THE NEW High Sheriff of North Yorkshire will spend her year in office thanking all the small charities for being community lifelines during the pandemic.

Through her links with local charities, Venetia Wrigley knows just how much work has been done by volunteers and local groups during the pandemic and how much it has been needed.

Already a deputy lord lieutenant for the county, she was sworn in to her new Queen’s Appointment post at a socially distanced ceremony at York Crown Court last week.

She said: “After a very tough 2020, I am ever hopeful that 2021 will bring a semblance of normality for everyone.

“Restrictions allowing, my ambition is to meet and thank the representatives of the many small charities who have been a lifeline to the members of our community during the pandemic, particularly those who have struggled to feed their families, the elderly who have felt isolated and the homeless who were faced with a particularly cruel winter.”

Mrs Wrigley, of Ganton near Malton, is a trustee of the Two Ridings Communities Foundation which provides funding and support for small charities and organisations in North and East Yorkshire.

During decades of work in the voluntary service, she has sat on the grants committee of “Turn2Us” a national organisation providing help and support for those in need to get back on their feet and been closely associated with other charities. She is also active with other local organisations, including the Malton Open Day for racing stables.

The Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Johanna Ropner attended the ceremony hosted by the Recorder of York Judge Sean Morris.

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.

Whilst the duties of the role have evolved over time, supporting the Crown and the judiciary remain central elements of the role today. In addition, High Sheriffs actively lend support and encouragement to crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and to the voluntary sector. In recent years High Sheriffs in many parts of England and Wales have been particularly active in encouraging crime reduction initiatives, especially amongst young people. Many High Sheriffs also assist Community Foundations and local charities working with vulnerable and other people both in endorsing and helping to raise the profile of their valuable work. The High Sheriffs´ Association adopted National Crimebeat in recent years in response to specific areas of need.

High Sheriffs receive no remuneration and no part of the expense of a High Sheriff’s year falls on the public purse.