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 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. 

Paul Lawson

“When I was 17, I moved in with a family friend. They took my under their wing when I needed it most and became family to me."

“I slept on the sofa because there wasn’t a spare room and, although on the outside I appeared happy-go-lucky, inside I was a ball of nervous energy suffering hugely with anxiety. And the lifestyle I led just made it worse."

“I received benefits, but my priorities were all wrong. Instead of spending my money of essentials like food, I spent it on drugs and tobacco."

“My work coach at the JobCentre Plus suggested Team. I loved the physical activities on Team and, when I struggled with my written work, there was always somebody to help me. Everyone was so easy to talk to and they helped me get straightened out. I got professional support for my depression, I stopped taking drugs, started eating more, and I got a Prince’s Trust qualification."

“They also helped me get a work placement at Elixir Garden Supplies, and got me a fast-tracked Development Award so I could buy the right type of work clothes.”

“The placement was great. So good, in fact, that I’ve been working there for almost two years now and I genuinely feel settled in my new life. I’ve put on weight, and I live in a flat with my girlfriend. Soon we will start saving for a house of our own.”

Paul is a truly inspiring young man and is a very deserving winner of the North West Young Achiever Award. He should be very proud and we’re sure he will continue to thrive. Well done Paul!

- Louise Greenlees, President, TK Maxx and Homesense

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Breakthrough Award

The HSBC UK Breakthrough Award recognises the progress of young people in overcoming barriers and developing new skills.

Emily Davies

“My parents split up when I was 10. Mum and I moved to Kent and I was physically and verbally bullied at my new school and throughout my education. It made me introverted and I started to self-harm. It was one of the darkest times of my life."

“I thought if I returned to Colne to live with my Dad, things would go back normal, but by the time I did, I was 17 and my old friends either weren't around or weren't interested."

‎“I wanted life to move on but when college didn’t work out, my mental health worsened and I just didn’t know how to fix anything."

“A friend suggested I tried Fairbridge and that’s when things started to get better because everyone was on the same page. We all wanted to change our lives, but it wasn’t until we did the L'Oreal All Worth It sessions and I got to be a Prince’s Trust L’Oreal Ambassador that I really started to find my way. Because of that, my eyes were opened to the beauty industry and blogging. I did Get Started in Hair and Beauty and now I run my own beauty blog!"

"Everyone deserves happiness, but if you don’t believe in yourself, it can be hard to find. The Prince’s Trust taught me to believe and now I’m in a much better place and am about to study my Level 3 in Beauty."

The HSBC UK Breakthrough Award recognises the outstanding progress of young people who have overcome extraordinary challenges to develop new skills and reach their potential. Emily is the incredibly worthy winner of this year’s award. Congratulations Emily!

- Ian Stuart, CEO, HSBC UK

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Young Ambassador of the Year

The BAE Systems 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.

Lois Muir

"My head was full of demons after I was assaulted. I was only nine and never spoke about it until much later in my life, apart from one occasion with a family member so I tried to erase it from my mind."

“I played up at school because I felt like an outsider after missing so many lessons due to hospital appointments. I got bullied and focused on the negative, and would play every bad thing anyone had ever said about me on repeat in my head."

“I drank until I was unconscious, I’d smash glass and cut myself with it, or I’d sit alone shaking with a knife to my wrist. I had flashbacks and overdosed three times on my prescribed medication."

“College had had enough. They expelled me and encouraged me to join Team."

“Team helped me understand myself and gave me the chance I needed to do something well and feel proud about it."

“I became a Young Ambassador because I wanted to raise awareness of how important The Trust is for young people."

"I don't want sympathy for what's happened to me, I want other young people to get the help they need, and being a Young Ambassador has given me the opportunity to help them do that."

“I now volunteer for various organisations and have been doing youth work for the last four and a half years, alongside my degree in Youth and Community work.”

Lois’s story, overcoming her extremely difficult and turbulent childhood and now drawing on these experiences to support others, is such an inspiration. Her desire to share her story to raise awareness of The Prince’s Trust is now helping to change many more young lives.

- Peter Caney, Head of Early Careers and Skills at BAE Systems

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Enterprise Award 

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.

Scott Heffernan

“After I left secondary school, my mental health got so bad I was literally mute. I couldn’t talk to anyone and refused to leave the house."

"Although I received professional support, it stopped when the funding cuts came in, so I decided to get help from a specialist charity. They helped me get better and said I should ask The Prince's Trust for advice on starting my own tattoo business."

"People were always complimentary about my drawings and I'd done a bit of tattooing at a friend’s salon before, but setting up my own business was a whole new ball game."

