Our history 

The Trust has become the UK's leading youth charity, offering a range of opportunities including training, personal development, business start up support, mentoring and advice.

The Prince's Trust was founded in 1976 by The Prince of Wales. Having completed his duty in the Royal Navy, His Royal Highness became dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK, and began The Trust to deliver on that commitment.


  • The Prince's Trust was launched.
  • Twenty-one pilot projects were set up around the country. Grants were given to a 19-year old woman to run a social centre for the Haggerston Housing Estate in east London, and for two ex-offenders to run a fishing club. Funds hired swimming baths in Cornwall to train young life guards and for a self-help bicycle repair scheme.


  • Our first fundraising concert took place, which raised £72,000. Bands helped, funded or started by The Trust played alongside established pop stars including Status Quo.
  • The first Prince's Trust Rock Gala was held at the Dominion Tottenham Court Road, with Madness, Joan Armatrading, Phil Collins, Kate Bush and Pete Townshend. Rock galas continued through the '80s.


  • Business start-up programme was launched for the young unemployed. Within three years, 1,000 businesses were trading and 80% survived the first year of existence.


  • Week-long residential events were held at holiday camps around the UK, drawing hundreds of deprived young people. Camps continued annually for 13 years, and in 1996 an international version was held in France.


  • The Prince of Wales Community Venture was launched. This was an intensive 42-week programme, containing a mix of challenges, outdoors activity teamwork, and community care. This later developed into the Volunteers Programme.


  • Jim Gardner was appointed as Chairman of Trustees and Tom Shebbeare as the first full-time director of The Prince's Trust.


  • £40 million appeal was launched in The Prince's 40th birthday year, which was matched by the government to a total of £80 million.


  • The Prince's Trust Volunteers Programme was launched, a 12-week personal development programme for 16-25 year olds, both unemployed and employed. By 1995, 10,000 young people had completed the programme. By 2000 the figure is 50,000.
  • Study Support was launched, providing underachieving pupils with after hours study centres. The initiative was taken up by the Government in 1997.


  • The first residential music school took place. It evolved into the nationwide Sound Live programme, teaching young unemployed people about the music business.


  • The Trust held the first rock concert in Hyde Park for over 20 years. This marked the start of a long-term strategy to establish a link between The Trust and young people's passions - music, fashion and sport.
  • Development Awards - originally one-off £100 or £200 grants - were shaped to incorporate ongoing guidance and support. By 1998, groups of young people can apply for grants up to £15,000 to develop their own projects in the local community.


  • The Prince's Trust pilots a Team project supported by the Premier League, Football Foundation and Professional Footballers' Association which would later be rolled out to include more than 60 clubs from across the four professional leagues.


  • New initiatives were launched: mentors for teenagers leaving care, a scheme to target young offenders and xl clubs to motivate 15 and 16 year olds and keep them at school.


  • The various Trust charities were brought together as The Prince's Trust. This was recognised by HM The Queen at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace, when she granted it a Royal Charter.


  • The organisational structure of The Trust changed. There continued to be a national strategy for the UK as a whole, but Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and each of the English regions now had a fully-accountable Director and Council.


  • The total number of young people who had been helped in some way by the Trust reached 400,000 people. The total receiving sustained help per year reached 25,000.


  • The Business Programme hit a milestone with the 50,000th young person supported into self-employment.
  • The Trust announced a £5m investment over three years to help 30,000 people a year who leave school with no qualifications and low basic skills. The total of young people supported reached 450,000.


  • The 10,000th Development Award. The Prince's Trust held the first Fashion Rocks at Royal Albert Hall, with world class music artists and fashion designers sharing the stage. The event raised £1.1 million.


  • The Prince's Trust, in partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, released a landmark piece of research. Reaching the Hardest to Reach profiled the young people being left behind by UK society.
  • The Trust launched a new series, Celebrate Success, honouring achievements of young people and volunteers with a series of regional and country events culminating with a national event attended by The Prince of Wales, celebrity Ambassadors, press and many others.
  • The Urban Music Festival, a cutting edge, interactive event sold out over two days at London's Earls Court, drawing 30,000 people, making it the UK's largest urban music event.


