New High Sheriff takes up post in Essex

The new High Sheriff of Essex, Julia Abel Smith

The new High Sheriff of Essex, Julia Abel Smith - Credit: Archant

THE 833rd High Sheriff of Essex has taken up her duties.

Julia Abel Smith made her declaration at a ceremony in the Magistrates Courts in Chelmsford yesterday (Wednesday April 3). She is only the sixth woman to be take up the prestigious post.

All monies raised by Mrs Abel Smith will be vested in The High Sheriffs’ Fund, which is managed by local charitable trust the Essex Community Foundation (ECF). 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 ECF’s management in 1997, the fund has distributed 467 grants totalling over £385,000 to voluntary and community groups all working hard to support local people and to address crime in their area.

In the past, it has supported a diverse range of activities across Essex, including 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 to help 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. Essex Community Foundation will be a great help to me in showing where the need lies in our large and diverse county.”

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The deadline date for applications to the High Sheriffs’ Fund is December 1, 2013. To apply online visit or call ECF’s grants team on 01245 356018 to discuss an application in advance of submission.