New High Sheriff appointed in Warwickshire - The Leamington Observer

New High Sheriff appointed in Warwickshire

THERE’S a new High Sheriff in town – or at least, the county.

Sophie Hilleary was appointed Warwickshire’s 689th High Sheriff at a ceremony on Maundy Thursday (April 6) taking over from David Kelham.

Sophie will serve the county for the 2023/24 Shrieval year.

The office of High Sheriff is one of only two royal appointments in the county and has been extant since Saxon times. Historically, the Sheriff was responsible for raising troops, collecting taxes and catching criminals, all of which powers have over time been taken on by others.

Sophie qualified as a nurse at The Middlesex Hospital and spent 15 years working in the NHS initially in Open Heart and Lung surgery, before moving out into the community as a District Nursing Sister.

She is married to serial entrepreneur, Duncan Hilleary and in the early 2000’s they moved back to her family home and farm in Warwickshire to bring up their young family. She has worked with Duncan and then later with two of her daughters on three Warwickshire-based businesses in food production, online retail and renewable energy.

Sophie said: “I was beyond surprised and massively honoured to have been asked to serve our community in this ancient but important role. I look forward to carrying out my legal and ceremonial duties. I also very much look forward to supporting the High Sheriff’s charity, Crimebeat, which does so much with young people to help them reduce crime in our community.

“With my experience in community health, I am also keen to bring added focus onto our local health services and the extensive voluntary activity that we all benefit from so much in our county.”

Monica Fogarty, Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Council, said: “We are so fortunate that we live in Warwickshire, a county with a wide array of natural beauty and equally outstanding organisations, independent businesses and communities who all work tirelessly together to make this county the best it can be.

“We are also very fortunate to have had a succession of outstanding High Sheriffs in Warwickshire who have such a deep understanding of the county and the drive to make a positive impact during their time in the role.

“On behalf of Warwickshire County Council and the whole of Warwickshire, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Sophie Hilleary to the Office of High Sheriff and hope that she has a great year.”

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