It was New Year unlike any other for Senior Aircraftman Adam Bruerton, who was named an MBE recipient in the New Year Honour List 2015 for his work with RAF Northolt youth. On 26 February, Adam received his MBE from Prince Charles in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Adam has been working with young people at the Station since 2009 and takes a leading role in its Airplay youth programme.
Airplay is a youth support programme for the families of service personnel, run for the Royal Air Force.
The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund pays for Airplay youth workers, trained by national children and families charity 4Children, to help RAF community support teams provide a range of activities for young people living on and around stations.
RAF Northolt Community Development Officer Edlynn Zakers said: "From the outset, Adam was an absolute star and a complete natural at youth work. "He is our resident creative genius – he can take a concept and make something amazing out of absolutely nothing. We're thrilled that his contributions are being recognised with the MBE."
Adam, who also serves as the Community Development Fund treasurer and a local primary school governor, brings his background in art and design to the Airplay programme and particularly takes the lead in craft programmes and projects.
When staff shortages endangered the 2013 summer programme, Adam stepped in and led a fortnight of activities for the RAF Northolt participants plus a second Airplay group visiting from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.
Most recently, Adam brought his creative talents to bear in creating a World War One trench to teach Ruislip High School students about the war – a project featured on BBC national news.
Adam said: "Kerry Ferris, an art teacher at Ruislip High wanted to turn an entire classroom into a WW1 trench to really give students an idea of what life in the trenches was like and turned to me to bring it to life.
"We collaborated to design, build and decorate an amazing structure that was used for history lessons, World War One-era poetry readings, and drama activities. It was such a success that the trench was later installed at the Ruislip Manor library for an additional three months for the public to experience."
Adam continued: "It's an incredible honour to be recognised with the MBE. There are some real challenges for children in military families, such as frequent moves and long deployments, and it's wonderful to be a part of a programme like Airplay that helps children flourish."