"Having The Prince's Trust believe that I could make it as a tattoo artist was a turning point for me. I’ve been running my business, Timeless Tattoos, for almost three years now and have a healthy turnover and customer base."

"I still suffer with mental health issues but the difference is that I can manage them now, and I feel infinitely better about my future and providing for my family.”

For 18 years NatWest has worked in partnership with The Prince’s Trust through its Enterprise programme. Together we celebrate young people’s entrepreneurial spirit and help turn their ideas into a sustainable business or social enterprise. We are proud to sponsor the Enterprise Award and recognise those who have overcome significant challenges in their path to success. Scott truly deserves this award and we wish them a very bright future.

- Richard Topliss - Regional Managing Director, Commercial and Corporate Banking, North

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Rising Star Award

The Chess 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.

Anthony Hilton

“I enjoyed my job and had worked at the same place for five years when I saw my boss consistently bully another member of staff. I challenged it and reported it, and because of this he made me feel secluded. I stopped looking forward to going to work and no longer enjoyed my job so I made the decision to leave.”

“I was doing a series of temporary jobs just to make ends meet, then one day I got talking to a guy at Stretford Fire Station and he told me about Team. It took some convincing, but eventually I said I’d go and, in truth, it helped to change my life."

“I was nervous about Team and I was the oldest one there but everyone looked to me as someone they could talk to and that gave me confidence. I’d always wanted to work for the fire service and arranged to do a work placement within its community safety team. It was such a fulfilling experience, so afterwards I started volunteering with the brigade."

“Then, for the first time in seven years, my local fire service started recruiting. Thousands applied and with a lot of hard work and perseverance I got the job!"

“Team gave me a massive opportunity. Six months earlier I was in a completely different place, but now I am more confident than I’ve ever been and doing the best job in the world. I thank The Prince’s Trust and Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service for giving me the opportunity to make such a positive change to my life.”

Anthony’s attitude and resilience to overcome a negative working experience and go on to get his dream job can be an inspiration to others. He clearly has ambition and perseverance in bucket-loads and is a role model to others in a similar situation – a very deserving winner of this Rising Star award.

- Kate Wood, Director of Culture at Chess

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Community Impact Award

The Fire & Rescue Service Community Impact Award recognises the positive contribution young people make to their local community.

Fleetwood Achieve Club

“I learned a lot about myself on Achieve. I learned that I liked working in a group and I learned what it was like to feel proud of myself. Now I work hard because I want to get good grades and become a photographer and graphic designer.”

Ryan, Fleetwood Achieve: “We come from quite a deprived area and we decided to make an all-season double heart raised flower garden at a residential home called Larkholme Lodge, which is for adults with learning difficulties. They were really nice to us and so we wanted to make something for them that would last. The garden really made them happy."

“We enjoyed doing it so much, we asked an ecologist to help us make the garden and our local area more ecologically friendly. As a result, we made bird feeders and natural decorations for the Lodge and took part in a local beach clean!”

Deb Hanlon-Catlow, Deputy Head Teacher, Fleetwood High School: “In 24 years of teaching, being part of this group, their journey, and their togetherness, has been one of the best experiences I have had. Their selflessness, willingness to please and get-up-and-go is phenomenal.”

What is so impressive about what this group has achieved is their collective desire to go above and beyond for the benefit of others. The transformative journey they have been on together makes them truly deserving winners of this Community Impact award.

- Mark Cashin, Chair of the Fire Service Prince’s Trust Association

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Educational Achiever of the Year

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

Luke Atherton

"I had a reading age of 12, a spelling age of 10 and a numeracy age of nine. I was a carer for my brother but was in and out of hospital myself for back pain and took a variety of pills for my learning and behavioural disorders that made me an insomniac and hyperactive."

“I had learning disabilities anyway so the side effects of my tablets made it even harder to keep up at school."

“My school referred me to Achieve to help with my confidence. At first I barely said anything, I was too shy. But the more I went, the more I looked forward to going."

"Achieve was different to what I expected. It didn't feel like learning sometimes, even though I was. I did a building project, fire safety, the high ropes, and I helped some of the others when they found the activities difficult."

‎"I went to every single session at Achieve, earned my Maths and English at Entry 3 and Level 1, and a work placement at a bakery. Next I’m off to study catering, hospitality and events management at college."

"My back is still very painful, and the medication I take now has a whole new range of side effects, but I have so much to look forward to now I feel like I can overcome almost anything."

We’re honoured to present the North West Educational Achiever award to Luke this year. He should be proud of his progress and what they have achieved. We wish him every success for the future.

- Natasha Christie- Miller, CEO, Ascential Intelligence

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