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Richmond Man Receives MBE and Unexpected Surprise at the Palace
Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012
Richmond Man Receives MBE and Unexpected Surprise at the Palace
Ken Allinson, Chief Executive of Richmond YMCA, attended Buckingham Palace last month to receive an MBE for services to young people. He was accompanied by his wife and a former colleague Carol Treweek, along with her husband. Carol had worked with Ken since 1989 and been a crucial part of developing the YMCA to what it is today. 

Ken, who was already feeling proud as he had received his award from Her Majesty the Queen, who is also patron of the YMCA, received an unexpected boost to the day on his way out. As they were walking down the main staircase at the Palace a member of the Household Cavalry winked at Carol and said “Hello Carol!”  

It turned out that the Cavalryman on duty had been a resident of Richmond YMCA in the late 1990s. Cavalryman Kris said: “I am glad that I was on guard duty at the Palace when Ken Allinson received his MBE. It is 16 years since I walked through the doors of Richmond YMCA and the support he and Carol gave me was priceless.”

Ken and Carol were delighted to catch up with Kris after all this time and to hear that he is settled and bringing up a young family. They were also impressed that he was in the Household Cavalry which provides special services to the sovereign.  

“At Richmond YMCA we are often dealing with young people at a crucial stage in their lives, providing not just a roof over their heads but support and guidance to help them make their way in the world, the sort of support that is generally provided within a family environment. When that family support is not available we know that we can make a real difference in their lives. So to have that brought home to us within the environment of Buckingham Palace on this very special occasion was especially moving,” said Ken.

Richmond YMCA has been helping young people since the Great War and currently provides advice and support to those aged 16 – 25 and helps reduce local youth homelessness. Thanks to a successful Big Lottery bid and support from other charitable trusts, along with donations from local supporters, Richmond YMCA is developing its Market Place building to provide a wider range of much needed services in Richmondshire. These include a new drop in Youth Centre available 12 hours a day as well as an IT and internet room plus a training kitchen.   

The results of the work done by this much needed charity is usually unseen but on this occasion it made a special event even more memorable to two people who have dedicated their lives to supporting and helping young people make their way in the world. 

To find out more about current developments or to become a Friend of Richmond YMCA contact Ken Allinson on 01748 824110 or go to www.richmondymca.co.uk

Photo:  Carol Treweek, Household Cavalryman Kris and Ken Allinson MBE

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