2017 Community Awards


The High Sheriff of Hampshire Mr Tom Floyd has announced the 21 recipients receiving commendations for good work in the community. The High Sheriff Awards are a mark of distinction and recognition given to individual volunteers and community groups based in Hampshire who are making a significant contribution to society, with a particular emphasis on safety and cohesion in the community.

The Awards were presented on 15th March at a fitting ceremony held in the Great Hall in Winchester, one of the finest surviving aisled halls of the 13th century containing the greatest symbol of medieval mythology, King Arthur’s Round Table.

Seven individuals and eleven community groups and organisations received certificates to commend the meaningful work that they do in keeping our neighbourhoods safe. Many of these individuals go beyond the ‘call of duty’ in their everyday work offering support and services within their communities and deserve special recognition for their commitment.

The successful nominees are:
•    The Right to Work – Beacon Group, Havant
•    The Round About Café, Southampton
•    Hythe Youth Club & Volunteers, Hythe
•    Hampshire Community Court, Basingstoke
•    Hampshire Community Court, Fareham
•    New Help the Homeless in Southampton
•    Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS)
•    Fleet Angels, Fleet
•    Community Team at Park Community School, Havant
•    Charlie Wright & Vivienne Wheeler – Friends of the Family, Winchester
•    Gosport Community Safety Team Sorrell Kenny, Sam Mitchell and Carly Perry,
•    John Molony, SSAFA Alton
•    Roy Sutton, Neighbourhood Watch, Hartley Wintney
•    Ian Wright, PCSO, Gosport
•    Lisa Baldock, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Portsmouth
•    Court Reward – Nathan Jones
•    Court Reward – Terry Bicknell
•    Court Reward – Oliver McDermott

Friends of the Family is a charity for vulnerable families and their children living in the Winchester district.  Vivienne Wheeler is Chairman of the organisation and works tirelessly to improve the life chances of young children through early intervention, to ensure an immeasurable effect on their lives. Vivienne also leads vital fundraising activities to ensure the charity is the success it is today.

Charlie Wright is a Counsellor for Friends of the Family, leading the ‘Dads Project’ working with male prisoners in Winchester prison before and after their release. Charlie supports his clients in establishing and maintaining contact and relationships with their children, gaining their trust and friendship and offering them practical advice to change their lives. Charlie has also set up a monthly Dads and Kids Group to encourage fathers to build a bond with their children.

Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) is a busy independent lifeboat service covering the Solent and Portsmouth Harbour areas, responding to 112 incidents in 2016. GAFIRS are unpaid volunteer members on call 24 hours a day, 365 days per year in all weather. The group also give free sea-safety education talks in schools and community groups in South Hampshire.

Basingstoke / Fareham
Hampshire Community Court is a Peer Court programme where young trained volunteers hold children aged 10 to 17 to account when they have broken the law for the first time. This is done through positive peer influence to counter the negative pressures associated with early child offending. Fareham Community Court was the original pilot scheme in Hampshire and they have now helped over 300 cases, while Basingstoke Community Court has been running since July 2016.

Sorrell Kenny, Sam Mitchell, and Carly Perry from the Gosport Community Safety Team all ensure the safety of vulnerable young people and families and supporting local residents that require additional help for a variety of needs. The team deal with issues such as anti-social behaviour or drug use, ensuring funding and co-ordination is in place to meet these needs.  

The Round About Café helps people who have been out of work for a long time to build confidence, enabling them to make new friends and prevent social isolation. The café works with many partners including the police who hold regular consultations in the café to be more accessible to the public and community.

The High Sheriff, Mr Tom Floyd, said: “The awards ceremony was a truly inspiring occasion and I am delighted to recognise these unsung heroes carrying out their great work and making a real difference to their communities. I have seen first-hand the outstanding work carried out across Hampshire in order to provide support to vulnerable people in our area”.

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) organises the High Sheriff’s Awards working in partnership with the High Sheriff of Hampshire. Jakes Ferguson, Chief Executive of HIWCF commented “The High Sheriff Awards support the values and the work that HIWCF implements at grassroots level across Hampshire communities and we are pleased to be able to support the High Sheriff in recognising the great work of local individuals and organisations in our area”.

Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas visits Winchester

14 Feb 2017 – Photo Stuart Martin – The Lord Chief Justice pictured at Winchester Law Court where he is sitting at the court of appeal

On February 14th, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas visited Winchester. He came to hear a variety of appeals against sentences previously passed in the Hampshire Courts, the appeals were not successful. Lord Thomas was sitting with the Hon Mr Justice Dingemans and the Hon Mrs Justice May, the two presiding Judges on the Western Circuit, seen on either side of the Lord Chief Justice in the centre. The Judge in red is the Honorary Recorder of Winchester, His Honour Judge Keith Cutler CBE.

The High Sheriff visits GAFIRS – the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service.

The High Sheriff visits GAFIRS – the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service.

The High Sheriff visits GAFIRS – the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service.

The High Sheriff visits GAFIRS – the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service. GAFIRS provides rescue cover for H.M. Coastguard for much of the Solent and all of Portsmouth Harbour. In 2016 they responded to 113 incidents, helping nearly 200 people, including saving 3 lives. GAFIRS is an independent charity entirely staffed by volunteers a number of whom were busy today on essential maintenance work.




A cyber security conference organised by Tom Floyd DL, the High Sheriff of Hampshire and Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) was held at St John’s House in Winchester on 10th November 2016. The event was a joint initiative between Action Hampshire, HIWCF, Hampshire Constabulary, Fixers, Southampton University and Vermont to help smaller charities and voluntary organisations protect themselves against the threat of cyber-crime. Over 70 participants attended from organisations across Hampshire, with a closing speech by the Mayor of Winchester Cllr Jane Rutter.

In 2014, £1.2 billion of direct debit donations were made to charity, providing a huge temptation to criminals perceiving charities and voluntary groups to be an easy target. Smaller voluntary organisations and community groups don’t often have the financial or staff resources to protect themselves against cyber-attack and can find their customer database held to ransom, their website forced offline or they may suffer loss of access to emails or business-critical data. The impact on charities following a cyber-attack can be immense, involving loss of funds, valuable staff resources wasted trying to resolve the situation, and donors potentially losing their trust in that organisation.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics indicate that fraud and computer misuse accounting for 5.8 million crimes in 2015 and showed a further sharp increase in the first half of 2016. Detective Chief Superintendent Ben Snuggs is responsible for Cyber-Crime, Digital Investigation and Intelligence at Hampshire Constabulary and gave an insight into the world of cyber-crime, explaining that in order to defend your organisation, mind-set is absolutely key. Staff must be willing and prepared to protect themselves through adequate training and regular auditing of systems, update of software patches, reporting of suspicious activities. Implementation of Cyber-Essentials, a scheme designed by the Government, will help to prevent the most common types of cyber-attack.

As new technology emerges, single minded criminals are adept at quickly exploiting any vulnerabilities. Neil MacEwan of Southampton University presented a case study on a recent cyber-attack against event organisers Action Hampshire, where access to vital business data was only unlocked once a ransom of almost £500 had been paid to faceless cyber-criminals.

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