Young People’s charity founder Barty Smith has been awarded an OBE  in the Queen's New Years Honours list.

The Maidenhead resident is founder and chairman of trustees of the Amber Foundation.

It was founded 23 years ago to help homeless and unemployed young people in crisis to positively transform their lives.

Mr Smith became aware of the need for Amber after working with several young people from the Youth Opportunities Programme in the 1970s and 80s.

The young people he worked with frequently had troubled backgrounds and difficult family lives.

He was struck by the lack of support for young people, their lack of aspiration and low self-esteem.

He said: “Young people who have fallen on hard times, been out of work, or have just lost their way need space and time to focus on their future, free from the added pressures of unemployment or how they will afford their next meal.”

The Amber Foundation gives young people in crisis a safe, temporary home with up to 90 other young people in one of its three UK centres in Surrey, Wiltshire and Devon, while supporting them to develop the skills that they need for independent living and employment.

Since it was established the Amber Foundation has worked with over 3,500 young people and over the last five years 80% have moved on from Amber into education, employment, voluntary work or they have achieved a major life goal.