Essex Community Foundation

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Introducing the new High Sheriff

12th April 2018

Modern-day issues are high on the agenda for Bryan Burrough in the year ahead, as he takes on an historic role, becoming the 838th High Sheriff of Essex.

Bryan, who lives in Ulting near Maldon, is looking forward to travelling all around the county as the new High Sheriff.

He will be meeting as many charities and volunteers as possible to promote and encourage the sterling work they are doing in the community to support law and order and tackle crime and social problems.

He will also be promoting the High Sheriff's Fund, which is run by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).  Grants are awarded by the Fund to voluntary organisations and groups to support initiatives concerned with community safety in the county.

The role of High Sheriff is a self-funding, voluntary one and Bryan is prepared for a busy year.

“It is a unique opportunity and is almost a full-time job,” he said. “Today's High Sheriffs take on a rather different role from the original High Sheriffs’, who were responsible for raising taxes.

“But I feel that the role is even more relevant in this day and age. Austerity has had a wide-reaching effect on the judicial system and many issues are now being dealt with by the voluntary sector. The High Sheriff can give these voluntary organisations recognition and encourage them to interact.”

Bryan is particularly keen to give prominence to organisations working with young men in Essex to try to steer them away from destroying their future prospects and damaging others with destructive behaviour.

“Young men like this can be on a slippery slope which leads to offending and spending time in custody,” he said.

“I believe there should be far more focus on why people turn to crime and how we can prevent them from doing so. There are many issues involved, including literacy and having positive male role models.

“There are some great organisations in the county doing very good work and I am looking forward to singing their praises. The High Sheriff can play an important role in thanking the unthanked.”

Bryan, who has lived in Essex for 22 years, retired from his career in the City in November 2017. For the past 25 years he was an investment manager specialising in investing for charities.

His family firm, James Burrough, has made gin since 1863 and he has followed in his father’s footsteps to become Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers.

Although not Essex born and bred, Bryan has huge enthusiasm for the county and is relishing the prospect of seeing more of it as High Sheriff.

On many occasions he will be accompanied by his wife Philippa, an avid gardener whose family came from Maldon.

The couple have two sons Leo, who is at Edinburgh University and George, who will be going to University this year.

Bryan said: “Outside my family the loves of my life are National Hunt horse racing and Scottish Rugby.”

He has high regard for ECF which he rates as “one of the best in the country” and wants to highlight its work which aims to improve the lives of people in Essex.

“We have a fascinating and very varied county and, in the visits I have already made, I have found that people are very helpful,” he said. “My Sat Nav is ready and I want to meet as many people as I can around the county during the coming year.”