I am honoured to assume the role of High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight for 2017/18, following my Declaration ceremony at Osborne House on 10th April. A role like this is never about one person and my thanks go to the many people who have provided help and guidance so far – and for the help I will receive as my year progresses. Robin Courage has completed a very successful year and I hope to build on that success. The charm and enthusiasm with which he approached his responsibilities have undoubtedly helped to raise the profile of the Office and the vital role it can play in the community. Isle of Wight Day in particular, which is growing from strength to strength, has helped not only to do this but has also helped to engender that feeling of inclusivity. Strength comes from togetherness.

My Objectives

The role of High Sheriff is essentially the sharp end of a conduit to helping people and the High Sheriffs’ Trust, its main vehicle for charity fundraising, is arguably more important today than ever. I intend to raise the Trust’s profile as much as possible so that more people, and businesses, might be encouraged to donate and importantly so that charities and community groups know the facility is there. But it’s not all about fundraising and giving: if you’re going to make a difference in society it involves education. In my capacity as a Financial Adviser I have been developing a financial education presentation that members of the team at Rouse Limited will be taking to Island schools to present to sixth formers during my year in office and beyond.

The Old School Project

The charity that I would like to bring to the Island during my year is called the Old School Project. Some of you may have heard of it already as it was featured in a BBC 2 programme last year, fronted by the Hairy Bikers. The programme showed the project being piloted by the Oxford Academy school. Its aim is to pair young with old and offers them time together in a safe environment to get to know each other and to learn from and support each other. The Old School Project recognises that some issues cross age boundaries and its intention is to look at benefits for both sides. Our communities are becoming fractured and the Old School Project has at its heart an old African saying: it takes a whole village to raise a child. This project is about community cohesion.


For more information on Old School go to www.theoxfordacademy.org.uk/Old-School

A bit about me

I was born and brought up on the Island and am the youngest of six children. I live in Cowes with my wife, Lia, and have five grown up children – and two dogs. My day job is as a Chartered Financial Planner and it’s been said I took the scenic route in my career: I started out as a motorbike dispatch rider in London, followed by a stint in the wine trade before opening and running Benedict’s Fine Wines and Delicatessen with my Dad, Malcolm Rouse. Then, 25 years ago I started Rouse Limited and found a career I loved – helping people with their finances. I also love motorbikes and can occasionally be spotted enjoying a ride out with my sons through our glorious Island countryside, or on the mainland when I visit clients and family. I hope to help our Island community as much as possible and to meet as many of you as I can through my year. This website, along with Facebook and Twitter, will be updated with my activities. I’ll be attending many events so do come and say hello if you see me – I am a highly visible 6 foot 7ins!