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The Prince's Trust Awards in the North East

On 2 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

Dominic Batey - 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.

Dominic's story

The Team programme in Farringdon was the motivation that I needed to get myself back on track. After doubting myself, losing confidence and struggling with my mental health, I gained a new outlook on life and now I have a growing career in retail. 

The last year of school was difficult for me. I was diagnosed with dyslexia and had given up hope on getting good grades. Despite this I went on to join a college in Sunderland and study sport – something I enjoy.  

Although I made new friends and was enjoying life, I also attracted the attention of bullies, so I took the decision to move to another college further away in Gateshead and start afresh. 

I studied uniformed public services and quickly made friends until a difficult relationship breakup put a strain on my mental health. I knew I had to take action as, although I felt at an all-time low, I didn’t want to be stuck in the same cycle anymore.  

I saw an advert for The Prince’s Trust Team, run by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, and decided to give it a go, as I had nothing to lose, but maybe lots to gain. 

I built my employability skills and CV, and was offered work experience with Superdry in Sunderland. I enjoyed spending time with the retailer and was really pleased when they made me a job offer. 

I got part-time hours at first and now I’ve become a full-time employee, and look after the store’s fundraising activities. You can guess who we’ve chosen as our charity to support this year.

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

Eryn Wood - HSBC UK Breakthrough Award 

Course: Get Into Retail

Work with top employers who are ready to hire fresh talent, while improving your CV and interview techniques. Some courses include a trial shift with potential job offers available at the end. 

Eyrn's story

The Prince’s Trust helped me to rediscover my confidence.

At the start of secondary school I suffered from anxiety and depression. It affected me so much that I was moved to a specialist educational provision when I was 14. We were then mixed with students struggling with their behaviour and I struggled with this environment. I was also bullied so, although I was originally predicted high grades, I ended up leaving school with just one grade C GCSE.

Things got so bad that I felt I could no longer go out in public. I lost all my self-confidence and really struggled to speak to anyone, even my family and especially people my age.

Then I joined Fairbridge and I saw that I wasn’t alone in what I was facing. That comforted me, but it also gave me the confidence to support other people in the group.

I went on to do the Get into Retail programme with Marks & Spencer. I jumped at the chance to do something that, after everything, could get me a job. And at the end of the programme they offered me a 12-week contract!

My confidence has grown so much that I’ve done filming with the BBC and I’m now a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador – telling my story to hopefully support other young people to realise their potential just like me.

The Breakthrough Award is sponsored by HSBC UK.

Emma Quinn - Watches of Switzerland Group​ Young Ambassador of the Year 

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. 

Emma's story

The Enterprise programme in Newcastle was the kick start I needed to rebuild my confidence. Since completing the course, I have started my own business and have been invited to represent The Prince’s Trust as a Young Ambassador.  

I took up the Ambassador role after launching my art therapy-based business Piffy & Egg, which donates 7.5 per cent of profits to mental health charity, Mind. 

Being a Young Ambassador has given me a platform to be an advocate for mental health. I have even appeared on TV programmes during Mental Health Awareness Week and guest blogged for Mind. 

It had only been months since I was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder, OCD and multiple other chronic health conditions, that I realised I needed lifelong specialist support.  

It has been a huge challenge accepting that I will no longer be able to continue nursing full time, but I really believe I have found my calling now. Being classified as a disabled person is something I still struggle to get my head around, but by no means makes me any less capable.  

To be chosen to represent The Trust as a Young Ambassador has meant the world to me and sharing my story has not only helped me to heal, but many others too.  

It’s so important to continue educating and supporting people with mental ill health and this role allows me to encourage others going through similar challenges to reach out for help. 

I’m now pushing forward to develop a business plan for the launch of my own mental health charity in 2020, which aims to reduce barriers to mental health services in the community. My main outcomes are to provide financial support, a directory of existing services and educate communities in coming together to help one another.

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

Lamin Gibba - 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.

Lamin's story

I always wanted to be my own boss. My journey into self-employment has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me, apart from my son Jackson. 

I grew up in Gambia, where my parents worked hard so that me and my siblings could have a good education. They paid for school fees and they bought me the desk and chair I would carry to lessons every day. 

I loved playing football, and I was good, but I knew very few people make it to professional level, so I decided to pursue my other interest: fashion. Then when I was at secondary school I got into music and started rapping. My father was strict so I hid this from him by creating a pseudonym, ‘Jerry’. 

I moved to the UK five years ago to find a better life and, at fashion college in London, I met Danielle. We moved to Newcastle, where she’s from. When we had our son, Jackson, I knew I had to support him so I spoke to The Prince’s Trust for help starting my clothing brand. I called it Jerry J, after my old pseudonym and the initial of my son. 

