Published: 22:31, 07 June 2019
A property auctioneer has been highlighted in the Queen's birthday honours.
Clive Emson has been awarded an MBE for services to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Kent.
The 72-year-old from Monks Horton, near Folkestone, said he is feeling 'surprised' about the accolade: "The thing that's amazing is that I'm not sure who put me up for it.
"It was a complete and utter surprise. I've kept the charity work under the radar."
Mr Emson's charity work began around 20 years ago, when he saw that the YMCA in Maidstone was asking for £100 to buy new pencils and pens for homework club, which was also appealing for volunteers at the time.
He has been an Independent Visitor for The Young Lives Foundation (YLF) since 2002 - an independent children’s charity dedicated to delivering tailored services to vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people for effective outcomes.
The role of an independent visitor is to have one on one sessions with one child for three years.
Mr Emson says the key to success is simple: "I talk to them rather than at them. It's mainly children in care."
He was the founding chairman of the Board from 2007 to 2014 and President from 2014 to date. His vast experience, support and guidance have made a positive impact on the lives of young people in Kent and his vision is that all shall have access to opportunities to achieve their potential.
Over the years, he has assisted many other charities, raising thousands and continues to do so through events.
Each year, the YLF voluntarily gives 21,000 hours to the Kent community and 786 young people attend its positive activity programmes. Up to 25,000 young people have the right to access YLFs services.
In 2002, he was introduced to Darren, who was in a children's home and had no family. He was bordering on involvement in crime, but he was able to secure him housing, support him finding employment and helped him through many difficult times.
He recently acted as ‘father of the groom’ at Darren’s wedding, who has commented that he ‘wouldn’t be where he is today if he hadn’t been introduced to Clive all those years ago.’
The familiar face on Homes Under The Hammer also hosts a YLF Fun Day for children and volunteers in his garden every summer.
The charity now helps around 3500 children a year and has 200 volunteers on its books.
Mr Emson continued: "It's not me - it's the organisation. I'm the figurehead but there's a lot of people doing exceptional work behind the scenes. It's wonderful."
'I'm the figurehead but there's a lot of people doing exceptional work behind the scenes. It's wonderful.' - Clive Emson
His work is in addition to his role as Chairman of one of the largest auctioneering companies in the UK, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
He set up his business after resigning as regional director for Prudential Property Services in 1989, where he saw the business was suffering heavy losses.
He decided to set up his own business in Folkestone at the height of a recession, opening another office in Strood quickly afterwards.
Within three years, the company consolidated its offices into one base in Maidstone, which remains the company’s headquarters today.
The company found its niche in that 95% of estate agents did not have auctioneering facilities.