New Lord-Lieutenant for Bedfordshire as Helen Nellis retires.

Mrs Susan Lousada was officially appointed as HM The Queen’s representative in Bedfordshire on 7th September 2022, replacing Helen Nellis CVO CStJ who had held the office since 2012.

Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Chris Sharwood-Smith MBE, was one of 400 people from across Bedfordshire who came together at St Paul’s Church, Bedford on Sunday 4 September 2022 to give thanks to Helen and to welcome HM Lord-Lieutenant Susan Lousada to the role. The Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets played a key role in the service by reading prayers, and 2 Cadets (Beds & Herts ACF and St John Ambulance) acted as Standard Bearers presenting the Union and Bedfordshire flag at the service.  

Helen has worked extremely hard to tell the positive story of Bedfordshire by seeking out those who work in so many ways to build communities where all can feel valued, thrive and have a sense of belonging. Speaking after the service, Helen Nellis said: “During these past wonderful years as HM Lord-Lieutenant, I have been blessed to have met so many exceptional people in our county who have lit a fire in me and in others to work towards building stronger and kinder communities where everyone can feel valued and have a sense of belonging. Thank you all for your warmth and compassion and for believing that each one of us can act to make a difference. My heart will be with you and with Sue Lousada always as she leads us in this joint endeavour“.

Helen Nellis shakes hands with Susan Lousada

Susan Lousada said: “It is important to me to support those who work to make this county prosper, ensuring opportunities are open to all. Bedfordshire is a truly beautiful and great place to live, and I look forward to serving the people who live and make their lives within it”. She served as a Deputy Lieutenant in Bedfordshire for five years and has held the appointment of High Sheriff.  She is a director of her family property and investment company and has been a non-legal member in the first tier tax tribunal for many years and has served over 12 years on a research ethics committee based in Oxford in leadership positions. Susan has devoted much of her time to voluntary service with a particular focus on helping children and young people.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire is the president of the Bedfordshire RFCA Forum, which includes county representatives from the Armed Forces, Cadets, veterans, the local authority and employers. Four of its members, including the Chair, also serve as Deputy Lieutenants in the county. The county forum is the most knowledgeable group about Reserves and Cadet matters in the county and is a vital & enduring link between Defence and local communities. The group convenes regularly to ensure the well-being of the Reserves and Cadets in the county; there are two Army Reserve Centres in Bedfordshire, owned and managed by the RFCA; one in Luton and the other in Kempston. The county is also home to 2 Combined Cadet Force units, 5 Sea Cadet units, 9 Air Training Corps squadrons and 8 Army Cadet Force detachments. Our permanent support staff offer logistic, administration and fleet management to the Army Cadet Force, while our RFCA Estates team ensure safe and compliant facilities for the Reserves and Cadets to train in Bedfordshire. Chief Executive of East Anglia RFCA, Col (Retd) Ray Wilkinson said: “Helen Nellis has been such a staunch supporter of the RFCA, we’re very grateful for her years of support to our organisation.”

Read more of our Lord-Lieutenant stories here.

Photo Credit: June Essex Photography

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