Sibyl King became Dorset’s High Sheriff at a ceremony held in Arts University Bournemouth’s Drawing Studio on 2 April.
She said: “I am honoured to have been appointed High Sheriff of Dorset 2022-2023 and it will be my absolute pleasure to serve the residents of Dorset through meeting, listening, and trying to make a positive impact.”
Originally from Pittsburgh, USA, Sibyl completed a Masters degree, which included a work placement that brought her to the NHS in Dorset where she worked as a health promotion manager.
The theme of Sibyl’s High Sheriff year is the ‘Healing Power of Nature’.
Describing the importance of this year’s theme Sibyl said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on all our lives and although we have all been through this together, it seems that each one of us has had very different experiences.
“Whether you have changed your life completely, or rediscovered a simpler life, it has been a time to reflect and review our choices.
“Many of us have also found solace and salvation in the natural world. The outdoors has provided opportunities for social activities, contemplation, natural beauty and physical exercise.
“In this High Sheriff year, I particularly want to celebrate and explore innovative ways to use the healing power of nature and encourage and support people from all walks of life, and especially individuals within the justice system, to experience the benefits that the natural environment can bring.”
Sibyl thanked outgoing High Sheriff, Michael Dooley for an inspirational year and all the support and guidance he provided to her.
In addition to her High Sheriff duties, Sibyl has plans to encourage different partnership projects, which give people opportunities to try new things in nature. She will work with the Dorset Community Foundation and a number of nature and people-based organisations across Dorset.
Sibyl is the founder and director of the Fine Family Foundation and a supporter of many good causes around Dorset. Her love of the county has fuelled her energy and creativity to initiate and encourage projects, primarily in the natural environment, the arts, and with community involvement. She has supported a number of visitor centres along the Jurassic Coast including centres at Kimmeridge, Durlston, Chesil Beach and Charmouth, with exciting new projects in the near future for Brownsea Island and Poole Museum in the Old Town.
In 2017 Sibyl started Park Yoga that offers free outdoor yoga sessions throughout the summer to thousands of participants across the South West.
Sibyl spends much of her free time walking the coastal path, taking a dip in the sea and visiting her grown up children in London.
A funding programme has been launched under the Nature Heals banner to provide small grants to community groups using the benefits of the natural world to improve the lives of local people. Further details are on the Dorset Community Foundation website https://www.dorsetcommunityfoundation.org/funds/nature-heals-seed-fund/
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