Great Yarmouth charity worker Mike Smith-Clare collects MBE from the Queen

Mike Smith-Clare of Blue Cat who has been made an MBE Photo: Steve Adams

Mike Smith-Clare of Blue Cat who has been made an MBE Photo: Steve Adams

A Great Yarmouth man was due at Buckingham Palace today to pick up his MBE awarded to him for helping the homeless.

Mike Smith-Clare co-founded The Bread Kitchen which works with young people to undertake volunteering, achieve qualifications, and gain skills and confidence.

The 49-year-old, of Harley Road, is also behind the award-winning Blue Cat Initiative which uses football to help people connect with their communities and progress into education or jobs.

His citation said he had a passion for educating vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

It went on: 'The Blue Cat Initiative has become an umbrella for a number of initiatives he has started through this scheme that empower the groups in the community that are hard to reach.

'He firstly established Street Life Soccer for the homeless community in Norwich; this initiative runs in partnership with Norwich City FC providing football training, friendship and lifelong learning. In the last four years the project has supported 400 individuals and provided opportunities that would have not existed for them such as achieving their first qualification.

'They also have been able to find employment and rebuild their lives. In 2009, the project won the NIACE Open Doors to Adult Learning National Project of the Year Award. The Blue Cat has recently received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.'

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The Blue Cat Initiative, is a former winner of the Prime Minister's Big Society Award.

It uses a range of innovative approaches including photography, film, local history, community journalism, kite making, and sport.

According to the Government's website the Street Life Soccer Scheme, one of its many initiatives, has supported hundreds of homeless people through football since 2007.

Also recognised at the investiture ceremony were rowing star Dame Katherine Grainger and Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, who was knighted for services to music.

Horse trainer John Gosden, who has trained more than 3,000 winners including thoroughbred Golden Horn who won the Epsom Debry and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 2015, was awarded an OBE.