The Prince's Trust Awards in London
On 15 November 2017, we'll be celebrating in style at Milton Court in London for The Prince's Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards along with our media partner, The Evening Standard.
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
- 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.
“After a traumatic and harrowing bereavement, the collapse of my relationship and the reclaiming of my apartment, I began to give up hope. Trying to hold down a full time job while living on the streets and suffering severe depression and PTSD proved extremely difficult.
“The people that were around me during that period of my life were volatile at best, on several occasions becoming increasingly dangerous and aggressive. I felt like there were situations where I could have died. I turned to drug as a source of comfort, and my situation worsened.
“After the death of a very close friend I sought help, I enrolled on The Prince’s Trust Team programme – a 12-week course that builds the confidence and employability skills of unemployed young people.
“Team became the one constant I could look forward to. And I did. Every single day.
“Following Team, and due to lots of hard work, I managed to secure an apprenticeship as an outdoor instructor and find more stable living accommodation. This has been a great opportunity – I have developed new skills, new confidence and new passions. I am now sitting my yacht masters and aim to have completed my ocean yacht masters and dive masters within the next five years. I am surrounded by likeminded, happy people and am living at sea, in my element and have grown to accept my past and learn from my mistakes.”
The Young Ambassador Award, sponsored by Mappin and Webb, 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 was abused for years and was admitted into a psychiatric hospital after I attempted suicide. My Mum died when I was 12 and after that life just clouded over. It affected my school work and I was told to leave despite gaining two A*s, six As and two Bs in my GCSEs. Then I became homeless.
“I sofa-surfed and spent some terrifying nights sleeping rough; and then I found the YMCA. Terry is my keyworker there and is brilliant. He’s helped me through the darkest times of my life and he introduced me to The Prince’s Trust Team programme.
“Team helped me learn to trust again and was the first place I felt like it was ok to be myself. It made me want to strive to do well and help others; it’s why I went back to Sixth Form to do my A Levels, it’s why I volunteered to be a Young Ambassador, and it’s why I now work for the Trust.
"The Prince's Trust is a family of wonderful people all willing to make every bit of difference to people like me. I’m also really pleased to say I am now working at The Trust as a Personal Assistant. The Trust saved my life, and I’m now in a place where I can feel proud and build a future helping others! What an amazing place to be."
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 spoke to doctors many times to try and get to the bottom of my symptoms. Due to my ill health and developing continuing infections along with depression and anxiety, I missed a large part of secondary school.
“A cardiologist diagnosed me with SVT, which was caused by an extra pathway in my heart. Following keyhole heart surgery I developed Postural orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) – a debilitating mix of conditions causing me to be paralysed at my worst. It was the darkest period of my life.
“I love fashion, and one day this image of the perfect, cross-generational handbag popped into my head. My sister said The Prince’s Trust might be able to help me turn my idea into a business, and I got in touch.
“The support and encouragement was so refreshing, it filled me with confidence. It was their belief in me that kept me going through the toughest of times. It now feels like part of my family.
“I used everything I learned on Enterprise to launch my handbag business, Charlotte Elizabeth. Although my illnesses mean I can’t always be across everything, my family help me, and through the support of other bloggers, my Prince’s Trust business mentor, I’ve exceeded my projections and have sold my bags in 34 different countries!”
The Rising Star Award, sponsored by Delta Air Lines, recognises young people who, despite having faced substantial personal obstacles, are in sustainable employment as a result of a Prince’s Trust programme.
“My autism means that I sometimes find social situations difficult, especially talking to strangers or travelling places I’ve not been before.
“I’ve always wanted to be a builder, so I studied bricklaying at college. That’s where I had my first panic attack. It came out of nowhere and was really scary because I didn’t know what was happening.
“When my course finished, I couldn’t cope. I missed the routine, started getting insomnia and was afraid to leave the house in case I had to talk to someone I didn’t know.
“I joined a local support group and was put in touch with MENCAP, who helped me with coping mechanisms and said I should try The Prince’s Trust Get into Construction programme.
“My friend Jamie, the foreman, was very kind. He knew I got worried and said ‘it’s alright mate, we all get anxious. Just take a deep breath and fight through it,’ and he was right.
“I used to be anxious about so many things, including travelling, but by the end of the programme, I was going to work on a train all by myself.
“I scored almost 100 per cent in my Construction Skills Certification Scheme exams and was offered a job as the Traffic Marshal on the Crossrail project. I love my job and when it ends I’m going to train as a ground worker.”
The Community Impact Award, sponsored by Dell EMC, recognises the positive contribution young people make to their local community.
Portsmouth Team 107
“Every young person in this group had a form of learning difficulty or disability. We had young people with cerebral palsy, autism, learning difficulties, anxiety, and mobility issues; their determination to complete this course was incredible.”
- Andy Greensmith, Team Leader
“I went on The Prince’s Trust Team programme because I wanted to build my confidence, make friends and develop strategies for handling different situations. And that’s what we did.
“Doing the community project felt good. We liked the idea of helping Portsmouth Day Service Centre because we could all relate to it. And turning their old IT suite into a music room and brightening up their garden sounded fun.
“We had to fundraise the money we needed to do the work, so we organised a sponsored silence, a sponsored walk and a cake sale, and made £250!
“We started by removing the old IT equipment and then redecorated the room, adding some musical quotes and pictures to make it look extra special. Then we set up the new equipment ready for people to play.
“The garden work was hard. There was a lot of rubbish and brambles to clear, but by the time we’d finished planting and repainting everything, it looked brilliant and the people at the Centre love it!”
- Nathan Harper, a Team member
The Educational Achiever Award, sponsored by Ascential, recognises young people who have overcome barriers, developed new skills and improved their education prospects.
Jaidah Alisha-Mai Thomas
“I am transgender and became HIV positive after I was sexually assaulted aged 15. I was bullied at school, got into abusive relationships and it affected my mental health. I became aggressive and was expelled without being allowed to take any exams.
“I lost four close relatives within nine months and was raped a week after my grandfather died. I left home, started living in a shelter, became addicted to drugs, tried suicide and was sectioned with a number of mental health conditions – including hallucinations - after I took a swipe at police.
“I felt like I was sinking in quicksand.
“Going on The Prince’s Trust Fairbridge programme was the first step in making my life better. I learned to trust, respect and work with my peers and in return they showed me so much gratitude and support for opening up to them about being transgender that, for once in my life, I felt like a normal human being.
“The Prince's Trust allowed me to lose the labels society had given me and find myself. It’s like a fully functioning family that gives you a safe environment and empowers you not to be a product of your past, but the person you want to become. That’s all a person needs to get back on their feet.
“I’m now at university and mentoring a young transgender person.”