The Breakthrough Award, sponsored by HSBC, recognises the progress of young people in overcoming barriers and developing new skills.   

Finalist: Adrian Thomas

Adrian, 20, lived with his family to the age of two. When his parents divorced and the family broke up, he moved away with his mum but difficult circumstances led to him being taken into care.

This marked the start of a chaotic and unstable home life and Adrian spent his childhood moving around foster care. 

Involved with drugs and experiencing depression, he decided to return to Wales. He was put into a supported hostel, where he found The Prince’s Trust’s Team programme.

He made friends and was able to be himself. Every day brought a change for the better in Adrian and he was determined not to let his past affect his future.  

Read the full story

Back to top

Finalist: Alec McDermott

Tormented by bullies, Alec, 21, from Partington, was kicked and intimidated, had money stolen from him, and suffered from years of mental and physical abuse. He self-harmed, believing it was the only thing he could control. 

Following the death of his mum’s partner, Alec attempted to take his own life and was moved to a psychiatric unit before being sent to a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). 

Life at the PRU was good, but outside it was a different story: the bullying continued and Alec became reclusive. A support service recommended Get Started with Radio, which was delivered in partnership with Reform Radio.

He had to force himself to attend, but became a valued member of the group and went on to co-write a drama and complete a 12 week digital traineeship. 

Alec has just secured his SIA Door Supervisor Licence and is looking to secure work in this area while studying Creative Media at Salford City College. Alec is interested in both routes and has recently completed his first job as a Door Supervisor at a Reform Radio event.

Read the full story

Back to top

Winner: Michelle Brown

Physically and sexually abused for years, Michelle, 23, from Southampton, suffered in silence, hating her life, and growing increasingly angry. She was suspended from school for fighting, stayed out late smoking cannabis and was regularly picked up by police for anti-social behaviour‎.

Then a series of incidents saw Michelle lose control, not caring whether she lived or died. She was later diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and was signposted to Get Started with Stewarding. 

Michelle made huge advancements socially and personally during the programme and earned her Level 2 Award in Understanding Stewarding at Spectator Events. But, it was a one-to-one forward planning session which helped her realise she wanted a career helping other young people.

Michelle now works as a steward at Southampton FC, volunteers with several youth organisations, and is also researching mental health amongst young people. In the future, she hopes to become a full-time youth worker.

Read the full story

Back to top