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.

Shannon Griffiths

"I can’t remember a time when I didn’t worry or feel self-conscious. “I have alopecia, which causes hair loss and made me anxious about meeting new people. I am also a carer for my dad, who suffers from regular blackouts and needs constant supervision."

"When my work coach suggested I went on the Make Your Mark programme, my first response was ‘no’. I was nervous about travelling on my own, and worried about being in a group of people I didn't know. I also felt guilty about leaving Dad at home."

"But he said I should do something for myself and encouraged me to go for it."

“I used to hold my head down and hide behind my fringe, but Make Your Mark changed all that. It was different to other courses I’d been on because it was so hands-on.”

“I worked in the café and was so over the moon when they offered me a job at the end, I had a beaming smile all day!"

“Going back as a proper member of staff felt incredible, and I am so grateful to The Prince's Trust and Marks & Spencer for giving me that opportunity. I’ve now passed my Level 2 in Food Hygiene and have been promoted to running the bakery."

“I love everything about working here! I want to stay forever!”

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

- 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.

Patrick Wall

"I didn’t have much passion for school because classrooms and I just didn’t get on. I’ve always been much better with the practical stuff.”

“I wanted to work in mechanics but I didn't get the grades to study it at college."

“When mum's family worker told me about Get into Motor Vehicles and how it could help me get into mechanics a different way, I jumped at the chance."

Everyone at the taster day was in a suit. I was just in my tracksuit and thought I didn’t stand a chance, so getting that call afterwards offering me a place felt so surreal."

“The course was brilliant. I got to learn everything first hand rather than from a textbook, and I got help writing my first ever CV and covering letter."

“Then The Prince's Trust helped me again. They found an amazing 12-week training programme for me at JCT600 Porsche that was paid for by another training organisation. I was literally speechless when they told me!"

"I now work in the sales department, carrying out vehicle diagnostic checks, and helping to prep cars for sale. Better still, I’ve got a place on a three-year apprenticeship with Porsche. I can’t thank The Trust enough for what they’ve done for me!"

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

- Ian Stuart, CEO, HSBC UK

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Young Ambassador of the Year

The KCOM 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.

Leanne Blakey

“I was groomed when I was 14, and it turned out the abuse extended to other girls. When the full extent was discovered, the nature of the police investigation meant support for me was limited, meaning I had to try to deal with things on my own.

"He got four years in prison but was out within two and a half. He began reoffending just as I was about to take my GCSEs. I felt scared and completely let down.

“After passing my exams and my Level 2 in Health and Social Care, I moved in with my boyfriend. I was 16 and didn't know what love was. When that relationship broke down, I spent the next 12 months living in nine different shelters, whilst working in the care industry, but being bulled at work and not always getting paid. When I was wrongfully dismissed, everything caught up with me and I started taking antidepressants.

"Good things started happening when I joined Team. The people were kind and gave me the strength to talk about my past and face up to it.

"When Team finished, I became a carer for children with learning difficulties, which I love. But I also started representing The Prince’s Trust as a Young Ambassador, and the sense of pride and fulfilment I’ve got from that has given me my life back.”

For Leanne to be doing what she is now, both in her working life and role as a Young Ambassador, speaks volumes. Her bravery, strength of character and desire to help others make her an inspiration to others and truly deserving of this award.

- Cathy Phillips, Chief Marketing Officer at KCOM

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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.

Samantha Kirby

When I was very young, I was a victim of abuse. It made me feel alone and worthless.

“At 13, I started skipping school and running away from home. The only thing I looked forward to was going to my grandparents’ house and helping them in the garden. It gave me a peace I didn’t come close to anywhere else.

"Soon things got out of control. I drank and took drugs, I lived on the streets or in hostels, and I grew cannabis to fund my alcohol habit. I thought that was all just part of normal life, and it wasn’t until I got a suspended prison sentence that I realised what a total mess my life was in.

