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The first thing Chris Adams, Project Manager at Radian knew about the possibility of being a Torchbearer and carrying the Flame in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, was when he got a call to say his nomination had been successful and he was through to the next stage. It turned out that he had been nominated by his wife Victoria for the many years of work he has done in the community with young people.
Chris is the Project Manager at RKdia, a successful supported housing scheme for vulnerable young people in Horndean. Surprisingly he got into youth work by accident after setting up a football coaching scheme in 1993 whilst living in London. Gradually Chris became aware of the issues that some young people faced in their everyday lives and he started to help them deal with some of these.
When Chris moved to Portsmouth, he transferred his work and football training with him. He worked for Portsmouth Safer Cities group in 1995 and organised 'Splash Activities' in the Portsmouth area during the school holidays to keep young people off the streets by having things to do and activities they enjoyed.
He then helped to set up the Portsmouth Community Safety Partnership Programme in 1997. The Partnership set up projects and programmes supporting young people, including the first Appropriate Adult scheme in the country to utilise volunteers instead of social workers and has helped countless young people stay off the streets, keep out of trouble, gather skills and stay in school.
In 2001 Chris established RKdia, a Radian initiative (formerly Drum Housing Association). RKdia offers opportunities to young people with problem lives in order for them to gain skills and confidence. The scheme has 12 self-contained flats where young people can learn life skills, tackle their issues with the help of their Support Worker and get their lives back on track.
Chris says: "When I get nervous I smile loads so I will probably be beaming as I run with the torch as there will be so many people watching me!" His two daughters aged five and 10, can't wait to see their daddy running with the torch.
Chris will be running the Bridgemary section of the relay route in Gosport on 15 July at around 4:15pm. He will be supported by two side runners and escorted by a police motorcycle and followed by a bus of Olympic torch relay people!
Everyone at Radian is enormously proud of Chris and pleased that he has received this recognition for the positive impact that he has made on the lives of so many young people over the years.