One of Shropshire’s best-known businesswomen has been installed as the county’s new High Sheriff – and pledged to shine a light on the county’s unsung heroes.

Mandy Thorn MBE was officially installed at a special ceremony attended by guests from across Shropshire held at St Mary’s Under the Wrekin Church in Leighton on April 13. She takes over the role from Selina Graham.

Mandy said she would use her year in office to highlight the people, groups and organisations who go the extra mile to make Shropshire such a special place to work and live.

“Shropshire is full of people who give up their time to help others in all sorts of remarkable ways and I want to take the opportunity of my year in office to say thank you to as many of them as possible.

“It might be the postman who goes out of his way to keep an eye on the elderly people on his round, or the sporting group which does everything it can to help people of all ages and abilities to stay active.

“It could be a business which uses its profile to support community groups and initiatives, or encourages and supports its staff in volunteer work, or a group of villagers who collect all the litter from the roads and lanes in their area.

“Wherever people, businesses or communities are going the extra mile to make this wonderful county an even better place to live, I want to help celebrate them.”

Mandy, who has been married to husband Mark for 37 years, ran Shrewsbury-based  Marches Care before selling the business in 2021. She received her MBE in 2014 for services to dementia.

She is a deputy lieutenant, a former chair of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, former president of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and former chair of Lingen Davies Cancer Trust.

Mandy was also a founding director of Shropshire Partners in Care and former vice chair of the National Care Association and has also been a governor of Telford College and non-executive director at Business Link Shropshire.  She is currently a trustee of the national charity Skills for Care and for the Harper Adams University Development Trust.

“Shropshire has given so much to me in terms of the opportunities I have enjoyed throughout my career, and to be given the chance to give something back as High Sheriff is very special,” she said.

Mandy also paid tribute to her predecessor Selina Graham and said she would be carrying on her work with National Crimebeat, the youth crime prevention charity of the High Sheriffs’ Association of England & Wales.

“Selina has been an absolute inspiration during her 12 months in office and has brought a huge amount of drive, energy and passion to the role. I hope to be able to live up to the tremendous example she has set.”

The origins of the High Sheriff 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.

Pictured: New High Sheriff Mandy Thorn at her installation.