Eastbourne Lib Dem MP candidate receives OBE
An Eastbourne man and Lib Dem parliamentary candidate has received an OBE for services to criminal justice, social enterprise and the economy.
Josh Babarinde was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honours because he set up a social enterprise business supporting ex-offenders and ex-gang members to help them move away from crime and into employment.
Josh was 26 years old when he was notified by the Royal Household that he was to receive his honour.
On Wednesday (December 8), Josh was invited to Windsor Castle for the ceremony where he received the OBE medal from the Princess Royal on behalf of the Queen.
Josh said, “It was an honour to meet Princess Anne at Windsor Castle to receive this award.
“I used my time with the Princess Royal to share with her that I dedicated this OBE to our wonderful town because it’s our community in Eastbourne that created the foundations for me to achieve it. I said to Her Royal Highness that this is Eastbourne’s OBE. She was delighted for Eastbourne.
“I couldn’t leave without inviting Princess Anne to visit Eastbourne again in the future, and to see even more of the supportive community that made this award happen for me. Fingers crossed the Princess will take us up on it!”
Next year Josh plans to take his OBE round schools and youth clubs in Eastbourne to inspire young people.
He said, “I don’t want this medal to gather dust. I want to use it to inspire others. That’s why I’m launching the Eastbourne OBE Roadshow in 2022. Local schools have already been in touch to invite me in to share my story with their pupils.
“This OBE proves that when you dream big, roll up your sleeves and get the right support, anything is possible in our town. You don’t need to be rich and famous – you can be a down-to-earth Eastbourne lad like me. That’s the message that I’ll be taking to our schools and youth groups as I take this medal to every corner of our town.”
Schools and youth groups can get in touch with Josh by email via [email protected] to arrange a visit as part of his OBE roadshow next year.