Latest News | 14 April 2022

Marketing Derby co-founder becomes new High Sheriff

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One of the founders and former chairs of Marketing Derby has been inaugurated as the new High Sheriff of Derbyshire.

Mike Copestake, an experienced corporate lawyer, who for many years was senior partner at Freeths’ Derby office, has now taken up the role.

Up until recently, Mike was chair of Enterprise for Education (E4E), an organisation backed by Derby City Council dedicated to getting employers into local schools to help schoolchildren with things like CV writing, interview techniques, career talks and mentoring.

Social mobility in Derbyshire is one of the lowest in the country and Mike sees his new role as an opportunity to help children and young people in Derbyshire to set aspirational goals for themselves.

He said: “There have been a lot of studies relating to young people in Derbyshire. Unfortunately, many parts of the county suffer from worryingly low levels of aspiration and social mobility among our young people.

“This is at odds with some of the highly paid jobs which are available for those with the right qualifications.”

Mike, who has been a trustee of the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre for over 30 years, is the first solicitor to become High Sheriff of Derbyshire.

The ancient roles of a High Sheriff include the enforcement of law and order.
Mike said he intends to continue the High Sheriff’s traditional engagement with the police and other emergency services and with the judiciary.

And he is particularly interested in engaging with police projects involving young people.

He also wants to encourage children and young people to enter the High Sheriff’s prestigious National Crimebeat Award for the most innovative and successful crime prevention projects carried out by young people.

The finalists will be invited to attend the National Crimebeat Awards Ceremony in London.

During his year in office, Mike plans to visit primary schools and organisations involved with young people in the county to talk about careers and to encourage children to work hard to be the very best they can be.

He said: “E4E has over 200 active volunteers from local employers, including Rolls-Royce, Toyota, Alstom and Derby City Council.

“They go into schools in Derby to encourage aspiration and careers advice through programmes like mock interviews, CV writing courses, mentoring for those young people in danger of going NEET, enterprise challenge days and careers talks and fairs.

“E4E is funded, for the most part, by Derby City Council, to work with the city’s secondary schools.

“Research from London suggests that encouraging aspiration should start with primary schools.

“Along with my traditional role involving justice and the police, I intend to visit as many primary schools as possible and organisations involved with young people in the more deprived parts of Derbyshire to do what I can to encourage aspiration.”

If you would like the High Sheriff to visit your school during his year in office he can be contacted at

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