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14 July 2011

MBE awarded to pioneering youth worker and Big Society Champion

MBE awarded to pioneering youth worker and Big Society Champion

Cherron Inko-Tariah from north London received an MBE this year in recognition of the pioneering youth work she does in Walthamstow, London. Your Stories spoke to her about the time she spends with young people and what she hopes to do in the future.

Working from The Church of Destiny in Tottenham, Cherron wasn't expecting the accolade at all:"I felt absolutely ecstatic and so honoured to receive this MBE. It came as a complete surprise but it was wonderful news," she says.

Helping teenagers in often difficult situations apply the Bible to their lives in a practical way, Cherron says: "Teenagers are bombarded with so much, that they need to know how to apply the word to their lives, and I have always endeavoured to teach…the word of God at a level that they can understand and relate to."

Practical ways of dealing with life issues and discussions on the Bible were developed by Cherron who has been working on the young people's project for five years.

Previously mentoring nearly 30 individual young people at the church project, Cherron is now starting to work in local schools helping students to look at real life situations they might face and showing them how they can respond in the best way. 
 
"I have conducted mock interviews to help prepare them for the real world, as well as business challenges organised by Business in the Community," says Cherron. 

In turn the innovative youth work that she has been involved with at the church has also helped her in her role as an advisor to the government's Big Society programme.

"I think my work with young people has helped me in my work on the Big Society. Having that understanding of what motivates young people to get involved in their community has been very useful in helping to develop the policy area." 

And for the future? Cherron wants to get more involved in encouraging young people in their confidence and outlook on life: "I would like to get involved at speaking in school assemblies and inspire young people to care about who they are, where they live and their future," she says.

Cherron produces a newsletter on the latest projects going on as part of 'Big Society in Action' - for more email bigsocietyideas@communities.gsi.gov.uk