The Prince's Trust Awards in Bristol
On 21 November 2017 we'll be celebrating in style at St George's in Bristol for The Prince's Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards.
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
- Young Ambassador of the Year
- Enterprise Award
- Rising Star Award
- Community Impact Award
- Breakthrough Award
- Educational 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.
“I had a brain tumour when I was six and was a young carer for my family. I was bullied at primary school and then at secondary school I became frustrated, distracted and a bully.
“I left school with two GCSEs and no real ambitions and spent 18 months unemployed. The only thing I ever enjoyed was the Sea Cadets, so when an advert popped up on Facebook for a Prince’s Trust programme called Get into Commercial Fishing, in Cornwall, it felt like fate.
“I have absolutely no doubt that I’d be in prison now if I hadn’t done that course. The Prince’s Trust took me on when no-one else would, and gave me the chance I needed to prove myself. I left with all the qualifications I needed to go out to sea and used a Development Award from The Trust to buy the right clothes and equipment for my career.
“Life’s moved on a lot since then. After six months on a commercial fishing boat, I went back to college and on to university and I’m now doing a Deck Officer cadetship with BP. I get paid to travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world and can afford proper care for my family.
“I love the career I have and the future I am making. It’s beyond anything I could ever have hoped for.”
The Young Ambassador Award, sponsored by RSG, 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.
"I started taking out loans after I was made redundant, and my debt got out of control. At one point, I was on the brink of homelessness and to top it off, I was in an abusive relationship. I started taking drugs to cope.
"Life would have continued that way if I hadn't found help to put my life back together. I got financial, housing and domestic support from Wiser Wonga Devon & Cornwall Housing and a fresh start through The Trust's Get into Admin course.
"At first, I thought it was an opportunity to learn some skills, but it was much more than that. The Trust believed in me and helped me identify vocational skills I never knew I had.
"After the course I secured an apprenticeship at Plymouth City Council and became a Young Ambassador. Looking back, I can't believe how far I've come. I've got a flat of my own, a full time job at the Council and I'm hoping to progress into a role where I can start supporting other people."
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.
“I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during my GCSE years. I don’t think you can ever get used to the treatment, it completely invades your life. I found it gruelling and debilitating.
“Despite that, I sat my GCSEs and A Levels, and focused on making a career for myself in digital animation, sketching out my business plan on the back of pizza order tickets one summer when I was working at a festival making wood-fired pizzas.
“I’d tried various avenues before The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme, and although Enterprise was 60 miles away from home, it was very much worth my while going.
“I live in a rurally isolated area and wanted to create Firethought, an accessible animation, video and virtual reality production company that would fill the gap between established regional companies and city-based young visionaries.
“My business mentor, Ian, helped me carve out a niche. Then - using a Prince’s Trust Will it Work grant - I bought 3D photogrammetry software to help diversify my offering and subsequently secured a contract providing accident scene reconstruction services for a law firm.
“I now have contracts with holiday and events companies, I am working on a revolutionary biometric video camera project, and I’m leading a regional tech consortium into large scale bids for STEM contracts. Best of all, I’m contributing to the global economy and that makes me very happy.
The Rising Star Award, sponsored by Julian Dunkerton, recognises young people who, despite having faced substantial personal obstacles, are in sustainable employment as a result of a Prince’s Trust programme.
“I had an unstable childhood and I felt like my head was scrambled with all these different emotions. I stopped eating, I stopped washing. I hated myself. I tried everything I could think of to feel normal, including drugs and self harm. It nearly blew my family apart.
"My best friend had died, and I was devastated by his death. All in the space of a year I lost my step-dad and mum to cancer, and my dog died. My mental health took a massive nose-dive at that point.
“But then I thought of my friend. His life had ended too soon, and I realised how precious life is. So I started seeking help from support services and signed up to The Prince’s Trust Team programme.
"Team gave me a structure and taught me to listen and respect other people’s opinions. I used to think I'd never make it to my 21st birthday, but I've passed that milestone and I'm proud.
“The Prince’s Trust has always been there for me, it kept my head stable and made me see what is important in life.
“I work as a support worker in a residential home and I want to learn to drive, buy a car, buy a house, and one day, I’d like to buy my dad a boat. He'd like that.”
The Community Impact Award recognises the positive contribution young people make to their local community.
Bristol Team 256
Amie Lukacs, Team member, said:
“It was coming up to Christmas, a time when lots of families don’t have much money to spare, so we decided to tie our community project in with the season and make a Christmas grotto that was free for everyone.
“We raised £478.75 for the grotto by doing bag-packs at Tesco, and asked stores around Bristol to donate presents for all genders and ages, and then turned our Team base into a winter wonderland so we could put the grotto and all its props together, piece by piece.
“Not everything went to plan – like not being able to find a permanent base for the grotto - but that’s life. We weren’t about to give up, so we just made it work by a bit of creative thinking.
“For example, because we couldn’t find a home for the grotto, we made it mobile and found three different sites to host it over the course of a week. The risk assessments and logistics of moving it from one place to the next was pretty complicated, but we did it.
“We even got elves to play games and tell stories to the children queuing for Father Christmas.
“More than 200 children visited our grotto and to see their happy faces made everything worthwhile. You can’t beat that feeling! I’ve loved this experience.”
The Breakthrough Award, sponsored by HSBC, recognises the progress of young people in overcoming barriers and developing new skills.
“I experienced mental health issues from a young age. I thought everything that I was feeling was my fault and that I’d done something to deserve it. I felt guilty, I self-harmed and when I was 15, I was sectioned and spent 11 months in a psychiatric hospital where I experienced many psychotic episodes.
“When I was well enough to leave, I went into a children’s residential unit and when I was 18, I moved into supported housing. My social worker knew I had massive issues with my confidence and suggested The Prince’s Trust could help.
“I started the Fairbridge programme, I felt safe and liked the fact that no-one judged me. The residential trip was lots of fun and I got a buzz from completing all the activities.
“Another thing I liked was helping others on the programme. There was one boy who found it very difficult to manage his feelings, so I sat down and talked with him and listened. It felt rewarding to be able to help him.
“The Prince’s Trust challenged me in ways I’d never been challenged before and opened my eyes to what I was really capable of. I now have a full-time apprenticeship in a local primary school and run support sessions at Young Minds. I’m also focusing on a career helping people with additional learning needs and I am getting started by going back to college.”
The Educational Achiever Award, sponsored by Clifton College, recognises young people who have overcome barriers, developed new skills and improved their education prospects.
“My relationship with my school and my teachers had got so bad, they sent me out of lessons as soon as I walked in.
“I acted up and back-chatted and struggled to develop good relationships with my teachers, which made me lose interest in my education. I fell in with a bad crowd and got bullied, then started avoiding school altogether. Mum even caught me cycling away from school one morning when she was on her way into work.
“Mum works next door to The Prince’s Trust and went in to ask for help. She was close to pulling me out of school, but they told her about the Fairbridge programme, and she persuaded my head of year to let me sign up.
“It felt good to be achieving different things at Fairbridge and when I started getting one-to-one mentoring there I found out where my strengths lay and what my triggers were, as well as how to keep them in check.
“The Fairbridge programme really helped my confidence and by the end I actually wanted to go back to school and do my GCSEs, so that’s what I did.
“I’m really proud of my results, and my grades have helped me secure my apprenticeship. For the first time ever, I feel good about my future. I’ve started a construction apprenticeship and a new chapter in my life. I’m making this happen. I’m making my life one brilliant journey!”