What does the High Sheriff of Greater London do?
The High Sheriff supports, encourages and celebrates the work of the Greater London judiciary and courts, the wider legal profession and other organisations that support the work of the courts and the justice system more broadly.
This includes the work of the Metropolitan Police, London prisons, the London probation service, the emergency services, charities, faith and voluntary groups, as well as individual volunteers that support the work of the Justice System and those in need in the community.
Thanking people and celebrating what they do is at the heart of the role. This is done in a variety of ways: by presenting award certificates or other awards, holding events and through a programme of visits to meet people and thank them for their work.
Bringing people together to have discussions, help progress issues and solutions or shine a spotlight on issues is part of the work. This convening power can help join the dots between people who work in or support different sectors within the justice system but may not often meet. Increasingly this convening power is exercised through on-line discussions and meetings, but hosting events such as dinners or conferences is another way in which people may be brought together.
The High Sheriff also supports the work of the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London and his Building Bridges project which aims to increase social inclusion and Londoners’ sense of belonging.
High Sheriffs around the country have the opportunity to support initiatives led by young people to combat crime and by putting them forward for a National Crimebeat Award. Supporting youth awards in Greater London, in addition to the National Crimebeat Awards, is one of the projects underway to enhance the effectiveness of the work done by the High Sheriff of Greater London.
All this work will continue to adapt to the needs of the communities we support in Greater London.
A short history of the office of High Sheriff, the Framework in place today and how High Sheriffs are nominated are covered by this page. A list of some of the charitable and voluntary organisations we engage with is included, with links to their websites, to give a flavour of the extraordinary work done by charities and volunteers to support those in need.
Although not an exhaustive list the High Sheriff of Greater London has had recent engagement with the organisations and charities listed below. Links are included so you can find out more about their work.
Charity Walk for Peace is a charity promoted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK which organises walks all over the country to raise money for charities who can apply for grants. The charities benefitting from this range from medical research societies to community groups. The Association promotes a number of initiatives to benefit the community and raises considerable amounts through volunteers for the annual poppy appeal of the Royal British Legion.
Clink, The Clink Charity, aims to reduce reoffending through the training and rehabilitation of prisoners. Clink has established training facilities and also restaurants in 4 prisons, including HMP Brixton in London, providing the opportunity to prisoners to get qualifications in hospitality and catering and serve in the restaurants. Training in Horticulture is another opportunity provided. Clink plan to expand Clink Kitchens, another training initiative within some prisons, to a much larger number and have established an Events business for catering externally. Clink ran Clink at Home from Brixton during the lockdowns.
Fighting Knife Crime London seeks to address the causes and effects of knife crime and aims to build bridges through an online meeting place and provide news, resources and research for organisations and people who are seeking to help young people change lives for the better in Greater London. It also aims to combat social exclusion.
Fine Cell Work provides training to prisoners in high quality, skilled and creative needlework to foster hope and build self-esteem and skills to help prisoners rebuild their lives. A post release programme is also provided to enable their graduates to adjust to life after prison and build skills and confidence. The handmade items made through Fine Cell Work can be bought by the public.
Human Trafficking Foundation has the objective to shape effective policy and legislation by equipping people to understand better the extent and nature of human trafficking, identify opportunities for new and different types of intervention and by holding seminars to educate and bring others together to progress solutions.
Koestler Arts has been transforming lives through promoting arts in prisons, secure hospitals and immigration centres to build skills and encourage creativity as a means to rehabilitation and has been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for nearly 60 years.
Leap Confronting Conflict aims to give young people the skills to manage conflict in their lives, through increasing understanding and self esteem to help them in their lives and fulfil aspirations and reduce violence in their communities. Leap works with adults who support young people to manage conflict and develops programmes that take an early intervention approach.
London Youth Support Trust (LYST) supports young people largely from communities facing challenges, including those released from prison, set up or grow a business. Workshops, advice and mentoring is provided and work space for two years
National Literacy Trust
Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) supports prisoners, people with convictions and their families in making a fresh start and to minimise the harm that can be caused by imprisonment on offenders, families and communities. PACT work at the intersection of criminal justice, social care, mental health and child and family welfare. PACT runs Visitors’ centres in prisons.
Prisoners’ Education Trust provides educational opportunities for men and women in prison to help make a positive change in their lives.
Prison Fellowship is a Christian organisation helping prisoners through restorative justice and letter writing programmes and enabling prisoners to provide Christmas presents for their children. They provide support to busy Prison chaplaincies.
Prison Reform Trust provides information and seeks to influence public debate on prison conditions and treatment of prisoners through research, analysis and publications.
Shannon Trust helps prisoners learn to read or improve their reading skills through providing one to one teaching or self-study resources to equip them with a necessary skill to help rebuild lives. They also work with partners in the community to support people to learn to read. Their statistics show that over 50 percent of people in prison cannot read or struggle to.
St Giles Trust help people who face poverty, exploitation, crime, abuse or suffer from mental health or substance abuse issues and help show a better way to build a future. The Pantry, during lockdown, provided fresh food to people at a very small cost and provided help and advice. Celebrating its 60th year this year.
The Passage has had the mission to eliminate homelessness since it was formed in the 1980s. Its No Night Out project is a response to the Everyone In plan, implemented London wide during the lockdowns to bring people in who were living on the streets, in which the Passage was a participant. Rooms are provided for those at risk and also for the long term homeless, with wrap around care. Food is provided in a canteen in the charities’ premises.
Tutu Foundation UK and Youth Futures Ubuntu Round Tables Project brings young people and the police together to build respect and understanding, help reduce antagonism and build trust in communities to improve safety. Discussions are facilitated and mediated by young people who are trained through the project and who recruit participants and deliver the Roundtables.
Volunteer Police Cadets is a uniformed voluntary youth organisation, supported by The Metropolitan Police Service, open to young people aged 13-18 from across all London’s communities, irrespective of their background or financial circumstances, including those vulnerable to crime or social exclusion. Cadets support those in the community in a variety of ways and support local policing. Getting involved encourages good citizenship and resilience.
Witness Support (Citizens Advice) provides free, independent advice and emotional support for witnesses in every criminal Court, through trained volunteers, to help witnesses understand the court process and feel more confident when giving evidence
YOU London is a partnership of 11 uniformed youth group organisations in London and provides opportunities for young people to take part in events and training programmes.