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. 

James Wilkie, winner of our Cardiff Young Achiever Award 2017

James Wilkie

“I wasn’t in a very good place - The longer I remained unemployed, the more rubbish I felt. I struggled every single day.

My Job Centre Advisor thought Fairbridge would be good for me; I wasn’t so sure about being in a room with a bunch of people I didn’t know – I was so terrified on the taster day, I sat outside in reception trying to calm myself down until the staff eventually managed to coax me in, and that was my turning point. 

I enjoyed the residential so much, I just didn’t want to come home!  

Towards the end of Fairbridge I saw a poster for Get into Care and I was accepted onto the programme. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It helped me discover the most rewarding job in the world, helping people who can’t look after themselves. It’s what I do for a living now.

If I hadn’t got involved with The Prince’s Trust I’d still be sat at home, too scared to go out, but I pushed myself and now I have a job and a life.”

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Young Ambassador of the Year

The Young Ambassador Award, sponsored by Horizon Nuclear Power, 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 Prince

Jon Tucker

"I couldn’t tell anyone how I was feeling, mostly because I couldn’t even work out what was happening to me! I’d been unemployed for so long my confidence plummeted and depression was swallowing me whole. I cut myself off from my friends, was afraid of meeting new people, and rarely left the house.

My family encouraged me to go to the youth centre, where a Career Wales advisor told me about Fairbridge. I was so anxious on the first day, but I knew I had to face my fears. When I walked through the door and saw how relaxed everything was, I felt this wave of relief. 

I loved everything about Fairbridge, and when I came to the end of my time there, I joined another Prince’s Trust Programme - Get into Football with Cardiff City FC. That’s when I realised I wanted to be a sports coach and inspire other young people. 

After the course, I became a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, got a bar job to build my social skills, volunteered with Cardiff City FC and started studying for my Level 3 diploma in sport performance and excellence. 

The Prince’s Trust has been my springboard to a whole new world, and I’m in a much better frame of mind now; no longer take anti-depressants and I’m making my life a success - It feels amazing!” 

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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.

Two young people holding a Prince

Alex and Isabelle Wootton 

“We met through work in the catering industry but earned low wages and struggled when jobs took us in different directions. So we left our jobs and saw it as an opportunity to  start looking into opening a restaurant of our own.  

“Family connections pulled us towards Harlech, where we spotted a run-down café opposite the castle.” 

“Using the money we had left from our savings we bought a lorry load of wooden palettes and with little else than a hand saw, nails and hammers, we started to make the furniture for our rustic bistro.” 

“It was hard work and with banks turning us down for loans, we often questioned whether we’d made the right decision. But when we uncovered a entire wall of Welsh slate, it felt like a sign. We went back online for support and came across Enterprise.” 

“Enterprise was full of great information, but what was game-changing was the loan and business mentor The Trust gave us. That’s what made this all possible.”

“Our restaurant, As.Is, is now open and doing really well. It’s set over two floors and specialises in quality, Italian-themed food. It’s exhausting, but for all the right reasons.” 

“What we’ve achieved is incredible; it’s made us stronger as a couple and has laid the foundations for a secure future for us and our family.” 

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Rising Star Award

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

Levi Roberts

“My dad has always been such a grafter. He brought me up to work hard and that’s why, even when I couldn’t get work, I refused to claim Jobseekers, I just kept looking.” 

“It got to me over time, though. All my friends were doing well in their lives because they could afford to, but I felt like a failure.”

“I was at breaking point when I rang The Prince’s Trust; they invited to a taster day for Get into Customer Services. Just as I was about to start, I was offered a month’s work at the steel works, but I still chose the programme.”

“The atmosphere at HSBC was brilliant. I could see people working hard but still enjoying themselves and you don't see that many places. I couldn’t quite believe it when I was offered a job at the end – HSBC and The Prince’s Trust believed in me, and now I do, too.” 

