Queen’s Birthday Honours: These remarkable people from Gedling borough have been awarded a gong

A charity leader and youth project director have both been recognised for their contribution to society over the last 12 months.

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Frontline workers and community heroes from Gedling borough have been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

A charity leader and youth project director have both been recognised for their contribution to society over the last 12 months.

Here’s a run-down of all those named and the titles they can now ad to their names.

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire

Damian Reynolds, from Mapperley, has been recognised for charitable services to the Youth Sector.

Wolfpack Project and Tom Randall MP
Tom Randall, left , and Damien Reynolds from The Wolfpack Project (IMAGE: Tom Randall/Facebook) pictured delivering packs to young people last year

As founder of The Wolfpack Project (TWP), he recognised that there was a need to provide for younger people who are lonely, isolated, or struggling with their mental health.

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He led the charity single-handedly to ensure that despite the difficult and unprecedented times that the pandemic presented, and the commitments he had with a full-time job, it was more important than ever to deliver the necessary services to younger people.

He has directly helped change the lives of thousands of young people across Nottingham from loneliness, isolation and poor mental health and received a Mental Health Champion Award from Good Morning Britain in December 2020 specifically for this hard work during the pandemic.

He is a philanthropist and has dedicated over ten years of his life in the mental health and wellbeing field of the charity sector, in order to ensure that young people have the mentoring, training, support and hope they need to survive and thrive in society.

Members of the Order of the British Empire

David Wakelin, 59, from Ravenshead, has been recognised for services to Young People in Nottingham.

He is lately director at Nottingham Violence Reduction Unit.

In his two years with the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) he built extraordinary momentum amongst partners and the community to improve the lives of young people. Prior to the VRU, knife crime in Nottinghamshire was showing an upward trend of 11%, partners were working in silos and the response to violence lacked leadership and coordination.

Since he established the VRU, violence has fallen by 14% and is bucking the national trend.

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One of his innovations was the design and implementation of a custody intervention in which youth workers with lived experience mentor young people. Over a year, the project had a 100% success rate: no participants reoffended.

He commissioned content for social media created by young people which resulted in nine videos focused on county lines, sexual exploitation and knife crime. It won the National Crimebeat Award and reached over 400k young people.

His leadership has enabled a strong multi-agency partnership response across local authorities, Police, Health and the community.

He was also instrumental in leading the implementation of the Sherwood Project, one of the first Integrated Offender Management Programmes in the country. He shaped the project in a way which influenced national policy and the direction of schemes which followed.

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