The new High Sheriff of Gwent has been appointed – with the ceremony hosted on video conferencing app Zoom due to coronavirus restrictions.
Phillip Alderman, 62, who worked as an orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport for more than 25 years, took over the role from Tim Russen on March 26.
What is the High Sheriff?
Each year, a High Sheriff is appointed for each county in England, and each traditional county in Wales, for a year-long term.
The tradition dates back more than 1,000 years, with 55 High Sheriffs appointed each year.
In the past, these figures had responsibilities such as collecting taxes and judging cases, but in modern times, the High Sheriff is mainly a ceremonial role, promoting voluntary organisations and supporting emergency services, law-enforcement agencies and religious groups.
The role is unpaid and isn’t associated with any political party.
The ‘Gwent’ area covers Caerphilly County Borough, as well as Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Torfaen and Monmouthshire.
Groups in this area can receive funding from the High Sheriff’s Community Fund.
The fund provides support to initiatives and projects working with young people, with an emphasis on young people at risk, crime prevention, drugs and substance misuse and community safety.
Mr Alderman studied medicine at the University of Bristol, before becoming a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal Gwent in 1994, where he worked until his retirement at the end of last year. until retirement at the end of last year.
At his virtual declaration ceremony, Mr Alderman said: “Growing up in the 60s and 70s, I never imagined that nearly 60 years later I would be invited to become High Sheriff of Gwent.
“The High Sheriff is one of the many agencies of the Crown that should be seen as a force for good in the county, supporting those organisations that provide help to those in need and opportunities for young people in particular.
“The kindness, generosity of spirit and hard work of the many voluntary organisations in our county is inspiring, and as High Sheriff I will do all I can to support them.”
Paying tribute to his predecessor Mr Russen, Mr Alderman said: “Presented with difficulties which could never have been predicted, Tim has done an outstanding job, not least with regard to his tremendous fundraising for the Community Fund.
“Tim and our predecessors have set high standards and by doing so have set me a challenge to live up to. I will try my best to meet that challenge.”
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