Having navigated a difficult start in life, 29-year-old Hezron Brown from Birmingham, won The Prince’s Trust Young Achiever Award at The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards 2019 in partnership with TSB.
Screening on ITV1 at 8pm on Tuesday 5th November, the ceremony is the biggest awards show of its kind on British television. The event celebrates the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world and community a better place.
Every year, The Prince’s Trust Young Achiever Award recognises the achievements of a young person who has turned their life around against the odds after being supported by HRH The Prince of Wales’s charity and is now giving back to their local community by helping others to do the same.
At just five-years-old, Hezron was left physically branded by burns and psychologically scarred as the result of an accident. Ridiculed and taunted by his peers, he developed a defensive and violent anger problem which led to him being kicked out of a number of schools as well as his family home. After living on the streets and sofa-surfing, Hezron was put into temporary accommodation - a situation that left him feeling alone and plagued with suicidal thoughts as he slipped into depression.
He finally managed to secure his own flat and a place at college, however he was also soon drawn into gang life as he found comfort in the camaraderie it gave him. "I knew gang culture was wrong, but I had been on my own for so long, it was like a family to me and I had no-one to steer me away. I’ve had guys try and stab me, guns to my head but it wasn’t until I was looking up to 10 years in prison that I realized I needed to get out."
After becoming a father, Hezron’s outlook changed, and through self-determination he went back into education and took part in The Prince’s Trust’s Get Started with Theatre programme. It was during his week at the Birmingham Rep Theatre that Hezron found his calling in helping others with social integration. Having worked for the National Citizen Service, Hezron now has his own business - More Talk More Action, which gives him the chance to share his experiences across the UK, in a bid to inspire others and to help tackle youth violence and gang culture.
In addition to Hezron’s success, another Prince’s Trust supported young person - Ben Clifford, won the TSB Community Partner Award on the night for his Enterprise supported business, Surfability, a surf school that supports people of all abilities to get out on the waves.
Both Hezron and Ben were amongst a number of finalists for the awards who visited Prince’s Trust House earlier this month where they met the judging panel as well as representatives from ITV and The Mirror.