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. 

Mathew Stachan, winner of our Edinburgh Young Achiever Award 2017

Mathew Stachan

“I moved schools four times, but I was always dealing with bullying. I got out and left as soon as I could. I didn’t stick around for my exams.

“My doctor diagnosed me with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. By that point, I’d already given up on my future, to the point I lost my purpose and I didn’t want to be here anymore so I escaped through substance abuse.

“My Skills Development Scotland advisor said I should try Team, which I enjoyed. Then I did Get into Customer Services and got a job with Aegon, which didn’t work out because of personal problems.

“My anxiety returned, so I went back to The Trust, worked on my CV and applied for a paid internship at Standard Life. I was one of 12 out of 200 selected to join.

“Standard Life has been amazing. My internship got extended and then they offered me an IT apprenticeship, which I love. They run different mental health initiatives which I’m involved with, including writing a blog about my own mental health journey; and it’s made me think about starting a social enterprise supporting young people with mental health problems through different forms of entertainment.

“I struggle to think about where I would be if it wasn’t for The Prince’s Trust. They took me on and gave me the chance everyone deserves, and they always wanted me to succeed.”

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Young Ambassador of the Year

The Young Ambassador Award, sponsored by MacRoberts LLP, 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.

Young person standing next to a lady holding a Prince's Trust Award

Alice Castle

“I got a lot of physical and verbal hate at school for being transgender - it pretty much destroyed me. My family supported me, but I shut myself off from everyone else, dropped out of school and essentially hid in bed for 18 months.

“I felt like a number being told to apply for jobs I didn’t want whenever I went to the Job Centre. When I did get interviews, employers didn’t understand or were just plain disgusted by me. One interviewer got up and walked out when they realised. It was demoralising. At my lowest point I tried committing suicide.

“Get into Hospitality changed everything. I got offered a job at Premier Inn on day two of the course, and that made me want to help others facing similar barriers to mine. 

“The Prince's Trust gave me the confidence to never let anything stop me. It’s freed me from my fears.

“I’ve spoken in front of 800 people as a Young Ambassador; I’ve met Prince Charles, and been interviewed on STV News, The Sun and The Mirror about my experiences. I’ve even compèred the launch of a new Prince’s Trust initiative. Yes, me!

“I’ve now progressed on to a new job at Warhammer Glasgow that I love. I’ve also started a comic blog which I hope will evolve into a full time job which I can do alongside writing my own comics.” 

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Enterprise Award 

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

Young person holding a Prince's Trust Award

Cassie Neil

“On paper, everything looked pretty good. I had a supportive partner and eight years experience as a care worker before taking time out to have my children. But then unexpected family bereavement changed everything.”  

“We struggled to make ends meet and although I found jobs here and there, nothing ever stuck. It took its toll and I got diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and was unable to work because of it.

“About a year or so later, I noticed this unit for rent on the high street and I thought it was the perfect place for a café, especially given the amount of new builds going on in the area. So I started researching and then got in touch with The Prince’s Trust.

“They were brilliant. They gave me a mentor and helped me write my business plan to present to the Panel.

“When the Panel said they’d give me a loan and a grant, I burst into tears. I couldn’t believe it. 

“I renovated the unit and opened my café – The Takeaway – a few months later. I made plenty of mistakes at first, but I’ve weathered the storm and am confident about the future and being able to provide for my growing family.”

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Rising Star Award

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

Young person holding a Prince's Trust Award

Hugh Mcgarvie

“I was a young carer at home and although I didn’t understand the pressures I was under at the time, it affected my mental health. I developed such severe anxiety that sometimes I couldn’t even walk, and I had such bad Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I’d scrub my hands until they were raw.

“I hated myself for it, and lost friends because they thought I was weird.

“School referred me to Fairbridge. My mum and sister came with me at first because I couldn’t give eye contact and was too scared to travel on my own, but through the games and activities, I completely changed.

“Fairbridge ignited this excitement in me. It was exhilarating. I started making eye contact and travelling independently, and my Fairbridge exec said I was ready to go on Team. It was there that I learned how to manage my stress and anxiety.

“The icing on the cake was when I got offered a job three days into a work placement.

“The Prince’s Trust programmes gave me the strength to face my fears and the opportunities to find my hidden talents. Now I work in retail and talk with customers every day, and I am hoping to study social sciences at college so I can follow my ambition of becoming a youth worker. I like myself and where my future’s going.”

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Community Impact Award

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

Community Impact team in a group photo

Ayrshire Team 150

“More than 30 of us took part on Team 150. It was a pretty large group, but we all wanted the same thing: a better life.

“The community project was the best part of Team for me. I loved it. We approached staff at Doonfoot Primary School in Ayr to ask if they needed help with any projects and they were really pleased we’d asked. They have a Base at the school that looks after children on the autistic spectrum and had wanted to build a sensory garden for ages, but didn't have the money. 

"They gave us their wish-list and we started calling up local companies asking them to donate materials for it.

"We built a massive wooden tepee and a fence around the garden, which we also painted; we installed sensory flower beds, made a willow tunnel, interactive textured structures and a quiet area with swings and a sand pit; and we linked everything up by laying a sensory path. It looked really cool.

“The school laid on this unveiling ceremony for it and it was really nice to see how pleased the kids and their families were. Some people even cried.

“We learned so much during that project. I'm proud of what we achieved and grateful for being able to create such a special area for disadvantaged children.” 

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Educational Achiever of the Year

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

Young person holding a Prince's Trust Award

Jay Connor

“They used to say I was disruptive and angry at school. My attendance was below 80% and I got removed from most of my lessons; and when I wasn’t in school, I drank and partied.

“I hated looking at myself in the mirror. I hated myself full stop. My dad committed suicide when I was younger, and my best pal told me how when I was eight years old. It made me sick to the stomach and it affected my mental health. I would get angry and totally flip out and then cry, but I didn’t know why. It affected every part of my life. I felt like I didn’t fit, so I stopped trying.

“I went to Achieve for six weeks and was completely out of my comfort zone, but it was fun. It helped me manage my feelings and talk about my past, and that felt really good. It made me confident about doing things independently, and it let me help others, which I really like doing. 

“I changed my whole lifestyle because of Achieve. I went back to school and I’ve now been accepted on an access course that will help me become a care worker, which is what I want to be.

“Achieve made me believe in myself. I’d never been able to do that before.”

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