Before approaching the Prince’s Trust, 27-year-old Pete from Bristol had been on long-term benefits, which left him feeling de-motivated and alone. He felt isolated and his mental health was not good. With a long term dream of being a train driver, he joined The Prince’s Trust Get into Customer Services with GWR. 

“When I started on the programme with The Prince’s Trust and Great Western Railway, it felt like finally I could leave some of my baggage behind and just focus on improving myself. I was doing something for me."

With the support of GWR and Prince's Trust staff, Pete applied for positions within the company after the programme finished and was delighted to secure a permanent position as a Ticket Examiner. He has shown outstanding customer service at GWR, winning an award within the company after he went above and beyond for his customers when a train he was on was stranded in the snow. 

“The course helped me get my foot firmly in the door of GWR and gave me much needed stability. For example, I not only passed my driving test, but I even own a car now, which is something I thought I’d never earn enough to do. I also moved into an amazing flat with my partner so I can walk into work.

The course completely transformed my life. I was long-term unemployed for at least 7 years due to struggles with my mental health. Before completing the course, I couldn't look to the future at all and really thought this was all life had to give me, making it all seem meaningless and painful. I was often unable to leave the confines of my bedroom and did not want to engage with society whatsoever.

“I love working at GWR and am hugely proud to wear the uniform, I've found it to be a very supportive place and has given me amazing opportunities to progress. The Prince's Trust and GWR helped me catapult myself back into society and to live a life that has a sense of purpose and one that I can look forward to.”

In October 2019, Pete won the Young Achiever of the Year Award at The Prince’s Trust Awards in the South West. In November, he was named “Railway Person of the Year”, an impressive testimony to his incredibly hard work.

Pete has been accepted onto the training programme to become a train driver, which he says is the “ultimate prize”. Due to the coronavirus pandemic the training was postponed, but he has now been given a start date and can’t wait to get going with his training.

“Work has been completely different during the pandemic, as the station is empty. It is definitely a test for all of us to remain focused when there is not much going on.

“I just can’t wait to start my train driver training – I’m back on track to achieving my dream job!”