Queen honours Russ Dacre for Norwich Open
Russ Dacre, who helped create a drink and alcohol free venue in Norfolk as the former director of the Open Youth Trust in Norwich, was made an MBE in the Queen’s New Year honours list published today (December 31).
Christian entrepreneur and youth worker Russ helped spearhead the Open Youth Venue project which has opened at the Grade II listed former Barclays Bank building in Bank Plain, Norwich.
The venue, which opened in October last year, was transformed from a 19th century bank into the country’s first under 18s nightclub which has a capacity of 1,100, a climbing wall and a media centre with free use of the internet.
Russ, 31, said he was “surprised” to have been recognised with the honour. He said: “I thought someone was having a laugh - it wasn’t something I expected at all. You don’t ever do these things to get recognised or honoured so it was a massive surprise.”
Russ, who has had to battle his own drink issues in the past, said the Open Youth venue came about because of a desire to create a safe place for young people in the city.
He said: “That was the main driving force - to provide an alternative to a drug and alcohol culture for young people and I certainly feel that’s what we’ve achieved. It’s been a fantastic safe place for young people and already lots of young people have been positively affected by it so that’s a good thing.”
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