Young people who have helped transform their neighbourhoods despite are among those being celebrated in today’s Prince’s Trust annual awards.
Amid recent figures showing youth unemployment has nearly hit 1m, it is inspiring to hear how teenagers and young adults are determinedly pursuing work, training or volunteering, despite the kinds of experiences that would lead some to write them off as “hard to reach”.
The trust’s Celebrate Success event honours young people who, supported by one of the trust’s many programmes, have overcome challenges like homelessness or unemployment to make a difference to their communities or to the lives of others.
The community impact award in particular (there are various categories in today’s awards) recognises how young people around the country have breathed new life into a neglected area of a block of flats, launched a support scheme for young carers and turned a disused part of a children’s centre into a a play space. While their projects might not have led all of them into full-time employment, many are on a more secure path to independence.
A group of eight unemployed young people, supported by the Prince’s Trust Get Started programme, revitalised an area in a block of flats in the deprived east end of Glasgow. They created flower beds and benches, built a willow hut for children to play in and sprayed a giant snakes and ladders board on the ground.
Steven Bland was among the four young carers who created the Liverpool-based Caring Alone Support Service, backed by a cash award from the trust, for a Community Cash Award. They matched the funding with support from other organisations launched the online support support for young carers, offering advice and a forum for information exchange.
While participating in the Prince’s Trust Team programme, 10 young people made a disused outdoor space at the Fox Hollies children’s centre in Birmingham into a beach play area. They raised the cash through donations from local businesses and activities including bag packs and car washes.