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.
"I had very few friends when I was growing up and was bullied because I didn't live in the right place, I had a disabled brother and I had acne and hyper-hydrosis, which makes me sweat. The bullies ruled my life.
"Trusting others was something I just couldn’t do; by the time I was 16 I’d left school and was suffering with depression.
"I helped my mum care for my brother and started volunteering in a charity shop to get some retail experience. While in the charity shop, I applied for so many jobs, but not one sent me a reply and it really knocked my confidence. Eventually I gave up trying and relied on benefits for money.
"My work coach at the Job Centre was really lovely and when she told me that The Prince’s Trust were recruiting for Make Your Mark, it was the best news I'd had in months!
"I was very anxious on the first day, I was scared I'd be ignored and fail, but when I got to the course the adrenaline just kicked in. It was the start of a whole new me!
"When I think about how the bullies used to make me feel, I could just laugh in their face right now; I’m so happy! I have a job at Marks & Spencer that I love, I have brilliant friends, an income, and a loving family."
- 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.
"When I was 17, I was moved to a care home in England. I had been suffering from PTSD, borderline personality, depression and anxiety; and living far from what I knew, I became more and more isolated.
"When I was 19, I entered a supported housing project back in the Vale of Glamorgan. I had to see counsellors as part of the project, but I didn’t feel comfortable talking to them, so I’d sit and say nothing.
"I became more friendly with the housing project staff over time and one of them, Adrian, introduced the idea of joining Team.
"I really didn’t want to at first, but after a few months of encouragement I eventually decided to give it a go with my housemate.
"I was very anxious on the first week, especially as I was the oldest one there and the only girl on the programme, but the second week was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I made friends, tried every challenge and was so chuffed with what I achieved.
"I’m now doing my Level 2 NVQ Child Care Apprenticeship at a children’s charity and absolutely love it! I also volunteer at the children’s hospice we did our community project at, and I've stopped self harming.
"The Prince’s Trust made me push myself when I didn’t think I could. It also made me believe in myself; and now I have a new life and a new future!"
- Ian Stuart, CEO, HSBC UK
The Horizon Nuclear Power 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.
"My self-esteem took quite a battering in school. Family issues were constantly on my mind, and my dyslexia was making GCSE work very hard. By the time I’d finished my exams, I honestly didn’t think I could go through it again for my A Levels.
"I opted to leave school but immediately felt trapped by my caring duties. I lost my spark, had no direction, and to top it off my family were evicted from our home. I was ashamed and didn’t want anyone to know, so I cut myself off from everyone.
"The Fairbridge programme gave me my life back. I joined the programme through Young Carers and loved every minute, especially the outdoor activities. The gorge walking was my favourite activity; I overcame a massive fear to do it and realised I could achieve anything if I pushed myself.
"After that the Fairbridge team convinced me to return to education and complete my A Levels, I asked to be a Young Ambassador, so I could share my story to help more young people like me.
"The first time I represented The Trust was at a Fairbridge recruitment day; I felt so proud talking to the young people about why they should join - it hadn’t been that long ago that I’d been in their shoes!
"I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn’t for The Trust; I know what I want now, so I’m studying Acting at university and chasing my dream to be an actress."
- Miss Gwen Parry-Jones, Director of Nuclear Operations at Horizon Nuclear Power
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.
"I left school at 15, after being told I'd never amount to much because of my dyslexia. Sadly, I believed it. I had no confidence in myself and spent the next six years working in a job I hated. After that, I bounced from job to job not knowing what to do, but when my granddad died I decided I needed to follow my dreams. I relocated to Cardiff with the aim of starting my own fashion business.
"When looking for a starting point, a quick internet search led me to The Prince's Trust and its Enterprise programme. It taught me things I didn't even know I needed; my mentor helped me put together a business plan and within a few months, I launched Anaphase Clothing.
"I threw everything into my business, but it didn’t all go to plan at first. When my initial stock didn’t sell, I listened to my customers, did more research and 18 months later I rebranded to Anaphase Store, expanding the range of online products available. It’s now going so well, I’ve opened a pop-up shop in central Cardiff.
"My confidence has grown so much since getting involved with The Trust; and the opportunities I’ve had have been incredible. I’ve been shortlisted for numerous business awards in Wales, and I’ve even started speaking at Prince’s Trust events to audiences of up to 500 people, which I’d never have had the guts to do before this journey!"
- Adrian Aurelius, Chairman of NatWest Cymru
The VMWare 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 moved to live with my Dad when I was 13, and became a target of bullying. I was overweight and suffered from an underactive thyroid; I had problems with my teeth, my speech and the constant jibes made me very shy and insecure.
"I studied drama at college and wanted to work on a cruise liner before I got into a controlling relationship. He would tell me which jobs I could and couldn't go for – and my confidence took a further hit when my applications weren’t getting me anywhere.
"Anxiety and depression set in, and I started neglecting my health – at one point I almost went into a life-threatening myxedema coma.
"Not long after, my JobCentre work coach told me about the Fairbridge programme and it sounded right up my street! I felt supported by everyone and enjoyed the activities so much that I started to think about becoming an outdoor activities instructor.
"I left Fairbridge early for a job in my local shop, but that didn't work out so I decided to try another Prince’s Trust programme. I did well on the retail course, but I missed the adventure of Fairbridge and eventually went back. This was the best decision for me, and now I feel like a new person.
"The Trust taught me to follow my dreams, so that’s what I’m doing! I’m an outdoor activities apprentice now and one day I’m going to run kids’ activities on a cruise liner."
- David Parry-Jones, Vice President, Northern Europe, VMware
The Dell EMC Community Impact Award recognises the positive contribution young people make to their local community.
Pembrokeshire College Team 7
"While on the Team Programme, the Town Council’s High Sheriff asked us if we'd consider clearing a 200m long pathway at a local care home which had gotten so overgrown the residents could no longer use it; we thought it was really important the residents had somewhere nice to walk that was right on their doorstep.
"We started off working on our own, tackling what we could, but we soon realised we’d get everything done quicker if we worked collaboratively as a team. Cutting back the trees and shrubs was the toughest part, but we had a lot of fun doing it.
"When we’d finished clearing the path, we walked along it together with the residents and they kept stopping to thank us for the work we had done - They even put an ad in the paper to shout about our work!
"The feel good factor of completing the project was awesome. It made us realise just how important it is to get involved with your community.
"The Team Programme helped us learn the importance of teamwork and organisation. Now that we’ve completed the programme, we all feel like we’ve gained the confidence to take the next step in our future."
- 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.
"I have hyper-mobility and low muscle tone which often results in pains in my hands and legs.
“I couldn’t handle school and I didn’t see the point of getting qualifications, so I was rude, and aggressive, and sometimes I was violent.
"I was excluded from several schools before I was sent to Newport Live Sports Development so I could get one-to-one support and learn around my interest in football. As part of the programme I was also placed on the Achieve programme. The advisors had to push me quite hard at first because all I wanted to do was play football, but they were different to other teachers. I started to enjoy learning and they helped me see that if I got some qualifications, I'd stand a better chance of getting a job I liked.
"I've changed massively because of Achieve. I’ve completed seven project units, sat my Maths and English GCSEs, and I want to do more. The main thing is I don’t waste my energy on getting angry; instead I focus my energy on doing myself and others proud, and that’s a good feeling to have. I’ve been volunteering at football sessions for Bettws Civil and am working towards my formal football coach qualification. I’d love to coach at Newport Live someday.”
- Natasha Christie-Miller, CEO, Ascential Intelligence