High Sheriff Awards celebrates the work of local charities

3rd March 2022

Local charities and voluntary organisations that contribute to community safety and crime prevention received thanks and recognition at the prestigious High Sheriffs’ Awards.

Among the projects receiving support are an innovative digital platform to help people who are homeless to access support, a counselling service for women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, activities to keep young people off the streets and a project to raise awareness of drink “spiking”.

Around 180 guests attended this year’s ceremony held at Hylands House in Chelmsford with support from Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council.  BBC Essex presenters, Steve Scruton and Ian Wyatt, announced the award winners and conversations were broadcast live throughout the Evening Show.

Trophies, certificates and grants totalling £40,500 were presented by the outgoing High Sheriff of Essex, Simon Brice.

The grants came from the High Sheriffs’ Fund, which was established to give credit to local initiatives that address crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour, and is managed by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Simon Brice, the 841st of High Sheriff of Essex, has visited voluntary organisations around the County during his year of office. Simon said, “Over the last 12 months I have met with over 100 voluntary and community organisations across the County.

“It has been a privilege to learn about the wide scope of their work and I hope that I have helped to raise their profile and recognise their dedication and commitment to improve the lives of local people and make Essex a safer place.”

He added, “It is wonderful that so many people from across the County were able to come together to celebrate the achievements of our amazing voluntary and community groups in Essex.   This is nothing less than they thoroughly deserve”.

The five main Award winners are:

  • The High Sheriffs’ Cup was presented to UTurn4Support. Their youth workers are helping young people in Clacton to build life skills and develop resilience to prevent them from becoming a victim of crime. They also received £3,000.
  • The Essex County Council Bowl which recognises voluntary organisations that work in partnership to deliver programmes, was awarded to Safe Steps. Based in Southend, Safe Steps works in partnership with Essex Police, local agencies and other charities to help women and children who have experienced domestic abuse get the support they need. They also received £2,000.
  • The Essex County Fire & Rescue Shield, which recognises an organisation’s work with young people, was awarded to Kaos Youth Club. The Rochford youth club has become a focal point for young people, playing a significant role in keeping them off the streets and helping them to use their free time positively.  A grant of £1,500 will help cover their running costs.
  • The Essex Police Cup was given to African Families in the UK which provides activities and support to young people from ethnic communities in Colchester. They also educate them in how to keep safe and make positive life choices which could affect their future. A grant of £3,000 will support this work.
  • The High Sheriffs Shield has been awarded to Open Road. This is in recognition of their outstanding work helping people who are struggling with an addiction, and for their valuable outreach work on the volunteer-run SOS buses. A grant of £2,000 will support their latest awareness and prevention campaign on the issue of drink “spiking”.

Since the High Sheriffs’ Fund came under ECF’s management in 1997 it has distributed grants totalling nearly £700,000.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF, said, “We are delighted to manage the High Sheriffs’ Fund and work with successive High Sheriffs’, to increase the amount of funding available each year to support voluntary organisations that contribute to community safety in Essex.”

On top of the £40,500 being presented from the High Sheriff’s Fund, ECF will award an additional £132,000 from other funds under its management.

The High Sheriffs’ Award Scheme recognises community initiatives which address crime, community safety and anti-social behaviour. The office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The High Sheriff receives no expenses and the role comes at no cost to the public purse.

View a list of all organisations that received grants from the High Sheriffs’ Fund 2022 here.

To view and download photos of the High Sheriff of Essex with certificates and trophies for each of the groups, visit our Flickr page here.