The Prince's Trust Awards in the North East
On 3 October 2018 we celebrated in style at The Baltic Centre, Gateshead 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
- Breakthrough Award
- Young Ambassador of the Year
- Enterprise Award
- Rising Star Award
- Community Impact Award
- Educational Achiever of the Year
The Homesense Young Achiever of the Year award recognises the success of young people getting into employment, training or education and overcoming substantial barriers to transform their lives.
"At first you’re just applying for all the jobs you can and then, slowly, when no one seems prepared to give you a chance, you stop believing. I spent 14 months unemployed and faced discrimination because of my visual impairment.
"The more I thought about it, the more frustrated and segregated I felt. But I had to keep trying, and went to a careers fair where I got talking to some people from Talent Match Middlesbrough’s Young People’s Panel. They invited me to join the panel and sign up to Fairbridge, so I did.
"Fairbridge gave me confidence and resilience and the panel gave me a sense of worth because there my voice is counted. I picked up teamwork, marketing and media skills, and had a focus. It was exciting and healing at same time. My Talent Match mentor helped me to find a job.
"I'm more heavily involved in the panel now and the people there have become like a family to me. I've gone from feeling alienated to being part of an amazing group of young people who support each other as well other young people who are struggling.
"My heart now lies in supporting people with mental health issues, which is why I've recently started volunteering as a mental health advocate. Helping vulnerable people gives me a sense of purpose and I thank The Prince's Trust for helping me discover that."
- Louise Greenlees, President, TK Maxx and Homesense
The HSBC UK Breakthrough Award recognises the progress of young people in overcoming barriers and developing new skills.
"I'd been in and out of care from the age of two and thought I was unlovable. I did whatever it took to get people to like me, but that made me vulnerable.
“Experiences in my childhood destroyed my confidence. I'd get angry and aggressive at school for no reason, and when people tried to help I got scared they'd hurt me, and rebelled.
"After I dropped out of college, I got depressed and started drinking and taking drugs as a way of coping. Then my dad died and that’s when I hit self-destruct. Suicide seemed my only way out.
“My step mum realised I wasn't coping and let me move in with her. She helped me get clean and it was around then that I got involved with The Prince's Trust.
"I got a real kick from the activities on Team, loved Get Stared with Health and Fitness, and received continuous support through Talent Match, joining Youth Panel where I helped make decisions about young people’s pathways.
“I've learned so much about myself and what I've got to give because of The Prince's Trust. If it wasn’t for them, I'd be dead in a gutter. They have picked me up so many times. Thanks to them I've finally got a job and a life I enjoy and feel in control of.”
- Ian Stuart, CEO, HSBC UK
The Mappin & Webb Young Ambassador Award 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.
"Things started to go wrong when I was bullied during my GCSE years. I didn't realise how badly it had affected me until I got to university to study Fashion. I left after the first term and started suffering from severe anxiety and depression. I then lost my job, my confidence and my home. The Naomi Project took me in and a worker there convinced me to go on Fairbridge."
"Going was a massive deal for me. I was nervous around others and thought everyone had an agenda. But I was wrong. Fairbridge saved me. It gave me the time and the coping strategies I needed to start making myself better. I formed friendships and gained my Functional Skills Maths Levels 1 and 2.
"Everyone I have ever met at The Trust has been so understanding and caring. All they want is to help you grow and celebrate your success when you make milestones in your progression.
"I became a Young Ambassador to help demonstrate how incredible The Prince's Trust is in helping young people move their lives forward, and I hope, in some way, I have achieved that.
"As for me, I now live in my own flat and work for a local outreach charity. I love my work and my life and would eventually like to have my own fashion business.”
- Karl Bailey, Senior Manager, Mappin & Webb
The NatWest Enterprise Award recognises young people who have overcome barriers and achieved success in creating a sustainable business or a community or social enterprise.
"It started when I was 11. I kept getting unwell and no one knew what was wrong. It was frightening because without a diagnosis we couldn't treat it. After months of tests we discovered I had Crohn’s disease and ME. By then, I was really struggling at school and my parents decided to pull me out and get me home tutored.
"My dream had been to go into Nursing but, after my GCSEs, my health got worse and I realised I'd have to give it up. Mum and Dad gave me a job in the family business selling products online, and that's when I discovered a different passion: refurbishing.
