A former Adoption UK trainer who has trained hundreds of adoptive parents and professional staff for the charity over a 16-year period will receive the British Empire Medal in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for services to adoption.

Bob Barnes has travelled across the UK promoting the work of Adoption UK and training adopters, social workers and teachers.

The former architect's nomination for the BEM was revealed in early May in a letter from the Cabinet Office. It was news that Bob describes as a “shock rather than a surprise”. 

Bob, who has been a member of AUK since 1994, will be presented with the award by Oxfordshire Lord Lieutenant Tim Stevenson OBE. Bob will be joined at the hour-long ceremony by his wife Wyn and their son, Nicolas.

He said: “I can’t imagine why I’ve been singled out. I'd like all fellow Adoption UK trainers, parent consultants and volunteers – both past and present – to feel that they hold a part of this medal too. I’m part of a great team so it’s only fitting that their efforts should also be celebrated, rather than solely focusing on me.”

After becoming an AUK trainer in 2000, Bob was one of the first trainers to deliver It's a Piece of Cake?, the charity’s parent support programme. In 2001 he became a member of staff, supervised a group of trainers and worked closely with AUK’s training managers to promote the programme across the UK.  Bob said:  “I estimate I've run 17 parent support programmes and around 60 workshops, amounting to around 200 days of training, which might add up to 1,200 or more parents and professional staff trained.”

He became a parent consultant in 2010, offering support and guidance to adopters referred to Adoption UK by their adoption support social workers. He was also instrumental in the 2014 launch of Parenting our Children, Adoption UK's revised and updated parent support programme.

Bob, who lives in Cumbria, retired from his employed role with Adoption UK in July 2016, but continues his self-employed work as a trainer and parent consultant with AUK’s partner organisation PAC-UK, an independent adoption support agency.

Notes: The British Empire Medal is awarded for meritorious service.


Banner image credit (medals): Royal Communications.