bt DL, Hugh Burnett OBE DL, Caroline Nicholls DL and Major General John Moore-Bick CBE DL – all past High Sheriffs of East and West Sussex.
Guests included the current High Sheriff of East Sussex, Violet Hancock, and the current High Sheriff of West Sussex, Davina Irwin-Clark, and 25 High Sheriffs of East and West Sussex, past and present. They were joined by Mrs Chantal Wilson DL, representing the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Her Honour Judge Christine Laing QC, Resident Judge in Sussex, and Chief Constable Giles York QPM of Sussex Police.
The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The origins of the Office date back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the king for the maintenance of law and order within the shire, or county, and for the collection and return of taxes due to the Crown. Today, there are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales each year.
The High Sheriffs’ Fund at Sussex Community Foundation has awarded 73 grants worth £64,000 to small charities and community groups across Sussex and, thanks to annual donations from the serving High Sheriffs and a few generous additional gifts, the High Sheriffs endowment fund has grown to £83,000. Together, they represent sustainable funding for Sussex charities and community groups into the future.
“The reception was to celebrate ten years’ of the High Sheriffs’ Fund and the very special relationship between High Sheriffs and Sussex Community Foundation,” said Kevin Richmond, Chief Executive of Sussex Community Foundation. “High Sheriffs have given us the most extraordinary support from the very beginning of the Foundation and they help us to reach small grassroots charities that most need our funding. It has been a great pleasure to work with all our High Sheriffs and we are tremendously grateful for everything they do for Sussex.”
Also present were representatives from four charities supported by the High Sheriffs’ Fund – the Clocktower Sanctuary, Children with Cancer (Polegate), Crawley Open House and Kangaroos.