High Sheriff of West Yorkshire Dr Terry Bramall visits thebigword headquarters

The High Sheriff of West Yorkshire and his wife have visited the headquarters of thebigword to learn about the language company’s interpreting work for the Ministry of Justice.

Dr Terry Bramall and his wife Liz met team members and had a demonstration of the technology responsible for fulfilling the £120m contract.

thebigword provides face-to-face and telephone interpreting support, translation and transcription services for any language to all MoJ users to ensure the smooth administration of justice.

Founded by chief executive Larry Gould, the private company handles an average of 600 requests per day under the contract. The most recently published MoJ data shows that 98 per cent of bookings were fulfilled in the second quarter of 2017.

The High Sheriff is an independent non-political royal appointment for a single year and dates back to Saxon times when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the Crown for the maintenance of law and order in a region.

The role has evolved over the years but the holder still supports the Crown, judiciary, crime prevention agencies, emergency services and the voluntary sector and actively encourages crime reduction initiatives among young people.

During their tour, the Bramalls were introduced to employees working on public and private sector interpreting and translation work for national and international clients.

They also met apprentices from departments including translation, interpreting, marketing and linguist recruitment.

Dr Bramall said: “Liz and I learned a lot during our visit and found thebigword to be a fascinating business which does not recognise any boundaries in its work bridging the language gap in Britain and around the world.

“We commend the company for its consideration of young people and local communities.”

The Bramalls are well known for their philanthropic work. They set up the Liz and Terry Bramall Charitable Foundation with a £100m endowment after selling the family regeneration business Keepmoat in 2007.

Diane Cheesebrough, deputy chief executive, said: “The role of High Sheriff might be a historic one, but as an independent office it can play a valuable role in supporting the judiciary and all the different agencies and organisations that make up our justice system.

“We were proud to show the Bramalls the important contribution we are delivering to the Ministry of Justice at thebigword.

“I found them to be a quietly inspirational couple who showed real interest in everyone they met, particularly our young apprentices, many of whom will go on to develop full-time careers at thebigword just as the majority of our former apprentices.They were also keen to learn about our community and staff initiatives.”

These include a school mentoring project with the social enterprise Ahead Partnership and free fruit and breakfasts for employees.

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