When Michael Tyler’s Job Centre adviser recommended he join our Get into Railways course, he had no idea a few months later he’d end up on the fast train to our Celebrate Success national final.
Prince’s Trust (PT): Hi Michael! What’s new with you?
Michael Tyler (MT): I’ve changed from working the night shift at Luton Airport Parkway to days at St Alban’s station now, but I still enjoy ensuring all of my customers get to their locations, safely.
PT: How did it feel to be nominated for a Celebrate Success award?
MT: I was speechless at the time. I can’t describe the feeling with words. The night before the event I was so excited – it felt like a dream. I couldn’t wait to be on the red carpet with all of the celebrities. My mum felt so proud.
When it came to hearing my name being called out on the day, all I could think of was ‘How do I address HRH The Prince of Wales?’ and ‘Do I have to say a speech?’ It all worked out in the end!
PT: Who was your favourite celebrity?
MT: Rod Stewart presented me with my award and now my Nan is convinced I’m his number one fan. She called me round the other day just to tell me about his tour dates! I had to let her down gently that I wasn’t going.
PT: This year at Celebrate Success we’re focusing on journeys. What made you start yours?
MT: I was umming and ahhing about joining Get into Railways, but ultimately it did change my life. Once I’d decided to give it a go, pretty quickly I knew it was going to be a big opportunity for me.
Half way through the course I felt different; I felt happier. Other people began to tell me I was becoming a new person. I used to be late all the time, but on placement I was first to arrive and the last to leave.
PT: What advice would you give to others thinking about joining The Prince’s Trust?
MT: I’m a Young Ambassador now and a Progression Mentor through my company – Govia Thameslink Railway – which means I get to share my story with other young people. I used to be in the same situation as they are, so it’s easier for me to say ‘buck your ideas up because anything is possible’ than perhaps an outsider. I’m not there to judge them, I want to help them.
PT: Tell us more about being a Young Ambassador.
MT: I’m in high demand! Last year I attended an event at The Ritz in London. I’ve never drunk so much tea in all my life. That aside, the training really prepared me for public speaking.
PT: Describe Celebrate Success in one sentence.
MT: Celebrate Success opens your eyes to understand other people’s stories.
PT: Lastly, what’s next for you?
MT: I’ll continue to help The Prince’s Trust, especially as it celebrates its 40th year. There’s a special event this spring which I’m really excited about. Stay tuned!