A FORMER company director who has worked tirelessly to inspire youngsters for more than 30 years says he will share his OBE with his wife.

Jim Leftwich from Widmer End has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to young people after three decades as a trustee and deputy chairman of the National Association of Clubs for Young People.

The 74-year-old former managing director of EMI credits his dedication to supporting young people from his own ‘difficult upbringing’.

But while it will be Mr Leftwich collecting the gong from The Queen at Buckingham Palace, he plans to split the award with his wife Edna.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted, it’s a great honour to be recognised for the work that goes on in helping young people.

“I will be taking my wife of 51 years, Edna, to the palace. I wouldn’t have been able to commit all this time and effort to it without my loyal wife.

“Edna has also done about 20 years of fundraising for Barnardo’s, we try to help where we can, so I think this is a joint reward for both of us.”

Among Mr Leftwich’s notable achievements was securing a lottery grant for a then struggling youth and community centre in Windsor.

But a key area of his charity work now is the support aspect, making youngsters aware about the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse.

The grandfather of four also works as an international coordinator for the Amani UK charity based in Hazlemere, a project which takes teams and schools out to Kenya to help orphans and widows.