A RESIDENT of Woking has been made an MBE in the 2015 New Year Honours.
Eleanor Margaret Paterson, who lives in Knaphill, was awarded the accolade for her tireless work in ‘services to restorative justice’.
The MBE, which means ‘Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’, is the most populous order of chivalry in the British honours system, and was established in 1917 by King George V.
It comprises five classes in civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male, or a dame if female.
Eleanor, who has worked in youth support for Surrey County Council for more than a quarter of a century, currently holds the position of Community Placement Manager for what is now the Surrey Youth Support Service, previously known as the Youth Justice Service.
It involves a partnership between the county council’s children’s services, Surrey Police and their associated probation service, and the county’s primary care trusts.
Eleanor humbly said of her honour: “I knew nothing about being singled out for this – it just happened out of the blue. But I am, of course, very grateful.”
She is particularly modest about the accolade, if not a little embarrassed by it, and is very keen to stress that she is but one cog in a very large machine.
She maintains that it is the work of everyone within youth support that achieves the invaluable goal of getting young people on to the straight and narrow.
The Surrey Youth Support Service help to guide and nurture youngsters up to the age of 19 across the whole county. In fact the operation covers the same areas as Surrey’s Children’s Services, and works in 11 teams – one serving each borough or district.
Many of the teams are based in local youth centres to ensure they are readily accessible to youngsters in need.
The youth support staff work with partners such as health professionals, schools, colleges, police and voluntary organisations to provide bespoke assistance according to the precise needs of the individual.
The key aims are to get 16 to 19-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) into at least one of these, and to get 10 to 17-year-olds who have ended up in the youth justice system, reintegrated.