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We are so proud that one of our Trustees at YMCA MK and Northampton, Preston Ayres, has received a British Empire Medal in the King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List. This award is well deserved and recognises the outstanding work that Preston has done with YMCA MK and Northampton and other charities over many years.

Preston has been involved with YMCA for 40 years, as both a Trustee and Honorary Treasurer, and it is fair to say that without him YMCA MK would not be where it is today.

Since moving to Milton Keynes in the early 1980s Preston has been passionate about improving the lives of local young people.

He first became a Trustee in 1983 and then in 1992, in his capacity as Honorary Treasurer, he was instrumental in the purchase of the freehold of the former YMCA MK buildings. Without this foresight YMCA MK would not have been able to embark on the ambitious journey that culminated in the opening of our new £20m, state-of-the-art campus in 2020.

Preston worked tirelessly for over 7 years to bring the new campus project to fruition, supporting the new CEO with his vision for quality accommodation and holistic support services for local young people. He was a crucial member of the Development Committee, using his financial expertise and eye for detail to bring this complex project to life and keep it on-track. The new campus enables YMCA MK to support more young people than ever and increase the support available to young people living on campus and in the wider community.

In 2020 the new campus opened and has been going from strength to strength ever since, despite the challenges of the pandemic.

Preston’s hard work has ensured the ongoing financial viability of YMCA MK and Northampton and he remains a Trustee today. Preston is also an avid supporter and champion of YMCA MK, using the conferencing facilities regularly with his Rotary Club and supporting YMCA MK and Northampton through The Extra Mile Challenge.

“ I have enjoyed working with YMCA MK and Northampton and whilst I have directed the finances over many years I dedicate this award to the amazing staff team who work tirelessly every day to help so many young people make a better life for themselves.” Preston Ayres, Trustee of YMCA MK and Northampton.