A care organisation with an eye for talent has won an award for the inspiring stories it told about turning round the lives of young people.
The Pendine Park care organisation in Wrexham came first in the Most PR Generated category at The Prince’s Trust Cymru Truth About Youth Awards.
It won the award with the help of top Welsh PR firm Ceidiog Communication.
The special red carpet awards ceremony was held at the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff to celebrate the end of the three-year Truth about Youth initiative funded by The Co-Operative Foundation.
Pendine Park supported four programmes in partnership with The Prince’s Trust Cymru. They helped 30 youngsters between 18 and 25 from the Wrexham area, and included training, work placements and a level 1 City & Guilds qualification of introduction to health and social care.
Sabrina Rafferty, 19, from Gwersyllt, was one of 11 young people who were given jobs by Pendine Park after completing the course.
The care practitioner at Hillbury House care home at Pendine Park care organisation has also become a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust.
She said: “The awards were fun. We got to walk down the red carpet and dress up for the occasion. I felt proud of everyone because we have all worked together.”
Sabrina added: “It’s been an amazing experience. It’s like a big family at Pendine Park, and it’s helped me to see my future, which is working in social care. I didn’t see a future for myself before but now I do. I was unemployed for six months. It was boring and I just felt useless all of the time.”
“I’m looking forward to meeting other young people as a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and telling them my story because a lot of them will be in situation similar to the one that I was in. I’m excited about it.
“I’ve gained a lot of confidence working at Pendine Park, and I’m always learning new things. You get a lot of support from the senior members of staff here. They explain to you how to do things and reassure you.
“I love the residents at Pendine Park. I love the conversations with them. I like singing with them as well. It’s important to know about their needs. We treat people like individuals and we do what makes them happy. It’s part of Pendine Park’s enrichment programme. Doing the little things is important. Every day here is different.”
Youth charity The Prince’s Trust supports 3,500 young people in Wales each year through its programmes. Three in four young people supported by The Trust move into work, education or training.
Ian Thomas, Programme Manager for The Prince’s Trust Cymru and host for the evening said: “The Truth about Youth initiative gave young people the chance to prove that they have a huge amount to offer employers as well as their local community.
“Young people are often portrayed in a negative manner but this fantastic initiative gave them the opportunity to show what they could achieve when given the chance.”
Ailsa Logan, Co-operative Engagement Advisor added: “The Truth about Youth programme in Wales has succeeded in creating and delivering a youth-led programme enabling young people to work with the wider community to make a real difference.
“I have had the privilege of meeting some of the young people during the programme, I’ve seen the real difference it has made to their lives and heard some their truly inspiring stories.”
Olivia Thomas, activities coordinator at Pendine Park who accepted the award on behalf of Pendine Park, said: “I’m incredibly proud of all of the young people who have come through the Prince’s Trust scheme with Pendine Park. They’ve all come such a long way.
“The young people we have working with us do really make a difference to the lives of the people that they care for.
“I think the Prince’s Trust course has given them a head start because they get a lot of experience before they start to work here. It also gives them confidence because they realise what they can do. They’re all bubbly and happy people who really care about others and they’ve all flourished since they’ve been here.”
Ceidiog Hughes, the managing director of Ceidiog Communication, said: “We are tremendously proud to have the opportunity to work for Pendine Park which is a fantastic an innovative company.
“It was a real pleasure to help showcase the success of these inspirational young people. They did all the hard work and we wrote about it.”
For more information on Pendine Park please visit www.pendinepark.com, for more information on The Prince’s Trust visit www.princes-trust.org.uk, and for more information on Ceidiog Communication visit www.ceidiog.com/pr.