Cheryl Cole, Kimberley Walsh, Steve Jones and Christine Bleakley were among those gathered at the star-studded ceremony to recognise young people who have overcome challenges such as abuse, depression, addiction and homelessness to achieve success with the youth charity’s support.
Katey England, 23, from Blackpool first approached The Prince’s Trust when she was struggling with mental health issues, having suffered childhood trauma and contemplated suicide. She took part in the youth charity’s 12-week personal development programme and came out the other side feeling a lot more positive about life.
Katey has since decided to make a career in youth work, helping other young people from difficult backgrounds like herself. Her turnaround story earned her The L’Oréal Paris Young Achiever of The Year award, presented by L’Oréal Paris spokesmodel, Cheryl Cole.
Cheryl said: "Today’s awards have been incredibly moving and emotional. It’s been an absolute honour to meet young people like Katey – who has turned her life around despite such a difficult start in life.
“I am full of admiration for all the young people I’ve met today. Many of them have hit rock bottom but have had the strength of character to seek support from The Prince’s Trust and get their lives back on track.”
Award winner Katey took part in The Prince’s Trust Team programme, delivered by Lancashire Fire and Rescue. She said: “Just a few years ago, I was at rock bottom and had no hope at all. The staff on the Team programme believed in me which gave me a lot more confidence. The Trust’s support has made me feel like I can do anything and I’m really positive about the future.”
Girls Aloud member Kimberley Walsh and television presenter Steve Jones, hosted the ceremony in front of the youth charity’s founder and president, HRH The Prince of Wales, and a 1,500-strong audience.
They heard how 17-year-old care-leaver Dominic Grove from Fleetwood was constantly excluded from school before joining a Prince’s Trust xl club. With support from The Prince’s Trust club, Dominic grew in confidence and is now studying for a Level 3 National Diploma.
Dominic took home the Novae Educational Achiever of the Year award, saying: “The Prince’s Trust really helped me calm down and made me realise what I wanted to do with my life. Before their help, I would have never had the confidence to apply to college but now I feel I can achieve anything I put my mind to.”
Kimberley Walsh said: “Many of these young people had very low confidence before being helped by The Prince’s Trust. Watching them walk up to the stage with their heads held high in front of 1,500 people to meet The Prince of Wales really moved me – it shows just how far they have come.”
Fellow host, Steve Jones, added: “It was really heart-warming to see how proud these young people were to be here today. Young people often get a bad press but there are a lot of them out there who have chosen to do what’s right, not what’s easy, to turn their lives around. All of them deserve our respect for working hard to better their lives.”
Pirates of the Caribbean actress Naomie Harris appeared on stage to present the Balfour Beatty Community Impact Award to a group of teenagers from Wales who used to be in trouble with the police. They now run their own community scheme – “Buzz Bikes” – hiring and repairing bikes locally, thanks to a grant and support from The Prince’s Trust.
Cheryl Cole added: “I have been truly inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales and the work of his youth charity with the UK’s most vulnerable young people. The Prince’s Trust is an incredible charity and one I’m very passionate about supporting.”
Source: Prince's Trust