The Titanic Belfast provided the setting for this year's Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success awards ceremony in Northern Ireland.
There was a buzz around the place, with young people eagerly awaiting the results and guests waiting in anticipation to hear their stories.
Bringing our work to life, the success of the ceremony was all down to the finalists for sharing their stories openly and honestly. Their journeys were documented from day one of needing support, to the struggles they faced and how they showed incredible resilience to turn their lives around.
The evening was hosted by Irish favourites, Keith Duffy from Boyzone and Seainin Brennan from The Fall. Ian Beattie from Game of Thrones and Ireland International rugby player, Jared Payne also attended.
From accounts of homelessness, depression, abuse and drug addiction to how young people changed their fate to do something positive with their lives, audience members looked totally blown away and I’m sure left feeling more inspired than they thought possible.
Just seeing how happy the finalists were with their VIP treatment, as their names were placed on a ‘walk of fame’, brought a smile to our faces. When the young people’s videos were played, it really was a touching moment, with not a dry eye in the house!
Keith Duffy delivered a fantastic (and unrehearsed we’re told) speech about confidence. Taking his confidence, and charm, to another level, he headed out into the audience to ask people questions and even sat on one ladies knee, which went down rather well with his admiring female fans.
Jesse Jane McParland’s amazing ninja performance blew everyone away – there was even talk of Ian Beattie recruiting Jesse for some Game of Thrones action scenes. Finishing the evening with a samba band, who were full of energy, we couldn’t have asked for a better finale.
When the going gets tough (sorry Boyzone…), evenings like this show how such brave and strong-willed young people can beat the odds to change their lives for the better.
The young people certainly made Northern Ireland proud.