Claire Hensman was High Sheriff in 2007-08 and was a member of the Council of the High Sheriff's Association. She has focussed her energies on education and health, until recently a board member of the University of Cumbria and previously on the Council and as Deputy Pro-Chancellor of Lancaster University. Previous positions have included: non-executive director of Westmorland Hospital NHS Trust and General Commissioner for Income Tax. As a Trustee for various local charities, she has concentrated on the marginalised, working for disabled and disadvantaged young people, prisoners and those with alcohol and drugs problems.

Mrs Hensman lives near Kendal with her husband, Peter, and has two daughters and one son.