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Model Natalie Suliman has praised a popular youth worker who was forced out of his job after 35 years.

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Ms Suliman, 27, attended St Mary’s Youth Club in Upper Street, Islington, from a young age and began working there as a teenager.

She was hired by Nick Adams and worked alongside him as a youth worker for five years – before she shot to fame as the face of a Marks & Spencer lingerie campaign after being spotted in Cally Pool in Caledonian Road.

Ms Suliman, who grew up in Barnsbury, told the Gazette: “I think he goes the extra mile as a youth worker. He does that extra bit where he gets involved in personal lives and that’s what you need. You really need to have passion about young people and need to be involved within the community and have that trust. Nick was a great youth worker and very effective.

Mr Adams, 59, has left the centre he helped set up in 1977 after his contract was terminated by trustees.

Parents, youngsters, volunteers and former users are up in arms and are campaigning for his reinstatement.

Ms Suliman said: “It seems a shame after someone has been there for more than 30 years for them to go like this.

“He brought me up there as a young person and a lot of young people have really benefited from the club. He gave me a job when I was 17 and it was amazing, it wasn’t like work.”

Volunteer John Bank, one of those spearheading the campaign, said: “We’re not going to give up this fight. More than 1,000 people have signed our petition and the campaign is growing.

“People feel that the trustees are not in touch with the community at the youth club. They are mostly middle class women from the parish, they don’t reflect the community at all.”

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