"After that, I got counselling for my depression and joined my local conservation society. I also started growing my own veg and plants, and even won awards for my produce.

"Then I met a Prince's Trust rep at my local JobCentre, and they planted a seed of hope. I went on Enterprise and launched my own gardening and growing business, SK Gardens.

“Now I am self sufficient and so much happier than before. I have gained my Level 2 in Exploring Enterprise, I have a chainsaw licence, and around 20 regular customers. “Life has changed completely since The Prince's Trust – I am so glad they found me.

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. Samantha 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 CNG 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.

Chloe Cartwright

“At 15, I was skipping school and developed depression and anxiety. Soon I started contemplating suicide.

“It was my stepdad who saved me. He helped me so much because he battled with depression too. He was the one who encouraged me to sit my exams and go to college.

“A month before I started Team, my wonderful stepdad died in a car crash. It nearly destroyed me, but I decided to follow through with Team to make him proud and I think I achieved that because it changed my outlook on everything.

“Every day on Team was different and that gave me something to look forward to. I made friends that I’m still in touch with now, I achieved stuff I never imagined I’d be capable of, and I realised that there were people in life who were worse off than me.

"I used to believe I didn’t have a future, but because of my experience on Team I now feel happy in my own skin. I have friends, a beautiful girlfriend, and I’ve just started a new job as a business support clerk in the police."

Chloe’s story and what she has achieved is testament to her character and resilience, as well as the life-changing impact of The Trust’s work. We now wish her every success in what we’re sure will be a very bright future.

- Jacqui Hall, Managing Director at CNG

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Community Impact Award

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

Barnsley Team 5

Will, Barnsley Team 5: “Young people around our way have a bad reputation, so we wanted to do something that would benefit our area but also show everyone that young people do care and do want to work.

“We pitched our ideas to a Dragon’s Den style panel and the idea that won the most votes was clearing an overgrown space by our community shop and turning it into a communal garden.”

Shannon, Barnsley Team 5: “To get things going, we had to ask local businesses to gift us materials for the garden, which was pretty daunting, but we quickly learned that if you don’t ask you don’t get, and we actually managed to get quite a good stash!

“We also needed around £150 to fund the project and, when our first two fundraising ideas didn’t work out because of timings and bad weather, we decided to do a sponsored walk. It rained a lot, but we ended up raising £285!”

Kirk, Barnsley Team 5: “We made the garden within a week, and when people came to its official opening they seemed really happy with what we’d done. It’s quite large and has a path, a patio, a bench we made from recycled pallet wood, a rockery, handmade planters and flowers that will add colour all year round.

“I’m proud of what we did for this project and I learned that, if people can change their views, good things can happen.”

I am proud to congratulate Barnsley Team 5 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.

Abbas Hassan

“I was born in Sudan but left with my uncle when I was eight. We rode to Chad on a donkey and then went by car with other people to Libya, but there we became estranged and I had no choice but to work on the farms. I learned to fend for myself and, although I’d always dreamt of a better life, it wasn’t until I was 15 that I managed to escape.

“I hid on a boat to Europe and then walked from Southern Italy to Northern France and the Calais Jungle. Three months later the Red Cross brought me to England, where I was sent to live with a foster family in Harrogate.

“I wanted to learn, but it was very hard for me because I’d never received any education. I couldn’t even read or write in Arabic, let alone in English. I was scared because everything and everyone was different to me.

“When I started at Rossett School they put me on the Achieve programme. It was nothing like what I expected. We did sailing, football and rugby, and I learned about architecture and historic buildings, the environment and horticulture. The people were so kind, and they opened my eyes to this country and helped me to make friends.

“I love learning and I love this country. To me, my heart is English because the people here have helped me feel good about myself and what’s coming next.”

We’re honoured to present the Yorkshire & the Humber Educational Achiever award to Abbas this year. He should be proud of his progress and what he have achieved. We wish him every success for the future.

- Natasha Christie- Miller, CEO, Ascential Intelligence

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