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. 

Natasha Mead

Natasha Meade and Natalie Sammon from award sponsor Homesense

"I was born blind in one eye and weighing 1lb 6oz. The doctors said I wouldn’t live beyond 24 weeks, and even though I did, I grew up feeling like a failure.

"I didn't have extra support at school, and felt angry and undervalued. I wasn't academic and didn't care whether I did well or not.

"The one thing I loved was athletics, but in the real world my love of athletics didn't make me any more employable. 

"After five years of unemployment and living at home, my job advisor persuaded me to take part on a Prince’s Trust course, Get into Customer Services and because I got given support for my disability, I actually did well! 

"I was then told I’d lose the sight in my other eye; that news made me feel like giving up, but my Prince's Trust mentor wouldn't let me. She met me most weeks for six months, phoned and messaged me, and kept encouraging me to work on my CV, contact employers and research training options. Her support had a huge impact, allowing me to move forward with my life.

"I really wanted to attend the Royal National College for the Blind, and despite a number of unsuccessful applications, with my mentor as my advocate I was eventually accepted.”

"I still love sport and athletics and have travelled a lot. I even recently went to Barbados with the England Blind cricket team.

"Life's not easy and it never will be, but The Trust has made me more resilient. I now live independently, am learning braille and studying my Maths and English Functional Skills. I'm now a qualified masseuse and hope to one day go to university or set up my own business!"

Natasha is a truly inspiring young woman and is a very deserving winner of the South West Young Achiever Award. She should be very proud and we’re sure she will continue to thrive. Well done Natasha!

- 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.

Zak Gardiner 

Zak Gardiner and award sponsor holding the Princes Trust Breakthrough award.

"I didn't know I had autism until I was 16, up until then I couldn't understand why I felt like an outcast. Sometimes I’d get into rages and once I even hit the wall so hard I broke bones in my hand.

"I’d say I wasn't nice at school. I couldn't do the work and never smiled, I'd hide under my hoodie so I didn't have to talk to people. At home, I'd stay in my room playing on my games console.

"I started to go into college once a week for support, and was persuaded to go on a Prince’s Trust course my brother had been on: Team.

"The first few weeks were the hardest; I didn't have any ambition, I hated being around people I didn't know and I was dead set against the written work. Although I had massive arguments on the residential, it that was also the first time I said sorry and meant it. After that, it got easier. The others liked me and wanted my input, and that made me want to do well.

"Team helped me with my confidence and gave me something to smile about. I don't wear my hood up anymore and I have friends that I go out with on my own. I've also started studying IT at college to help my career prospects."

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. Zak is the incredibly worthy winner of this year’s award. Congratulations Zak.

- Ian Stuart, CEO, HSBC UK

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Young Ambassador of the Year

The Resource Soloutions Group 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.

Katy Glendening

Katy Glendening and Hassan Lenga-Kroma from award sponsor RSG

"I was working as an English teacher to foreign language students but had to stop as my anxiety and depression, alongside OCD, had taken over my life.

"I’d reached the point where my problems were becoming debilitating, so bad that sometimes I couldn't physically get out of bed..

"A community nurse had seen a poster about The Prince’s Trust and recommend I went to an open day. I couldn’t see a future at that point so I went because I had nothing to lose, but potentially everything to gain.

"On Team, they called me 'Mummy Kate' because I was always trying to make sure everyone was included. I found the residential element of the programme difficult and had a number of panic attacks. However, from week 9 of the programme, everything fell into place and my confidence really developed.

"The Prince’s Trust is one of few places that believes in helping young people like myself to achieve their potential without judging them on their background, situation or illness. I became a Young Ambassador because I wanted to spread the word about them.

"As well as representing The Trust at events, I created a skills workshop for new Team members and made videos for Prince's Trust programme leavers about what to expect."

Katy now works part time as an administrator and volunteers as a youth worker, is a member of Jersey's Youth committee and volunteers at Mind Jersey. She is a selfless young woman who is dedicated to helping young people with mental health problems.

Katy is an inspiring young woman, and we are delighted to be able to congratulate her on winning the South West Young Ambassador Award. Her efforts and time given to helping other young people in Jersey, as well as volunteering as a Prince’s Trust Ambassador, makes her an incredibly worthy winner for the region. Katy’s contribution enables The Trust to reach more young people in the South West. We wish her the very best for the future.

- Adam Meadows, Managing Director at RSG

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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.

Danielle Charters-Christie

Danielle Charters and Charly Patrick from award sponsor NatWest

"I had some bad experiences when I was young and was left with mixed emotions. But the one thing I was sure of was that I didn’t want my life to be ruined by my past.

