Bullied for being small and expelled from school for attacking another student, Ryan 23, from Dunmurry, drank, took drugs and had his home raided by the police. 

He became addicted to anti-depressants after his uncle’s suicide and started receiving death threats after moving house and becoming a drug dealer. Only when he saw his actions were making his mother ill, did he decide to stop.

One day I just looked at my mum and realised that she was ill and living off her nerves because of me. My extended family called me a 'scumbag' and wanted nothing to do with me, my cousins were going to college, I was a disappointment and a failure, so I decided to follow my childhood dream and join the Foreign Legion.

Ryan meant business. He got fit, bought a one-way ticket to Paris and signed up to the Foreign Legion. But after dislocating his knee during training, he was sent home, where he grew depressed and rarely left the house. 

A friend signposted him to our Get Started programme with Outdoor Activities at Colin Glen. He loved the experience and went on to join Team, a 12-week Prince's Trust programme that enhances the employability prospects of unemployed young people.

I met an amazing bunch of people on Team who are now friends for life. My confidence went through the roof and I left feeling like anything was possible. Within a week of the programme, I started volunteering at Colin Glen and then started taking my own Bubble Ball sessions.

Shortly after Team, Ryan lost another family member to suicide, and was seriously injured in a vicious gang attack that left his friend dead. Mentally broken, Ryan went to his only refuge – The Prince’s Trust Team. He says the Team programme was the only thing that kept him going.

He became one of The Trust’s most inspirational Young Ambassadors, retelling his story to young people, staff and supporters and sharing how The Prince's Trust helped heal his life. Ryan’s family are no longer ashamed of Ryan. They are proud; proud of the person he has become, and proud of who he wants to be. 

I couldn't be happier with how my life is at this moment. Life is precious and I hope to continue building my relationship with The Prince’s Trust, be actively involved as much as I can, and hope to inspire as many young people as possible.