XLP leader honoured by university
Patrick Regan OBE, founder and CEO of urban youth charity XLP, has been made an honorary fellow of Southbank University ...
Patrick Regan OBE has been made an Honorary Doctor of Law and Social Sciences in Southbank University’s 2016 honorary awards for his valuable contribution to peace and social justice.
He is founder and CEO of urban youth charity XLP, a passionate advocate for young people around the world, a communicator on social justice issues, author, advisor to the Centre for Social Justice and UK Ambassador for Compassion.
This award acknowledges the tireless work of Patrick Regan OBE in tackling the grassroots issues that lead to youth crime, educational failure and low aspirations.
In a recent interview Patrick was quoted saying, “To change people’s lives, we need to commit to staying the course.” This follows twenty years of his relentless work to ensure that young people have opportunities to have a positive futures.
In 1996, in a response to a stabbing in the local school playground, Patrick set about establishing XLP (eXceL Project) to support young people in dealing with conflict and low self esteem. What started as just Patrick now has 35 people on staff. In addition there are 30 student or gap year placement workers and more than 250 registered volunteers who each give up at least an hour a week.
XLP’s aim is to create “positive futures” for the young people it works with. What this means in practice is different in every case, but the approach Patrick’s charity takes is always based on listening, building trust and working with communities rather than doing things “for” or “to” them.
Under Patrick’s leadership XLP does things differently. Its workers don’t just visit the estates they serve; they live there, as did Patrick for many years. He believes that relationships nurture the belief that change is possible. So they don’t parachute in to deal with crisis situations; they build relationships and create networks designed to help young people improve their lives over years.
The results are remarkable. The charity has a team of mentors who each donate two hours a week to help young people who are on the verge of exclusion to stay in school. Of the most recent batch of mentees, around 90% are still in school a year after the programme began.
Patrick’s commitment to helping young people has taken him to some of the poorest nations and most violent cities on earth. He has become a respected mediator and expert on gang culture, as well as an author and passionate campaigner for young people – and one who excels at educating politicians about the impact of their policies on the lives of the people he works with.
Sustained by his Christian faith, Patrick strives to live his values, while uniting people of all faiths (and no faith) around the cause of improving the life chances of young people living in violent or chaotic environments.
Other organisations value Patrick’s dynamic and thoughtful approach. He is UK ambassador for Compassion as well as advisor to the Centre for Social Justice. He received the Mayor of London Peace Award in 2010 for his valuable contribution to peace and justice and was awarded an OBE in 2012.