New Suffolk High Sheriff aims to boost charity work and cut cost of role

Roz Eminson is the new High Sheriff of Suffolk. Picture: NICK ILOTT

Roz Eminson is the new High Sheriff of Suffolk. Picture: NICK ILOTT - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s new High Sheriff has been sworn in at a ceremony at Ipswich Crown Court – with a pledge that she hopes to use her year of office to highlight the isolation felt by many young people living in rural parts of the county.

And in a Roz Eminson there’s a change to some of the protocol – for a start she’s planning to use her “uniform” long after her year in office!

Mrs Eminson is the latest person to hold a title that dates back to Anglo Saxon times when the “Shire Reeve” was responsible to the King for law, order, and the collection of taxes in their area.

Now the honorary role, without payment or expenses, represents the Sovereign in areas of justice in the county. That can make it a challenge for people to take on the position.

Mrs Eminson said: “I am the first in my family to be asked to become a High Sheriff and it was a shock, and I had to think about it very carefully.

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“Historically, a prerequisite for High Sheriffs was that they were landowners and had the wherewithal to entertain lavishly. And I don’t! I think there are ways to carry out the role and keep down the costs, and that is being encouraged.

“I have had a dark blue velvet dress and coat made, and it’s the most expensive piece of clothing I have ever had in my life – and I am going to make sure I get a lot of wear out of it!”

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After working in marketing and organising conferences, Mrs Eminson started work in the voluntary and charity sector for the Suffolk Community Foundation and FIND – which runs a food bank in Ipswich.

She said: “I came across the Suffolk Community Foundation at a charity tennis tournament and have been involved with them ever since.

“Through them I also met Maureen Reynell, the founder of FIND. I have been volunteering for FIND now for about eight years, the work is varied. My Tuesdays at FIND are sacrosanct, even when I am High Sheriff!”

She aims to combine her new role with charity work: “I am going to have a good look at rural isolation focusing particularly on young people who tend to be overlooked in this area, and I would like to visit some of the more remote Suffolk charities who have never seen a High Sheriff before!”

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