Arriving in Scotland at the age of seven from Bangladesh, Faisal Ahmed, aged 24, spoke no English. This led to years of bullying and racism.

Forced into an accountancy degree he hated, he returned to Bangladesh. It was on this trip that his world turned upside down when he was told that his mother was actually his stepmother and his birth mother was in Scotland. 

He returned to Scotland to track her down, but discovered she was misusing drink and drugs, had major mental health issues and was being cared for by health professionals. Despite this, he spent as much time with her as possible only to face devastation two weeks later when she tragically died at her home in a fire due to a discarded cigarette.

Faisal says:

It was horrific seeing my mum die in such a way. However, watching the health team look after her so caringly in the two weeks I did spend with her inspired me that her death would not be in vain, and so I knew that I wanted to help others in the way they had my mum.

Gaining a place on The Prince’s Trust Get into NHS Lothian Healthcare Facilities programme, which helps unemployed young people find a job in that industry, Faisal soon proved a big hit with all the patients. He learnt a range of new skills and became one of the top trainees. As a result, NHS Lothian had no hesitation in offering him a role in Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, as a Domestic Support Service Assistant. He now has his sights set firmly on a career in mental health.

He adds:

It just feels as though this is what I’ve been waiting for all along, and is special because of what happened to my mum. To have the chance to honour her memory by helping others is incredible, but it wouldn’t have been possible without The Prince’s Trust. I’m so grateful for the help I’ve had that I’ve applied to become a Trust Ambassador.