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The Prince's Trust Awards in the South West

On 16 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

Pete White​ - Homesense Young Achiever

Course: Get Into

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. 

Pete's story

When I started on the programme with The Prince’s Trust and Great Western Railway, it felt like finally I could leave some of my baggage behind and just focus on improving myself. I was doing something for me. 

The course helped me get my foot firmly in the door of GWR and gave me much needed stability. For example, I not only passed my driving test, but I even own a car now, which is something I thought I’d never earn enough to do. I also moved into an amazing flat with my partner so I can walk into work. 

If I am successful in my application to become a train-driver it would completely transform my life and ensure a brilliant future for me and my partner and whatever that entails – hopefully my dream trip to Disney World! 

The course completely transformed my life. I was long-term unemployed for at least 7 years due to struggles with my mental health. Before completing the course, I couldn't look to the future at all and really thought this was all life had to give me, making it all seem meaningless and painful. I was often unable to leave the confines of my bedroom and did not want to engage with society whatsoever. 

I love working at GWR and am hugely proud to wear the uniform, I've found it to be a very supportive place and has given me amazing opportunities to progress. The Prince's Trust and GWR helped me catapult myself back into society and to live a life that has a sense of purpose and one that I can look forward to

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

Billie-Jae Brown - 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. 

Billie-Jae's story

As I walk into college every day, I still can’t quite believe I’m here, having the opportunity to study something I’m passionate about and paving the way for me to go to university. 

My relationship with college hasn’t always been so positive. Struggles with my mental health meant that I had really poor attendance to the point where they wouldn’t let accept me back, and I felt completely lost. 

Growing up I developed both depression and anxiety and would sometimes resort to self-harm. I isolated myself and would spend all of my time in my room as even the thought of getting up and facing the world was too much for me. 

After a series of knock backs when it came to applying for jobs, I made the decision to contact Young Gloucestershire and took part in The Prince’s Trust Team programme. 

I was so anxious at first that I would arrive before everyone else and just sit with my headphones in and not talk to anyone. As the days progressed, I began to come out of my shell and start talking to others on the course and even put myself forward as Fundraising Leader for the group, which would have been a really scary prospect before. 

During the Team programme, I developed the confidence to apply for college and got accepted to do an Access course in animal management and science. I’m no longer self-harming and I finally feel like I’m doing something positive with myself and can’t wait to see what’s next!

The Breakthrough Award is sponsored by HSBC UK.

Donna Price - Superdry 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. 

Donna's story

I feel extremely emotional as I reach the end of the most remarkable 18 months of my life. Becoming a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust made me feel something I’ve never felt before – I am proud. 

When I was growing up, people told me that I wasn’t going to amount to anything. I developed anxiety and didn’t think I fitted in anywhere, which made it hard for me to hold down a job. 

One day, I decided I had to make a change. I talked it over with my husband and made some plans to sell sweets, hoping this idea would help me to provide for my family. 

I knew that I was going to need help if I wanted to make a success of the business. That’s where The Prince’s Trust came in. I threw myself into the Enterprise programme and loved every minute. 

It wasn’t long before I set up my café, Pod Coffee. The business is growing now and I feel a huge sense of achievement when I look at my income and think about how far I’ve come. 

To be invited to share my story with others as a Young Ambassador is such a privilege, and I hope that I have helped others to feel less alone by sharing my experiences.

The Young Ambassador Award is sponsored by Superdry.

Ellie Hillier - 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.

Ellie's story

There was a time in my life where I was so fed up, I couldn’t even motivate myself to get off the sofa. Now, I feel like I can do anything. That is the difference getting involved with The Prince’s Trust has helped me to make in my life.  

I had reached a low point after being unemployed for eight months. My lack of confidence was really affecting me in interviews – I was frustrated and felt like I was going nowhere. 

That’s when I decided to sign up, I went on the Get Started with Water Sports programme. I met loads of people and achieved a lifesaving qualification, which helped me to get a seasonal position as a lifeguard. 

