The incredible Coventry youth worker who has been recognised by the Duke of Edinburgh

A youth worker who helps vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers has been given the Royal seal of approval. Syed Taher, from Coventry's Positive Youth Foundation, runs a Duke of Edinburgh Award programme for marginalised people.

And he was among guests invited to a festival style celebration at Buckingham Palace. Here he spoke to Prince Edward, the king's brother and current Duke of Edinburgh, to tell him of his work.

The Duke replied: "It’s all about sharing passions and interests. It doesn’t matter where you’re from."

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Syed said: "Meeting the Duke of Edinburgh was an absolutely surreal experience. The opportunity to interact with someone of such distinction and hear his words of appreciation for our work at the Positive Youth Foundation was truly humbling.

"His genuine interest and gratitude left me feeling incredibly honoured and motivated to continue our efforts in empowering young people."

As well as honouring volunteers the celebration also recognised more than 8,000 youngsters who have achieved the gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. It had giant deckchairs, bunting, garden games and activities.

Famous faces that attended included actor Jason Watkins, Rugby World Cup winner Heather Fisher and racing driver Billy Monger. Syed joined the Positive Youth Foundation, based on Puma Way, three years ago and helped implement the Duke of Edinburgh Award there.

It takes a minimum of 12 month to complete with activities in five sections - physical, skills, volunteering, a five-day residential and a four day expedition. Syed, who transitioned from football coach to youth worker through his mosque, said: "I realised my passion for aiding young individuals, driven by my own experiences of lacking support due to my background.

"Introducing The Duke of Edinburgh's Award to our young people has been transformative. It's provided them with a sense of community, purpose, and facilitated their integration into their new environment. Witnessing the transformation, growth, and empowerment they experience through our programmes is incredibly rewarding."

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