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Volunteer of the Year in association with GMB

Photograph of Lyle English, our Volunteer of the Year winner, posing with his silver trophy

Lyle English is now entering his twentieth year as a volunteer for The Prince’s Trust in Northern Ireland. Lyle started volunteering as a business mentor, offering his time and skills as a Leadership Coach to help young people take their first steps into self-employment. From florists, to textile artists to engine cleaners, more than 40 young people have set up businesses in Northern Ireland with Lyle’s support. 

Lyle said, “It has been wonderful being able to give something back to the community through The Prince’s Trust.  It is a responsibility and opportunity we all have to pass on both our time and talent to nurture the next generation.”

“I have mentored a range of young people from across Northern Ireland. They have all had different challenges and needs, but each one has shown motivation and desire to do something better with their lives. It is a privilege to be a part of their journey. 

As I look back on some of the young people who I’ve been involved with I am grateful for the opportunity to help them change. I love supporting a young person who has a business idea, the motivation to set up their own business but doesn’t know how to put it all together.

"I find it very rewarding to share my experience and to mentor them to the point where they can fly solo. That gives me a real buzz.”

One of his current mentees, Louise Clancy, is a Makeup Artist from Newtownabbey. Louise said “Lyle is very dedicated to his role as my business mentor. He checks in regularly and has instilled a lot of confidence in me, and completely shaped my mindset on how to run my business. He has helped me learn to manage my money efficiently and how to improve my business and services overall. He is the best mentor I could have asked for and I’m very happy to have been teamed up with Lyle.”

Lyle has not only supported his own mentees, but also other mentors in the community. He has set up and chaired a Volunteering Hub, which allows peer-to-peer volunteer support locally while encouraging other volunteers to support the work of The Prince’s Trust.