Hatfield youth centre chairman ‘delighted’ to be named in Queen’s Birthday Honours

PUBLISHED: 12:32 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:32 15 October 2020

Barry Clark recieved an British Empire Medal from the Queen. Picture: Supplied

Barry Clark recieved an British Empire Medal from the Queen. Picture: Supplied

Archant

A chairman of a youth centre in Hatfield and a former special inspector for Hertfordshire Special Constabulary has been awarded a British Empire Medal.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours recognised Barry Clark for his hands on work helping young people in Hatfield at Breaks Manor Youth and Community Centre.

Barry said he was “delighted” and “honoured” to be recognised and cannot believe that he has won the same award as his mother, Peggy. She received hers over 30 years ago for social service work in 1984.

“I thought at the time how good it would be if was able to do something similar,” he said.

”Not realising at the time that the day would come. It’s amazing when you think of these things.”

After first coming to Breaks in 1969, and starting in youth work in 1960, he retired in 2014 but stayed on as chairman – a career he looks back over fondly and with a sense of pride.

“The youth centre does mean a hell of a lot to the people of Hatfield,” he continued.

“Youth work is all about the empowerment of young people and instilling positive attitudes and enabling them to make informed choices.”

He said that the greatest joy of this work has been when he meets young people who he used to work with, and are now parents and grandparents that are full of good memories of their times at Breaks.

In 1988, Barry also started his “splendid” career as part of Herts police and was deployed across Welwyn Hatfield, where he learnt a great deal.

He mainly worked at major events like the Battle Proms and carnivals, while raising money for good causes.

In the 2000s, he biked from London to Brighton with other special police to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

Deputy mayor for Welwyn Hatfield and councillor for Hatfield East Peter Hebden said: “I’ve known Barry for a few years since sitting on the management committee at Breaks Manor and Barry has been and is totally committed to the Hatfield community, particularly providing opportunities for youngsters.

“He thoroughly deserves the award and I’m delighted for him.”

Breaks has restarted some of its activities in line with COVID-19 restrictions but is currently limited in the number of people it can have.


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