By Tim Saunders on
Several socially-conscious celebrities joined Prince Charles at a special event on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate young people who have succeeded against the odds.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Jenni Falconer, and Richard E. Grant were among the 1,500 people who attended the UK finals of the Celebrate Success Awards in London yesterday, March 18, to recognize the work of young people who have overcome homelessness, drug addiction, and unemployment to achieve business success with the support of the Prince's Trust.
“I am a great admirer of the Prince of Wales,” said Paltrow. “The work he has done through his charity to help young people is quite remarkable”.
The main accolade of the event – the Young Achiever Award – went to 20-year-old Ian Fisher, who beat a heroin and crack addiction to establish a business educating children and prisoners about the dangers of drugs and binge-drinking.
“Ian has shown remarkable will-power and strength of character to overcome drug addiction and prison,” said Paltrow, who presented the award. “I am personally humbled by how such a young man can put his past experiences to good use and help others avoid similar problems.”
Kevin Spacey was also impressed with the inspirational stories shared during the ceremony, and was on hand to present an enterprise award to 29-year-old single mother Claire Hutchinson, who overcame unemployment to establish a recycling business through a low-interest loan and mentoring from the Prince’s Trust.
“Claire’s success just shows how a little support can go a long way,” said Spacey, who also revealed that Hutchinson’s business now employs 25 people and has donated over $500,000 to a local children’s charity.
Band of Brothers actor Damian Lewis presented a community impact award to a team of unemployed young people who revived a Second World War memorial garden in Witton, Birmingham.
“Civilians who died in the World War II heavy bombing were often buried without a permanent tombstone,” said Lewis. “I think the young people from this Prince’s Trust team did an amazing thing, providing a crucial place for relatives to remember their lost ones.”
The Prince’s Trust has helped more than 575,000 young people who are not in education, employment, or training since it was established in 1976. More information about the work that they do can be found at www.princes-trust.org.uk.
Copyright © 2008 Look to the Stars