Sheriff’s Diary

In this week's diary Sheriff of Norwich Derek James urges you to support a fantastic cause - the Lord Lieutenant's Youth Fellowship.

Our future is in good hands – it has been an honour to meet some extraordinary young people since becoming Sheriff of Norwich.

A small minority hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons but please don't let their activities cast a shadow over the vast majority.

I have met some fantastic boys and girls, both as individuals or as part of a group, and they deserve all the encouragement and support we can give them.

That is why I think it is so important to support the new Lord Lieutenant's Youth Fellowship which has been launched by The Queen's representative in Norfolk, Richard Jewson,

'The truly inspirational work done in our communities by people of all ages, not only gladdens the heart, but also serves to reinforce my strong belief that in Norfolk we live in the finest county in the country,' said the Lord Lieutenant.

So, in an effort to inspire the next generation, he has launched the Lord Lieutenant's Youth Fellowship, which will offer an exciting opportunity to one young man or woman each year who has shown exceptional potential.

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Judges will be looking for examples of youngsters aged 16 to 19 (or 16 to 21 in the case of those with learning difficulties) who have achieved significantly more with their lives than might have been expected and who have made a real difference to others.

One-off achievements alone will not be enough to qualify.

'I will only award the Fellowship to the young person judged to be genuinely outstanding and exceptional – a positive role for others to follow and someone whose contribution has demonstrated selflessness and clearly signalled their aspiration to go further in life and achieve more,' explained Mr Jewson.

In exchange, a grant of up to �5,000 will be available to help fund a life-enriching and possibly life-changing opportunity to enable them to stretch their potential to the full.

And that's not all.

'To help make the most of this opportunity, we will match the young person to a Norfolk-based personal mentor or coach who will help them genuinely get the best from their award,' added the Lord Lieutenant.

'In this way, the dynamism and creativity of youth will be combined with life experience and professional expertise to maximum effect.'

So the message is going out to teachers and others who work with young people – do you know of a one worthy of such an honour?

The whole process is confidential. No reference should be made to the young person concerned so that if they may be chosen, it will come as a complete surprise – and be all the more welcome for it.

'I appreciate these are challenging days for many. But I hope the Lord Lieutenant's Youth Fellowship will soon find a place in the Norfolk calendar and act as a beacon so that our young people are inspired to reach for the skies to achieve all they possibly can in life,' said Mr Jewson.

So please, have a think. Is there anybody you think deserves this life-changing opportunity?

Nominations are sought from teachers, youth workers, agencies and organisations involved with young people in a professional or voluntary capacity.

Details about the fellowship can be found at

If you have any questions please contact Paul Anthony in the Lieutenancy office at County Hall on 01603 222934 or email