Each young person who has been nominated for a Prince's Trust Award has a unique story. Be inspired by our award winners.   

Young Achiever of the Year

The Young Achiever of the Year award, sponsored by Homesense, recognises the success of young people getting into employment, training or education and overcoming substantial barriers to transform their lives. 

John McCarron, winner of our Birmingham Young Achiever Award 2017

John McCarron

“I had a difficult youth and would often get into trouble with the police.”

“What I really needed was a job to keep me out of trouble, but no one would give me a chance.

“I joined The Prince’s Trust Team programme and got a work placement with Jaguar”

“Four of us completed placements at Jaguar Land Rover but only three jobs were available at the end. I was offered a position but I gave it up so another person could take my place. He was a young dad and he needed the job more than me.

“I was asked to mentor on the next Team programme and two weeks after I finished mentoring, I was then offered work again with Jaguar Land Rover.

“I’ve been working for Jaguar Land Rover for two years now. I have a car, a van, my own motorbikes and I’m about to get a mortgage. Support from The Prince’s Trust fuelled my ambition for a new life, and I will always be grateful to them for it."

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Young Ambassador of the Year

The Young Ambassador Award, sponsored by Nicholls Brimble, recognises young people who are exceptional Young Ambassadors for The Trust, these young people volunteer their time to share their personal experiences and inspire others.

A young person holding a Prince's Trust Award

Lisa Case

“I have hydrocephalus, a condition that can cause brain damage. When I was 17, I was sexually assaulted. It almost destroyed me. I began suffering with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Then mum contracted pneumonia, and I found myself trying to balance being a carer for my mum, with hospital appointments for my hydrocephalus. It was too much. I needed to do something for myself to keep me sane.
“Team sounded ideal. I heard about it at the Jobcentre and it was everything The Prince’s Trust promised and more. It made me feel positive about myself for the first time in years.  I felt like I could achieve anything. I found the confidence to apply for jobs that would challenge me and, as a consequence, I now have a brilliant job at Halfords.

“Becoming a Young Ambassador was a way to show my gratitude and I’m a stronger person because of it. Never in a million years did I think I would achieve what I have. 

“I’m happy in life now. I’m providing for my gorgeous little girl, who is -glistening gold at the end of my rainbow. I’m also going back to college to train for a career supporting young people.”

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Enterprise Award 

The Enterprise Award, sponsored by NatWest, recognises young people who have overcome barriers and achieved success in creating a sustainable business or a community or social enterprise.

A young person holding a Prince's Trust Award

Sophie Fernandez-Montes

“I’ve always loved gymnastics. I was had a difficult childhood because my Mum was in and out of hospital a lot so this affected my school work. Gymnastics was like my escape. 

“I didn’t complete my GCSEs, and earned my keep by cleaning, babysitting, working in a café and freelancing as a gymnastics coach.

“Then, in December 2015, my mum died. It was a major shock. It was the week before Christmas and made me re-evaluate my life completely. I needed stability, so I went on The Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise programme for help starting my own gymnastics club.

“I learned a lot on Enterprise, particularly the importance of market research. This is what helped me to pick Rugby as the right location for my club, because I found out there is less direct competition there.

“I wrote it all down in my business plan and  was given both a Prince’s Trust mentor and a £2,900 loan in August 2016 to launch Coventry and Warwickshire Gymnastics Limited. 

“There were only five young gymnasts in my first class. Now I run school sessions, holiday clubs, competitions, and weekly sessions for more than 80 students. I also sell specialist gymnastic merchandise.

“Eventually I’d like to have my own facilities so I can train gymnasts to professional level. For now, I’m focusing on giving my students the best possible start to gymnastics that I can.”

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Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award, sponsored by IHN, recognises young people who, despite having faced substantial personal obstacles, are in sustainable employment as a result of a Prince’s Trust programme.

A young person holding a Prince's Trust Award

Rashid Abdul

“I grew up in Afghanistan and saw things I wish I could forget. My father died when I was three, and my mother passed away because of an epileptic seizure when I was five.

"I was bought up by people I didn't know and had to learn to survive. I collected and sold scrap metal and when I was 12 I paid someone for a passage to England by boat.

"Our boat split into two and only some of us made it to shore. We walked through many countries, and were eventually instructed to hide in dark boxes in the back of a lorry which took us to England. Not everyone survived.

