Inspirational young people from across Wales were last night honoured at a prestigious royal awards ceremony.
The Prince’s Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards recognised the achievements of young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.
The ceremony took place on November 23, at Cardiff City FC, and recognised young people who had overcome issues such as homelessness, depression, bereavement, drug addiction and abuse.
The event was hosted by Lisa Rogers, and attended by Prince’s Trust supporters including players from Cardiff City FC, Scarlets and Glamorgan CCC, and Welsh rugby union Assistant Coach Rob Howley.
Stacey Fox, 25 from Swansea was named winner of the Samsung Young Achiever of the Year Award.
Despite growing up with parents who were seriously ill, Stacey Fox achieved good grades and a place at college. However, when her father’s bowel cancer became terminal, Stacey left college to care for her mother, meaning she had to grow up very quickly and missed out on many things that typical teenagers take for granted.
By the age of 18 Stacey Fox had tragically lost both of her parents, which threw her whole world into turmoil, leading to depression and a breakdown. Stacey was introduced to Make Your Mark, a Prince’s Trust employment initiative ran in partnership with M&S. She learned how to deal with other people again, faced up to new challenges and her confidence returned. Stacey was offered permanent employment with the store and is now looking to the future, where she aims to help other young people change their lives.
On winning the award, she said: “It feels amazing to win this award, and it really just goes to show that with the right support, anyone can achieve. Thank you Prince’s Trust.”
Jodie Christopher, 32, from Gwent, won the NatWest Enterprise award.
Life as a young mum with constant battles to find any money meant that Jodie Christopher’s dreams of opening her own hair salon seemed set never to become reality. However, after turning to The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme things began to change. She worked closely with her business mentor, completed a business plan and impressed a judging panel to be awarded a grant from The Trust. Jodie’s business is now growing steadily and she has become a popular figure in the local community.
She said: “I can’t believe I won, it feels amazing. Thank you to The Prince’s Trust for helping me and so many other young people to realise their dreams. With the right support, anyone can achieve their goals.”
Jess Davey, 24, from Cardiff, won the Aventa Capital Rising Star award.
At school Jess Davey suffered at the hands of bullies, both emotionally and physically. She lost all confidence and self-worth and spent a great deal of time on her own, leading to a diagnosis of depression at the age of 16. Jess reached a very dark place, and spent four years unemployed.
The changed came when Jess enrolled on a Get into retail course with The Prince’s Trust. Her confidence and mental health have improved dramatically and she is now employed full time at M&S and looking forward to the future.
She says, “It means so much to have come so far and to be recognised for what I have achieved. Thank you to The Prince’s Trust for all the support.”
Ben Clifford, 30, from Swansea, won RCT Homes Young Ambassador of the Year award
While at university buying a surfboard changed Ben Clifford’s life forever. After attending Enterprise, Ben formed Surfability UK, which offers inclusive surfing lessons to people with disabilities. He then became a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and has attended numerous events, using his story to inspire other young people to set up their own businesses.
He says, “It’s amazing to win the award and being a Young Ambassador was such a great experience. The Prince’s Trust helps young people to believe in themselves and gives them the self-belief they need to succeed, whether that’s in business, social enterprise or gaining the skills to find work. I am happy to be a part of that community.”
Other winners were:
Ben Gardner, 16, from Rhyl won the G4S Educational Achiever of the Year award
Phoebe Young, 20, from Rhyl, won the HSBC Breakthrough Award
A group from Ysgol Tir Morfa school, Rhyl won the LAC Network Community Impact Award.
Since 2012, Samsung has supported The Prince’s Trust to enhance the lives of young people. As the partnership now moves into its fourth year, Samsung is continuing to work closely with The Prince’s Trust to introduce technology initiatives, embedding digital and STEM skills across its programme through the insertion of Digital Classrooms at its centres.
Youth charity The Prince’s Trust gives disadvantaged young people the skills and confidence to find a job. Three in four young people helped by The Prince’s Trust move into work, training or education.