THE man behind the launch of Young Firefighters Associations in both Droitwich Spa and Redditch has been awarded an MBE.

Watch commander Ade Taylor, from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS), was given the honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Mr Taylor, who lives in Bromsgrove, joined the service in 1993 as a retained firefighter and following full-time recruitment in 2003, now works as a watch commander with Redditch’s blue watch.

Previous to his current appointment he was responsible for arson prevention across the whole of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

His award, for services to the fire service and the Young Firefighters Association (YFA), was announced on Saturday, June 16.

In 2000, while working as a retained firefighter, Mr Taylor volunteered to set up a branch of the YFA within the service area. Thanks to his efforts, a YFA group was started in Droitwich and has been thriving ever since.

He is the driving force behind not only the YFA in Droitwich, but has also co-ordinated the YFA for the whole service, with a second YFA group now successfully established at Redditch.

Each year the YFA attend over 50 events across the two counties, where the young people contribute to safety initiatives, open days, civic events and a variety of community days.

Each of these initiatives and activities are carried out in Mr Taylor’s own time and over the last 10 years he has devoted literally thousands of hours of his own time to the development of young people through the YFA.

He has used his own annual leave allocation to do this, supported by his wife Sue, and close family.

He never turns away a potential YFA recruit and over the years has encouraged many disadvantaged young people to get involved, including those with physical disability, low self esteem and victims of bullying.

He is supported by a team of YFA instructors who he has trained, again in his own time, including members of his own family.

Chief fire officer Mark Yates said: “Ade Taylor is quite simply the heartbeat and life blood of our service’s YFA scheme and he has had a profoundly positive impact on dozens of young people as a result. His selfless enthusiasm and drive is exceptional and is a huge credit to the fire service, the communities he serves and ultimately himself.”

Watch Commander Ade Taylor will be invited to receive his MBE at an awards ceremony later in the year.