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. 

Billy Harper, winner of our Norwich Young Achiever Award 2017

Billy Harper

“My ADHD medication made me hungry at night which meant I couldn’t sleep. Sometimes, I’d lay there crying because I was so exhausted.

“I was bullied at college and was so desperate to fit in, I got involved with this group who’d bunk off in the afternoon to take drugs. College got fed up with my absences and told me not to come back for my second year.

“Before I knew it, I was addicted. I stole, got into fights, and got so depressed I started self-harming. It was the only way I could cope. 

“I did Get into Construction with The Prince’s Trust first, and then Make Your Mark with Marks & Spencer. I was so nervous about interacting with customers, I physically shook if they asked me anything. The person I was buddied with was brilliant though, and helped me get used to store life.

“Getting a job at M&S meant everything to me. Yes, the job was tiring, but I enjoyed the routine much more than sitting around smoking. And that made me get the help I needed. 

“I also was given a grant from The Prince’s Trust, called a Development Award, so I could hire a moped and commute more easily from my home to the store. I’d never have been able to accept my job otherwise. The Prince’s Trust has helped me change my life.”

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Young Ambassador of the Year

The Young Ambassador Award, sponsored by NBC Universal, 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 holding a Prince's Trust Award

Ruth Gibson

“I had to take more than a year off work after my ME diagnoses. No employer wanted to give me work  after that. To make things worse, I’d gone from being bullied at school to being in a controlling relationship at college. I got told I was a waste of space and I felt like it. I felt completely useless.

“Only you can change your life, but sometimes you need help finding that out. That’s where The Prince’s Trust came in. I went on the Get into Logistics and Admin programme and  through that I got a placement and internship in the design department of a distribution company. Working there gave me the sense of meaning and achievement I’d needed for so long. 

“The Prince’s Trust was always there in the background, even during my internship, and they encouraged me to go back to college. After that I studied animation at university, where I got to work on some brilliant projects.

“I’m a big believer in karma and became a Young Ambassador to give back to The Prince’s Trust. 

“It has enriched my life immeasurably. Through it, I not only secured a job at NBC Universal, but I learned to be confident, graceful, strong, outspoken, humble, brave and proud of myself. But most importantly, through The Prince’s Trust I learned how to belong.” 

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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.

Young Person holding a Prince's Trust Award

L.J Flanders 

“The mistake I made is one I will always regret. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and in a moment of madness I got into a fight, got arrested and was sent to prison. For the next 14 months, there were days when I spent 22 hours locked in a cell. It’s something I never, ever want to go through again. Something good had to come from it.”

“Exercise is good for your mind and your body because it releases serotonin, so despite my limited cell space, I exercised a lot and started studying a Personal Training qualification. Before long, inmates were asking me to write them ‘cell workouts’ and as there was nothing in the prison library, I decided I’d write a cell-based health and fitness book.

“I’m dyslexic and I didn’t have internet access in prison, so I drew and annotated my own exercise diagrams.”

“When I got out, I went on Enterprise and used the tools The Prince’s Trust gave me to self-publish my book, Cell Workout. I got it stocked in prison libraries all over the UK.

“I now run prison workshops that facilitate rehabilitation and prevent reoffending, I’m also launching my own sportswear range, and I’m starting a fitness-based social enterprise for ex-offenders. That’s my story, of how I’m making something good from something bad.”

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Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award, sponsored by DP World, 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

Chloe Passfield

“When I first became homeless, I got depressed, lost my job and racked up debts with loans companies. 

“I started sleeping at a night shelter, but my depression got worse and I began self harming. After trouble broke out at the shelter, I had to leave there too. It was December, it was raining, and I had nowhere safe to sleep, so I pitched a tent by the river and lived there. Only it flooded a lot because someone had cut holes in it.

“I turned to alcohol to cope and got my one hot meal a day from a homeless charity. It was there that I found out about The Prince’s Trust  and it was with the support of their Talent Match programme that I worked out what I needed to do to get myself back on track. 

“I had counselling, and used a Development Award to buy black skirts so I could do waitressing jobs. 

“Working gave me confidence. I enjoyed meeting new people and with the help of my Prince’s Trust mentor I decided I’d like to work in care.

“The past 18 months feel like a dream. I’m now a qualified carer, have been named Carer of the Month, live in a privately rented flat, and have my own transport. 

“The Prince’s Trust and the other agencies took my stresses away so I was able to move on. I love my life now and hope to become a nurse." 

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Community Impact Award

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

A group of young people in a group photo holding a Prince's Trust Award

Community Learning Milton Keynes

“We ran three Team programmes in quick succession and each group wanted to direct their community project efforts towards Buckland Lodge, a sheltered housing scheme for the elderly which receives little financial or community support. 

“To date our Teams have transformed the  social lounge, kitchen, laundry, and refuse room. They have renovated seven flats, repainted internal window frames, weeded and tidied the garden and restored outdoor furniture and decking.

“They supplied all the equipment and tools they needed themselves, using funds from the money they collectively raised through sponsored bag packs and other activities. They even had money left over to buy new benches, and invest in a fund for dedicated social events at the lodge‎‎.

“It was fun working at Buckland Lodge,” recalls 17-year-old Aleksander Majzner, who was a Team member. “We always got nice welcomes from the residents – they even made us cakes and invited us to their bingo sessions and fish and chip lunches!” Jason Pinnock

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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.

Young Person holding a Prince's Trust Award

Ben Sparkes 

“I was a rebellious teenager and struggled at school. I was expelled and by the time I was 16, I was living in sheltered accommodation and leading a dangerous lifestyle.

“I partied lots, I drank and took drugs. The drugs made me paranoid and I picked fights with anyone who I thought looked at me funny. 

“My grandad saved me. He found me passed out in the toilet one day, put me in his car and drove me to rehab.

“After I got clean, things got really tough, so I moved to Norfolk with my girlfriend, which is where I heard about The Prince’s Trust.

“Get into Healthcare was the opportunity I’d been waiting for. It was the chance for me to make things right.

“I was very nervous though. On the second day of the course, I started shaking and struggling to breathe. The Prince’s Trust gave me a coping mechanism and sent me to the doctor, where I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

“No one judges you at The Prince's Trust and that's what's so great about it. I went back the following day and every day for the next four weeks.

“I would be six feet under if it wasn't for The Prince’s Trust. They listened to me. 

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Educational Achiever of the Year

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

Young Person holding a Prince's Trust Award

Levi Spriggs 

“I was adopted young and taught myself to play the guitar and piano by the time I was eight. Music was my favourite distraction. 

“Life was ok until I hit my teens. I got so argumentative and was nearly expelled after climbing onto the school roof and shouting at the head teacher. My school then decided to move me to an education support centre where I started on Achieve.”

“At first I trusted no one and only did work I wanted to do, but in the end, The Prince’s Trust became my safe haven. I got on well my Achieve Adviser and opened up to her about things I was struggling with from my past. I finally started to enjoy the work. I got my Level 1 Award and even mentored some of the other young people.

“Just before my 16th birthday I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. The medication and The Prince’s Trust have made a big difference. Thanks to support I had I’ve taken my GCSE, am applying for apprenticeships and, if I have a problem, I talk it through with my parents instead of getting angry.

“Life’s more manageable when you have people around who you can trust.  I have two therapists to help me with my past, The Prince’s Trust, my family and friends. Knowing I have them makes me feel like I can achieve anything.”

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