Young people who have broken free from their troubled pasts with the help of The Prince’s Trust are being honoured today at the Celebrate Success Awards.
Prince Charles has told of his pride in those who have turned their lives around thanks to his charity.
They include Michelle Brown, now living her life to the full after landing a job as a football steward following a training course with The Trust.
Michelle, now 23, had turned to drugs and started offending after spiralling into depression following a difficult childhood. She said: “I didn’t care if I lived or died.”
After being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder she enrolled in The Prince’s Trust Get Started with Stewarding course.
The inspiring programme meant she could get a job as a full-time steward with her local club Southampton.
It gave her the confidence and motivation she needed, and now she volunteers for charity in her spare time and has become a young ambassador for The Prince’s Trust.
She says: “It was daunting going on the programme, but everyone was in the same boat and really encouraging.
“It helped me in so many ways. Without The Trust’s support, I’d have carried on being self-destructive, with no future. Now I’m happy, sociable and excited about where my life is going.”
She is up for the HSBC Breakthrough Award in association with the Daily Mirror at The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & HomeSense Celebrate Success Awards.
Also in the running is Alec McDermott, 21, of Partington, Manchester.
He was bullied so badly at school that he tried to take his own life.
The Prince’s Trust course Get Started with Radio gave him the confidence to make friends and become a full-time volunteer. He said: “My life is unrecognisable from what it used to be.”
Another nominee is Adrian Thomas, 20, from Merthyr Tydfil.
Taken into care as a teenager, he ended up living in a hostel and taking drugs .
After a personal development course with The Prince’s Trust, he has full-time work and a permanent home. He said: “The Prince’s Trust made me believe in myself.”
Speaking ahead of today’s glittering ceremony at the London Palladium, Prince Charles said he was “enormously proud” of all those whose lives have been transformed.
He added: “They have all shown remarkable courage and determination.”