Lambeth youth worker made MBE for steering kids away from crime

By Jacob Paul

A 29-year-old youth worker and children’s home manager has been made an MBE for his 10-year efforts to steer kids away from crime.

Trevor Elliot was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honour list last month for his work as a foster carer and children’s home manager.

Trevor said: “It was a shock to be honest, I was really, really pleased but I still don’t even know what to say about it.

“It still doesn’t feel real and I’m happy that Marcus Rashford has stolen the limelight.”

The Streatham man was only 19 when he stopped playing football to become a youth worker.

He said: “I knew I wanted to give back and help my community because it helped me. I tell the kids that success is looking at your environment around you and not becoming a product of it.”

Trevor began football coaching and set up a youth team for kids in Lambeth.

He said: “Ten years ago, at the time of what the media called the ‘postcode wars’, we were bringing all the kids from different postcodes in Lambeth together.

“On paper they would say we don’t speak to this estate or go near that estate. But when you use sport with young people, they really thrive and put all that negativity behind them.

“There was a great sense of social cohesion and the community saw the children through a different lens, seeing them as talented rather than a nuisance.”

Trevor set up Lambeth Action for Youth in 2010, a youth club that gives young people an opportunity to positively interact with their community and steer them away from gang-related crime.

ITV recognised his work with youth clubs and he was featured in the South London Press in 2014.

He took the decision aged 25 to foster three teenagers at his home, and as their carer helped them re-address traumatic experiences and build new positive relationships with adults.

Trevor said: “We could help kids for three or four hours a day but when they go home that can reset as you can become a product of your environment if you get treated a certain way.

“I had some spare rooms in my house at the time so I looked into fostering and it went on from there.

“It was challenging but I feel like it’s my purpose. It’s the only thing I’m good at so I continue to work with children.”

He now runs Ladywell Children’s Home, which in the past two years has housed around a dozen young people.

Trevor hopes to set up more care homes in the future and is keen to collaborate in any way he can with like-minded charities, other individuals and businesses to continue to support and champion young people.

Pictured top: Trevor Elliot

 

 


 

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