NewsSally Scott, the new High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, is smiling and wearing her ceremonial uniform which consists of a black velvet coat, white shirt with lace ruffles and a black hat with white feathers.

Sally Scott has been sworn in as the new High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, taking up the role from Mark Beard. During her Shrieval year, Sally’s focus will be on raising awareness of the many issues that result in crime and to support initiatives that help address the causes before the involvement of the Criminal Justice System.

The office of High Sheriff in the UK

The office of High Sheriff is an independent, non-political royal appointment made by the King. While the role dates back to Saxon times, it has evolved to include a mix of ceremonial, charitable and community functions and is voluntary and unfunded. Supporting the crown and judiciary remain central elements.

The outgoing High Sheriff of Oxfordshire

The new High Sheriff, Sally Scott, has been sworn in at a ceremony in Oxford on 4th April. During the ceremony His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, Mrs Marjorie Glasgow BEM, spoke and made a presentation and gave thanks to Mark Beard, the outgoing High Sheriff, and his wife for all that Mark achieved during his Shrieval year. Mark’s theme during the year was to support young people from challenged backgrounds. He held two workshops at the Wood Centre in Oxford and the Town Hall in Banbury, where charities and businesses came together to share ideas. Over the course of the year Mark’s fundraising reached just under £200,000, a fantastic achievement that will hugely benefit his three chosen charities: Active Oxfordshire, Children Heard & Seen and Youth Challenge Oxfordshire.

At the end of Mark’s Shrieval year, as is customary, he held the High Sheriff Awards at Somerville College in Oxford to recognise some of the charities, schools and individuals that are supporting young people. A total of 21 awards were made, some with a small financial thank you linked to their own charity.

Mark summed up his Shrieval year by saying:

“My selfish hope is that a few of the initiatives that I started will have grown and be making a lasting impact in our County. My wider and deeper hope is that we move to a society where all young people have a good chance of living a satisfying life.”

The new High Sheriff of Oxfordshire’s focus for the year

Sally Scott gave a speech and outlined her plans for her year ahead. She aims to raise awareness of the issues that result in crime, such as addiction and homelessness, and to support initiatives that help address these causes of crime before the involvement of the Criminal Justice System. Sally’s focus on this issue results from her upbringing as a policeman’s daughter, and her concern that the public often fail to recognise the enormous contribution to all our lives that the police make.

Over 100 guests attended the ceremony and a reception afterwards, with catering by The Clink Events. The Clink Charity’s aim is to reduce reoffending by training and rehabilitating, and The Clink Events provides prisoners in training the opportunity to gain experience in event catering.  Food is prepared by serving prisoners training towards gaining their Level 1 and 2 NVQs in Professional Cookery in their central production training kitchen.

High Sheriff charity support

As a supporter of Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF), Sally explained that she is funding the production of the new edition of OCF’s Oxfordshire Uncovered report. This report highlight’s the most pressing issues we face in the county. She plans to link her ‘summer party’ with the launch of the report on 28th November 2023 which coincides with Giving Tuesday.  It is hoped that the launch will be a platform to not only highlight the problems the county faces, who are typically the most disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors of the community, but also how OCF and the charities it supports are addressing these needs.

Sally will also hold the High Sheriff Law Lecture and Court Sermon on Tuesday 10th October.

Sally is a trustee of Getting Court – a charity aimed at reducing youth offending, and actively supports Young Shakespeare – a project involving the RSC bringing Shakespeare to children.

We look forward to supporting and celebrating the work that Sally does in her Shrieval year.

Read the previous edition of Oxfordshire Uncovered for an insight into the needs of Oxfordshire’s most vulnerable people.