The head of the Department of Education and Children’s Youth Service has congratulated Cathy Christian, whose tireless work with young people was recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
Ken Callister says Cathy’s MBE is well-deserved as she is a much-valued friend and adviser to young people in the north of the Island.
Cathy started working as youth worker in Jurby in 1993 and became the youth worker attached to the Ramsey Young People’s Project in 1997, working on Beryl’s Bus. The project has since moved across the road to the tram station and is called The Shed.
‘Cathy has immense loyalty, pride and affection for the north of our Island and its young people. She has consistently given up her Friday and Saturday nights to work with the youth of Ramsey, firstly on Beryl’s Bus and now in The Shed,’ Ken said.
‘Although the last person to acknowledge it, Cathy has had a positive impact on the lives of many young people. She has been the much-needed adult figure young people have turned to for advice, guidance or just someone to talk things through with on their way from adolescence to adulthood.
‘There are many people who see teenagers as hard to reach and difficult to deal with. Cathy’s view is “that’s what teenagers are designed to do”. It is Cathy’s ability to deal with this challenge that makes her remarkable. She has a genuine concern for each and every one who comes along to any of the youth projects she runs. Everyone is an individual and all are treated with respect.
‘This does not make her a soft touch, nor does she offer young people soft options or easy ways out,’ Ken continued. ‘When you see her in action, it is clear to see that she has gained a real and tangible respect and affection from young people. Some have used her support to learn to cope with challenging circumstances. Others see in Cathy someone who welcomes them in out of the cold and makes them feel important.
‘The Youth Service is pleased and proud that Cathy has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen.’