We are delighted to receive the news that our chairman and auctioneer Clive Emson has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Clive has been awarded the MBE for his services to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Kent. The honour came as a complete surprise to Clive; “The thing that’s amazing is that I’m not sure who put me up for it. It was a complete and utter surprise. I’ve kept the charity work under the radar.”
But we believe Clive’s charity work definitely deserves to be talked about!
Clive began volunteering around 20 years ago when he saw that the YMCA in Maidstone was asking for £100 to buy new pencils and pens for its homework club and was also appealing for volunteers at the time, Clive happily obliged to both requests.
Young Lives Foundation
This volunteering work led to Clive becoming the founding Chairman of the Board of the Young Lives Foundation (YLF), a charity that supports vulnerable young people in Kent. Established in Maidstone in 2007, YLF delivers tailored services and positive activity programmes so that disadvantaged young people are given opportunities to achieve their potential. Today, the charity helps around 3,500 children a year and has 200 volunteers on its books.
Clive, now the charity’s president, is a mentor to many young people. His vast experience, support and guidance have made a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of young people in Kent. One particular heartwarming story is that of Darren who was in a children’s home and had no family when he met Clive.
Darren was bordering on involvement in crime, but Clive was able to secure him housing, support him finding employment and helped him through many difficult times. More recently, Clive acted as ‘father of the groom’ at Darren’s wedding. Darren said that he wouldn’t be where he is today if he hadn’t been introduced to Clive all those years ago.
The key to success
Clive says the key to success is simple; “I talk to them rather than at them. When you talk to children they say what they think, which is lovely. I’m completely non-judgemental. I’m not a social worker, a parent or a teacher. For a lot of the children, I’m the only person in their lives who is not paid to be there.”
Of the young people the charity helps, Clive said; “These children in care have no meaningful contact with their family. Their schools change and social workers change so these independent visitors are the only stable person in their life.”
Over the years, Clive has assisted many charities, raising thousands of pounds through events and giving up his time to those most in need.
I hope you will join us in congratulating Clive on his MBE and for his years of commitment to such great causes!
Find out more
If you would like to learn more about the work Young Lives Foundation carries out or would like to donate or volunteer then please get in touch. The team will be more than happy to answer your questions.