Peter Lowe, Senior Programme Manager of The Children’s Society Tees Valley Project has been appointed MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.
The 40-year-old, from Stockton-on-Tees has been recognised for his commitment to youth justice. He has worked at The Children’s Society project for over nine years, working his way up from project worker to restorative justice worker and is now senior programme manager. Throughout his time with the charity he has worked with hundreds of young people, families and services.
Peter is very passionate about the work he and his team do with the young people of Stockton-on-Tees and Hartlepool. However he was stunned to receive an unexpected letter in the latter part of last year telling him that he was at the final stages of being awarded an MBE. Peter still has no idea who nominated him but feels very privileged to be recognised in such a way.
After qualifying as a social worker in 1999, Peter was drawn to the role of project worker at The Children’s Society Tees Valley Project due to its restorative approach to offending. He says,” Before qualifying, I had worked in different forms of social work, including mental health. I felt, and still feel, that restorative justice is a very therapeutic approach. At the time it was very new and innovative, allowing young people to think about their mistakes and learn from them”.
The project works with victims of crime as well as children and young people who have been in trouble with the law. Peter adds “It’s not a softly-softly approach – we work very hard with young people, families and the youth offending teams to give young people the support they need to be able to move on. Bringing the victims of crime and the offenders together doesn’t just happen overnight, we will work closely with all concerned and make sure that is happening for the right reasons”.
"It’s so rewarding to be part of a team who put the welfare of young people first. Over the last nine years I have seen many changes in attitudes and people are really beginning to see that the restorative justice approach can really turn lives around. The success stories speak for themselves”.
Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society said “we would like to offer Peter our warmest congratulations. His commitment to making childhood better is inspirational and this accolade only confirms what we already knew, that Peter is a truly dedicated professional”.
Peter will be invited to Buckingham Palace during the next six months to be officially honoured by Her Majesty the Queen.
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