MERSEYSIDE charity founder Stephen Yip was awarded the freedom of the city.
Previous recipients of the honour include Nelson Mandela, The Beatles, Ken Dodd and Roger McGough.
Mr Yip was selected for the honour because of his tireless work with children’s charity Kind, which he founded 37 years ago.
He was given the honour in a ceremony at the Devonshire Hotel in Fairfield last night.
Mr Yip, son of a merchant seaman from China, said: “I am honoured to be the first locally born, Chinese person to receive the freedom of the city of Liverpool.
“It is a great reflection on the contribution that the sons and daughters of immigrants have made to the city. I’m proud to be a Scouser.
“Kind has been an important part of my life for 37 years, so I am really proud that all the work we have done to help young people has been recognised by the city.”
Kind works with thousands of children, young people and families across Liverpool and Merseyside, developing new and imaginative ways to help them cope with many forms of disadvantage.
Kind also runs services for families including family learning, half term clubs and residential breaks so they can enjoy activities away from home.
Mr Yip will be the 63rd person to receive the honour, which dates from 1886.
The 57-year-old’s charity Kind works with underprivileged children across Merseyside and is funded entirely by donations, without government or council support.
Mr Yip said: “We have struggled with funding but we are still here and we are still developing. We have seen a number of recessions, but we aim to be here for the long haul.”
Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Cllr Sharon Sullivan, said: “I am delighted to be awarding Stephen the Freedom of the City of Liverpool.
“This accolade recognises over 37 years of hard work and dedication that Stephen has given to those less fortunate in and around the North West through his charity Kind.
“Stephen is an inspiration to others and a fantastic ambassador for the city. I can’t think of a greater way to thank him on behalf of all those he has helped.”
Stephen will add the accolade to an MBE he was awarded in 2002.