Useful and beneficial pursuits for young people

The High Sheriff Awards Scheme complements the work of the High Sheriff, an unpaid, voluntary role appointed by Her Majesty The Queen, which today concentrates on upholding and supporting the judiciary, police and law enforcement agencies, emergency services, local authorities and all recognised church and faith groups as well as supporting and encouraging the voluntary sector. The role itself is over 1000 years old from the days when the High Sheriff was responsible for all law and order in the County, it is the oldest secular appointment in the country.

About the awards

Awards of £750 are available to youth organisations that encourage beneficial pursuits for young people in Northumberland.

The Fund is currently closed but will reopen for applications in June 2022.

The Fund welcomes gifts of any amount.

The Current High Sheriff of Northumberland

Colonel James Royds TD, the High Sheriff of Northumberland 2022/23

Colonel James Royds TD grew up in Corbridge and now lives with his family near Haydon Bridge. Following officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, James was commissioned into the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards in 1978 and served in West Germany, Berlin and Northern Ireland. He left the Regular Army in 1982 and transferred to the Territorial Army rising through the ranks to command the Queen’s Own Yeomanry in 2000 before being selected as the first ever Reservist to attend the Higher Command and Staff Course at the UK Defence Academy. His last posting in 2005 was as the first Director of Manning for all UK Army reservists. He retired from the Reserves in 2019 following a five year term as Honorary Colonel of the Northumberland Hussars.

His first commercial job on returning to the North East in 1985 was working for Welwyn Electronics in Bedlington. He then studied for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at Northumbria University. He now helps organisations to plan for, respond to, cope with and recover from major incidents. Since 2010 he has worked exclusively in Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe advising governments as well as many oil, gas and petro‐chemical companies how to manage and mitigate risks to operations in order to make them more resilient.

James likes to relax by a river. He is a passionate angler and has fished all his life catching his first fish at the end of his grandmother’s garden in Somerset aged 7. He is a member of West End Anglers and a trustee of a new charity – The Cancer and Pisces Trust – a cancer charity that aims to enhance the lives of cancer sufferers through the therapeutic pastime of angling, helping them to connect with both the natural world and one another.

During his year in office as High Sheriff, James is committed to continuing the charitable work of his predecessors and will help raise money for the High Sheriff of Northumberland Youth Against Crime Award Scheme at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland – which recognises and rewards the work of charities and volunteers dedicated to helping young people in Northumberland’s communities. James’ themes for the year are supporting voluntary agencies dealing with the effects of “county lines” and mental health among the young farming community. James will also give his time, energy and support to the invaluable work of the emergency services, the Judiciary and all “who maintain the Queen’s Peace”.

You can follow the High Sheriff on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @highsheriffnorthumberland


Donate now

Together we can make a difference. Make a one-off gift or regular donation to the High Sheriff of Northumberland Fund and help change lives.

For more information contact

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required