Simon Turner

Paint a picture of the lives of today’s high-profile business leaders and compare it to one depicting the vulnerable young people supported by The Prince’s Trust and you’re likely to see two very contrasting pieces, but one thing links them together: ambition.

It’s ambition that prompts young people to join our programmes and it’s ambition that propels business leaders into the high-profile jobs.

Simon Turner, philanthropist and managing partner of Inflexion, a private equity firm, saw this connection and was motivated to support The Prince’s Trust on a personal and business level through generous donations and extreme fundraising challenges that saw him champion an extraordinary expedition to the Arctic.

He says:  “I was first introduced to The Trust at a lunch and was so moved by the Young Ambassador who spoke, I felt compelled to learn more about what The Trust does and began supporting it. I am now one of The Trust’s patrons.

I've met a lot of young people going through its programmes since then and every time I see a fire in their eyes and a sense of desire and achievement that I find incredibly affirming. They all have challenges, but they also have an ambition to progress with life and that chimes with me and what we do at Inflexion.

Simon and his Inflexion team specialise in helping ambitious small businesses move to the next level. But, rather than trying to match its funding with its own area of specialism – enterprise – Simon and Inflexion have elected to donate their time and funds across all The Trust’s programmes. And they do this for good reason.

“Some donors will give to The Trust because it has the scale and flexibility to tailor where their support is used, but our involvement is less strategic than that.

“It’s less of a branding exercise for us. We want these young people to do well whichever programme they're on and so we’re happy to be broadly involved with multiyear financial donations that The Trust has free reign to use wherever it sees fit. I think you have to trust the experts to do what they do and The Prince’s Trust is certainly best placed here to make that assessment.”

The Inflexion team has donated their time to help with accounting workshops, interview training, mentoring and fundraising. Simon believes it helps them feel more engaged with the world.

“It adds a dimension and richness to life that a lot of people are seeking – if we can help through our involvement, that’s a win-win.”

Simon, too, goes out of his way to support The Trust. In March 2015, he was responsible for leading a monumental challenge that saw him and a group of other entrepreneurs and business leaders face the harshest of conditions on a trek to the Arctic.

I think we were interested in doing something meaningful and with scale for The Trust and we wanted to use the opportunity to make a big difference for the young people it helps. A trek to the Arctic fitted with this and we had such a nice group of people, we had to make it happen. It was one of the most exciting and dangerous and stimulating things I have ever done.

The trek raised £500,000 for The Trust – an astonishing amount of money that was used to fund programmes like Get Started, Enterprise and Team; programmes that are proven to change the prospects of disadvantaged young people time and time again.

Simon and his party were so inspired by the expedition and the difference their fundraised capital was able to make, they are now planning another trek, but this time to the South Pole.

“The Prince’s Trust is a first class institution that delivers very consistent interventions on a large scale. It does something incredibly important for the UK and deserves support, and that’s why we’re planning another expedition.

If you want to make a change to society today and help young people change their lives, don’t just debate whether you should support The Prince’s Trust or not. Just get on with it and do it. I feel privileged to be a part of it.

The vision and generosity of Simon, his fellow explorers and his team at Inflexion allows The Trust to actively reach out and support the most isolated and troubled young people. Together, they are fuelling the ambitions of a new generation of talent that will help shape the future of the UK.