On Thursday 31st March, Imam Monawar Hussain ended his year as High Sheriff, which has been focused on celebrating Oxfordshire’s unsung heroes. He handed the role over to local businessman Mark Beard, who will raise money for charities that empower young people across the county.
Monawar received many accolades for his work recognising the efforts those Oxfordshire citizens who have gone above and beyond to support their communities during the pandemic and beyond. From vaccine centre volunteers to food parcel heroes; from NHS workers to delivery drivers; from magistrates to community befrienders – everyone receiving a High Sheriff’s Award from Monawar has given something special to Oxfordshire. With his characteristic generosity of spirit, Monawar has spread a ripple of positivity through the county during his Shrieval Year.
Monawar also recently became a trustee of OCF, and we hope to work even more closely with him now that life is calming down a little!
Mark Beard is the Director of Beard Construction, one of Oxfordshire’s leading businesses. He also holds a charitable fund with OCF dedicated to supporting local causes.
The key theme of Mark’s Shrieval year is “Supporting young people from challenged backgrounds” including encouraging our numerous, wonderful youth charities to work collaboratively more closely. He has chosen to support three excellent youth charities, namely:
Mark says: “The lasting impact of what we do together is far more important to me than the finite sum of money raised. Very pleasingly, all three charities have agreed to work together to maximise the benefit of their work. I am also working with Oxfordshire Youth to bring all charities that support young people within our county together for a one-day workshop; in part to maximise collaboration between charities, but also to introduce these charities to business people and others who can act as trustees, mentors and the like to the charities. Recognising the immense amount of good work already being carried out in our county for children from challenged backgrounds will be central to my year.”
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. The role now has an emphasis on supporting the local justice system, law enforcement authorities, prisons and probation service and being an advocate for them in our community, as well as working closely with local charities.