"I am mindful of how my life could have been; I was homeless at 16 and most of my peers had taken a path of drugs. But I wanted stability and a career, so I got an apprenticeship at a commercial carriage masters. The wages weren’t great and the hours were long, but it wasn't about that - it was about the bigger picture, I needed to gain enough experience to start my own business.

"I lost confidence in social situations when my past came back to haunt me, and got a part-time bar job to build it back up again. I saved and saved until I had enough money to buy four horses and a funeral carriage and then launched my business, DCC Carriages.

"Local trade was good, but I needed a flatbed truck to transport my carriage further afield and asked The Prince's Trust for help. I completed the Enterprise course and wrote a business plan that helped me secure a loan. I'm so grateful to The Trust for believing in me and am now working to make my business more sustainable by expanding into the wedding market."

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. Danielle truly deserves this award and we wish them a very bright future.

- Chris Preston, Chairman of NatWest’s South West Regional Board

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Rising Star Award

The Delta Air Lines 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.

Alex Driscoll

Alex Driscoll award winner is standing next to Mike Henny from award sponsor Delta Air Lines. Both are wearing suits and Alex is wearing a black framed glasses.

“I was 10 and blamed myself for difficulties at home. The kids at school started bullying me and once they threw a bag at me so hard that it fractured my hand.

“When I was 13, I collapsed and went into a coma. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and was bullied for that too. I was so embarrassed about taking my insulin, sometimes I’d skip my shots.

“I was so desperate to fit in that I started drinking with a group of others but ended up in hospital with alcohol poisoning.

“My grades at school slipped and I ended up failing my A Levels. I spent months applying for jobs and apprenticeships, but didn’t get anywhere.

“I was at the JobCentre Plus when someone from The Prince’s Trust told me about Get into Retail. It sounded good, but I worried about meeting new people, talking to customers and whether my diabetes would get in my way. But at the same time, I wanted to learn and push myself, so I did.

“The course was brilliant; I felt more confident every day and at the end of the course was offered part-time work.

“Thanks to The Prince’s Trust I no longer feel like a waste of space; I have a full-time job at House of Fraser and I feel proud, not ashamed of who I am.”

Alex is such an inspiring young person. He shows how, with courage and determination, you can turn your life around. He thoroughly deserves the South West Delta Air Lines Rising Star Award and I hope that he continues to inspire more young people who may not have got the grades they wanted to know that they can have a successful career.

- Mike Henny, Head of Sales Development, Delta Air Lines 


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Community Impact Award

The Dell EMC Community Impact Award recognises the positive contribution young people make to their local community.

Team 236 Plymouth

Plymouth 236 and Lee Johnson from award sponsor Dell EMC

Ross, from Team 236 says of the project: "We looked at three potential community projects and chose Stonehouse Lawn Tennis Club because it was something people of every age could benefit from it.

"The Lawns is run by volunteers but had only ever been open to members before; its committee wanted it to become a community hub by making it accessible to everyone, but the gardens were overgrown and need overhauling first. 

"We managed to fundraise £150 to buy equipment and materials and collectively spent 240 hours renovating The Lawns. We cleared and composted the gardens, removed two old sheds, sanded and painted benches, tables and fencing, and cleaned out the pond."

Fellow team member, Mustafa continues: "What was really nice was that the locals heard what we were doing and kept coming to talk to us, bringing cakes and sausage rolls every day as a thank you. 

“There were times that it felt quite overwhelming, but we stayed positive and kept each other going – without positivity, you’ve got nothing to work with.

“Now The Lawns looks great - it's got a new clubhouse and everyone in the community - even people on a low income - can enjoy it."

I am proud to congratulate Team 236 Plymouth 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

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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.

Autumn Jarvis

Autumn Jarvis and Vicky Ogden from award sponsor Ascential

“Growing up, I'd always wanted to study Criminology but my childhood had caused me to be angry and I took it out on my teachers and school. My GCSE predictions were terrible and eventually I just stopped going and chose to spend most of my time on my own at home.”
“I was referred to Achieve to help with my confidence and learning and Ioved it straight away. No-one really knew me there, so I could be myself without being judged. 

"Achieve taught me to take a step back and reflect on how my behaviour affected others. I was also able make up with some of my teachers and my headmistress. I earned my Personal Development and Employability Skills qualification and decided to go back to school so I could get the grades I needed to get to university.
"Going back was a big step for me, but it was the right one. I'm predicted passes for all my GCSEs, I've had commendations for my work, and I've had conditional offers to study the A levels and diploma I need to get onto a Criminology degree course.
“I've got my life back thanks to The Prince’s Trust and I'm on my way to my dream career!"

We’re honoured to present the South West Educational Achiever award to Autumn this year. She should be proud of her progress and what they have achieved. We wish her every success for the future.
- Natasha Christie-Miller, CEO, Ascential Intelligence

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