Ashley Sweetland, 28, has been awarded the MBE for services to young people in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2012. This includes recognition of his work, with the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) for more than a decade.
Ashley was the first Member of Youth Parliament for Bournemouth (1999-2001), a founder member of the UKYP Procedures Group (2000-2002), and a long standing Trustee serving a variety of Board roles (2003-2011) – including a term as Co-Chairman – before acting as interim Executive Director in 2011, during the transition to BYC.
In an interview with UKYP, Ashley said:
“Receiving this acknowledgement is of course a very special moment; UKYP has been a major part of my life for more than a decade. But I’d like to think of it as a vote of confidence in so many people’s hard work, particularly the young people that lead UKYP – past and present – for all that has been achieved in their name. I also want to acknowledge the tremendous debt of gratitude I owe to all those who supported me. It’s an important time for young people – and the work of the UK Youth Parliament in providing a centre stage for the voice of young people has never been so vital.”
Ashley currently works for CBRE (the world’s largest real estate business) to lead on internal communications and corporate responsibility across their Europe, Middle East and Africa operations, but he continues his involvement with young people through the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) where he was elected Vice Chair in November 2011.
James Cathcart, CEO of the British Youth Council (which runs UKYP) offered his congratulations by saying:
“It’s great to see a champion of young voices honoured – and still so young himself! It highlights Ashley’s long record of voluntary service to the UK Youth Parliament, especially managing its smooth transition to BYC. Ashley is a long standing friend of BYC having worked with us on our local youth councils work for many years. This honour is an encouragement to young leaders everywhere, and shows that their public service is valued and recognised. We look forward to more public recognition for young role models in these tough times.”