Gordon Lee, founder and Chief Executive of children’s charity Malachi in Birmingham, has been awarded an OBE for services to children, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. It is an accolade that recognises the difference Gordon and his team at Malachi have made to thousands of troubled families across the region.
Gordon, 68, originally from West Heath in Birmingham and now living in Leigh Sinton, Worcestershire, pioneered a new approach to improving the life chances of children affected by family breakdown with his late wife Lynne, when they set up Malachi, over 20 years ago.
Gordon said "I’m delighted. Malachi came into being to give troubled children a voice and to help their families to find a way forward. This honour celebrates the energy and commitment of the whole Malachi team in striving for those ideals. I am accepting it on their behalf and on behalf of Lynn, without whose vision and energy none of this would have come about."
Malachi works in schools across the region, identifying children who need help and working with their families to bring about positive change. As part of its strategy, it recently opened the Billesley Ark – a hub that brings family support into the heart of the community.
The approach is ultra-local, serving the people who need it the most in their own neighbourhood, and it is being considered by Birmingham City Council as a template that could be rolled out across the city. It has already been successfully implemented in Somerset.
Gordon has recently joined a working party alongside Birmingham City Council to bring about improvements to their children’s services. He says, "There is no easy answer to the fallout caused by family breakdown. The Malachi method is based around intensive family therapy; it takes time and effort but it works - as thousands of our children will testify. Knowing what we can achieve, I am keen to bring it to as many families as we can."