  • The Premier League, Football Foundation and the Professional Footballers' Association re-confirmed their commitment to The Prince's Trust by pledging a further £2m, extending the partnership until 2008. To date almost 10,000 young people have benefited from the initiative.


  • The Prince's Trust turned 30.
  • Our first national fundraising and advertising campaign launched.
  • A special 30th Birthday concert took place at the Tower of London.
  • An ITV documentary, 'The Prince of Wales: Up Close', profiled the Prince and his work with The Trust.
  • A three hour live televised event on ITV, hosted by Ant & Dec, featured a world exclusive first interview with all three princes - Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry.
  • The first Palace to Palace cycle ride took place, from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle.


  • The Trust launched a landmark study which calculated the Cost of Exclusion.
  • A new initiative, Breaking the Cycle, made progress towards helping ex-offenders.
  • This year also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Football initiative. Fashion Rocks returned to The Royal Albert Hall.


  • The Business Programme celebrated its 25th anniversary with the launch of the Business Club for programme alumni and the Enterprise Fellowship.
  • On his 60th birthday, HRH The Prince of Wales launched the first Prince's Trust Youth Week campaign, challenging the media to present a more balanced view of young people.
  • Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited The Trust’s head office.


  • The Trust launched a new website, achieving over 5 million page views in the year.
  • The Trust started using Twitter and passed the 5,000 followers mark.
  • The Palace to Palace bike ride attracted over 3,000 riders.
  • The first Million Makers national final took place.
  • Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited The Trust’s head office to meet with young people.
  • Charles Dunstone, Chief Executive of The Carphone Warehouse, became Chairman of The Prince’s Trust.


  • The Undiscovered campaign highlighted the potential of the young unemployed, gaining significant media coverage
  • The Rock Gala made a return to the Royal Albert Hall with a sell-out performance and 3D coverage on television.
  • The Team programme celebrated its 20th anniversary with Make a Change week with support from the leaders of all the main political parties.
  • The Enterprise Programme replaced the Business Programme, helping more young people to explore enterprise. Make it Happen, The Trust's guide to staring up in business, was published.


  • The Trust merged with another youth charity, Fairbridge, extending the reach of its programmes, though a network of Prince's Trust centres
  • In the wake of rising youth unemployment and summer riots, The Trust increased its support in affected areas
  • The Trust celebrated its 35th anniversary with a month-long campaign
  • Celebrities supported The Trust at the Rock Gala and Gary Barlow played a concert in aid of The Trust. The Cheryl Cole Foundation announced its support for The Trust.


  • Million Makers challenge participants collectively raised £1million for the first time
  • The Prince's Trust launched a second Palace to Palace bike ride in the West Midlands
  • Through Opportunity 2012, The Trust played a valuable role in involving young people across the UK in the excitement of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  • Musician and philanthropist will.i.am donated £500,000 to The Trust, to fund education, training and enterprise schemes with a focus on technology and computer skills
  • The Trust celebrated the A to Z of Prince's Trust businesses across the summer
  • November saw comedians raising the roof for young people, with We Are Most Amused, The Prince's Trust comedy extravaganza





  • The Prince's Trust was announced as lead partner in Talent Match, a Big Lottery Fund scheme designed by young people for young people, to help 18-24 year-olds who are long term unemployed.
  • Beyoncé’s global campaign #BeyGOOD raised more than £85,000 for The Prince’s Trust to help change the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK.
  • The Trust celebrates 10 years of Celebrate Success, our awards series which recognises the incredible achievements of young people across the country.
  • Samsung opened a Digital Classroom at The Prince's Trust Kennington Centre
  • "Anyone can have a business idea - tell us yours and we could help get it off the ground." The Prince's Trust 'What's Your Idea' campaign inspires young entrepreneurs to find out more about our Enterprise programme.

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The Prince's Trust Factsheet 2014/15

The Trust helped over 56,077 young people last year.