A BIKE ride around youth clubs in Brentwood and Chelmsford was completed by Essex’s new High Sheriff on Saturday.

Julia Abel Smith, who became the 833rd person to take up the role last month, was one of four cyclists who pedalled 48 miles to visit five clubs in the event organised by Essex Boys and Girls Clubs.

Starting at the Loughton Youth Project, the team went off to Brentwood Youth Boxing Club at their base in Warley before visiting the Ingatestone Boys’ Own Club and the North Avenue Youth Club in Chelmsford.

They finished at the Braintree Youth Project Charity and along the way Mrs Abel Smith spoke to members and volunteers from the groups to discuss what they do and why they got involved.

Juliet Townsend, the event’s organiser, said: “The tour couldn’t have gone more smoothly and I’m thrilled by how much has been achieved in just a day.

“We are so grateful to the High Sheriff, her husband Charles and their friend Katie, who have not only cycled 48 miles today but at each stop have been deeply interested in finding out about the clubs, volunteers and members.

“The youth clubs we visited have shown off the fantastically positive opportunities available for young people in Essex today, which we at Essex Boys and Girls Clubs are so incredibly proud to support and promote.”

While visiting each of the centres, the High Sheriff was given a demonstration of what each club does which included senior members of the Brentwood Youth Boxing Club showing off their sparring skills.

She was also presented with Ingatestone-themed memorabilia and given a bicycle repair kit and horn at North Avenue.

Alongside Mrs Abel Smith were her husband Charles, her friend Katie Hutley and EBGC director Martin Solder.