A ‘RARE honour’ has been bestowed on a Warwickshire man as he became Warwickshire’s 688th High Sheriff at an ancient ceremony.
David Kelham will hold the title for 2022-23 after it was transferred to him from Lady Willoughby de Broke in The Chapel of St James by special permission of the Master of The Lord Leycester Hospital.
The office of High Sheriff is one of only two royal appointments in the county, and has existed since Saxon times.
Historically, the Sheriff was responsible for raising troops, collecting taxes and catching criminals, powers which have been taken on by others over time.
The High Sheriff is these days an unfunded ceremonial position, supporting the judiciary and the uniformed public services as well as charities and voluntary groups working for the benefit of society.
David is a Midlander, born in Leicestershire, who spent his early working career in Yorkshire, Northumberland, London and Thailand before taking root in Warwickshire over 20 years ago.
He graduated in Medieval and Modern History from the University of Birmingham and, although he secured a commission with the Royal Navy, opted for a career in drink and licensed retail within one of the larger UK conglomerates of the time. A move to Coca-Cola brought him to Warwickshire in 1999.
He then worked with a small business building an international consumer industries practice before joining the board of specialist hospitality recruiter Excelerate Resources in Nottingham in 2004, acquiring the business and moving it to Warwick in 2005.
David is a trained career coach and an accredited associate with Pi Predictive Index. He enrolled on a Common Purpose course in 2005, after which he joined the governing body of a large secondary school.
David is married to Philippa and has three grown up children.
David said: “It is a rare honour to continue the long line of High Sheriffs. I have been blessed by the support of the Lady Min Willoughby De Broke, allowing me to gain a little understanding of the scope of the role, and from the key stakeholder in the Judiciary, Justice Andrew Lockhart. That, combined with the mentorship of Clare Sawdon and other former High Sheriffs, have placed me firmly on the launchpad, daunted but well-prepared.
“Aside from the primary work – which is support all those people interested in protecting and promoting law and order in the county with particular reference to the Police, Ambulance and Fire Services and to support the judiciary, to include the Judges, Magistrates, Coroners, Prisons and Probation Service – I will seek to continue the wonderful work of previous High Sheriffs in support of charities within Warwickshire, including Crimebeat, a charity focused on young people’s own efforts to reduce crime.”
He said he hoped to lend his support in education, the environment, equality and enterprise.
He added: “Given my background and experience, I will keep in mind three questions whenever visiting as High Sheriff: What help do they need, what resources do they need, and who do they need to connect with?”
Coun Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “We are so fortunate that we live in Warwickshire, a county with a wide array of outstanding natural beauty and equally outstanding organisations, independent businesses and communities who all work tirelessly together to make this county the best it can be.
“We are also very fortunate to have had a succession of outstanding High Sheriffs in Warwickshire who have such a deep understanding of the county and the drive to want to make a positive impact during their time in the role.
“On behalf of Warwickshire County Council and the whole of Warwickshire, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to David Kelham to the Office of High Sheriff and hope that he has a great year in this most ancient of roles.”
Visit www.eepurl.com/hCoITT to keep up-to-date with the latest news from the High Sheriff of Warwickshire.
Visit https://tinyurl.com/2k2t2z2m to donate to the Warwickshire High Sheriff fund, which provides one-off grants to small grassroots charities and organisations in Warwickshire.