New High Sheriff to 'shine a light on opportunities for young people'

A working mother with an OBE to her name is set to take the role as the next High Sheriff for the West Midlands.

Louise Bennett, from Wolverley near Kidderminster, is set to take the role as the next High Sheriff
Louise Bennett, from Wolverley near Kidderminster, is set to take the role as the next High Sheriff

Mother-of-two and foster mother Louise Bennett, aged 56, from Wolverley, near Kidderminster, will officially take her declaration for the role during a virtual ceremony on March 30.

Louise was chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce before becoming chief executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and gained her OBE for services in supporting business and enterprise.

Now she is set to become High Sheriff for the West Midlands, a role which is a personal appointment by the Queen as her representative relating to the judiciary, police, probation office and the courts.

Louise said: "During my year of office I would like to put the spotlight on the unsung heroes in public services and do some work on finding those heroes.

Opportunities

"I would also like to shine a light on the opportunities for young people, for skills, opportunities and jobs.

"These might have seemed furthest away and are even more further away now.

"The reason I want to shine a light on young people is that I am a mother-of-two children, Alex, aged 28, and Samantha, aged 22, and my husband, Simon, and I are also foster parents.

"Simon works at a vineyard at Bobbington and we also have a small-holding with various animals but fortunately the Chamber of Commerce is allowing me to do my official year and take on this prestigious role while holding down my job

"I suspect that I am one of the youngest to take on this role and hope to see the office becoming more diverse and modernised."

Louise will have a ceremonial outfit as part of her role but even with this she was determined to make it relevant and modern.

She said: "The nice thing is that as a female you have more flexibility about how you want to look and feel.

"I have chosen a long jacket, a below-the-knee pencil skirt and instead of velvet have chosen it to be made of wool which I think is more modern.

"It will be a nice working suit with frills."

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