Young people’s success against odds celebrated

The achievements of inspirational young people from disadvantaged backgrounds will be celebrated at a Prince’s Trust awards ceremony this week.

The Prince's Trust was set up by Prince Charles in 1976 to help disadvantaged young people.

The Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards recognise those who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.

Jonathan Townsend, regional director for the North of England at The Prince’s Trust, said: “Now in its 12th year, the award series highlights some of the incredible achievements and journeys travelled by young people in our region.”

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Mr Townsend added: “We’ve heard some really inspiring stories from young people who have all been on extremely challenging journeys.

“With support from the Trust, many of them have overcome issues such as abuse, drug addiction, homelessness and depression.”

In the past year alone, around 5,000 young people in Yorkshire have been supported by the charity, helping them transform their lives. With outreach teams meeting young people facing long-term unemployment, bullying and homelessness.

“Our programmes help young people in Yorkshire to build up their self-esteem, skills and aspirations and ultimately achieve success,” said Mr Townsend.

He added: “Currently, more than one in six young people in Yorkshire and the Humber are struggling to find work, 18 per cent. The Prince’s Trust is committed to these young people, helping them gain the skills and confidence to move into employment, education or training.”

Mr Townsend says the Celebrate Success Awards have become the “highlight” of the year for the charity.

“As always, our focus for the event is to bring inspirational young people together to recognise and celebrate their fantastic successes,” he added.

Celebrate Success Awards are also about honouring those who have helped these young people on their journey.

Mr Townsend said: “Each year we shine the spotlight on some of our amazing young people so that their stories can inspire and motivate others.

“We also recognise the exceptional people – their champions – who helped them on their journey.”

The Prince’s Trust will be celebrating its 40th anniversary next year.

Most young people have a determination and willingness to find jobs but often lack the skills, confidence and opportunities says Mr Townsend.

“The Trust’s programmes, supported by our fantastic business partners and volunteers, are invaluable to offer jobless young people the chance they need to get their lives on track.

“Celebrate Success proves that with the right support, even the hardest to reach young people can turn their lives around.

“Congratulations to all of the young people nominated for awards at this year’s ceremony – we wish them well in this new stage in their lives.”

The Yorkshire Post is a media partner for this year’s Celebrate Success Awards.

Nicola Furbisher, Managing Editor of The Yorkshire Post, said: “We are proud to team up with the Prince’s Trust as a media partner for its Celebrate Success Awards.

“The work it does in this region is not only inspiring to see but is also vital in helping young people, from disadvantaged backgrounds, get their careers started.

“We look forward to celebrating the achievements of these young people who represent the future of this region, and those champions who have helped them on their journey.”

The Yorkshire ceremony will be held on November 12 at Leeds Grand Theatre. Winners will be shortlisted for the national final in March 2016.

Award nominees

KCOM Group Young Ambassador of the Year Award: Chantelle Gautier, Terri-Ann Prendergast, Darren McDonald

The Sheffield College Educational Achiever of the Year Award: Connor Burgess, Jake Naylor, Mathew Housley

Samsung Young Achiever of the Year Award: Jennifer Fairbanks, Stephen Fowler

HSBC Breakthrough Award: Aimee Billups, Gemma Lowe, Liam Watson

BGL Group Rising Star Award: Chris Hughes, Khaleel Ahmed, Mazaffar Hussain

Fostering Solutions Community Impact Award: Carlton Bolling College, Halifax Team 9, Harrogate Team 6

NatWest Enterprise Award: Usman Dawood, Eyan Maloney