The Community Foundation for Surrey is delighted to have the High Sheriff of Surrey, Jim Glover, join us as a Trustee. As Jim’s Shrieval year draws to a close, we ask Jim to reflect on his time in post and learn about his passions moving forward to further support local communities.
1. Tell us about your role as High Sheriff?
The role is the most exhausting and the most rewarding I have ever undertaken.
In addition to upholding the ancient office through making a meaningful contribution to the county of Surrey, the High Sheriff lends active support to the judiciary, police and other law enforcement agencies, the emergency services, local authorities, church and faith groups.
The majority of my time is spent supporting, promoting and encouraging the charity, voluntary and not-for-profit sectors. Being able to say ‘thank you’ on behalf of the Surrey community to as many as possible of the thousands of active volunteers of all ages is a privilege and absolute delight!
2. What have you learnt about the needs in Surrey?
I thought that I knew Surrey well before I commenced my term of office – I didn’t have a clue!
The levels of deprivation and need for support, particularly among many young families in so many areas, is quite beyond belief in such a wealthy county.
3. Which Surrey need are you most passionate about and why?
As young people from families without any financial resources, my wife Cath and I were able to enjoy free education from early school right through to university – we were inspired, and it changed our entire lives. No child in Surrey should be lost to education, irrespective of individual special needs; you cannot delete a child.
My theme for the year is addressing the issue of the need for prevention of the permanent exclusion of pupils from schools across Surrey. Unanimous agreement exists amongst all professionals and specialists that early intervention is critical – we must act as a community to ensure that processes are in place to enable this to happen.
4. Can you name some of the inspiring projects/people you’ve visited over the past year?
The best surprise of my year has been my growing awareness of how many wonderful charities and astonishing volunteers we have across the county, working selflessly for the benefit of others in need.
5. As your Shrieval year comes to an end, what are you most excited about stepping into this new role?
It is readily apparent that significant need exists across our county, and that continuing budget restrictions make it impossible for local authorities to address this shocking situation. The Community Foundation for Surrey is one of the few organisations able to galvanise civil resources of all descriptions across Surrey to ensure that we can all act to help support our fellow citizens.
I have a firm, perhaps somewhat naive, belief that our community will simply not allow such inequality to continue once the levels of deprivation are clearly exposed. My own focus will be on young people; our greatest gift, our most precious resources and our future.
It is with grateful thanks to the vast number of Community Foundation supporters that we have the knowledge and expertise to help hundreds of community groups and individuals each year. We are delighted to welcome Jim to our team, and thank him for his tremendous support of the voluntary sector throughout his year has High Sherriff. We wish him every success in his final month in post.
If you would like to learn more about the Community Foundation for Surrey team, and how to get involved, please visit the Our People webpage here.