Cristina Muñoz, Events and Community Partnerships Manager at Cunard, won the Outstanding Individual of the Year title at The Prince's Trust Corporate Employee Awards last night.

Cristina Munoz at the Corporate Employee Awards

She has been a driving force for our fantastic partnership with Platinum Patron Cunard. Throughout the 10-year partnership history, Cristina has driven and grown it to be the success it is today; now just weeks away from reaching a staggering £2 million fundraising milestone. So, to celebrate her win and our 10-year partnership anniversary, we caught up with her to find out what leading this project, which engages guests across the globe – on land and at sea – looks like.

What have been your highlights working with The Prince’s Trust?

​There have been many, but if I had to choose my top three, they would be these ones:

  • Seeing the group who took part in our first Get into Customer Service programme presented with their certificates by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall on board Queen Victoria as part of our 5th Anniversary celebrations in Southampton

  • Reaching our £1 million fundraising milestone and presenting The Prince’s Trust with a cheque on board Queen Victoria in November 2013 (and seeing the £1,000,000 ice sculpture the ship had made for the occasion
  • Being introduced to HRH The Prince of Wales in January 2014 during the Leadership Dinner in London

What has been like working with Prince’s Trust?

It has been a rollercoaster of emotions but overall an enormous sense of pride in seeing how the partnership has grown over the past 10 years.

I have and continue to love every moment – even the highs and lows of the journey to reach £2 million. Seeing how inspired our guests are when they hear young people share their inspiring stories on board always makes the hard work worthwhile.

What are you most proud of?

The engagement I’ve seen over the past few years at Carnival House office and crew onboard. Seeing how passionate they are about The Prince’s Trust makes me proud

What has engagement from your teams been like?

We wouldn’t have accomplished the successes we have without their support and commitment! Every single activity that has helped raised funds over the past 10 years has involved many people behind the scenes and, of course, the many fundraising challenges (from cycling, hiking, kayaking, running etc) it wouldn’t have happened without them!

Tell us more about how you launched the partnership ten years ago and have seen it grow?

We started slowly and approached the on-board fundraising cautiously, by hosting the auction of the Nautical Chart at the end of the voyage. The response was so positive that we knew straight away that our guests and crew were as passionate and engaged about the partnership as we were in Head Office.

Raising £500,000 in three years gave us the encouragement to become Gold Patrons and pledge to raise another £500,000 in three years. That’s when we started to be more creative on our fundraising activities and engaged more teams. In 2014 we became Platinum Patrons of The Prince’s Trust and pledged to raise £1,000,000 in four years... and this is where we are! Very, very close to reaching our target!

The growth in the past year has made my head spin! It’s great to see so many different areas of the business from on-board and ashore involved in one common goal, helping to change young lives for the better.

What are you looking forward to next?  

Seeing Team Cunard succeed in Million Makers, reaching our £2 million milestone and seeing my colleagues develop their involvement with The Prince’s Trust by becoming volunteers and mentors (which I know some already want to do!), and seeing what our partnership brings next!

The Prince’s Trust does a phenomenal job helping the young people who need it most, but what the Prince’s Trust also does (intentionally or unintentionally) is help the ‘not so young’ people who get involved, either by volunteering, mentoring or those like me who work behind a desk trying to achieve the business objectives.

I do feel that I have been helped tremendously and have learned a huge amount about myself and benefited personally from seeing first-hand what The Prince’s Trust does. Thank you!

Ben Marson, Director of Corporate Partnerships at The Prince’s Trust, says:

A huge congratulations is in order for Cristina, as her passion to raise money and inspire guests, crew and colleagues across the world to support The Prince’s Trust, has shone through. Cristina has worked tirelessly since we launched our partnership 10 years ago and raised an impressive £2 million. Thanks to her effort and energy we are able to give more vulnerable young people the chance they deserve.