The High Sheriff of Wiltshire, Nicky Alberry, is supporting the victims of domestic violence during her year in office, beginning with a special charity concert.

The event at Christ Church in Old Town on Saturday June 2 will feature the Swindon Young Musicians Jazz Orchestra and the JTP Trust Concert Choir and Soloists, with BBC Wiltshire Breakfast Show presenter Ben Prater as compere.

The event is raising funds for Swindon Cares – which is supporting Swindon Women’s Aid and the Nelson Trust for two years. These two charities are committed to helping the people of Swindon.

The award-winning Nelson Trust has developed over the last decade a specialist residential service for women who have experienced trauma or abuse which is closely associated with substance dependency. Women can undertake a residential programme in safe, supportive and trauma-informed setting with an all-female staff team.

The Nelson Trust also has a community-based women’s centre in Swindon, in Victoria Road, which provides a women-only space where a wide range of support needs can be addressed in a safe and supportive environment.

Swindon Women’s Aid (SWA), founded in 1975 by Jeni Manners, is a domestic abuse service for people in the Swindon area. It offers a 24-hour a day, 365 days a year support service to both men and women who are victims of domestic abuse. Its help is confidential and free to use, and it provides help to people who live in Swindon and need to escape an abusive relationship quickly.

Nicky, who has just taken on the role of High Sheriff, said she chose domestic violence as her cause for the year because it impacted on so many people.

“It affects women, men and children,” she said. “I have some friends that have experienced really unpleasant domestic abuse, and although they managed to get out, for other people it can be much more difficult.

“One in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse, and these are two charities doing the most amazing work in our town.”

Nicky has been working to support victims of domestic abuse for many years. In 1997 she became the first woman to join the Rotary Club of Swindon (and first female president in 2007) and it was through Rotary that she became aware of Swindon Women’s Aid, and she is now SWA chairman.

She was born in Devon and after leaving school, worked for Midland Bank (now HSBC), beginning a successful career in banking that included being the first female manager in Cornwall. In 1991, she joined Great Western Enterprise in Swindon on a 12-month secondment. Some 26 years later, she is still involved with the same company, now called Business West, as a non-executive director, having previously been chief executive and chairman. She has also worked in economic development, chaired many companies and partnerships, and is a director of the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust and the Swindon Cultural Partnership.

Nicky also set up Swindon Cares through the Rotary Club 16 years ago, and it has raised than £250,000 for small community, charitable and voluntary organisations in the town.

Her new role as High Sheriff is a historic one.

“It’s the oldest secular appointment after the Crown,” she explained. “In the past they were associated with maintaining law and order, raising an army, collecting the taxes.

“Now the role involves supporting the work of the police, courts, prisons and probation, and everybody involved in keeping the county a safe place.”

She said: “It’s an absolutely fascinating role, and really busy. In May I’ve been meeting lots of new mayors.”

Last week she attended the regional mock trial competition at Chippenham Magistrates Court where groups of students took on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates, court staff and even defendants in a role-play scenario.

Nicky has been helping organise the Charity Concert for the past ten years and invited the two choirs to return for this year’s event.

Janice Thompson, founder and director of the JPT Trust Concert Choir, said they had put together a varied programme for the concert – including a welcoming medley, a medley of songs by Noel Coward for the soloists Rebecca Smith, Charlotte Johnson and Bob Hills, and four songs of celebration by the concert choir. This will include pieces on Sullivan, Brahms, Pitfield and Russell-Smith. The Finale, featuring the concert choir and the soloists, is from Wildhorn’s musical, Jekyll and Hyde.

Janice, who teaches singing, said: “We were invited by the high sheriff last year and it was a great experience. The acoustics are very good in Christ Church, and there is a real sense of occasion.”

Her choir practises every week at Haydonleigh primary school and is made up of talented young singers aged 13 to 18 who have been recommended to Janice by schools and singing teachers.

The Swindon Young Musicians (SYM) Jazz Orchestra also played at the charity concert last year. The group is made up of members from the other SWM bands, directed by Jason Wrobel, with around 25 members aged between 14 and 18.

Lynn Hawkins, artistic manager for SYM, said a saxophone quartet and clarinet choir would be playing as well as the jazz orchestra. They also have soloists Thea Grant singing Valerie, written by the Zutons and made a hit by Amy Winehouse, and Sally Rudd singing Natural Woman, a song famously performed by Aretha Franklin.

Ben Prater will be compere despite having his ankle in a boot, Nicky explained: “His ankle had a bad break on the ice rink, but he’s still coming along.”

“A couple of hundred people will be there,” Nicky said. “It is always a fantastic event. The venue is beautiful, the church staff are amazing, and we hope to raise five to six thousand pounds.”

Tickets are £6 for the concert only, or £15 to include a light buffet and wine reception after the performance. Accompanied children under 14 have free tickets. To book, call the Christ Church parish office on 01793 522832 or visit the Swindon visitor information centre at Swindon Central Library.