High Sheriff of Hampshire Awards 2024
Awardees at the High Sheriff of Hampshire Awards March 2024: Image courtesy of Joe Low

The High Sheriff of Hampshire Awards were presented by the current High Sheriff, Amelia Riviere, to 23 public servants and volunteer driven groups at a special celebration in Winchester yesterday (Thursday 14 March). These awards are a mark of distinction and recognition for those supporting the criminal justice system and making Hampshire a safer and more socially cohesive place to live.

A ceremony hosted by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) took place at the Wessex Learning Centre and was attended by representatives from Hampshire Constabulary alongside local dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant and Police and Crime Commissioner.  Individuals, public servants, community groups and regional public services were celebrated for their dedication to deterring anti-social behaviour, violence and crime across Hampshire. People and groups specialising in support and rehabilitation for those affected by or who have committed crime were also recognised.

Hugh Sanderson is a Samaritans Listening Volunteer for Winchester and District Samaritans and has worked with individuals and communities in times of need for more than 12 years. He was recognised at the awards ceremony for his dedication to training, coaching and supporting Prison Listeners as leader of the Prison Team for HMP Winchester. After receiving his award from the High Sheriff he said:

“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to lead our team of volunteers at HMP Winchester. We take time to train and support groups of prisoners as listeners who provide face to face support to other prisoners at any time of the day or night. They do this as volunteers and receive no pay or perks for their service. People in prison are very vulnerable and among the highest risk group for death by suicide, so this is a public service that really matters. It saves lives, reduces harm and provides hope for the callers and at the same time gives the listeners valuable life skills and a sense of contributing to others. It is a welcome tribute to the whole team, Samaritans and volunteers, to have this work recognised today.”

Also recognised were a dedicated team of volunteers working around the clock, making difficult decisions in difficult situations. Humane Animal Dispatch volunteers are trained to humanely destroy animals injured, usually through road traffic accidents, around the county. Their commitment means police can respond to other priorities, putting victims first and making communities feel safer.

Tony Lowry, Rod Greenwood, Martin Boxall, Darren Robinson, Glenn Moores and Martin Edwards form the Humane Animal Dispatch team. After collecting their award, they said:

“The role of a Humane Animal Dispatcher often occurs in the early hours of the morning, sometimes in dark lonely rural locations, sometimes in residential areas or a city centre, or a motorway or dual-carriage way. We do this 24/7/365, reducing the suffering of wildlife caught in road collisions and freeing up armed police units to be deployed where they are needed most. We are delighted and honoured to be recognised with an award. We look forward to developing the service alongside Hampshire & Isle of Wight Police, and assisting with a national rollout of best practices.

Amelia Rivière, High Sheriff of Hampshire for 2023-2024, made the presentations and had an opportunity to meet with the awardees to hear their stories. She said:

“In my time as High Sheriff I have been wowed by how many extraordinary people I have met doing extraordinary things to improve our communities and the outcome for individuals. This year, we received a great number of nominations, making it very hard to choose the final list of awardees. This demonstrates the breadth of positive work being undertaken right across Hampshire to support our criminal justice system. Those who were recognised in this year’s awards have gone above and beyond to improve people’s lives, and often in very difficult situations. It was an honour meeting the individuals face to face to thank them for their hard work and commitment.”

Jacqui Scott, HIWCF CEO, said:

“Crime can have a huge impact on individuals and communities and the people who work to increase safety in our communities are often behind the scenes supporting people with complex problems.  But the difference this can make to communities is huge.  HIWCF is yet again delighted to have supported the High Sheriff of Hampshire in celebrating our voluntary sector groups and volunteers, the people who willingly go the extra mile to make Hampshire a better place to live and work. Every year we are inspired by the wonderful work of those receiving an award and the many people who truly go above and beyond to make Hampshire a great place to live.”

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