On Monday July 11, the High Sheriff of West Sussex Mark Spofforth visited Castlewood School in Southwater to preside over a ceremony for the presentation of Certificates of Completion .
These certificates were awarded to the fifteen Year 5 and 6 pupils who had completed their Junior Neighbourhood Watch course during the term.
The High Sheriff delighted the pupils and parents attending the ceremony by appearing in his traditional Court Dress complete with sword, and explained the origin of the office of High Sheriff, and its role in the community today.
Horsham District Police Inspector Clare McKnight also attended confirming the close mutual support role between Neighbourhood Watch and the Police.
Also attending were the Chairman of Southwater Parish Council, Peter Buckley, and Michael Neale and Arthur Carden, Vice Chairman and Secretary respectively of Horsham District Neighbourhood Watch.
Personal framed certificates were presented to each of the pupils, with photographs taken so that pupils and parents can have a visual record of the event. A Junior NHW certificate for the school was presented to Castlewood’s headteacher, Mrs Julia Slocombe, and a group photograph was taken with all the participants.
Also at the ceremony were members of the teaching team of NHW volunteers who had presented the 6 sessions of the course programme.
The course aims to show young people that they can make a contribution to community issues, and help to ensure that Horsham is a safe place.
In the presentation of the programme the local teaching team had valuable assistance from the West Sussex Resilience and Emergency Service and from Magistrates in the Community, one of whom, Mrs Helen Butchart from Brighton, was present at the ceremony.
In their session the magistrates used a model court to explain the functioning of the UK Court system, and the pupils were able to participate enthusiastically with role playing.
At the end of the ceremony all the course participants were reminded that they were members of Neighbourhood Watch “for life”, and to be sure to pass on to parents, grand-parents and friends, all that they had learned.