Our President, HRH The Prince of Wales, visited Leicester today to meet young people who are turning their lives around with our support.

The Prince visited the City of Leicester College where he took part in a round table discussion and observed activities by pupils on the Achieve and Mosaic programmes. The young people were participating in an exchange between the Achieve programme at the City of Leicester College and the Mosaic Secondary School Group Mentoring Programme at Saltley Academy, Birmingham.

During the visit, pupils on the Achieve programme presented an activity designed to help them develop STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills. The activity involved building an air-powered rocket-car and evaluating the success of their design. STEM activities are being embedded across all of our programmes to tackle industry skills gaps.

The Saltley Academy students told The Prince how mentoring had improved their confidence and benefitted their lives, before he sat down with members of each school to discuss issues affecting young people today.

One of the students to meet The Prince was 16-year-old Baseer Omarkhil, from Leicester, who had to adapt to a totally unfamiliar culture when he moved to England. Preoccupied by anxieties and with no previous education, he found school extremely difficult. Baseer joined the Achieve programme and found his motivation. He overcame barriers to progress both socially and academically and, with good GCSE results under his belt, successfully moved into college. Last year, Baseer was named winner of the Educational Achiever category at our Celebrate Success awards in the East Midlands.

He says,

It has been a hard journey for me over the last few years but I never gave up and it feels great to be rewarded for that. I am determined to achieve more success in the future.

John O’Reilly, Director for The Prince’s Trust in Central England, said, “Our education programmes are crucial to the expansion of our work as we look to help even more young people reach their potential. We are delighted HRH The Prince of Wales was able to visit Leicester and meet some of the pupils whose lives have been transformed by the support they’ve received from The Trust.”

Jonathan Freeman, Managing Director of Mosaic, said,

It’s been a fantastic first ten years for Mosaic and we are proud to have supported so many underprivileged young people to realise their talents and potential. Following our integration into The Prince’s Trust, we are now looking forward to an exciting future where we will be able to increase our delivery and impact across the UK.

Anne Gregory, Head teacher at The City of Leicester College, said, “It was fantastic to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales to the school and a great experience for our pupils. We were proud to demonstrate the value of the Achieve programme and the positive impact it has had on our students.”

Alternative curriculum programmes like Achieve and Mosaic are crucial to helping young people explore different career paths and reach their potential. Research by The Trust in 2016 found that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to struggle academically and face further challenges when looking for work. The report found that 44% of young people from poorer backgrounds said they didn’t know anyone who could help them find a job, compared to 26% of their more advantaged peers.