The LL Alison Millar and DL Peter Sheridan were invited on Thursday 23 February to meet with a group of students at North West Regional College(NWRC) who are studying on the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Uniformed Protective Services. A course which provides opportunities for learners to develop key skills to pursue a career in the Police, Fire, Ambulance, and Prison as well as the Armed Services (Army, Navy, and RAF), HM Customs and Excise and other emergency related organisations. To be taught at the Limavady Campus of the NWRC and led by Award winning lecturer Ivor Neill this 2 year course is a significant BTEC qualification in its own right and also supports progression to higher education and a related degree course.

During the visit The Lord Lieutenant explained how the Lieutenancy role was first created by Henry VIII in 1545 to muster the county militias for the defence of the realm. They had powers at that time to lead the militia in the field and to raise forces locally. She further explained how the Lord-Lieutenant’s role was literally to ‘stand in for’ the king, in the battlefield and elsewhere. The Lord Lieutenant explained that in the modern day aside from royal duties, Lord-Lieutenants generally promoted and encouraged voluntary and charitable organisations, connecting the community to the Monarch, she also added that an important part of the role was also to take a keen interest in the business, urban, rural and social life of the county.

Peter Sheridan as a DL then set out the role of a DL in assisting the Lord Lieutenant. However, given the course content the students were also keenly interested in Peter’s former role as a police officer and in particular his role as Head of Murder and Serious Crime investigations in NI.

The LL would like to thank the staff and students at NWRC for their reception, for their interest in the work of the lieutenancy but also for their engagement with the visitors coupled with some very searching questions.