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The Prince's Trust Awards in Wales

On 17 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

Lena Brown - Homesense Young Achiever

Course: Get Into Customer Service

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. 

Lena's story

I left school with no qualifications, but now I have a secure job and a future.

I grew up in foster care, which came with some challenges, but mostly I struggled with shyness. I had very little confidence in myself when I was in school, and I soon fell into the wrong crowd. I found it easier and easier to skip classes, and I ended up leaving at 16 without any grades. I tried college for a bit, but when that didn’t work, I decided to try and find a full-time job. I quickly got a job in a café, and while the job wasn’t perfect, it allowed me to pay rent on my own flat in Cardiff. I had longed for independent living for what felt like forever, but my flat was a quite far from the café, which made travelling to work difficult and I soon found myself unemployed again. This made me very anxious; I now had to try and keep hold of the flat without a job and nowhere to turn - I don’t think I’d ever been so stressed before.

My work coach at the job centre told me about The Prince’s Trust Cymru and referred me to the Get into Customer Services programme with Dŵr Cymru~Welsh Water. When I got offered a place on the programme, I gave it my all for the whole two weeks. My confidence grew so much in that time; I gained a sense of purpose and a real hunger for success. So when I was offered a full-time job in the Customer Services team I was so happy!

I have now been working at Dŵr Cymru~Welsh Water for over 18 months and am very settled in the team. Without the Get into Customer Services programme I don’t know what I’d be doing, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am now. I have started driving lessons and stepping even closer to becoming independent. I am hoping to have a long career within Dŵr Cymru~Welsh Water and would love to be a coach or a manager one day but for now I am just taking each day as it comes. I didn’t think I would ever have an opportunity like this, so it feels great to know my hard work has paid off.

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

Garin Bramwell - HSBC UK Breakthrough 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. 

Garin's story

It took a long time, but I am now on a road to success.

I have schizophrenia, which means that I hear voices in my head that aren’t there. I like to wear my headphones a lot to block out those voices; schizophrenia has had a big impact on my life as I felt like people saw me as odd, but I know that isn’t true now.

After I got my diagnosis, I was working with my support worker through a recovery plan. This was going well, until my support worker noticed changes in my behaviour, and I had another psychotic episode. I spent 7 months recovering in hospital, but when I was ready to return home, I found life boring, uninteresting, with not a lot to do. I was shy, unconfident and didn’t really know what to do with my life.

Whilst I was going through this very difficult time in my life, I was also diagnosed with autism, another mental health illness that I had to find a way to cope with.

My Community Mental Health Team told me about The Prince’s Trust Fairbridge programme in Tonyrefail. I found the first day quite scary, as I was with a bunch of new people I didn’t know, but I liked that I could choose the courses that interested me most. It didn’t take long for me to start enjoying myself; I really enjoyed going rock climbing and when we went to work on the farm.

I have gained so much since joining Fairbridge. I have the confidence to give anything a go, and I am a little less shy than I was before. I can now communicate with people that I don’t know personally, and it helped me to realise that working in a team to solve problems is a lot better than trying to solve them by myself.

By the end of the programme I was able to stand up in front of more than 30 people and give a speech, which I never could have done before. My grandparents were very proud of me that day.

I recently wrote a song about my experience and I am excited to start a vocational college course in September. I no longer feel alone and I am much more positive about my future

The Breakthrough Award is sponsored by HSBC UK.

Natasha Graves - G4S 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. 

Natasha's story

I’m a creative person and I knew the 9-5 lifestyle was never going to be for me.

My journey with The Prince’s Trust Cymru started in 2013 when I was encouraged to sign up to the Explore Enterprise programme. The programme helped me turn my vision into a reality, and that vision was nGraves; a bespoke craft business, creating items from concrete and upcycled materials.

The Prince’s Trust were the first people to ever say yes to me. They helped me see that behind my struggles with dyslexia, depression and anxiety, that I was passionate, hardworking and most of all, that I wanted to help others by showing how art and getting creative has helped me. As part of my work I run weekly Art Therapy sessions for people across South Wales; from children with disabilities to an assisted living facility in Cardiff, there’s something in it for everyone!

Alongside this work, I decided to give something back to The Prince’s Trust Cymru. I enrolled as a Young Ambassador for the youth charity, where I began sharing my story at local events, and in turn, supporting The Trust in their fundraising activities across Wales.

One of these events was the Dell EMC Management Challenge in Brecon. I shared my story with an audience of more than 300 people, and after the event I was approached by Dell EMC, who asked me to design 11 bespoke awards for their business after hearing my speech – What an opportunity!

After this commission, the partnership with Dell EMC is now entering its third year, and my ambition has reached brand new heights. I hope to continue knocking on doors and bringing my unique style to more and more people across the world.

The Young Ambassador Award is sponsored by G4S.

Matthew Newell - 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. 

Matthew's story

I have been keeping bees for over 15 years, after learning the craft from a retiring commercial beekeeper.

I found myself out of work for a few months last year, having previously worked in construction. Fortunately, I was able to use this time to think of how I could combine my passion and my work life in the future. My bees were making lots of honey at the time, so I started putting some of it towards making a low-ABV sparkling mead. After some encouragement from friends and family I decided to commit to my dream. To be honest, they were probably just tired of hearing me say, “One day, I really want to…”

After a few months of trial and error my product was ready to go, however I didn’t have the first clue about running a business. After doing some research, I came across The Prince’s Trust Cymru and the Explore Enterprise programme. The programme provided me with very clear advice and support on tax, cash flows, budgeting, and all the other ‘fun stuff’ I needed to know before becoming my own boss.

