Trustee of a children’s charity in Kingsbury awarded British Empire Medal
PUBLISHED: 13:53 15 June 2016 | UPDATED: 09:37 16 June 2016
A black cab driver and trustee of a charity in Kingsbury that helps vulnerable children has been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours.
Michael Son, 72, a committee member of the London Taxi Drivers Fund for Underprivileged Children (LTFUC) in Langdon Drive, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to children.
The grandfather-of-two, who continues to drive his black cab three days a week, said: “It’s an absolute honour for me and my family but it is credit to the 13 committee members, wives, supporters, benefactors and specifically the London taxi drivers who give of their time freely, without whom we couldn’t do anything.”
He added: “We take vulnerable children, children with special needs. Their parents, guardians or carers can go through a lot of trauma looking after these kids so it provides them with respite if we can take them out.”
The charity, set up in 1928, does “an awful lot” said Mr Son, who has been involved for 30 years.
Annual trips to the seaside - on July 13 a convoy of 100 black cabs will take children to Southend on Sea in Essex – as well as day outs to the zoo, circus, and theatres, form only part of what they do.
They also receive appeals from individual parents and also organisations looking for medical equipment, or schools seeking equipment.
Mr Son, who with wife Maxine has three children, added: “On account of all that we need to raise funds. It’s difficult so what I have been doing is produce classical music concerts. It changes the perception of cab drivers and makes a bob or two.”
A concert in St Paul’s Cathedral in 2013, to celebrate 85 years of the charity, was supported by the London Charity Orchestra, children choirs and more than 1,000 people.
He has recently been made patron of the Imperial College Sinfonietta, which puts on many performances for children and patrons.
The chirpy cabbie also had praise for the charity’s patron of six years, the Duchess of Cornwall. He said: “She’s fantastic. She invites some of the children to Clarence House every Christmas. These are very sick children and she makes such a fuss of them. She gets to spend time with the kids, gives them lunch and goodie bags and it’s one of her favourite days.”
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