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High Sheriff visit

6th August 2013
Posted by Danny Lawrence
The High Sheriff

The current High Sheriff, Julia Abel-Smith

Gateway 97.8 enjoyed the visit of the High Sheriff of Essex recently when she came to visit the station to find out more about training and the support we give people from all walks of life. she than spent an hour on air on the Good afternoon programme.

Below are some details about the High Sheriff:

The new High Sheriff of Essex, Mrs Julia Abel Smith, DL, began her year in office on Wednesday, 3rd April. She took up her duties after making her Declaration at a ceremony in the Magistrates Courts in Chelmsford. She is the 833rd High Sheriff of Essex and the sixth lady to undertake the role.

All monies raised by Mrs Abel Smith will be vested in The High Sheriffs’ Fund. Through the fund, she will support voluntary and community organisations working throughout Essex to make their communities safe from crime, and the fear of crime.

Since it came under the Foundation’s management in 1997, the Fund has distributed over £355,000 to 435 voluntary and community groups all working hard to support local people and to address crime in their area.

The Fund has supported women’s refuges, initiatives to reduce anti-social behaviour, garden maintenance schemes for the elderly thereby reducing burglary, neighbourhood watch schemes and activities for children and young people.

Mrs Abel Smith said: The marvellous example of the Games Makers at London 2012 shows how much can be given to society by selfless members of the public volunteering their time. What is more, those that volunteer helping others in their local community, gain a huge amount themselves. As High Sheriff, I am looking forward to meeting volunteers across Essex, who are contributing so much to the places in which they live and getting involved with local charities. The Essex Community Foundation will be a great help to me in showing where the need lies in our large and diverse county.

Julia Abel Smith was born and brought up in Suffolk and, with her husband and three small children, moved to Little Leighs in 1995. Much of her working life has been involved with charities in the world of architecture and the arts. She has been Chairman of the Friends of Essex Churches Trust and in 2006 produced the Essex catalogue of Oil Paintings in Public Ownership for the Public Catalogue Foundation. In 2007 she was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant and in 2012 she bicycled from London to Paris in aid of the British Legion.