After that, I started working for Toys R Us, but when they closed, I found myself out of work again. My Prince’s Trust mentor suggested I could turn my love of pets into a business, so I signed up for the Explore Enterprise course. 

The course was brilliant. I structured my sessions so that I could stay focused despite my Asperger’s, and soon started to feel that my passion could become a way to make a living. 

My business, Fellow Fauna Pet Care, is up and running now and is growing all the time. I’m so busy but I love what I do – setting up in business has really changed my life!

The Enterprise Award is sponsored by NatWest.

Chris Roberts​ - Delta Air Lines Rising Star Award

Course: Get Into Construction

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. 

Chris' story

I know that if I keep working hard, I will soon be a fully qualified electrician. I’m optimistic about my future now, but it hasn’t always been this way. Things could have turned out very differently had it not been for the opportunities opened up to me by The Prince’s Trust. 

University didn’t work out for me – at first, I was looking forward to pursuing my passion for electronics, but when I got there I realised it wasn’t right for me. I decided to drop out and went on to work in various places doing low-paid work. 

Nothing felt quite right, and I wasn’t sure how to move forward. When I saw an ad about the Get into Construction course with The Prince’s Trust I applied, but I didn’t think I would get anything more than manual work on site. 

The programme was amazing. I loved getting so much practical experience and making new friends and connections. I went on to secure a role as an apprentice electrician with Whitehead Building Services and haven’t looked back since. 

I’ve managed to get into the construction industry and secure an apprenticeship with the hope of turning it into a career. This would not have been possible without The Prince’s Trust. They’ve given me much more than a job, they’ve helped me to get onto the path towards my dream career.

The Rising Star Award is sponsored by Delta Air Lines.

Heathfield Achieve Club - Dell Technologies Community Impact Award 

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.

Heathfield Achieve Club's story

We asked the young people from the Heathfield Community School to tell us about their experiences of being involved with the Prince’s Trust Achieve Club, which saw them fundraise and organise a series of activities for residents of a local care home. Here are some of the things they told us: 

Q. What do you think the benefits of the Achieve Club are? 

A. “It makes you focus on more important stuff, like school and school work. I’m more focussed now on the important things in school, like getting my GCSEs.” 

Q. Did you enjoy the Club? 

A. “The course makes me happy and I enjoy myself. All the worries in my head get cleared, which makes me feel more confident.” 

Q. Why did you get involved with the Club? 

A. “I chose the Prince’s Trust because I’m always up for a challenge and thought it would be the best option for me.” 

Q. What was it like working towards your project with the care home? 

A. “It’s the part of the course which has helped me the most, because it showed me that I have a voice. Hearing the residents’ stories have made me more intrigued to start my own life.” 

Q. What have you learned? 

A. “One of the things I’ve learned is from going around the school collecting orders from the staff – this has really helped me to communicate well with adults.” 

Q. How would you sum up your time with the Club? 

A. “I’ll never forget all the fun and interesting things we’ve done on the Achieve programme.” 

The Community Impact Award is sponsored by Dell Technologies.

Lily Allan - 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.

Lily's story

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ is one of my favourite quotes. It means a lot to me, especially after losing my grandad who I was really close to. After he passed away, I began to write poems to help me express how I was feeling and let my emotions and anger out on paper, rather than on people. 

The quote is part of a collection of positive affirmations that we created at school, as part of our Achieve club, which gives a group of us extra support with our work and helps us develop our confidence. 

When I first started Achieve, it made me feel different to the other students. It showed me that everyone isn't the same and some people need more help with communicating, socialising and aren’t able to pick up on things as easily as others. 

I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved over the last year; I’m writing poetry, I feel better in myself and my confidence has been completely boosted. My grades have improved and I’ve even had one of my poems published – something I would never have imagined would happen. 

I know now I can do whatever I set my mind to and want to keep working hard at school to realise my dream of being a lawyer!

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

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Prince’s Trust Centres in the South

With five centres in Poplar, Kennington, Chatham, Southampton, Bristol and an office in Plymouth and Slough, our London and the South of England regional team supports nearly 12,000 young people each year. 

Find out more about our work in the South

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