New High Sheriff for Wiltshire and Swindon 2024-25

Wiltshire’s new High Sheriff was sworn in on Friday, 5th April 2024 in a ceremony which dates back to Saxon times. Dr Olivia Chapple made her Declaration and acceptance at St John the Baptist Church, Bishopstone, nr Salisbury, taking over from Mr Pradeep Bhardwaj.  Around 100 guests attended the ceremony and reception.

Dr Olivia is the co-founder and chair of the trustees of Horatio’s Garden charity. Horatio was her eldest son.

Dr Olivia trained in medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital London, followed by postgraduate training at The Royal Free Hospital and worked as a general practitioner until 2011. She served as a charity Board Director for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation until 2012. As a GP she was an advocate of the benefits of gardens and gardening and has seen first-hand how the natural environment can comfort and enhance wellbeing.

In 2017 Dr Olivia was awarded a ‘Points of Light’ award by the Prime Minister for voluntary service. In 2020, she was awarded the Carew Pole Award by the RHS in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the world of horticulture.

Theme for 2024-25

The theme Dr Olivia has chosen for her High Sheriff year will be focussed on charities involved with connecting people with nature.

People are welcome to visit Horatio’s Garden in Salisbury, the charity’s first project. Horatio’s Garden now has seven projects across the UK all improving the lives of people facing life changing spinal injuries. For more information see  www.horatiosgarden.org.uk

The High Sheriff is the Sovereign’s representative in the County for matters of law and order.  It is the oldest secular office in England and Wales after the Crown. Their term of office is for one year. High Sheriffs play an active role in upholding the principal parts of the Constitution i.e. members of the Royal family when visiting the County; the Judiciary, Police, Prison service and other law enforcement agencies; the Emergency Services, Local Authorities, and all recognised faith groups. They also work closely with the voluntary sector in their wider role of helping maintain safe and stable communities. The post is entirely voluntary and unpaid.

For more information contact Wiltshire Council’s Communications Team communications@wiltshire.gov.uk or visit the webpage http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/community-environment-high-sheriff

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