What an amazing year 2021 has been. In April I had the enormous privilege of being appointed by HM the Queen as High Sheriff of Greater Manchester. This has taken me all around the county.

The biggest highlight was meeting Her Majesty upon her arrival in Manchester, before she went on to the Coronation Street Studios.

The next highlight has to be presenting Owain Wyn Davies with a special recognition award on BBC NorthWest Tonight.

In between, I have met so many people who contribute vital services to our county.

From the police to the prison service, the courts to the fire and rescue service, there are so many people who keep us safe.

The voluntary and charitable sector in Greater Manchester is astounding.

We have more recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service than any other county.

A number of them are here in Bolton, including Fortalice and Urban Outreach. It has been a pleasure to meet so many and thank them for all that they continue to do.

Manchester born and bred, I thought I knew the county pretty well, but this year I have visited places I have never seen before and travelled widely.

My big plan for 2022 is the High Sheriff Young Citizen of the Year Award.

I am hoping that there will be an awards evening, generously hosted by the University of Bolton, in February.

This was started last year by my predecessor Eamonn O’Neal and I am carrying on.

We have fantastic young people who have done so much for their community despite all the pressures of home schooling, exams being done differently and not being able to see their friends.

If you know anyone between the ages of 11 and 18 who lives in Greater Manchester and has done something exceptional, then do nominate them now. I would be delighted to see lots of entries from Bolton.

My year in office is going very quickly. In April I shall hand over to the next High Sheriff.

My fervent wish is that for the next few months I am able to carry on meeting and thanking people face to face