Susan Lousada: High Sheriff of Bedfordshire 2020-2021

Susan Lousada was born and educated in Bedfordshire and has lived all but four years of her life in the county. She is married to Simon, has two children and two grandchildren and enjoys local history, gardening, skiing, walking and spinning classes at her local gym.

Susan has a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry and Microbiology from Leeds University and a PGC in Translational Medicine from Cranfield University. She has over 20 years’ experience of running a family business prior to its sale in 2007.

She is currently taking a sabbatical from sitting as a non-legal member in the First Tier Tax Tribunal and has recently stepped down from serving on a Research Ethics Committee based in Oxford where she has held both the Chair and Vice-Chair positions.

Susan is privileged to serve as Deputy Lieutenant for Bedfordshire and support the Lord-Lieutenant in carrying out her functions as Her Majesty The Queen’s representative in the county. She is a school governor with responsibility for safeguarding and is Chair of the Curriculum Committee and has mentored pupils in a Bedfordshire upper school for many years. She is Chairman of Bedfordshire NSPCC, a member of the County Priory Group (St John Ambulance), a member of the charity Schoolreaders Senior Management Team and serves on the Bedfordshire Committee of the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Susan is very honoured to be nominated as High Sheriff of Bedfordshire this year and said:

“In the past few months, the COVID-19 virus has caused great uncertainty and fear in the hearts of many people in our county. It has led us to question many things about our future welfare and the safety and health of our communities and loved ones. Yet in these difficult times, selfless acts to help others in need flourish and multiply. From the neighbour helping a never-before known family in isolation to a community rallying around to ease the burden on public services. Heroic efforts are being made every day across our county. Social isolation will hopefully slow the spread of the virus, but it has also had so many social and financial implications, bringing real hardship to many.

"The events that I would have held to thank, recognise and promote the many community-spirited acts undertaken by individuals and groups across Bedfordshire have been postponed or cancelled for the time being; so I shall need to explore new ways of reaching those people in order to recognise their achievements and sacrifices. The role of High Sheriff has changed over the centuries, and I find myself taking on this role at a time where change has been forced upon us all, but it is also a time when community spirit and cohesion have never been more welcomed and indeed more needed”.

What is a High Sherriff?

The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The origins of the Office date back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the king for the maintenance of law and order within the shire, or county, and for the collection and return of taxes due to the Crown. Today, there are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales each year.

Whilst the duties of the role have evolved over time, supporting the Crown and the judiciary remain central elements of the role today. In addition, High Sheriffs actively lend support and encouragement to crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and to the voluntary sector. In recent years High Sheriffs in many parts of England and Wales have been particularly active in encouraging crime reduction initiatives, especially amongst young people. Many High Sheriffs also assist

Community Foundations and local charities working with vulnerable and other people both in endorsing and helping to raise the profile of their valuable work. The High Sheriffs´ Association adopted National Crimebeat in recent years in response to specific areas of need.

High Sheriffs receive no remuneration and no part of the expense of a High Sheriff’s year falls on the public purse.

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