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The Prince's Trust Awards in the East of England and East Midlands

On 15 October 2019 we celebrated our amazing young people at The Prince's Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards. The Prince's Trust Awards honour the achievements of young people supported by The Trust's programmes.

See our programmes

Our 2019 winners

Lewis Springthorpe Dean - Homesense Young Achiever

Course: Team

If you’re unemployed and between 16 and 25, you can meet new people, gain new skills and train on our Team programme. 

Lewis' story

I’ve never been someone who has let my disability hold me back. I’m proof that you can achieve anything if you have the right support and determination.  

I was in and out of hospital continuously as a child with brittle bone disease and have been in a wheelchair since I was 4 years old. Growing up, my education was disrupted due to multiple health issues and as an adult I faced a lot of rejection when initially looking for jobs which massively knocked my confidence. I started to think that being in a wheelchair was deterring employers from hiring me. However, in the back of my mind I always knew that if I had the right support I could secure a role that I enjoyed. It was just hard to see it at the time. 

I heard about The Prince’s Trust Team programme and decided to give it a go. It helped me to build my confidence again and find the humour I had lost. Meeting other young people who saw me as their equal was brilliant. After I completed the Team programme I joined the Get Into Retail programme with Marks and Spencer and through that secured a job as a retail assistant. I’m so glad that I’m working; I’m back to my old self again and found my voice and enthusiasm for life. It’s been a great year!

The Young Achiever of the Year Award is sponsored by Homesense.

Phidizz - HSBC UK Breakthrough Award 

Course: Enterprise

Got a business in mind or want to explore an idea? From training and mentoring support to funding and resources, we're here to help you become the best entrepreneur you can be. 

Phidizz's story

It’s hard to believe that I’m now helping others to make positive choices, away from gangs and crime and that music is such a positive influence on my life. This wasn’t always the case – from the age of 14 I was gang affiliated, at 15 I was excluded from school, and at 17 I was homeless and spent almost two years in prison for gang related crimes.  

I knew I couldn’t carry on like this, so moved from my area to Leicester where I was introduced to my mentor Yasin, who also runs a recording studio & record label. He was working on Talent Match with The Prince’s Trust and saw the potential in me and my love of music. Through his support I was able to leave my previous life behind and put all my energy into music. 

Yasin’s help has inspired me to help others through my music – I’m now training to be a peer mentor and I volunteer for The Prince’s Trust – sharing my story with other young people. I now get paid to perform and I’m setting up a music business with help from The Trust’s Enterprise programme. My mum’s proud of me. Life is good!

The Breakthrough Award is sponsored by HSBC UK.

Aisa Ali - Watches of Switzerland Young Ambassador of the Year 

Course: Team

If you’re unemployed and between 16 and 25, you can meet new people, gain new skills and train on our Team programme. 

Aisa's story

I’m proud to say I’m now working, live independently and I’m also a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador. I’m happier than I’ve ever been but didn’t always feel this way, I’ve had to deal with mental health issues, estrangement from my family, homelessness and living in foster care.  

I was feeling like my life was out of control. I was drinking too much and feeling unhappy too. I didn’t want to be defined by my past anymore, so when I heard about The Prince’s Trust Team programme I thought I’d give it a go. At the time I had no idea that it would have such a positive impact on my life. I made friends, my confidence grew and I started to believe in myself and even managed to secure a job.   

My role as a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador has enabled me to share my story with other young people and even Prince Charles! I’ve also got my own YouTube channel where I share my past experiences in the hope it will help others and I now volunteer on the same Team programme that helped me. I’ve always loved music and have plucked up the courage to record some tracks. I’m really excited about my future. I’m in a good place now

The Young Ambassador of the Year Award is sponsored by The Watches of Switzerland Group.

Jason Rushby - NatWest Enterprise Award 

Course: Enterprise

Got a business in mind or want to explore an idea? From training and mentoring support to funding and resources, we're here to help you become the best entrepreneur you can be.

