A woman awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours for services to children and young people said her career was her “passion” and also praised her “fantastic team” of work colleagues.
Kay McIntyre, originally from Congleton and who now lives in Biddulph, is the area delivery manager for youth support services at Cheshire East Council.
Her team provides support for young people not in education, training or employment and young people with disabilities.
The youth support service also provides activities for targeted and vulnerable young people, including helping them to complete their Duke of Edinburgh awards.
It also encourages young people to have a voice in shaping services via groups such as the Cheshire East Youth Council and the Cheshire East Children and Young People’s Trust.
Describing the moment she found out that she was to be included in the honours, Mrs McIntyre said: “I couldn’t believe it! I must have read it about six times to take it in!”
She added: “My job is not just my career, it’s my passion – to engage with young people to ensure they are happy, healthy and safe and to encourage them to have a say in issues that affect them and to help them shape services.
“It’s a privilege to work with children and young people.”
The forty-three-year-old, who attended Heathfield School, now Congleton High, has worked with children and young people since she was a teenager.
At the age of 18 she became a part-time youth worker at Biddulph Youth and Community Zone.
Her first job was in early years, moving to work in a primary school where she supported children with autism. Alongside this, she worked in the evenings as a part-time youth worker.
Mrs McIntyre completed her youth work degree in 2003 and worked as a full-time youth worker for several years, before becoming a manager in the council’s youth support services more than 14 years ago.
Of being awarded an MBE, she said: “I just didn’t imagine it would be given to me and I just want to say a big thank you to whoever nominated me.”
She was full of praise for her colleagues at Cheshire East Council, saying: “I could not do the job without them. I have a fantastic team behind me – it’s about the team effort as well.”
Coun Kathryn Flavell, lead member for children and families at Cheshire East Council, said: “I am so proud of Kay’s achievements and on behalf of the council I would like to congratulate her on receiving this prestigious award.
“We are hugely ambitious for all our children and young people, supporting them to succeed and grow as individuals. Kay and her team work tirelessly, together with the rest of the council and our partners, to ensure that the interests of young people are at the heart of everything we do.
“Kay really does demonstrate in both her work and volunteering that she supports children and young people across the borough to build on their strengths, develop resilience, and achieve their full potential.”
Mrs McIntyre is well known in the town’s am-dram scene. She ran Congleton Youth Theatre for more than 10 years having joined it when she was eight, taking the helm at the age of 18 and she still helps backstage with the company during show weeks at the Daneside Theatre.
Mrs McIntyre’s parents are Jenny and Brian Banks, of Congleton. Mrs Banks is a former office manager at the Chronicle.