The Prince of Wales was in Stoke, UK, last week where he met with young people who have battled long-term unemployment and managed to change their lives with help from The Prince's Trust.

The Prince, who founded The Trust in 1976, met with Stoke young people as part of a visit focusing on regeneration in the city.

Lee Tams was one of the young people who met The Prince today. He faced unemployment for nine months before seeking support from The Prince’s Trust.

“It’s such an honour to meet The Prince of Wales,” said Lee. "His charity has done so much to change my life.

“I felt like I was in a black hole when I was unemployed. I was rejected for all 500 jobs I applied for – and never found out why. I often struggled to buy food and clothes, and avoided putting the heating on as I couldn’t afford my energy bills. I had nothing.

“On The Prince’s Trust Team programme, I started to believe in myself again. I know what I want to do for the first time in my life.”

The Trust’s Team programme is a 12-week personal development course. It gave Lee the skills and confidence he needed to find work, and he now has his dream job working in a residential care home for the elderly.

In Staffordshire, Team is run in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent College, which has supported 4,000 young people through the scheme since 1995. The College is the first partner to deliver 300 Team programmes with The Prince’s Trust.

Chris Callear, 20, also met HRH The Prince of Wales last week, after taking part in a Prince’s Trust scheme at Middleport Pottery to help him find a job in the construction industry.

After facing six months of unemployment, Chris has now secured a job at the Pottery thanks to the Get into Construction course, helping to regenerate the building. The scheme was run in partnership with The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, William Anelay Construction and Stoke College.

Chris said: “The Prince’s Trust has been great and there is no doubt that the Get into Construction programme turned my life around.”

He continued, “It boosted my confidence and best of all I got to have proper experience of what it is like to be on construction site. This was my favourite part as it helped me to get the job I have today.”

John O’Reilly, regional director for The Prince’s Trust in central England said: "We’re thrilled to have His Royal Highness here in Stoke today. This is the icing on the cake for our young people, who have faced huge barriers and worked so hard to turn their lives around.

“Almost one in five young people in Stoke are struggling to find a job, so that means the work of The Prince’s Trust is more important than ever.”

Source: Prince's Trust

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