Tony Walker

I am hugely honoured to be the High Sheriff of Derbyshire for 2020-21, a role with traditions dating back hundreds of years. However, even for such an ancient role, we have already created a ground-breaking first with this year’s installation and swearing-in taking place virtually using Zoom.

In Derby and Derbyshire, we are very fortunate, not only do we live in a beautiful county, we also have the advantages of good and cooperative relationships between business, local authorities, the emergency services and the voluntary sector. Here all these parts of society work together well for the benefit of local Communities in our city and county. In this time of the challenges brought by the Coronavirus we are especially blessed to have wonderful health professionals and a fantastic NHS working hard and making personal sacrifices to care for all of us. We are truly grateful.

The necessary restrictions on contact and movement caused by the Coronavirus mean that the events planned for the first few months of my time in office have been cancelled or postponed, so we are looking for ways to be innovative and think through how we carry out one of the key roles of ceremonial and recognition when these cannot be conducted in person. I am grateful to my predecessor William Burlington for the great work he has done establishing the use of social media by the High Sheriff in Derbyshire. I am hoping I can quickly learn some new skills and become as proficient as him in their use!

I am very much looking forward to the opportunity of getting to know and support the forces of law and order in Derbyshire – the police and the judiciary. I will also be raising money for YMCA Derbyshire, ACE Youth Trust (a small local charity in the Ashbourne area, where I live) and SSAFA Derbyshire (the forces charity). My theme for the year is to try to help local people, and young people in particular, who for some reason are having a tough time, to fulfil their potential, grow as individuals, be contributing members of society and have a good quality of life. If I can make a small difference in this, I will feel it has been a worthwhile year.

I do hope I can have contact with many people in Derby and Derbyshire during my year in office – it will have to be virtually for the first few months, but I hope we can meet face to face in the second half of the year.

Tony Walker
High Sheriff of Derbyshire