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The Office of High Sheriff of Lancashire

The High Sheriff of Lancashire has ancient origins and is personally appointed by the King in his Right as Duke of Lancaster. The office, as Keeper of the Kings Peace, is unpaid and held for one year.


Young Citizen's Awards 2021

A special virtual award ceremony attended remotely by more than 150 people was hosted by BBC Radio Lancashire’s Andy Mitchell. Myself and Lancashire Constabulary’s Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods presented the awards via Teams.

It has been a privilege to be able to recognise young citizens of Lancashire and my thanks go to those who have been involved: The Lancashire Partnership against Crime (LANPAC) for all the work they do organising the event, the Constabulary for the interest they take, and very importantly our sponsors UCLan who have also put on the virtual award ceremony this year.

I am humbled by the many examples of selflessness from these young people. It was a very difficult job to select winners from so many excellent nominations. Very many congratulations to all those nominated and particularly to our award winners for their exceptional deeds and the qualities they showed.

Congratulations to James, Alfie and Freddie, and to everybody who was nominated.

Young Citizens Award Zoom Ceremony

Andy Mitchell MC for Young Citizens Awards


Blackburn Cathedral's Day of Remembrance

I attended Blackburn Cathedral on the one year anniversay of the first lockdown where I lit the first candle in memory of those people of Lancashire who lost their lives to Covid-19. This was followed by the lighting of 4161 candles in memory of all those who have died during the last twelve months. A very moving service was given by the Dean of the Cathedral. 

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The Next High Sheriff of Lancashire

Her Majesty the Queen has appointed the next High Sheriff of Lancashire, Edwin Booth. Edwin will take office after being sworn in on the 11th April. Edwin Booth min  

Supporting the North West Ambulance Service

One of my responsibilities as High Sheriff is to support the emergency services and the voluntary sector, so after a conversation with a member of the North West Air Ambulance service, I decided to step in to help boost their funds after the Coronavirus pandemic hit the charity’s 21st birthday fundraising plans.
The NWAA ticks both boxes as it’s a charity completely but also very much an emergency service.

I decided to walk the Lancashire part of the Ribble Way, opting to walk 63 km (“three x 21”) and was delighted that the north west region’s other High Sheriffs took up the challenge to do their own walks or support the charitable fundraising under the NWAA Go21! Challenge banner.
HHJ John Roberts, High Sheriff of Merseyside has walked the Wirral Way twice and Julie Barton, High Sheriff of Cumbria, walked 21 miles in the footsteps of the Air Ambulance following its path from Coniston to Furness General Hospital. Greater Manchester High Sheriff Eamonn O’Neal and Cheshire High Sheriff Nick Hopkinson have also been generous in their support.

Each year the charity attends 2,000 calls and needs to raise £9.5m a year to keeps its service in the air.
The North West Air Ambulance attended 2570 call outs, of which 759 were in Lancashire during 2020.
The charity serves a population of 8.5 m people. In December alone it carried out 205 missions across the north west attending: 54 road traffic collisions, 2 sport/leisure emergencies, 45 medical calls, 50 accidental injuries and 54 other incidents.

For my part I walked the 63km Lancashire section of the Ribble Way from Paythorne to Longton, split over seven days between December 12 and 28. I was joined by my husband, Andrew, and friends joined me along the way to offer support. I was also pleased to be met by a family who have benefited from the services of the ambulance.
I am delighted that the High Sheriffs have raised in excess of £12000 for this very worthy cause. A remarkable achievement from many generous people!

IMG 3649With Canon Revd Brian McConkeyMid way




Swearing in of the Family Magistrates

In more usual circumstances I would have an active role in supporting the High Court Judges when on circuit, so I was delighted to be able to attend in person, with appropriate Covid safe measures in place, of the swearing in of the Family Magistrates.

Swearing in of the family magistrates

The High Sheriff with HHJ Altham and HHJ Bancroft





Awards for Pandemic Heroes

As High Sheriff of Lancashire, I would normally have been travelling throughout the county, offering encouragement and support to people who are making a difference to the lives of others.
This year I have been unable to make visits and so I asked others to nominate those who they felt deserved recognition for things they have done during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over two hundred nominations were received from all areas of the county and for people of all ages.
Some initiatives were self-help or started from scratch and run entirely by volunteers. Other people have made a special effort by going well beyond the terms of their normal employment.

Those who have received an award include:
• a ten-year-old who ran a marathon over 14 days, raising £4000 for a local charity;
• an individual who used their 3D printer to make face shields for the NHS and other key workers;
• groups of women from across the county who used their skills to make face masks;
• the Bowland & Pennine Mountain Rescue Team who continued to rescue and search for vulnerable people throughout lockdown;
• Special Constables and those working in the Lancashire Resilience Forum;
• several different faith organisations which provided community support during the pandemic; and
• existing charities and volunteers who continued to provide food and assistance for the most vulnerable.