"I made suitcases for dog beds and furniture out of 'rubbish' and, through that experience, I realised I needed to do something for myself. I wanted to create my own destiny. I'm a product of my father. He is ill but his resilience and determination inspired me to be the best I can, so I signed up to Enterprise.
"I got a Will It Work Grant to market-test my idea and then launched Throwaway Culture, a bespoke furniture upcycling business that uses locally-salvaged materials.
"It hasn't been easy, but the tools I learned on Enterprise have been invaluable in getting me to where I am today; happy, trading well, and dictating my schedule around my needs.”
- Richard Topliss, Regional Managing Director, Commercial and Corporate Banking, North
The North East Local Enterprise Partnership Rising Star Award recognises young people who, despite having faced substantial personal obstacles, are in sustainable employment as a result of a Prince’s Trust programme.
“I left school with good qualifications, but struggled to find paid employment for four years after college.”
“I was born with spina bifida, and I feared my wheelchair was proving a barrier to employment. A number of employers even told me they couldn’t meet my needs and that my disability was therefore the reason for not taking me on.”
“It became clear that many people just couldn’t see past my wheelchair. My self-esteem hit rock bottom. I was living at home with my parents and wanted to be able to pay my own way, but I couldn’t do that without someone giving me a break.”
“I was referred to Talent Match by the job centre and, straight away, the staff showed me they understood the challenges I was facing. They helped me with my applications and to bring out the best of the little experience I had.”
“I finally gained full-time employment at the charity and social enterprise Actes and then got a role as Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) advocate for their New Directions programme. I’ve gone on to gain further employment with MVDA in admin and my confidence has grown massively from this experience.”
“I’m feeling positive about the future, and one of the most satisfying things about being employed was taking my parents out for a meal when I got my first month’s pay.”
- Michelle Rainbow, Skills Director at North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NE LEP)
The Dell EMC Community Impact Award recognises the positive contribution young people make to their local community.
Marley Park Team
"It was winter and they'd been quite a lot of snow so we wanted to do something that would lift the spirits of some of our city's most vulnerable people.”
"Swan Lodge is a homeless hostel in Sunderland. It's run by the Salvation Army and helps homeless people get their lives back on track. It struck a chord with us because we were trying to improve our lives, too.” – Nathan
"We wanted to make them feel special, so we got hold of some toy donations, prepared three different quizzes with chocolates as prizes, and booked in two days to spend with them.” – Amber
"I was worried about meeting homeless people – I think most of us were – but they were just like you and me. The snow gave us something to talk about initially, but then they started telling us about their lives. They were just normal people who had fallen on tough times for various reasons. It was humbling and helped put our own problems into perspective." – Catherine
"We got a lot out of our time at Swan Lodge. Us visiting meant a lot to the people there and that felt good. It also made me more determined to straighten my life out and now I'm hoping to get on a course to study counselling." – Zak
“I am proud to congratulate team Marley Park Team for successfully winning the Community Impact Award. They have demonstrated how working together they can make a positive difference to their community whilst also learning new skills themselves. Well Done to the thoroughly deserving team!”
- Dayne Turbitt, Senior Vice President, Dell EMC
The Ascential Educational Achiever Award recognises young people who have overcome barriers, developed new skills and improved their education prospects.
“’Give up now’ – that's what they told me at school. They said I’d never make anything of myself which left me feeling like a failure. Those words affected my mental health for years. I just couldn’t get them out of my head.
“I lost my confidence, I didn’t do well in my exams and I ended up unemployed and so nervous and jumpy around people, I'd have meltdowns.
"Mum persuaded me to join Talent Match. I didn't speak much when I first went – I was just too terrified – but Bev, my Youth Advocate, was really good with me and made me feel relaxed enough to join in.
"Before long, I'd started working with the Young People's Panel. I was surprised how caring everyone was towards me, and I made lots of new friends. Being there and helping support other young people through the work we did gave me my confidence back and helped me spread my wings.
"I went back to college, and am now studying Sociology at university. I make films that raise awareness of the barriers faced by young people and I also work part time at a hospital.
“I'm still part of the panel and feel proud to be part of a project that helps young people overcome challenges to find work.”
- Natasha Christie-Miller, CEO, Ascential Intelligence