A FORMER Alfreton youth worker who dedicated more than 30 years to helping young people has been recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours list.
Thomas Fox was awarded an MBE for his efforts with youngsters in the Amber Valley area with close links to Derbyshire County Council.
Mr Fox, who teamed up with the council in 1972, also worked alongside youngsters at Alfreton’s Polygon Youth Centre to help them develop new skills and the ability to work independently or as part of a team.
And the MBE is not Mr Fox’s first award as he was also given special recognition with a Duke of Edinburgh Award when he retired in December 2006.
Speaking from his Nottingham Road home this week, Mr Fox told Chad he was surprised to get such a prestigious award for just doing his job.
“I could not believe it when I first found out I was to be awarded an MBE,” he said.
“I wondered why they had picked me. I believe the emphasis of the award was on the work I have done with young people with special needs.
“As well as working with the council, I managed the Polygon Youth Centre on Church Street in Alfreton and have done a lot of outdoor educational work with youngsters with special needs.”
And despite being retired, Mr Fox told Chad he enjoyed his work so much that he still helps out at the youth club one night a week.
“I believe working with young people keeps you young so I’m not giving it up altogether just yet,” said Mr Fox.
“It is really great to be recognised in this way, but I have worked as part of a team for most of my life so there are a lot of other people who have contributed to this award.”