Young Ambassador and Young Achiever of the year - Omar Sharif, has now officially won The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Award! This Award honours the nation’s unsung heroes and recognises the amazing achievements of ordinary people. It is the biggest awards show of its kind on British TV.
Gang crime was once a way of life for Omar, who grew up in central London and attended a school where postcode wars were prevalent. After becoming involved in the gang culture he lost three friends to knife crime and watched others be imprisoned, and realised that he needed to change.
Omar studied hard and set up his own company distributing health products, but when demand fell, his business folded. He became homeless and couldn’t find work despite applying for more than 50 jobs. Eventually he met his wife and moved to Coventry with her.
Starting afresh wasn’t easy. Omar felt isolated from his friends and family, and fulfilling work was hard to come by. He enrolled on the Team programme hoping it would open some doors. During the programme, he developed strong leadership skills, landed sessional work as a motivational coach and started to get fit. He is now qualified as a personal trainer and runs his own fitness training business, and is also an interpersonal skills coach.
Over the summer holidays, Omar helps to deliver The National Citizen Programme to over 180 school leavers. He also works as a programme leader because he saw how the Team programme had changed his life and is passionate about helping other young people to make a similar transformation.