A BRITISH Asian woman has made history by becoming Buckinghamshire's first Muslim High Sheriff.

Kurshida Mirza, BEM of Milton Keynes, was appointed as the 790th High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire on Sunday, April 14.

An esteemed community leader, Kurshida is set to bring her Islamic values of peace, justice, and love for humanity into her year in office.

Additionally, an integral part of her role will entail prioritisation of activities and organisations which promote inclusivity and tackle social exclusion.

The role of High Sheriff is a non-political Royal appointment, lasting a single year.

Key responsibilities include upholding the Crown and Judiciary, and supporting and promoting the work of the police, prison services, emergency services and crime prevention and reduction agencies.

Nevertheless, the position also extends to endorsing the voluntary, public, and business sectors.

With her tenure of High Sheriff underpinned by her core Islamic values and her interfaith work, Kurshida aims to create opportunities to further inclusivity.

She shared her enthusiasm for the role, stating: "It is an honour to have been appointed as High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire and I am very much looking forward to working with the communities across Buckinghamshire."

Her plans also encompass facilitating interfaith dialogue and advocating for the youth, our future High Sheriffs, through her affiliation with multi-faith chaplaincy and High Sheriff College Champions.

She further added: "I never in a million years imagined to be the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire arriving as a little Indian girl to the UK.

"It is a testimony that the work by generations of people past and future to further diversity and opportunity are important pillars for a just, peaceful and loving society."

Prior to her appointment, Kurshida has been a prominent figure in community engagement through her innovative initiatives.

A resident of Milton Keynes since 1990, she has founded the Trubys Garden Tea Room, a pop-up interfaith café aimed at breeding positive dialogue between Muslims and the wider community.

Her engagement with music through the creation of the Trubys Abrahamic Women’s Choir highlights women's strength and shares rich tradition of recitation within their faith- singing in Arabic, Hebrew and English.

Kurshida's strong track record in community work extends to her stint as Chair of Citizens MK from 2016-2019, and Chair of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN) between 2016-2020.

From her early days as an immigrant child faced with racism and lack of opportunities, Kurshida embodies resilience, using lived experiences to fuel her fervour for community work.

She attributes her accomplishments and passion to her "pillar of support and strength", her husband Jabeer Butt, their children, and her sisters- her "best friends" and constant beacons of good advice.