“I’d like to mentor other people at HSBC, but right now I’ve been chosen to go on HSBC’s MDA [My Development Academy] programme to further progress my own career. I’ve also taken on a Drug and Alcohol Substance Misuse degree, after losing someone I love to drugs. I wouldn't have felt good enough to apply before, but now I know I can achieve anything."

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Community Impact Award

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

A young person holding Prince

Team Phoenix

Lucy John, Team member said:
“None of us were getting on that well when we started Team, but when we were challenged to do a project to benefit the community, something clicked. We stopped arguing and started thinking, and agreed on creating a community allotment garden at a local training centre.”

“We wanted to do a good job, so we got advice from a local expert in sustainable gardening, drew up designs and started calling local businesses asking for donations.” 

“We built nine beds in total, using local and recycled materials wherever possible to minimise the carbon footprint, we sowed them with different fruit and vegetables, and then put up a polytunnel. We also built an outdoor classroom and made a seating area for the centre’s staff and learners to relax on.” 

“Initially we thought staff and residents would buy produce from the allotments, but given there are people in the community who can’t afford to buy food, it didn’t seem right. So we came up with the idea of donating the produce to the local foodbank instead.” 

“It feels good knowing we’ve done something that will benefit people who aren’t as well off as others, We got great publicity through Swansea City FC, and loads of locals have help volunteered to maintain the garden, which is brilliant.” 

“We bonded as a Team because of our community garden, and learned lots of new skills. For me personally, it helped my confidence and leadership skills. It was hard work but was so worth it to see what we all had achieved, and knowing what we were doing was helping people in the community who aren’t as well off as others felt really good."

Jayde Daniels, Team member, said:
"I was nervous at first but I soon began to immerse myself in the programme, and it was great to meet other people who had similar experiences to me. I realised how I wanted to help others."

Bethan Davies, Foodbank founder, said:
"This will be a huge benefit as at the moment we are only able to give out non-perishable food so it will be lovely to offer some goodness, fruit and vegetable to bring in some health to people’s lives, knowing it is all grown locally in Port Talbot is fantastic."

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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 Prince

Julie Bean

“I am part of a large family and wasn’t allowed the privileges my siblings enjoyed; I don’t know why I was treated differently, but it made me feel like an outcast in my own home.

After I completed my college course a careers advisor encouraged me to try The Prince’s Trust Team Programme. 

One of the best things about Team was our residential – I hadn’t laughed so much in years! But the excitement vanished as soon as we were heading home; it was the last thing I wanted to do and I was dreading what I’d have to face, so I left the following day and haven’t gone back.

My leader on Team helped me find emergency bedding through social services and then I went to live in sheltered accommodation.

Until I did Team, my life hadn’t been worth living. The Prince's Trust and Team, particularly my Team Leader Eleanor, have been the making of me. It has enabled me to change my life and I find it hard to put into words how I feel; It makes me so happy to see how far I’ve come.” 

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Educational Achiever of the Year

The Educational Achiever Award, sponsored by G4S, recognises young people who have overcome barriers, developed new skills and improved their education prospects.

A young person holding Prince

Cordelia Davies

“I have two rare health disorders, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Kyphoscoliosis that make me prone to broken bones, joint dislocations and bruising. Three years ago, I dislocated my knee, fractured my kneecap and tore ligaments; it still hasn’t healed properly and will dislocate 15-20 times a day.”

“I loved learning from home, but even though I am very sociable, the closer I got to college age, the more I started to worry about fitting in; how things worked, the routine and everything else.” 

“A careers advisor suggested I try the Achieve programme, and to my delight, I enjoyed it. I liked the structure, the support, and as my confidence grew, I began to realise that achieving qualifications would be possible, despite my disabilities - The other students even voted for me to be their class representative!”

“A while later, my Achieve Advisor suggested I should run for Disabled Students Officer at the Student Union elections – and I won! I have been representing students with disabilities on campus ever since and can’t believe what I’ve achieved. I’m hoping to be re-elected next year too.”

“My teachers at college and Achieve helped me believe in myself and truly understand my strengths. I hope to be able to empower other young people with disabilities to follow their dreams, starting right now!” 

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