AN ENTREPRENEUR, fundraiser and self-confessed adventurer has been appointed as the next High Sheriff for Cheshire.

Nick Hopkinson MBE DL, from Great Budworth in Northwich, was chosen by the Queen during an ancient ceremony at Buckingham Palace earlier this month.

The dad of three, who originally hails from Bury, is a passionate advocate for the county he now calls home and is looking forward to supporting its people and charities during his tenure in office.

“I love Cheshire, its countryside, the towns and its attractions, but the best thing about the county is the people,” said Nick.

“There are lots of Cheshire charities that I’ll be working with. I currently work in some way with more than 15 and I visit more every month. Connecting well-meaning folks with worthy causes gets things done and I am a great networker and connector.”

An entrepreneur who has run his own businesses since 1984 Nick, who is known to many as Hoppy, has been heavily involved with fundraising for organisations that help young people for many years.

He raised millions of pounds for Bolton Lads and Girls club to build a state-of-the-art youth club became which went on to become the blueprint for the OnSide Youth Zones organisation.

“We are just about to build one in Warrington,” he explained. “The £7.5m build cost is almost all raised and this will have a massive impact on the town. In Wigan, just 18 months after their youth zone opened, anti-social behaviour in the town centre was reported by the local police as being down by 77 per cent.”

He is also working with the Manchester Children’s Hospital to raise £1.5m to pay for a research scanner to help save the lives of children with brain tumours.

Nick says his charitable endeavours were inspired by his late father who was part of the team that ran the Variety Club of Great Britain.

“He supported underprivileged kids in a big way, but his financial success highlighted to me just how lucky I was and not everyone was in this position,” said Nick

“He ignited a passion from a very early age inside me to help kids from less well-off families by raising money that could be spent giving them opportunities that were not available to them.

“I will be trying to work with lots of Cheshire charities during my year and beyond. I have a skill in fundraising and I will share it wherever I can.”

Nick, who is married to Lesley, says he was ‘over the moon’ to have been selected for the role of High Sheriff.

“I am a simple lad from Bury,” he said. “It’s never even been a dream. I knew immediately that here was an opportunity to do better for people less fortunate than me and to be able to serve the judiciary and all those engaged with law and order. It was just a brilliant fit with what I am doing day in and day out.

“My only regret is that my mum and dad are not around to share my year, but I have three lads, all married, and I know they will support me.”

The role of High Sheriff dates back round 1,000 years and involves ensuring the welfare of visiting High Court judges, supporting the Royal Family, judges, police and other law enforcement agencies, the emergency services, local authorities, church and faith groups.

It also involves supporting the Lord Lieutenant on Royal visits and - after the Lord Lieutenant, represent the Queen when visiting local groups and public services, as well actively supporting charitable and worthy institutions throughout the county.