High Sheriff event raises more than £10,000

More than 200 people joined High Sheriff Nicky Alberry at an event to mark her year in office, raising more than £10,000 into the bargain.

The money will go into a fundraising pot to be shared among charities helping to tackle the effects of domestic violence, which she has chosen as the theme of her year.

Representatives from six charities joined the High Sheriff’s guests at STEAM in Swindon, where they were able to talk to them about their work and the challenges they face. The groups were Swindon Women’s Aid, Splitz, Home Start Kennet, the Nelson Trust, Pause and Spurgeons.

Also invited was Dave Walters from the Great Bustard Group, which provided the feather for the High Sheriff’s hat.

The museum, which celebrates Swindon and Wiltshire’s railway heritage, inspired the rail journey them of the evening. Guests were treated to food that celebrated railway journeys around the world and goodie bags decorated with specially-designed train tickets and containing sweets and a bottle of Arkell’s beer.

Mrs Alberry said: “It was a wonderful evening and I was so pleased that people enjoyed it. It was lovely to see everyone having a good time. It was amazing to stand there and address everyone from the footplate of the Caerphilly Castle locomotive, I’d just like to thank everyone who came along.”

She said the real highlight of the evening was seeing the groups she has pledged to support interacting with the guests and being able to talk about their work. “It was a great opportunity for the charities to talk to a wider audience and I know that a few of them have recruited some volunteers as a result,” she said.

“I’ve had lots of complimentary emails from people who were there, which is very pleasing.”

She is working with the Wiltshire Community Foundation throughout her year in office to raise money for her chosen charities and highlight the issue of domestic violence.

She said: “I’d like to thank Fiona Oliver and Maggie Watson from the community foundation for their hard work helping to organise the event, Ian Surtees at STEAM for providing such a marvellous venue, Arkell’s for being the main sponsor and John Simpson at Hospitality Catering for providing the most amazing food.”

Community foundation chief executive Rosemary Macdonald said: “We are delighted to be able to support the High Sheriff this year. It was such a valuable opportunity for the charities to showcase their work to a new audience.”

Her next event will be a dinner at Bowood House at Derry Hill, near Chippenham, on September 14. Speakers will be campaigner Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Women’s Aid Federation of England, and designer and entrepreneur Cath Kidson. The High Sheriff event was sponsored by Business West.

More details of the event are available on the High Sheriff’s Facebook page.



For more information please email or call Gary Lawrence on 01380729284 or 07866 422308.