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The Prince's Trust Awards in the North West

On 9 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

Hayley Griffiths​ - 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.

Hayley's story

The Team programme in Crewe was the kick start I needed. After years of doubting myself, struggling with my mental health and thinking I had nothing to give, I gained a new outlook on life and realised I didn’t have to spend my time going around in endless circles. 

School was hard for me right from my last year of primary school, when I was viciously bullied. I was home-schooled throughout high school, but this made me lonelier and everything snowballed. My mental health had started to get worse and I was referred to a mental health unit.  

I managed to get three GCSEs, but struggled with the fast pace of college and ended up dropping out. I also lost a dream apprenticeship and it was at that point that things got too much. I had my finger firmly placed on self-destruct and I couldn’t cope anymore, and I needed some specialist help.  

After months of rehab, I was ready to start a new path. I had heard about The Trust’s 12-week Cheshire Fire and Rescue Team programme in Crewe, and how it can build confidence and help you to get a job. It was tough at first, but I just got stuck in and was even chosen as the team leader for our community project. I got to lead, learn about budgets and I had a real feeling of achievement.  

After Team I was offered a three-month traineeship with Cheshire Fire and Rescue. I then decided I wanted to launch my own business called Hayley’s Happy Hounds and Pet Care Services, and went for it, and now it’s going from strength-to-strength.

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

Abi Gleave - HSBC UK Breakthrough 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.

Abi's story

If I hadn’t found The Prince’s Trust, I honestly don’t know if I’d have survived. 

I went into care when I was nine because of my mum’s mental health and stayed until I was 16. 

When I returned, my mum was still bad and, by that time, I also had a little sister to look after. I just wanted to give her as normal a life as possible, but I had my own mental health struggles and often couldn’t bear to leave the house. 

Looking after Mum again, I got back into bad habits; I lost interest in reading, music, and even my love of writing. I just lost all confidence to do anything. 

The local job centre told me about The Prince’s Trust and I joined Team. 

I remember the first day, my anxiety got the better of me and I was looking for any excuse not to go, but I made it. Then I was in a group of all boys! I just decided to go for it and I threw myself into everything. Encouraging others and helping them to overcome their fears massively helped to build my own confidence. 

I left Team with a totally different outlook on life. I’m much more focused and I’m coping much better with looking after my mum. My family are also more settled now, which means the world to me. 

I still don’t quite feel ready to enter the world of work full time, but I’m volunteering in my community and building my social skills by speaking to different people every day. The Trust has given me a stability in my life that I’ve never had before, and it gave me people I never want to forget. I’m now getting better and I’m planning for my future, which I couldn’t have begged for not long ago.

The Breakthrough Award is sponsored by HSBC UK.

Chérie Bosama - BAE Systems 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.

Chérie's story

My life before my mother’s passing was going just the way I had wanted it to. My mother and I were extremely close. She was my best friend and my role model in so many ways. When I lost her, I definitely lost a part of me too.

I knew I had to gain some employment or new skills to look after myself and my brother. One day my aunt told me about The Prince’s Trust and how it helps young people, so I got in touch and joined the 12-week Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Team programme in Eccles.

The Team programme literally changed my life and I met new friends, became more organised and gained leadership skills. I didn’t feel like I completed Team as the same person. I then took part in The Trust’s Get into Healthcare programme to continue my learning and gain further work experience.

The confidence that the Young Ambassador role has given me has helped me in so many ways. I’ve even had the opportunity to go down to 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace!

It means a lot that I can raise awareness for The Trust, so even more young people receive the support they need.

The Young Ambassador of the Year Award is sponsored by BAE Systems.

Tisian Lynskey-Wilkie - 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.

Tisian's story

When I was 16 I suffered a ruptured ovarian cyst. I had to have three rounds of surgery and I was told I’d probably struggle to have children. 

When I got pregnant against all expectations, I was made up, but the nature of the relationship I was in led me to become isolated from my family and I had bouts of anxiety and depression. I became a shell of my former self. 

Then my son was born and he became my main focus. I enrolled on a midwifery course with the hope of building a career that could support us and I got out of the relationship. I received first-class honours and got a job with the NHS. 

Because of cuts and the pressure on staff, the NHS was a difficult place to be, and I couldn’t devote as much time as I wanted to my son. I decided to move into the private sector for a better work-life balance but things didn’t improve. I started to feel disillusioned, but then I considered aqua-natal fitness training as a potential route into self-employment. 

I searched online and found The Prince’s Trust, and completed their Explore Enterprise course. I remember feeling more enthusiastic and energised than I had about anything in a long time. There were aqua-natal classes operating in other parts of the country but none in Merseyside, and I realised that I had a viable business idea.

I faced setbacks and a few rejections at first, but I kept going, and I managed to secure a deal with the council. My business, HydroBumps, was off the ground. 

Now things are going great and new opportunities are opening up. I want to provide a community service that addresses people’s health concerns around pregnancy and supports positive mental health, as well as a caring and stable environment for my son. I’m also now a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador.

The Enterprise Award is sponsored by NatWest.

Joshua Robinson​ - FRS 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. 

Joshua's story

I was stuck in a rut and was feeling really down. My mum had told me about The Prince’s Trust and I decided to get in touch and take part.

I wanted to be able to get out there, see what I can do and prove the bullies from high school wrong. At first I did the Fairbridge programme, which helped me to meet new people and get one-to-one support. 

I then dived into The Trust’s Merseyside Fire and Rescue Toxteth 12-week Team programme, where I got to do loads of activities, including a residential and a week’s work experience with built environment firm Arup.

I told them how much I had enjoyed my time there and they said there was an apprenticeship coming up later in the year. 

While I was waiting for Arup’s opportunity, I wanted to try my luck elsewhere in the world of work. I took part in The Trust’s Marks and Start programme at Marks & Spencer. I landed a three-month contract, which felt amazing!  

Then, when Arup’s apprenticeship was advertised, I went for it. I had the confidence to say yes, let’s do this, and filled in the application form, a questionnaire, did a one-to-one assessment and faced a panel – something I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do before.  

I can now say I’m the proud owner of that role and I still can’t believe it. To then win The Prince’s Trust North West Rising Star Award is an awesome achievement.

The Rising Star Award is sponsored by FRS.

Everton Free School - 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.

The Community Impact Award is sponsored by Dell Technologies.

Leah Scott - 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.

Leah's story

Having a mentor made all the difference to my experience of the Achieve programme at college. I was nervous about taking part, and my autism can affect how I interact with people I don’t know well. My mentor helped me to settle in and get used to the other students, and that’s when things started to change.

Before I heard about The Prince’s Trust, I used to pace the corridors at school as I found it hard to be stuck in a room for long periods of time. It was really hard for me to make friends and my behaviour started to get out of control.

It was rare that I was ever at a school for more than three months and I was excluded several times. I’d argue with teachers because I felt so frustrated and the environment just didn’t suit me. 

At first, I didn’t think the Achieve programme would be any different to other things I’ve done at school. I’m glad I gave it a shot though, because I’ve since gone from being a Level 1 student to sitting my GCSE in maths in just under a year, and have won a Gold Award from my college for good work. 

I feel more confident in myself and can find my own way around a large and busy college, whereas before I wouldn’t have felt comfortable doing that. I now feel that I can achieve anything if I put the hard work in.

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

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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