High Sheriff ready to explore West Sussex

A year of exploration awaits the new High Sheriff of West Sussex.

Denise Patterson intends to set out from her Aldwick Bay home to every area of the county she adores.

This is such a lovely county. We are so lucky.

Denise Patterson

Denise said: “I want to explore as much as I can and to go to as many villages and charitable organisations as I can to thank them for their work. Everybody needs appreciation for their work and I want to do that. It’s so important.”

Her first official engagement set the tone for what is due to be a memorable 12 months.

She was a special guest at the Children in Care awards in Worthing: “It really was quite special,” she said, “totally inspiring and humbling in equal measure.”

Denise, 60, got to know West Sussex at the former boarding school of St Michael’s at Duncton where she was sent from her Isle of Wight home.

She graduated from St Hugh’s at Oxford and became a literary agent for writers as diverse as John Osborne, Keith Waterhouse and Harold Wilson. This enabled her to meet her husband of 30 years, Harry Patterson, better known as thriller writer Jack Higgins. The couple moved to Jersey where Denise became a TV newsreader and presenter.

On her return to West Sussex, where she has lived in the Bognor Regis area for ten years, she became involved in community groups.

She said: “This is such a lovely county. We are so lucky. We have the South Downs, the sea and some of the best weather going.

“London is relatively close as well as Brighton.”

Outgoing High Sheriff Jonathan Lucas, completed his year of service on March 27. He marked the end of his term in office by holding the county’s first official prayer breakfast at Wiston House.

Notable guests were chairman of Burgess Hill Town Council, Ann Jones, chairman of Mid Sussex District Council Gordon Marples and chairman of West Sussex County Council Amanda Jupp.