The Prince met young people who are turning their lives around with support from the Fairbridge programme at the Prince's Trust centre in Middlesbrough.
The Prince met young people participating in a range of activities as part of the Fairbridge personal development scheme. Sessions included cooking, CV writing, financial awareness, literacy and numeracy courses and team-building skills.
Among those who met The Prince were young people in line for an award at the upcoming Prince’s Trust & L’Oréal Paris Celebrate Success Awards – a prestigious awards ceremony recognising disadvantaged young people who have succeeded against the odds.
Those shortlisted for the North East awards include Kieran Maxwell, 22, from South Shields. Kieran was living in a homeless hostel in Newcastle, struggling to deal with his use of drugs and alcohol.
Kieran tried to break the cycle he was in, volunteering for charity work because he knew he could achieve much more than he was currently doing. Frustrated at the barriers he faced and desperate to try something positive, he signed up for the Fairbridge programme in January 2011.
He impressed with his ability to work well with the rest of the team and assumed a leadership role that was very supportive and encouraging to other team members. He secured a place on the Spirit of Fairbridge, the programme’s tall ship, and was invited back to take part in the Tall Ships Race in 2011.
He has now secured a position as boson aboard the ship, to help him gain valuable experience, training and qualifications. He has a permanent home for the first time in years and is reconciled with his family. Kieran has been shortlisted for The Trust’s Breakthrough Award at the charity’s upcoming awards, and told us:
The Royal visit follows the Fairbridge programme becoming part of The Prince’s Trust earlier this year. The vision is to deliver a more joined-up, wide-ranging service for an increased number of disadvantaged young people. The Trust is continuing to deliver the Fairbridge programme through its 15 centres across the UK, including the Teesside centre.