Today His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay had a 'flipping' great time with us in Glasgow for the official opening of the Wolfson Centre. The centre is set to become Scotland’s biggest youth employment and enterprise hub.
With 1 in 4 young people unemployed in Glasgow, the centre was created in partnership with core funder, The Wolfson Foundation, to increase young people’s access to training and employment opportunities.
Since opening in May 2015, the centre has supported over 4,500 young people through its doors, with 79% moving into work, education or business after completing a Trust programme.
Speaking to guests at today's visit, HRH The Duke of Rothesay said:
"But it cannot be done, any of this, without so many people like yourselves, without the volunteers, without the mentors, these wonderful people who provide so much of their time to help, encourage and advise, particularly with setting up enterprises. I am truly grateful to everyone who has helped to make The Trust what it is today.”
HRH engaged with our young people by participating in activities such as: digital pancake cooking, robot building, puppet-making workshops and exploring the Samsung Digital Classroom. As part of the grand opening, HRH met a number of young people who have been supported by Prince’s Trust Scotland - finding out about their journeys with The Prince’s Trust.
Simon O’Hare, aged 18, Glasgow, is a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and regularly uses the new centre. He met His Royal Highness to discuss how The Trust has helped him.
From an early age, Simon has suffered from mental health issues including depression, self-harm, and can have up to eight panic attacks a day.
At school he struggled to manage his workload and became disengaged in education. He visited 27 psychologists in one year until he was diagnosed with sensory issues. He was drinking heavily and dropped out of school with no qualifications, drifting from various temporary jobs.
It wasn’t until he joined our Team programme in 2015 that Simon began to turn his life around. The course gave him the confidence, motivation and skills to help achieve his goals.
Simon speaks of his experience:
Simon is now a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and is being supported by the charity to combine his two passions – youth work and snowboarding. He has secured a place on a professional training course to become a Snowboard Instructor and is volunteering with The Trust to gain experience of working with vulnerable and disengaged young people.
Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, Paul Ramsbottom, said: “Many young people in Glasgow are faced with some of toughest challenges imaginable. We admire The Prince’s Trust’s tireless commitment and dedication to supporting these young people. In doing so, the Trust transforms lives and we are delighted to be supporting this new centre. The funding formed part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of our charity and was particularly appropriate as the centre is very close to the area of Glasgow where our founder, Sir Isaac Wolfson, was born and spent his own youth.”
With The Prince’s Trust celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, HRH met with long-serving volunteers, staff and supporters, who have helped to transform the lives of 125,000 young people in Scotland over the last four decades.