‘Stuff that dreams are made of’ says care home manager awarded MBE for work with vulnerable children

A local coronavirus hero who has been given an MBE for helping vulnerable children during the pandemic feels he has already been rewarded “through the progression and development” of the youngsters he has worked with.

Residential care home manager Trevor Elliot, 29, made sure his team could safely accept the vulnerable during lockdown at a time when many other facilities could not due to financial restraints and health concerns.

Mr Elliot, who became a foster carer at the young age of 25, collected an MBE for services to vulnerable children particularly during Covid-19 on Thursday from the Princess Royal at a scaled down ceremony at London’s St James’s Palace.

Mr Elliot, who runs south London’s Ladywell Children’s Home, described collecting his award as “the stuff that dreams are made of”.

He had at one time dreamed of a professional football career and was an estate agent before he became a young foster carer.

Mr Elliot ensured that proactive action was taken to help children who were facing the threat of becoming lost and forgotten among the chaos of Covid-19.

Of the work he had done during the pandemic, he said: “We had a home that was registered and it was vacant.

“I thought we might as well support the kids and go through the pandemic together as opposed to having it sit empty and leaving the children in a difficult time.

“Before we took children in during the pandemic, we got them to isolate for two weeks but we stayed in communication with them and used video calling to help them feel at ease.”

He said there were drive-by visits so they could see the home from afar and also meet the team who worked there.

He feels his efforts have “absolutely” made a difference to them by keeping them “safe and confident” while enabling bridges to be rebuilt with their families.

Mr Elliot said “everyone is going through troubles, so we might as well support them and get through it together”.

He added that he is passionate about his work because “you see and get rewarded through their progression and development”.

“It is one of those careers which rewards you through others. You can see how well they can achieve,” according to Mr Elliot.

He feels it is important to have “a positive male role model to speak to” and some of the children may see him as a father or a brother.

Mr Elliot said: “I felt that it was only right that I was able to implement that energy and share it with the children.

“I had a property. I had a charity that I had set up. I thought I could provide care to children in that property and use my core skills to help their lives.”

The Ladywell Children’s Home houses children and young people aged between 11 and 17 who have experienced extreme disadvantages.

It supports traumatised youngsters with a range of complex needs or mental health, emotional and behavioural difficulties plus those who have suffered neglect, abuse and placement breakdowns.

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