The Rising Star Award, sponsored by Delta Air Lines, recognises young people who, despite having faced substantial personal obstacles, are in sustainable employment as a result of a Prince’s Trust programme.  

Last year, our Rising Star Award finalists were treated to an exclusive trip to Heathrow Airport to spend the day with staff from Delta Air Lines.

Finalist: Bradley Bebbington

After an unstable and abusive childhood, Bradley fell out with his family and left home. With no money, Bradley, 20, from Norwich, Norfolk, spent most of his nights wandering the streets until the morning, waiting for the occasional time a friend could offer him a sofa to sleep on.

A promised job didn't materialise and it was then that Bradley took part in our Make Your Mark programme, delivered by Marks and Spencer.

Slowly, he began to believe in himself again and his confidence grew. He always had a smile on his face and took everything in his stride.

Bradley built up his knowledge of the retail sector and gaind skills to qualify him for employment. His determination to succeed shone through and he was offered a temporary contract as soon as he completed the course.

The programme enabled Bradley to learn to be independent. He has flourished with the company and is now a full-time, permanent member of staff.

Read the full story

Back to top

Winner: Lisa Case

Lisa, 24, from Birmingham, suffers with hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid on the brain that can cause brain damage. 

She was sexually abused at the age of 17, a traumatic experience that left her suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. 

She lost direction and when her mother contracted pneumonia, Lisa found herself caring for her mother and completely withdrew from society. A visit to her JobCentre Plus gave her hope: she met a Prince’s Trust Outreach Executive and was inspired to join Team.

Team made Lisa feel supported. She overcame her anxiety and pushed herself to see what she was really capable of. Growing increasingly more confident, Lisa took on a work placement, flourished and completed Team happier and in control of her mental health.

Proud of what she has achieved, Lisa now works for a fast food chain and hopes to progress to a managerial role.

Read the full story

Back to top

Finalist: Thabo Khumalo

Thabo grew up hanging about the streets. His only aim was to remain out of trouble and get home safely. 

He left school without any qualifications and found himself unintentionally involved with London gangs. When his best friend was brutally stabbed Thabo knew he had to make a change and he headed to Swansea.

However after a period of unemployment, and away from his family, he began to feel isolated and disillusioned. Then, at his local Jobcentre Plus he was introduced to The Prince’s Trust Get Started with Football programme, delivered by Swansea City FC. 

He threw himself into every aspect of the course and his confidence and employability skills started to emerge. 

Thabo saw a future as a football coach. He took up volunteer coaching roles at Swansea Academy, before being offered a part-time job as a community coach, which was soon made permanent.

Read the full story

Back to top