High Sheriff of Oxfordshire

The current High Sheriff of Oxfordshire is Imam Monawar Hussain, MBE DL FRSA.

He was sworn in on 8 April 2021 at a virtual ceremony attended by over 300 individuals from across Oxfordshire.

Monawar is a Muslim chaplain at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a tutor at Eton College and founded The Oxford Foundation – a charity that promotes religious and racial harmony through educational and arts-based activities. He has also devised, pioneered and successfully steered a unique programme that confronts violent extremist ideology, which has been used to train religious education teachers in the UK.

Monawar is supported by seven chaplains, representing the diverse communities across Oxfordshire.

  • Dr al-Hafidh Kamel Ait Tahar, Muslim community  
  • Fr Philip Ritchie, Anglican Christian community   
  • Penny Faust, Jewish community  
  • Prajnaketu, Buddhist community  
  • Dr Stephen Vickers, Baha’i community  
  • Dr Gian Gopal, Hindu community 
  • Gurdip Singh Saini, Sikh community 

The office of High Sheriff

The office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political royal appointment made by the Queen. While the role dates back to Saxon times, it has evolved to include a mix of ceremonial, charitable and community functions and is voluntary and unfunded. Supporting the crown (for example, attendance at royal visits) and judiciary remain central elements.

Oxfordshire’s COVID-19 heroes

Monawar’s campaign whilst in office is focused on celebrating those who haven’t received the recognition they deserve during the last twelve months.

“We have seen many inspirational tales of altruism and love from across our community towards those who are needy. Keeping our county moving, despite the personal risk.” 
“By dedicating the High Sheriff’s awards to those making contributions to their local communities, be they individuals, voluntary groups or businesses, we can celebrate them as a county.”

If you would like to nominate anyone who has carried out exceptional acts, during but not exclusively through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you can fill in an application form.

Nominations will be reviewed, and announcements made throughout the 12 months. This page will be updated with Oxfordshire’s COVID-19 heroes.

High Sheriff's Awards - successful nominees

  • Fitzwaryn School - Wantage
  • Sue Holden - Barton
  • Stacey Chorley - Witney
  • Ray Collins - Wantage
  • Be Free Young Carers - Didcot
  • Trevor Williams - Rose Hill
  • Mikayla Beames - Childrey
  • Hasnath Miah - Didcot
  • The Volunteers of the OX4 Free Food Crew Project - Cowley
  • Helen Cowan - Iffley
  • The Cholsey Volunteer Group - Cholsey
  • The Archway Foundation - Oxford
  • Natasha Barnes - Cherwell District Council
  • Hadi Nuri, Founder and Executive Director SYRCOX, Syrian Community Oxfordshire - Oxford
  • Mike Fischer, Systems Biology Laboratory UK CIC - Abingdon
  • Dr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini - Headington
  • Karen Forman, Blewbury Good Neighbours - Blewbury 
  • Windrush Medical Practice - Witney
  • Watlington Volunteer Drivers - Watlington
  • Tom Ligertwood - Nuneham Courtenay
  • Tehmeena Ajmal and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust - Oxford

Multi-faith service held on 22 July 2021