Michael Gurney spoke about some of his family history and about his role as High Sheriff of Norfolk in 2021-22. The Gurneys are a distinguished Norfolk family in their own right and Michael is the 13th Gurney to be High Sheriff of Norfolk since 1399! Moreover Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845), prison reformer, was born a Gurney, and Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton (1786-1845; related to the Gurneys by marriage) had much to do with the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833.
The role of High Sheriff is unpaid and apolitical. This meant that Michael was able, from a neutral standpoint, to put various bodies in touch with each other and to make sure that things were working. This included being on a prison advisory board; supporting the victim and witness service; encouraging schemes to break the cycle of adverse childhood experiences which can lead to youth crime; working with schools and young people; visiting communities; and many other things– including, in the process, driving thousands of miles within Norfolk!
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