In January this year, I launched Wye Valley Meadery and it’s been a great journey so far. Our three flavours are stocked in over 25 stores from Brecon to Brixton, and we have just been awarded a 2* Great Taste award for our ‘Honey and Hops’ flavour. Due to demand, we have increased our brewing capacity from 300L to 3450L, and are now setting new, exciting targets for the business.

To help with these targets, The Prince’s Trust paired me with a volunteer mentor for the first two years of my business. Neil, my mentor, has been incredibly generous with his time, and is an invaluable source of sound and sensible guidance when I have my weird and wonderful ideas for expansion.

Additionally, I’m now giving back to the community, and have donated 60,000 honeybees to two local primary schools. We have been mentoring the teaching staff there to manage a hive of busy bees, whilst also managing 30 curious nine-year olds.

It has been great to watch my seedling of a business idea grow into more than just an idea, and I hope to keep building on our early success. Better still, I have been able to create my dream job; where every day provides a new challenge.

The Enterprise Award is sponsored by NatWest.

Shannon Price​ - Transport for Wales ​Rising Star Award

Course: Get Into Hospitality

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. 

Shannon's story

It was when my coach at the Job Centre mentioned The Prince’s Trust Cymru that everything changed for me. With The Trust’s support, I got a job I love and went from being this person who wanted to hide away all the time to someone who loves being around people.

My life used to be quite boring. I didn’t really go out with friends or anything like that. I needed a job but couldn’t get one, despite applying for countless roles. I wouldn’t even receive a response to most applications, so instead, like so many young people, I found myself stuck on benefits. I was constantly feeling disappointment, leading me into a state of depression, and I was referred to seek counselling. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was never going to succeed; which was really, really upsetting.

Everything changed for me when my work coach at the Job Centre mentioned The Prince’s Trust Get into Hospitality programme with Greene King. I went for an informal interview at The Claude Public House in Cardiff and the rest, as they say, is history!

The Prince’s Trust Get into Hospitality programme with Greene King was a real turning point for me. I went for an informal interview at The Claude Public House in Cardiff and the rest, as they say, is history!

I must admit that when I turned up on the first day and saw all the other young people I felt a bit awkward, but the team building activities helped me to relax and I quickly got to know everyone. It wasn’t long before I thought to myself, ‘I can do this!’

At the end of the two-week programme I was offered a part-time role at The Claude, which felt amazing, so when I was offered a full-time post a few months later I was over the moon!

The Get into Hospitality programme has totally changed me; I’m not the same person anymore and no longer feel that everything in my life is pointless. Now, my favourite place to be is in work with my Greene King team. I dance at the bar and I get other people dancing too - I love it!

The Rising Star Award is sponsored by Transport for Wales.

Alfie Richards - 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.

Alfie's story

I am a young carer. I look after my mum and do anything I can to help her. It is tough some days, but I have learned so much from having this role in my house, and it has shown me the importance of projects that support others in the community.

I was one of the shy kids in my classroom and I was struggling with lessons, so when one of my teachers recommended taking part in my school’s Prince’s Trust Achieve programme, I decided to give it a go. Achieve had loads of different activities and projects to get involved with and the more practical way of learning really helped my confidence.

I decided I wanted to organise a charity event. A number of people in my family have been affected by cancer, so I spoke to the headteacher and my Achieve adviser about organising a ‘Brave the Shave’ event for Macmillan Cancer Support. We managed to get four local hairdressers and 30 students to take part in the event, and we raised over £2000, which was just incredible!

I would never have had the confidence to organise this event or even produce the advertising materials for it before I joined the Achieve programme. I have now gained my Level 2 certificate in Personal Development and Employability and secured a place in college to study construction this year.

I am also very excited to get back to school and support new pupils on the Achieve programme in organising their Macmillan Coffee Morning, which they are doing as their community project after the success of my ‘Brave the Shave’. I can’t wait to share my story and show that they can always do more than they may think possible.

The Community Impact Award is sponsored by Dell Technologies.

Callum Taylor - 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.

Callum's story

I still can’t quite believe how far I’ve come. I have been on an amazing journey to become this year’s Educational Achiever in Wales.

I have ADHD, ASD and Dyslexia. For years I found it difficult to communicate and make friends, so I used to spend all my time in my room playing Xbox, and I almost never left the house. When I was offered the chance to join The Prince’s Trust Achieve programme I was only in school for four hours a week, and I knew something had to change. The Achieve programme allowed me to try new things and learn in a more casual way, which was really fun, so I slowly began to push myself out of my comfort zone and make new friends.

While on the programme I started to play the guitar and realised it was something I could be good at. It wasn’t long before I was showing my friends how to play too, and it felt amazing to be able to help the others in my Achieve group. While I was learning my new skills in music, I started to do better in school too! I started attending school full-time, I gained qualifications in cooking and art, and I’ve just started a catering course in September. I also got my first job, as a glass collector in my local pub.

At one stage I had no idea what I was going to do with my life, but now I am excited to see what the future holds for me.

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

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Prince’s Trust Centres in the Wales

Working from three offices in Cardiff, Llangennech and Rhyl, The Prince’s Trust Cymru supports over 3,000 young people each year.

Our Cardiff Centre is a hub of activity which sees more than 500 young people come through its doors alone, to take part in a variety of programmes,within the city and beyond.

With regular events like our pop-up shop to help promote our work, and great support from our funders and partners, we aim to support even more young people this year.

Find out more about our work in Wales

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