Sep 6, 2013

How Dan transformed his life with your support

Dan, 26, was a professional soldier, but returned from Iraq after the birth of his second child feeling physically and mentally exhausted. Suffering from flashbacks, he concluded the army was no longer for him.

Once discharged, he went through a series of low-paid jobs to support his family. Around this time, his relationship ended. Dan gained sole custody of his two children and moved into his own house. With little support from his family he was barely getting by, experiencing periods of depression and loneliness. Doubting his abilities, Dan had lost confidence and belief in himself.

He had previously had the idea of starting his own gardening business. With both children soon to be in school, he thought it was a good time to focus on his future. While seeking advice, he joined The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme, a scheme helping young people interested in self-employment explore their ideas in setting up a business.

He found the speakers on the course particularly inspirational. They made him realise anything is possible if you put your mind to it. His time on the programme gave him the desire to be a success by learning from his mistakes. With renewed confidence, Dan found the motivation to move forward. With support and funding from The Prince’s Trust, he started his business, Gardeners R Us. With several regular customers, including an estate agent, it is doing well.

Today, Dan is a different person to the world-weary ex-soldier he once was. With ambitions to expand his business, he has lots of ideas. However, Dan’s main goal is to provide for his family and be a positive role model to his children.

Dan said: "With amazing support from The Prince’s Trust I have achieved a lot in 18 months. In the past I had many dark days, but now my outlook is positive and I can see a bright future."

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Jun 18, 2013

Another success story made possible with your help

Peter receiving an award for enterprise
Peter receiving an award for enterprise

Video here.

Peter encountered difficulty in secondary school while dealing with bouts of anxiety and stress. He moved between numerous children’s homes, boarding schools and secure units, and this instability badly affected his education, leaving him without basic communication and numeracy skills.

During this time, Peter discovered a passion for wildlife. He began to see a positive future in starting his own pest control company, but with missed school time and no solid working experience within the industry, he felt this was perhaps too much of an undertaking.

Facing financial insecurity, depression and isolation owing to his rural location, Peter enrolled on The Trust’s Enterprise programme, a course for young people who need support and funding to realise their business potential.

With the help of a business mentor Peter developed his business knowledge and the got the support he to set up his company, PGH Pest Control and Prevention. The process enabled Peter to overcome his difficulties with numeracy and literacy, which counted a long way towards getting him on his feet.

Since his engagement with The Trust, Peter’s communication skills have improved too, allowing him to form successful client relationships. The business has massively exceeded its financial targets, and Peter is looking at the possibility of diversifying into other areas to meet demand from his regular customers.

Your donation could pay for the written materials used by a talented young person like Peter who needs guidance to set up their own business.

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Mar 28, 2013

Celebrating the success of young achievers

In March The Prince's Trust held the national finals of our annual Celebrate Success Awards, in which we recognise the successes of our most inspirational young people, and the people who helped them get where they are today. The winner of our Young Achiever of the Year Award was Afsana Benozir, here is her story:

At the age of 10, Afsana’s behaviour began to change dramatically. She refused to play with friends and her increasing withdrawal impacted greatly on all aspects of her life.

Her condition deteriorated to such an extent that by age 12 she was self-harming and displaying violent mood swings. By now her family believed they had lost all control of Afsana and as time passed their relationship suffered. She later survived two suicide attempts.

After the second incident she admitted herself to hospital where she received psychiatric assessment. Following these events, medical leave took her out of education and Afsana gave up any aspirations she had held. After nine months of weekly psychotherapy sessions Afsana was finally ready to reveal the root of her problems; from the age of six she had suffered serious abuse from a family friend.

Additional conflict at home prompted Afsana to move out and it was here that a Support Worker referred her to The Prince's Trust. She attended a 12-week personal development course helping young people build confidence and workplace skills. Despite mixing with the wrong crowd, the potential within this intelligent girl was still apparent.

During the course, Afsana initially displayed hostile behaviour, but soon she developed greater tolerance to others while coming to understand the importance of qualities like commitment and self-respect. Perhaps most notably she also began to trust people once more.

Finishing The Prince’s Trust programme was a huge achievement for Afsana and it gave her the confidence to complete a recent Medical and Biomedicine college course with distinctions. Now in possession of the required grades, she plans to follow a long-held dream to become a doctor by applying to study medicine at university. The confident and positive 20-year-old says:

"Hand on heart, if it wasn’t for the support and experience I received from The Prince's Trust, I would most likely not be here today."

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