I completed the Enterprise programme, which made me feel like I had a business degree and helped me a lot to work towards my dream. It made me even more passionate, ambitious and determined to succeed. 

Jerry J now has 25,000 followers on Instagram and celebrities wear it. Earlier this year I went back to Gambia with Danielle and Jackson to donate football kits to my old school.

The Enterprise Award is sponsored by NatWest.

Charleigh Morritt​ - Rising Star Award

Course: Fairbridge

Try everything from kayaking to high ropes during an action-packed week-long residential, then choose from a range of options to create your own learning plan. 

Charleigh's story

Not so long ago I struggled to leave the house. Now I’m off to university to study Law. 

My anxiety was so bad that I found it difficult to even get on a bus. I felt like it was holding me back, so I shut myself away.

My mum contacted the NHS affective disorders team for support, and that’s when I found out about The Prince’s Trust. 

I was so nervous at the thought of meeting and having to speak to new people that I didn’t want to go. I don’t know what happened, but everyone was encouraging me so I just went for it. I joined the Fairbridge programme. 

Straight away, I was surprised at how comfortable I felt being there. Everyone was so nice and we learned about how to communicate better, form relationships and get on with people. Then we went on a residential and I learned to be more independent. My confidence just grew as my anxiety got better. I felt comfortable getting the bus on my own and doing things for myself. 

After the programme I got a job at Primark, and was put in charge of the fitting rooms because they saw I was good at dealing with customers. I’ve faced challenges there, like the odd angry customer, but I now feel I have the resilience to cope. 

I also reengaged at college and my grades improved so much that I got an unconditional offer to study Law in Leeds.

The Rising Star Award is sponsored by Legal and General.

Newcastle United Foundation Team 4 - 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 4's story

When they first started The Prince’s Trust Team programme, the members of Newcastle United Foundation Team Four (NUF Team Four) could not have imagined how much of a difference they’d go on to make in their local community.  

“We chose to do up Foundation Futures’ allotment in High Farm, as they help other young people like us. We had to raise money to do the work, so we had a think and decided a 10-mile walk would be the kick start we needed for people to sponsor us. 

“We walked from St James’ Park to Whitley Bay. We were really pleased to raise our first £300 – we used this for the equipment and tools we needed to complete the work. Wilko made a separate donation of £400, which really helped.” – James 

Kieran recalls: “We thought we wouldn’t be able to do the allotments at first, as it was so overgrown and such a challenge, but we got stuck in and really enjoyed it. We learned loads of skills and it made us feel good that we were helping others.” 

Talking about the community project Lee Smith, project coordinator for the Newcastle United Foundation Team programme, said: “The team members rallied together by chopping, raking and digging and it was obvious that the project gave them a real sense of pride. Many of them struggled with a lack of self-belief when they joined the programme, so it was great to see their confidence grow over the 12 weeks. Their win is well-deserved and it’s brilliant to see the great things they are continuing to achieve today.”  

The Community Impact Award is sponsored by Dell Technologies

Christopher Ingoe - Ascential Educational Achiever of the Year 

Course: Fairbridge 

Try everything from kayaking to high ropes during an action-packed week-long residential, then choose from a range of options to create your own learning plan.

Christopher's story

I struggled through a lot of school. I was in low sets for most subjects and that made me feel like an outsider. But things changed when I got to college, where I found my passion – art. I got a BTEC award in Fine Art and during college started volunteering for St John Ambulance. 

I then got a paid position at Kingswood, who provide outdoor education and adventure experiences for young people. I absolutely loved it because I was given responsibility to lead large groups, which massively boosted my confidence. But then medical reasons meant I had to leave a job I loved. I was devastated. 

The motivation I’d built up over time plummeted, and I felt like an outsider again, isolated from everyone. I was jobless for two years, desperate for an opportunity that would get me out of the house and finally back into work. That’s when I found The Prince’s Trust.

I joined Fairbridge determined to put my anxiety to one side and get myself back to where I’d been, so I pushed myself into everything. Slowly my confidence began to grow again, and what I enjoyed most was helping others – just like I’d done back at Kingswood. I even got to plan and run my own art session, which the Prince’s Trust staff said they were really impressed with. They made me feel like I was finally reaching my potential. 

I’m now back working, as a Casual First Aider for St John Ambulance, and hope one day to become a trained paramedic.

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

Find a programme near you

Prince’s Trust Centres in the North

Our work in the North of England covers a large and diverse area, serviced by five centres in Leeds, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Manchester, Pennine Lancashire, and Liverpool.  We also work with many delivery partners across the regions, to expand our reach and support. 

Whether you’re interested in developing your healthcare skills, pursuing a job in retail or you simply have a desire to start your own business, there’s something for everyone.

Find out more about our work in the North

Start your journey with us