Queen’s Honours: Woburn Sands man honoured with OBE for services to young people

Nik Hartley
Nik Hartley

The boss of a youth-led international development charity has been awarded an OBE for services to young people in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Nik Hartley, who lives in Woburn Sands, is a governor at local school Fulbrook Middle School.

Nik joined Restless Development in 1999, and was appointed Chief Executive in 2011.

On receiving the OBE, Nik said: “For 30 years, Restless Development has only ever had one aim – to give young people the opportunity and platform to become leaders of change, locally and globally.

“I am extremely proud to receive this honour on behalf of them, and the thousands of staff and tens of thousands of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make this agency such an inspiring success.”

Ahmad Alhendawi, Youth Envoy for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “Nik Hartley has demonstrated both superior leadership skills and a remarkable sense of values.

“This prestigious award for a trailblazer and demonstrated leader in youth work is also acknowledging the youth sector and giving a strong message for young leaders working for youth development around the world.”

Ben Jackson, Chief Executive of Bond, the membership body for international development organisations in the UK, said: “Nik has provided strong leadership within the wider development community – for example through pressing the NGO community to make more innovative use of Big Data to empower young people and improve the impact of development projects, and his championing of listening to youth voices in development in this country and abroad.”

Zainab Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Sexual Violence in Conflict, said:“While many organisations work to alleviate the many numerous problems the world faces, Restless Development seeks to deal with the future by creating societies that can deal with old problems and prevent new ones. Mr. Hartley’s long service and leadership has been instrumental in the vision, design and impact of Restless Development.”