Jason's story

I’m so proud that I now own my shop and am running a successful business. It’s been a long and hard journey, but it shows that with the right support you can achieve anything.  

School was not a great time for me, as I was bullied and did not do that well.  After school there were good times when I had great jobs and a stable relationship, but there were also challenging times, when I had no home, no partner and no job.  

I found myself living on the street and struggling with my mental health and the misuse of alcohol. Even when I managed to get a flat, I fell into rent arrears and could have lost everything. 

Whatever was happening around me, I never lost my passion for music and came up with an idea to upcycle musical instruments into furniture and clocks. I did some research and found The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. They were great at giving me all the support, guidance and direction that I needed to start up the new business.  

With my confidence boosted, I started Drum Cycle in 2017. It was small scale at first, working from a rented garage and selling my products online. But I had ambitious plans and I have now opened a shop and am proud to say that I am exporting worldwide.

The Enterprise Award is sponsored by NatWest.

Blake Mckillop - Boots Rising Star Award 

Blake's story

My mentor and The Prince’s Trust Talent Match programme gave me the boost I needed to end my nine years of unemployment. During those eight years I completed so many employability courses – you name it and I bet I did it! It started to feel pointless – it got me nowhere. The closest I got to employment during that time was a zero-hour contract, but as I have dyspraxia and mild learning difficulties the lack of routine didn’t suit my condition. I started to feel isolated and played my computer games for hours most days, alone in my room. I’d lost my motivation.  

Through Talent Match I was given the opportunity to work at a logistics company in the warehouse. If I’m honest I’d not considered this type of job but I knew that this could be a real opportunity – and I was right. I’ve now been given a permanent position and I love it! At school I was invisible but at work I’m valued and feel more independent. One of the best things about work is that I can now treat my mum and dad to a chippy meal!

The Rising Star Award is sponsored by Boots UK.

Northampton South Team 45 - Dell Technologies Community Impact Award 

Course: Team

If you’re unemployed and between 16 and 25, you can meet new people, gain new skills and train on our Team programme.

Team 45's story

The Community Impact Award is sponsored by Dell Technologies.

Alan Davies - Ascential Educational Achiever of the Year 

Course: Achieve

Achieve programmes are run in schools or youth centres. If you're aged 11-19, Achieve can help you to boost your confidence, learn new skills and work with your friends on a group project - but how you do it is up to you.

Alan's story

You need to find your place in the world. Somewhere that you feel comfortable, somewhere you can be yourself, relax and feel safe. Thanks to the support of my amazing family and The Prince’s Trust, I’ve found that place. 

I never fitted in at school; I didn’t get on with the other pupils and often walked out of lessons when it was getting too much for me. Home life was also difficult - as much as I love my family, it’s not easy living with five other people in a two-bedroom home.  

Things were not looking much better when I first started The Prince’s Trust Achieve programme. I did not get on with the other lads and preferred to work alone. But I was determined to do well and slowly began to enjoy the activities and got on with the other lads.  

My confidence started to grow and no one was more surprised than me when I sang a solo at the Christmas concert. I even took on work experience at a local care home.  

Things are much easier at school now. I feel more confident, I’m happier and feel that I fit in. I am doing much better in my studies and have plans to go to college to do Health and Social Care. It’s taken time, but I’ve found my place in life and hope you find yours.

The Educational Achiever of the Year Award​ is sponsored by Ascential.

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Prince’s Trust Centres in Central England

Working across Central England, from Herefordshire to Norfolk and Essex to Staffordshire, we support over 10,000 young people each year.

With 10 offices in the region, all of our programmes help young people to develop the basic life skills and motivation they need to succeed in jobs, education and training. To make this happen, we create partnerships in particular sectors to ensure young people develop specific employability skills, such as customer services, retail, construction and logistics.

Find out more about our work in Central England

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