Awards, Certificates of Recognition and letters of thanks have been sent to all those who have been nominated.

The response to the High Sheriff Awards has been tremendous and shows the caring spirit that exists throughout Lancashire. As Covid-19 is still very much with us, many continue to go that extra mile to help others. I applaud, congratulate and thank them all.

Remembrance Day 2020

High Sheriff and Mr Penny

Laying a wreath


Due to the government regulations in place during the second UK Covid-19 lockdown, Acts of Remembrance were very different to usual.
I was pleased to be able to attend the simple Act of Remembrance
at Hurst Green on Sunday 8th November and to able to lay a wreath.
'At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them'

Young Citizen Award 2021

As High Sheriff of Lancashire I have been privileged to hear of many people who have been selfless and put themselves out to help others in the community. It is always particularly encouraging when one hears of young people who are doing exceptional things for the good of others.  
The High Sheriff of Lancashire’s Young Citizen’s Award is my way of acknowledging and rewarding the very good deeds of Lancashire’s young people – those who have gone above and beyond to help others. I would like to hear about initiatives which have made a beneficial difference to the lives of others, locally, nationally or even internationally. This includes notable acts of bravery or kindness as well.
Do you know a young person or group of young people under the age of 21 who have made a difference to the lives of others? If so, please nominate them for the 2021 LANPAC Young Citizen’s Award. Nominations can be made by anyone and it is only with your help that these young people can be given the thanks and recognition they deserve.
The Winners and Runners-Up will be selected by a panel of judges (which I will chair) and includes representatives from the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime , the Lancashire Constabulary, the University of Central Lancashire and Rodney Swarbrick CBE DL (a former High Sheriff who initiated this awards scheme).
All Finalists will be invited to attend a presentation at Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters in March 2021 when the Winner will receive £500 together with a specially commissioned trophy and a certificate from the High Sheriff. There will also be two Runners-Up who will each receive £100 and a certificate.
This scheme is being administered by the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime Charity on behalf of the High Sheriff and the closing date for nominations is 31st January 2021. Any further information required can be obtained from Al Yusuf on 01772-412796 or Anna Baybutt on – 01772 412372 and by clicking on this link LanPac High Sheriff Award
I look forward to lots of nominations and reading about some terrific achievements that our young people are involved with in Lancashire.
With best wishes,
Catherine Penny
High Sheriff

Please click on this link to see the poster


Visit to the Lancashire Police HQ

Catherine Oscar KiloAfter nearly five months it was lovely to be able to make my first visit in person.

My husband and I were treated to a most interesting morning at Lancashire Police Headquarters at the end of August.

A generous hour with the Assistant Chief Constable got us up to date with how the police have been managing over the last few months. They have had to balance business as usual with additional duties, trying to police the Covid-19 Regulations. Significant restrictions have been imposed to manage the rate of infection in a number of Lancashire towns throughout the summer, which has added to the challenge.

It was fascinating to have the opportunity to learn about modern policing. One of the excellent resources the Lancashire Police have is their mounted division. It is the second largest mounted force in the country after the Metropolitan Police and an excellent tool for coping with people gathering in larger numbers than they should. An officer on top of a 17hand horse is an imposing prospect and socially distanced too.


During my visit I was treated to a demonstration of the use of drones in modern policing – another tool for combatting crime from a distance. I also met an officer in the wellbeing unit, which has been formed recently. This is a necessary resource in these stressful times. Finally, it was a privilege to spend time with some of the key members of the Lancashire Resilience Forum which is based at the Police Headquarters. An advantage of having a nuclear power station in the county is that the Forum was already in place and was able to respond to the onset of Covid-19 swiftly.

 Mounted Police   Sgt James Cooper and Guild

VE Day

As High Sheriff of Lancashire I am very much aware that many people had planned events and church services to commemorate 75years since the end of WWII in Europe.

The Nation owes an enormous debt to the sailors, soldiers and airmen who brought the war to its conclusion. At home there was a similar struggle which was dealt with by the Civil Defence, Police, Fire and Ambulance Services all of whom made such a huge contribution to life in Britain.

Seventy-five years on these same services are undertaking a major role in helping us cope with the coronavirus pandemic, plus many others who are working in health and caring professions and these numbers include a great many volunteers.

I had hoped to go out to all the regions of the County to join in the commemorative events, clearly that is not possible, so I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of those of us who are able to stay safely at home, to say a big Thank You to all those making a difference to other people’s lives at the moment. My husband and I will wave a flag in gratitude just as he did 75 years ago!

AHP on VE day