Despite growing up with parents who were seriously ill, Stacey Fox, 23 from Swansea, achieved five GCSEs at school and a place at college to study an NVQ.

However, when her father’s bowel cancer became terminal, Stacey left college to care for her mother, meaning she had to grow up very quickly and missed out on many things that typical teenagers take for granted.

By the age of 18, Stacey had tragically lost both of her parents, throwing her whole world into turmoil, and leading to depression and a breakdown. Despite being offered anti-depressants by her doctor, Stacey was determined not to be dependent on tablets and made a vow with her brother that they would get through things together.

It was then, while claiming Job Seekers' Allowance, that Stacey was introduced to Make Your Mark, a four-week employability programme run in partnership between us and Marks & Spencer, and life began to change.

Before the course nobody would give me a chance and I felt worthless. I was terrified but knew I had to give it a go and, with the help of The Prince’s Trust and M&S, I’m pleased to say I did just that.

Working in the Swansea store’s food department, she quickly learned how to deal with other people again and, as the weeks progressed, she began taking more initiative, faced up to new challenges and saw her confidence return. After impressing everyone with her attitude, she was offered a temporary contract and was delighted to be made permanent in June 2015.

Without this chance I’d still be claiming benefits, too scared to try anything new. With my new-found confidence, my aim  is to give others the boost they need to show they can get through the worst of times, just like I did. 

After winning the Samsung Young Achiever award at the Celebrate Success 2016 national finals, Stacey was invited onto the This Morning sofa with ex Spice Girl Geri Horner.

Watch the clip below: