HER Majesty the Queen has appointed a new Lord Lieutenant for Cumbria who hopes to raise the aspirations of youngsters.
Claire Hensman, of Crosthwaite, will take over from Sir James Cropper as the royal representative when he retires from the role next month.
The Lyth Valley community ambassador, who is in her 60s, said she hoped to use her high-profile position to help widen the horizons of young people across Cumbria.
“It’s a huge honour to be appointed. It’s going to be quite a commitment,” she said. “Sir James Cropper has filled the office with such distinction and dedication for an exceptional 18 years and I will endeavour to maintain the same high standard he has set.
“To have the opportunity to serve Her Majesty the Queen and the Cumbrian community is a great privilege and I look forward to the challenge enormously.
“I feel very privileged. My husband Peter and I feel passionate about the welfare of Cumbrians and we have tried to contribute to the community.
“I want everyone to have the chance to make the most of their lives.”
Mrs Hensman, who is originally from Somerset, said her parents, who were both practising GPs, had left her with a sense of obligation to her community.
She was High Sheriff of Cumbria in 2007 and is a member of the Council of the High Sheriffs’ Association.
Previously she has focused her energies on education and health, as a board member of the University of Cumbria and the council.
Her role has also included standing as deputy pro-chancellor of Lancaster University and a non-executive director of Westmorland Hospital NHS Trust.
In the charity sector, she has concentrated on the marginalised, working for disabled and disadvantaged young people, prisoners and those with alcohol and drugs problems.
Sir James Cropper said: “I am delighted such a worthy successor has been appointed and I wish Mrs Hensman every success and as enjoyable a time as I have had.”