Nicola, 26, from Ruislip in Middlesex, was bullied at school and had a difficult upbringing with her parents at home.

Without people recognizing it she was suffering a breakdown, and because she was so unhappy she quit her Hospitality Management course, left home and ended up living in a tent for three months.

Three years later, at the age of 21, Nicola was diagnosed with lymphoma. She recovered, but suffered another breakdown. 

That’s when I was diagnosed with OCD, social phobia, low self-esteem and confidence issues. I needed medication and intense psychotherapy.

Her father didn’t know where to turn for help. He tried to engage her with different organisations that could help, but nothing worked. Then he came across a Prince's Trust programme that builds the confidence and motivation of disadvantaged young people.

Taking part in everything from BMX-biking to canoeing, Nicola's confidence flourished during the programme and led her to join Get into Hospitality a Prince's Trust programme that is delivered in partnership with Marriott Hotels, and gives unemployed young people the skills they need to gain work in the industry.

Nicola gave the programme her best shot and, despite initial nerves, began her first day at the five-star Grosvenor House JW Marriott Hotel in Mayfair, London.

That day completely changed my life.

She gained experience in a number of different departments and asked to extend her placement when the programme ended. 

Nicola now works full-time in the Pastry Kitchen at Grosvenor House and meets regularly with her Prince's Trust ‎Progression Mentor to continue to build her resilience. She has appeared in the Evening Standard, has been featured in Mr Marriott's Blog and received a hand signed letter from HRH The Prince of Wales. 

Positive, stable and with a great support network around her, Nicola finally feels in control of her life. She has ambitions of travelling to France to train as a pastry chef and plans to continue her career in the hospitality sector.

Before The Prince's Trust, I couldn't think about the next day, but everyone at The Trust and Marriott Hotels were so supportive, and now I am planning my future.