“After arriving in the UK, I went into foster care, attended school and took my GCSEs. When I couldn’t get a place at college, my social worker suggested that I go on The Prince’s Trust Team programme to get another qualification.

"Gareth and Vicky, my leaders on Team, took me in when I was too scared to speak to anyone and showed me I could interact with other people. They gave me the confidence to believe in myself. I got my first care job as a result, and now I’m employed as a senior care worker with a Level 2 in Health and Social Care.

“My ultimate goal is to start a business that can take renewable energy to developing countries.”

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Community Impact Award

The Community Impact Award, sponsored by OPCC Staffordshire, recognises the positive contribution young people make to their local community.

Young people in a group photo holding a Prince's Trust Award

Team 4

Team 4 member, Phrankeigh Denny, 19, from Birmingham, said:
“We chose to renovate the Scout hut because it was meant to be a place where children go to learn and have fun, but it looked rundown. There were holes in the floor and there was uneven paving outside which meant it wasn’t safe so fixing them was our first priority.

“We fundraised £850 to pay for everything and then started lifting and relaying the paving stones. They were really heavy and some of them cracked when we were unloading them, so we had to persuade a local business to donate some more.

“We painted an Alice in Wonderland and a Monsters Inc. mural on one of the walls inside the hut, and painted the rest bright yellow. Then we weeded the front garden and painted the outside railings green to match the Cubs logo.

“Some professional fitters helped us lay a new vinyl floor and a graffiti artist spray-painted the logos of the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts for us on the outside wall. We also put The Prince’s Trust logo right in the middle so people would know that it was something we’d done.

“We were really pleased with how it turned out and the Scout group have had loads of new signs-ups as a result, which is great.”

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Breakthrough Award

The Breakthrough Award, sponsored by HSBC, recognises the progress of young people in overcoming barriers and developing new skills.

A young person holding a Prince's Trust Award

Aadam Hajat

“I was born with a deformed kidney and when I was four I had major eye surgery and later became blind in one eye and sight impaired in the other. I lost my confidence because of people’s negative comments and didn’t pass many exams. This was partly because I couldn’t see the board properly in lessons and was too embarrassed to say.

“All I ever wanted was to work but no one wanted someone like me, not even as a volunteer.

“I felt like I was good for nothing. I couldn’t even leave the house without someone as my guide. But then I found The Prince’s Trust and the Talent Match programme which helped me to get my first volunteering job. It was awesome.

“I did the Get into Hospitality programme and decided that I wanted to volunteer for The Prince’s Trust as a Young Ambassador. Being a Young Ambassador involves travelling all over the area representing the charity at events though and back then I was too scared to travel outside of Leicester.

“At that point I thought I could either fear everything and give up, or face my fears and move forward. I chose to move forward.  I went out of my way to beat my fears through volunteering, travelling and getting involved with blind sports, and then successfully applied to be a Young Ambassador.

“I’ve proven to myself what I’m capable of and I’m training to be a disability sports coach so I can help others reach their goals. Most recently, I gained my Level 2 in Sports Leadership through The Prince’s Trust programme Get Started with Sport.”

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Educational Achiever of the Year

The Educational Achiever Award, sponsored by Hadley Group, recognises young people who have overcome barriers, developed new skills and improved their education prospects.

A young person holding a Prince's Trust Award

Libby Foxall

“I have a statement of special educational needs (SEN) and a condition called morphea which causes patches of my skin to discolour. It made me very self-conscious and I never spoke up in lessons in case people laughed at me. 

“I missed a lot of school for treatment and got bullied by other students because I needed extra help from teachers. All of that put me off learning. 

“When I started on the Achieve programme with The Prince’s Trust I was really quiet and wouldn’t do any of the activities unless my teaching assistant was with me. Then everything changed when we did the sport units because I really love sport. 

“We did indoor rock climbing and wheelchair basketball, and people actually wanted me on their team. When I led a warm up and cool down session, everyone complimented me on how well I did, which pushed my confidence up a lot.

“Everything we did on Achieve taught me to ignore the bullies and made me feel better about school. I sat my GCSEs and volunteered to do a massive presentation in front of the whole school about Achieve. 

“I’m going to be a sports coach one day, and nothing’s going to stop me. I’ve already passed my Level 1 Trampoline Coaching award and now I’m doing a BTEC.” 

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