More than five hundred business leaders raised over £400,000 at a special fundraising dinner for The Prince's Trust last week.

The Prince of Wales makes a speech at the Prince's Trust Youth Leadership reception
The Prince of Wales makes a speech at the Prince's Trust Youth Leadership reception
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Founder and president, HRH The Prince of Wales, spoke about the impact of unemployment on young people’s mental health at the The Prince’s Trust and EMC Leadership Dinner.

Hosted by newsreader Sophie Raworth and featuring a speech by Baroness Joanna Shields OBE – Advisor on the Digital Economy, Chairman of Tech City UK and Director of the London Stock Exchange Group – the event united business leaders to raise over £400,000 for The Trust.

The evening also saw the unveiling of a multi-channel ad campaign, with the first Prince’s Trust TV advert in nearly a decade.

The campaign – #TogetherWeCan – aims to increase support and donations to help vulnerable young people, many of whom are facing issues such as mental health problems, homelessness and abuse, move into employment, education or training.

Speaking about the research produced by the Trust, The Prince said: “My Trust’s Youth Index, published earlier this month, found that it is often a lack of support at home which has a detrimental effect, and that a quarter of the young people in the UK don’t have anyone to talk to about their problems while growing up, and one in 10 have been physically attacked at home during their childhood.”

The report, based on interviews with 2,265 16 to 25-year-olds, also revealed that while 20% of young people admitted to “falling apart” emotionally on a regular basis, this increased to a third among unemployed young people.

His Royal Highness told more than 600 business leaders that research produced by his organisation had found that almost half of the unemployed young people it questioned felt depressed “always” or “often”.

“For young people who are unemployed, the situation is increasingly dire, with 53% of them feeling anxious about everyday situations and a heart-breaking 47% feeling depressed ‘always’ or ‘often’.

“As we all know, unemployment eats away at the confidence of those it affects, and I urge you not to forget about those young people who we haven’t reached yet, who are out there right now with no hope for the future.

“They still need our help – and one very important way of doing so is through skills training. With so many gaps in skills … to be filled, the level of youth unemployment could be greatly reduced – with some joined-up thinking.”

Hosted by BBC Broadcaster and Prince’s Trust Ambassador Sophie Raworth, the event featured Chantelle, a young ambassador for the Trust, telling her inspiring story of how she overcame the traumatic experience of being a young carer and unemployed to work in customer services with a leading bank.

Guest speaker Baroness Shields said of the event: “The working world has experienced a seismic shift in how it uses technology, The Prince’s Trust is helping to put disadvantaged young people at the front of the queue for those jobs. I couldn’t be more proud to lend my support to this event.”

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