During the visit, The Prince of Wales met staff, volunteers and young people taking part in a variety of initiatives, including the Enterprise programme, which supports disadvantaged young people into entrepreneurship.
The Prince of Wales addressed young people, staff, volunteers and supporters of The Prince’s Trust, stating: “I hope some of you here today are beginning to benefit in a small way and I am also incredibly proud of the difference the Trust can make to so many lives.”
One of the young people who met the Prince was 27-year-old Sarah Hillier from Pontypool, who is about to launch a custom-made teddy business with support from The Prince’s Trust. The young mum presented The Prince of Wales with a custom-made bear created especially for his soon-to-be-born grandchild.
Sarah decided she wanted to run her own business after running a successful cafeteria at her partner’s workplace. She had to leave when her husband was made redundant and she found herself unemployed. She looked into opening a cafe business in her native Pontypool but initial market research showed there was too much competition in the area.
Her entrepreneurial spirit meant that Sarah was determined to find an idea that would work, and one day her nine-year-old daughter gave her just that – custom made teddy bears.
Sarah approached The Prince’s Trust for support and attended a four day Explore Enterprise course, learning about all aspects of starting and running a business.
Working hard to source quality suppliers after she received a small grant from The Trust to test her business, Sarah took out space in Pontypool market and to her delight, sold all her products immediately.
Sarah’s full business will be launching soon, based in Pontypool market and she is excited about the future, saying: “The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme has been fantastic. I learned so much about setting up a business from them, and without their support I would not be where I am. I have worked hard and I am confident about my business, knowing I will have the support I need.”
Describing the teddy bear she created for the royal baby, Sarah said: “The bear is one of my favourite designs and I have chosen a soldier’s outfit for it. I just hope this little bear is fit for a Prince… or a Princess!”
His Royal Highness also chatted to young people who are taking part in The Prince’s Trust Fairbridge programme in Cardiff, which supports young people aged 13 – 25 who are struggling, and provides personal development through one-to-one support and group activities.
Source: Prince's Trust